Digital Story–The Circulatory System

For my digital story I used Piaget’s theory on adaptation for teaching the circulatory system. In 6th grade, my students have a basic understanding of the circulatory system already therefore they’ve already developed a schema with this knowledge. However, disequilibrium occurs when students are posed with solving a problem: clogged arteries!


PQ and CQ…Our Last Week of CEP 812

For our final week in CEP 812, we explored PQ (passion quotient) and CQ (curiosity quotient) through Thomas L. Friedman’s op-ed article in the New York Times. Friedman writes about how our ever changing world of technology has created a superconnected society (Friedman, 2013). Within this hyperconnected world, we have businesses that can do things more efficiently through technology, and we have major changes in areas like education. Friedman explains to keep people need to take initiative through their passion and curiosity which may be more important than a person’s IQ (Friedman, 2013). Friedman makes interesting statements about our hyperconnected world. Assuming that those who are highly intelligent may not necessarily be the “best” with regard to jobs or other areas especially if those with high IQs are not necessarily passionate or curious about their job. This reminds me that every day, we as educators, are faced with the unique problem of preparing our students for jobs, problems, and really a world that does not exist yet. Therefore, I agree with Friedman in the importance of PQ and CQ! Students who can find a passion in what they are doing will be more likely to succeed. Likewise, students who are naturally curious will be problem solvers and try and figure out the best way to handle the situation. These two factors are crucial now and will be in the future.

This week we were asked to create “something” using “something” to demonstrate how we bring passion and curiosity to our classrooms and how we use technology to instill passion and curiosity in our students. I have created a short video to demonstrate the PQ and CQ in my classroom. Click the link at the beginning of the post to view my WeVideo.

Genetics Problem using Google Drawing

For our first week in CEP 812 we learned all about problems of practice. Our create assignment was to make a screencast of one problem of practice using technology to help solve that problem. In my screencast, you’ll see how I used Google Drawings (part of Google Drive) to solve genetics problems.

Network Learning Project–Ballroom Dancing Final Video

For the past five weeks I’ve been working on a Network Learning Project for CEP 810. This project required us to learn something new by only watching YouTube videos and reading online forums. At first I thought this was quite the daunting task, as I chose to learn how to ballroom dance with my husband. In hindsight, I was brave in learning something that required a partner, as I was the one who did a majority of the research and then had to teach him!

We started out watching some professional videos, which we quickly learned, were way over our heads! Also, at first, I wanted to learn several ballroom dances (and still do!) but quickly learned that it would be better to just pick one style, the waltz. Once we decided on the style of dance, we used YouTube videos and to learn some of the basics. We quickly saw how important posture was, and also learned our first move, the box step (which took time practicing just that one simple step!). The good news was that the box step is the main step in the waltz, as well as several other styles of dance! So you really cannot ballroom dance until you’ve learned this step. We then learned to enhance this step by “traveling” with the box step, as well as adding turns and even a dip at the end!

The idea of learning how to do something through these online networks was really amazing. I have to admit, I’ve mainly used YouTube in the past as a site for entertainment. Once I saw that you could get very detailed instructions on something like ballroom dancing, I quickly learned that YouTube could be used for more than just entertainment. Likewise, the dance forum, while it was a bit over our heads, did have many helpful posts and people were very eager to offer suggestions—all the way from posture to which types of shoes you should wear!

In the future, I would definitely see using this type of networked learning in my classroom. I am lucky enough to be in a school where every student has been issued a laptop. I think it would be great for them to use online resources to learn how to do something as opposed to me teaching them, or me even instructing which sites they have to use. I could foresee a challenge, because like me, my students primarily use YouTube as a source of entertainment, but I think when they see what is out there with regards to learning something new, and of course setting clear expectations, my students would definitely find value in it.

While my husband and I did come a far way from where we started, we still have a ways to go with our dance skills! I think we may continue to watch some “how-to”s and refer back to the dance-forum website to learn even more—maybe even venture into another style of ballroom dance!

