Day 14: Here There Be Technology

Hello everybody,

Today was sort of all over the place. Having finished reading Chapters 3, 5, and 6 of Troy Hicks’ Crafting Digital Writing, we discussed and analyzed the differences of “digitally convenient” and “digitally enhanced” texts here on the Google Doc. Also, with TIB essays in hand, we had planned to expand them to their full podcast glory. However, iCare failed to receive us, but Rachel swooped in and saved the day!

While I struggle to put into words the vast amount of wisdom and learning she bestowed upon us, here are possibly some helpful resources/reminders as we all work on our podcasts:



This one is from Dr. Benko which she tweeted and is a PDF from iCare about creating podcasts:


Some final notes on the podcast (mainly advice from Dr. Benko and Rachel):

If you don’t have GarageBand, you can get it for free at iCare, at Teacher’s College. It might be helpful to record in segments in order to avoid mess ups. Your belief statement should be the title of the piece. The Soundcloud login is the same as the blog login found on the blog assignment. Last, but not least, Dr. Benko needs a break too and will be under radio silence over fall break but gives this final encouragement: MINIMAL TEARS EVERYONE.


Further goings on in the classroom today centered around the idea of an online text being either “digitally convenient” or “digitally enhanced” as defined by Hicks.

According to the Google Doc, most people thought of “digitally convenient” as being the text being put online merely for accessibility. A digitally convenient text for the most part would be just as good in a non-digital form (a sentiment voiced by Emily during discussion). This isn’t to say that there are no digital elements involved in the text. Therein lies the key difference between the two terms. As Liv and Brittany point out, the digital elements of an only digitally convenient rather than enhanced text are superficial. They add no significant meaning or function and are just there because they can be.

A digitally enhanced text will definitely use digital elements, but each time with a purpose in mind. Whether it be a hyperlink or embedded media, it serves a meaningful purpose and the text would be less without it. As another example, Rachel targeted the hashtag as an element of digital craft, with its multiple purposes of  making associating, reflecting, grouping things together, and choosing who sees it because of the tags certain people are known to follow.

Finally, we were all given a chance to deepen our new understandings by applying them to two texts: our choice of a TIB podcast, and Joel’s book trailer for Feed by M. T. Anderson. It seems all groups agreed that Joel’s book trailer was a digitally enhanced text, using various elements such as music, imagery , voice, and text in a way that all fit together and played off of each other well.

On the other hand, groups for the most part considered the TIB podcasts to be more on the convenient end of the spectrum than enhanced, due to the fact that it could have easily been left as an essay on paper. However, with voice recording and underscoring music, there is a tone added which affects the meaning, which can count toward it being an enhanced piece.

To apply our new knowledge to a different situation, I find this potentially helpful resource to be another example of a digitally enhanced text. This kind of text is a prime example of using hyperlinks effectively. Not only is each resource connected for easy access, but the suggested page for each resource helps readers more quickly find what they might be looking for. The links go beyond just shoving a new resource at people and telling them to figure it out, and actually pave the way for exploring them.

Friendly Reminders:

Midterm draft is coming up! By now you probably have set up a time to meet with Rachel. If not, it’s a pretty good idea to do so (and required).

Podcasts must be uploaded to the SoundCloud account by Thursday next week (10/13).

The following 3 articles need to be read as well: 

“Assessing Writing”

(The second two probably need license, so you can find them here!)


Enjoy Fall Break everybody!




Day 12-Is the Key Mightier than the Pen?

Credit to Kaleb for a fantastic and fitting title for today’s blog.




Before the Door

Before coming to class today, we prepared for our discussion on digital literacy and using technology in a writing classroom by reading two works by Troy Hicks:

The purpose of the discussion for the day was how to incorporate technology into a writing classroom and why it is important.

Sass in Class

Class started today with some praise from Dr. Benko on our attendance and engaging conversations over the reading. This made Kaleb and Cassie’s absence that more noticeable…we missed you!

Dr. Benko noted that she usually gives more pop quizzes on readings than she has this semester in order to determine if students have done the reading. However, because of our always in-depth conversations so far she feels confident that the readings have been taking place. With this in mind, she decided our first activity of the day would be a non-quiz where we discussed the quiz questions with a partner. Dr. Benko transformed herself into a more attractive version of Drew Carey and stated “This will be like Whose Line is it Anyway, where the points don’t matter.”


Of course, despite the jokes, an engaging conversation ensued. We tracked our partner answers in a Google doc and then came together to have a whole class discussion.

To start off our discussion, Benji described the main point of the Hicks and Turner article as advocating that technology alone does not equal digital literacy, but instead technology must be taught and used in meaningful ways. This led Emily to point out the importance of attentiveness (it is a word!) with the technology that you and your students are using. She even discussed an exercise of having students handwrite a reflection on what they did with their computer during class and whether or not it had been meaningful. This point led Benji (yes, folks, he talked twice in class AGAIN! 😀) to note how Hicks urges teachers to develop their own digital literacy.

Recently, I attended a library workshop on some of the resources available for teaching 21st Century learners. The American Association of School Librarians compiles a yearly list of the best apps for teaching and learning, as well as a list of the best websites for teaching and learning, as well as the standards that these help you to achieve. These can be valuable resources when administrators look to us new teachers to be “in-the-know” on technology.
screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-53-27-amFrom here we moved on to discussing the language students use in their texting and social media, which Hicks and Turner called Digitalk. We pointed out that Digitalk can be seen as another dialect for students and to note how they are capable of code-switching between this language and standard English quite regularly. Instead of criticizing students and telling them that the digital language they are using is “wrong,” we can instead take this opportunity to point out lessons on audience, the writing medium being used, purpose, and appropriateness. If we make ourselves more open to allowing the students to use language they are comfortable with in the appropriate settings and context, they may become more open to using, and understanding when to use, “school” language for certain purposes and audiences.

As the discussion of openness to new ways of thinking, we came to the heart of the matter in using digital technologies in a classroom. As Hicks argues, we can no longer afford to NOT teach these skills, it is a necessity within our society. Makayla and Erin voiced their frustration at the idea of teachers who nonchalantly give up on teaching technologies due to a lack of resources. Dr. Benko warned that having excuses can be a very dangerous, and deficit-oriented, way of viewing students. Makayla passionately pointed out, “Ok, you don’t have a lot of options but you can’t just give up. I want answers. How are you going to teach these students what they need to know?” To which Beth had the all-encompassing answer, “Exactly! Let’s make lemonade.” Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 10.55.21 AM.png

In an ideal world, our students would all have a one-to-one iPad ratio and school corporations would offer their staff professional development workshops in order to better implement these new technologies. But, unfortunately, this is just not always the case. However, this does not mean as teachers we simply throw in the towel and not introduce our students to the world of digital literacy and digital literacy practices.

You may ask, but how can we do this? By replicating a digital space within your classroom. Dr. Benko suggested creating a Twitter wall where students can post their “tweets” and respond to others. “Is it the same? No. Is it equal? No. But it is a move in the right direction.”ctjrfkjwwaauolg                                 Image Source: Westquarter Primary @WestquarterPrim 

At this point Dr. Benko was willing to admit that she breaks two of Troy Hicks’ practices that discourage engagement with digital literacy. The first is that she counts Tweets and the other is using a Blog without really Blogging (that’s what I’m doing here 😉). So we discussed her purposes and intentions behind these practices, the advantages and disadvantages these situations can present, and ultimately the understanding that we will not always teach in an ideal world, with ideal resources, and ideal students so some practices may have to be adjusted but we should always understand why we are making the adjustment, not just because it is the “easy” thing to do. In another article written by Troy Hicks, which I saw because Ken Lindblom posted it on Twitter (circles within circles, this is like Inception education), he discusses some of the difficulties with teaching writing on tablets and other smart devices and uses a variety of apps to show his students that they can still live writerly lives (Dr. Benko’s term) through their devices. As most of Hicks’ articles are, it is a an informative, applicable (I pulled a few apps myself), and approachable read, so you should definitely check it out!

After this, we turned to discussing the two chapters in Crafting Digital Writing and what Hicks means by “author’s craft.” A tricky point to remember about author’s craft is that writers rarely sit down and say “This is craft. This is how I do what I do.” But in taking a moment to recognize craft elements, and teach our students to recognize craft elements, we can begin to notice the features that make authors successful at creating their works. Among these elements we noted intentionality, choices, a particular goal, and particular features. We took a moment to understand Ralph Fletcher’s concept of a “hot spot,” where you slow down and concentrate on crucial moments within a story while skipping quickly over the not important information. And we also noted that in looking at digital genres we have to consider what features are present that we may not always be considering in a general writing mode.