Remix Video: Individualized Learning

In this first week of CEP 811, we’ve learned about how deep down we are all makers. Watching Dale Daughtry’s TED@ Motor City video, set the stage for this course and this week’s assignment: Making a Mozilla Popcorn Maker remix video on an educational buzzword!

First, we learned about remixing from Kirby Ferguson’s videos “Everything is a Remix” where he showed the intersecting ideas of various artists and where or whom they inspired from. Interestingly, Ferguson explains how everyone’s ideas are influenced from something else and therefore, everything is a remix of something already created. He goes into the legality of copyright and patents and the history of these came to be. This makes sense as teachers are constantly having to re-purpose and therefore remix how to teach content with the integration of technology. This is also evident in Lawrence Lessig’s definition of remix where one takes snippets and clips of various things (videos, audio, images, etc.) and puts them together in a way to inspire others. Thus, I have created a remix video to inspire others on the buzzword: Individualized learning.

My remix video can be found here:

To remix, I had to find various images, video clips, and audio. I took clips from a McGraw-Hill 1945 video on Teacher Education taken from, as well as photos from google images using Creative Commons search tools. The audio is from Clint Mansell’s “Memories Someone Will Never Know” ( and “The Exciting Music Time” by Melih Duman ( All of this was remixed together to demonstrate the value of individualized learning in the classroom.

I found the Mozilla Popcorn Maker somewhat frustrating to use. While it is nice that it is cloud based, and allows you to search right within the program to find video, images, and sound clips, I felt like the video editing options were a bit too simple. I would not consider myself anywhere near a master at editing videos, but this program’s options of deleting partial clips was difficult. I feel like the pop-up options were a neat way to remix words into the video, but again were structured and simple which sometimes took away from the message of the video. Although, it did bring me back to my VH1 days when I would watch “Pop-Up Video”!


Lessig, L. (2008). Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy. Penguin Press.

Ferguson, K. (2011). Everything is a Remix.

TPACK Cooking Activity

This week we learned about the TPACK Framework by Dr. Mishra which essentially shows how technology knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge intertwine together showing how to teach with technology. One main aspect of the TPACK framework Dr. Mishra mentions is that technology isn’t always designed to be a tool used in the classroom. Therefore, Dr. Mishra describes that teachers have to re-purpose the device to use as an effective teaching tool. Examples may include the XBOX Kinect used to demonstrate graphing lines on a plane, or the use of Excel spreadsheets in a math class. The teacher must use the TPACK framework to make the most of these technological devices to meet the needs of learners in the classroom.

Our activity this week required us to gather three supplies from the kitchen to complete a simple cooking task. The catch was, we didn’t know what utensils we would receive–and had to make due with what was given. I was given a typical cereal bowl, small plate, and a whisk to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! Since a whisk is not normally used to make PB&Js, I had to re-purpose the tool to make it work for my task. What a unique way to demonstrate an idea, and truly gets to the idea of having to find other purposes for tools that we may use in our everyday lives! Lastly, the tools in the kitchen may be used for several different things (cutting, spreading, mixing, etc.) and similarly we can integrate technology devices into our teaching showing that these devices may have several uses.

Network Learning Project Update!

I decided I would try to learn how to ballroom dance as my Network Learning Project. We’re two weeks in, and my husband and I have made some slight gains from our dancing skills at a wedding a few weeks ago. I very quickly learned that there are many different types of ballroom dancing, so one of the first things I had to decide was which type of dance we would learn. After watching some videos on YouTube, I think we’re going to stick with the basic waltz (which isn’t so basic for us!). I took a video of one of our practices, and soon realized it was actually very helpful to watch a video of us dancing. One of the important steps of learning how to properly ballroom dance, is to have good posture and form. While we’re practicing, I always feel like we’re doing a great job–then I watch the video and can slowly see our hands begin to fall and our posture start to slouch! Here is a video of how our ballroom dancing is going so far.