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-54-54-amTo finish out class, we spent some time in our midterm groups (Again, Cassie and Kaleb you were sorely missed!) looking over the charts in Crafting Digital Writing and brainstorming the craft features that are used in our respective genres to accomplish the author’s purpose. These particular features may be something that we want to consider as individual lessons within our plan for our midterm. Everyone please note the sneaky scaffolding teaching that Dr. Benko slipped in there (she’s a slippery teacher!)– we thought we were learning about one thing, but really we were building on what we already know and working toward a bigger goal.

Some Fun Moments…

As we get to know Dr. Benko better we love including her in our conversations and jokes- more than a source of authority for us, she is becoming a mentor and teaching colleague. With that being said, she can sometimes be sucked into our silly giggles and jokes as well, but luckily we have Erin to remind Dr. Benko “Back on track, please.”


And somehow, despite her love for Harry Potter, Dr. Benko has never lost hours of her life on She discovered in class yesterday that she can determine what her Patronus is, but she has yet to reveal.

A Shrewder Future

In going forward we have a few things up in the air right now.

  • We will be reading the chapter from Hicks on crafting audio texts in preparation of our TIB podcasts
  • On Tuesday we will most likely go to iCare to learn about GarageBand and making those podcasts.
  • Speaking of TIB, the third revision will be due before our next class on Tuesday 10/4, so make sure to be looking over that feedback.Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 10.53.10 AM.png



  • We should be working toward our midterm writing task and begin preparing those outlines
    • With that in mind, everyone needs to schedule an individual conference time with Rachel (this is required) to go over your writing task and ideas.
      • Please have as much of an outline drafted as possible when you meet with Rachel. The more specific you are the more feedback you will receive.
      • Note: Dr. Benko is willing to conference as well, but only after you have conferenced with Rachel.
  • And as always keep on tweeting!

-Stay Golden! Love, Brittany Sylvia

Day 6: Be like Oprah

Due today 

Make sure you turned in your rough draft for “This I Believe” (hard copy of course)

And don’t forget the resources we were supposed to have for today: School Writing Versus Authentic Writing and Ken Lindeblom’s bomb twitter (He tweets back sometimes!) 

For next class 

  • Benko (2012/2013), “Scaffolding: An Ongoing Process”
  • Smagorinsky, Ch. 2 “A Structured Process Approach” 
  • Be sure to start thinking about your First Twitter reflection assignment, it’s due 9/8 (Day 8)

Before I get started on what we did today, let me just say “Good Job!” Cathy Day observed us having an awesome and engaging conversation! 

So what did we do today? 

Today we started off reflecting on our “This I Believe” rough drafts (Any questions or concerns? Not happy with it yet? Totally thrilled with how it turned out? Let Dr. Benko know if you haven’t done so already!)

We did a lot of work with Mi Casa and had a great discussion on how to create an inclusive classroom culture, so that all students felt welcome and comfortable and really PART of the classroom and their learning.  We also analyzed the assignment and decided wether or not the assignment was Intellectual work, what was its’ purpose, does the student have ownership of the assignment, and who is the audience. We pretty much decided that it wasn’t really intellectual work because it didn’t invoke deeper thinking, the purpose was pretty clear but there were a few discrepancies on what the students needed write/who it was for. It scored high on student ownership, but the audience was unclear. (Google Doc here)

As for the news anchor project (This) it was decided that it was busy work (not intellectual), purpose was semi clear (“Jump from step one to step two is unclear/lacking connection and needs explained more.”), it provided a decent amount of ownership, and the audience is clear. One key note brought up that changed it was “Are they researching a story and then creating their own story, or are they recreating an existing story?” As a teacher, this is a good example of the importance of being super specific in your assignments. 



Food for thought: How does Emilie’s task fit into this analysis? 

Our main focus for our discussions can be summed up in the following points:

  • How do we know it’s authentic?
  • Why do we assign writing in school to begin with?
        • You have two kids: Those who write only in one way or those who don’t write at all. Some kids need structure
        • We also need to model and have them practice or they won’t
        • We have standards 
        • We also need to expose students to different types of writing 
This a standard before you come along.


Shifting gears a bit, how do we get students to think about “Authentic” writing as being academic writing? Can the two even mix? We had a great in-class discussion about how we can engage students to write authentically in the classroom. Traditionally, students see academic writing as just for the grade and don’t really get a lot out of the writing. They ask questions like “Can I do this? Is this wrong? Will this count off? Is it for a grade?” and cater to what the school or teacher want. While students who create authentic writing ask questions like: “Will this relate to my audience? Does this make sense? How can I make my character more dynamic?” 

Alivia brought up an excellent point in our discussion: “Authentic writing is so important because the audience is REAL.” She had a writing prompt in High School:”Write to school officials about your thoughts on getting school uniforms (Do you agree or disagree? Why?)” And Alivia said nobody really cared about the topic because they KNEW they would never get uniforms, so the audience isn’t real. So how do we engage our students and get them to write authentically? Well….



Give students some choice, that’s how! You need to get students to take the information you give them, and do something with it! Don’t let them just repeat it back. 

Tom Forrest helps begin this idea of choice and student involvement by allowing his students to bring in decoration for the classroom in a new way. (Here) From this, we discussed the importance of a “Classroom Culture” where students feel comfortable and can be honest.

Key Notes from class discussion:

Intellectual work: Rigorous! Really make students use that higher level thinking. Don’t let students just regurgitate information. And don’t just give them a bunch of busy work. That isn’t stimulating for the mind and frankly nobody likes it. (Not even teachers, you have to grade it all later). 

Purpose:Do I know what I’m writing about? Why am I writing this?” They need to know how to go about it and what they’re doing it. (Always ask “What are you doing and why?” They need to know what they are doing and why. Be a teacher and question like a 3 year old).

Aim for authentic audiences: More than just the teacher should read it. Some alternatives:


Ownership: Let students have choice over their writing because it helps them care more about the assignment and makes it “real” and take “ownership” of their writing. 

Equitable choice: Don’t let one project/assignment choice be too hard and one too easy.

Food For thought: 

Whenever you can, let students write in a position of power or write over something they know a lot about! Don’t make them feel like they have to write towards what the teacher knows. Let them write about what they know or what they want to know.

“How do you make learning not in hindsight?” 

        • Reflect on what you’ve written while you’re doing it. Write a reflection over a rough draft, for example. What was easy? What was hard? What can improve? 
        • Don’t confuse fun for learning
        • Ask students to think about their thinking
        • Can we get someone else’s hindsight? 
        • Have students write to the next grade/class

“How can I create a more authentic audience for my students?” Well… here are some resources:

  • Tumblr (Troi and Brittany have a tumblr, it’s linked on their Twitter and now here too!)
  • WordPress ( Rachel and Alyssa both have one! Heck, our 350 blog is here too)
  • Iweb 
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • (You can start a petition here and explain it too!)
  • Here’s a neat article about how one teacher got her students to write a little more authentically. Don’t forget that Pinterest is amazing at generating ideas and prompts and just in general teacher stuff!
  • More ideas for encouraging authentic writing 
  • Some cool writing prompts for all tastes!

“Useful” writing resources for those moments when students ask “Why do I need to practice writing?”:

  • Resume writing (complete with the standards that go with it)
  • Email etiquette! (You’d be surprised how many don’t know these things)
  • Sample scholarship questions

And our final thought for class:


Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your students! 

Give students the space to be honest (“Well…I didn’t really like this or this.” or “I realize now that hard work sucks at the time, but it can become meaningful later on.”)

Take criticism about the class and lessons and realize they aren’t about you. Let them be honest. Be careful and intentional or else it may get personal. But just keep in mind the importance of creating an open classroom culture where both students and teachers can get feedback to help them improve. 

Don’t forget to sleep this weekend!

– Cassie 

Day 23 – Grammar

Hey team!

So, in class today, our friend Emilie taught our lesson about grammar videos. A few of the past readings that you may want to review that were applicable to this lesson include:

While reviewing these readings, keep in mind what the goals of the videos in this lesson are. Also, keep in mind what the goals for our own videos will be. These videos are examples of what you can do on your project or to gain inspiration. When looking at these videos it is helpful to reflect back on the rubric and what we discussed about the difference between categories. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that none of these videos were made for this class.

IMG_1693.JPGRemember, in class we discussed the differences in between each section of the rubric and what elements were absolutely necessary to include in our videos. In the image above, you can see the necessary elements underlined in green and the elements that distinguish between sections underlined in black.

After going over the rubric, we were given 5 videos to watch and grade based on the rubric. Below are the grades that each of our groups gave the 5 videos. Click on the “VIDEO #” to watch each video again.

VIDEO 1 Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5
Presentation of information P P Dis Basic Pro
Use of mentor texts P P Dis Basic Basic
Use of Visual scaffold B U Dis Basic Pro


VIDEO 2 Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5
Presentation of information B+ B Pro Basic Basic
Use of mentor texts D D Dis Pro Pro
Use of Visual scaffold P- P Pro Basic Basic


VIDEO 3 Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5
Presentation of information P P Bas Pro Dis
Use of mentor texts D B Dis Pro Dis
Use of Visual scaffold P U Bas Pro Dis


VIDEO 4 Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5
Presentation of information P D Pro Basic Dis
Use of mentor texts B+ P Dis Basic Pro
Use of Visual scaffold P P Dis Dis Dis


VIDEO 5 Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5
Presentation of information P B Pro Basic Basic
Use of mentor texts P B Pro Pro Basic
Use of Visual scaffold B- U Pro Basic Un

In groups, we discussed the full subjectivity that occurs in grading and perceptions. This should be used as a reminder of what to keep in mind when you are grading student work. The main issue that led us to this idea of subjectivity was the differences of opinion that we saw in the rubrics and the graphs above. This subjectivity means that we need to take care when it comes to creating our own videos. We must create videos that are as objectively educational as possible. Also, we learned that as teachers, we need to build an understanding and develop a means of grading fairly and equally when evaluating grading criteria.

For the future, remember to keep looking ahead and working on your finals and keep up with the work. Dr. Benko emphasizes that for the last bit of the semester to keep track and work a little bit at a time.


Some upcoming due dates:

Complete video lesson and reflection due Tuesday, April 19th

Final is on Tuesday, May 3rd from 12-2pm


Looking ahead links:

One teacher’s ideas on how to create white board video lessons.

Another teacher lays out some resources for creating videos.

Finally, a quick tutorial on adding interactive elements to YouTube videos.


February 23 – Crafting Audio Texts

Hey future teachers, it’s Troi this time, and today we talked about crafting audio texts. Let’s break it down.


Dr. Benko will be handing back twitter reflections soon, so be on the lookout for those.


Please please PLEASE look over your meeting time with Emilie for our midterm project. Input the time/place in your phone, calendar, whatever, just doesn’t forget!


Emilie is going to be such a great resource because she knows what Dr. Benko is looking for in our projects, she will give us great feedback. But, the feedback will only be as good as the work we bring to our meetings.

That being said, take these next two weeks before Spring Break to work on the project. The more work you have done the more feedback Emilie can give you and the more helpful the meeting will be.


This brought on a short discussion about the midterm. Just to reiterate what Dr. Benko said in class, our project is NOT a regurgitation of whatever Smagorinsky chapter we read, but we also do not want to deviate so far away from the chapter that we lose sight of our objective.

The most important thing is that we have activities that build students’ knowledge and skills, and that we teach the writing they will need to accomplish the end task. Use the chapter as a MODEL, not a script we need to follow.


After that clarification, we moved to the main focus of the class, and that was listening to the TIB podcasts to analyze was makes for an enjoyable podcast. But before we started listening, Dr. Benko shared with us the four “parts” of the podcasts:

  • Opening Statements
  • Introduction of the Specific Essay
  • Reading of the Essay
  • Conclusion


These are what we need to include in our podcasts, and instead of lecturing or having group discussion over what we thought made for a good intro, reading, and conclusion, we listened to two podcasts of essays we had already read.

With this in mind, we listened to the podcast. First was Kristin Kelly whose TIB on books was my favorite to read, followed by Brian Grazer who no one really knew but we all pretended that we did.


We were to take notes specifically on the reading of the essay, focusing on the pace and the diction.

We all agreed that we were bored with Kelly’s diction and pace. We agreed that we do not want to put our audience to sleep, but we also don’t want them to not understand our podcast. My group felt that none of the podcasts sounded authentic, they sounded like someone reciting a script. We then discussed how these examples will all come in handy when we are creating our podcasts.


Some suggestions to find the perfect pace/diction are as follows:

  • have a friend listen to you read it
  • record it first then have others listen to it
  • find the right places to breath (I was a choir kid, this is ESSENTIAL for pace and diction)
  • rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal!


One student raised an interesting point of wanting to sound authentic in his recording. We brainstormed ways to do that, including:

  • Going with the flow, if you are reading from the script but realize you could word a sentence better, go for it!
  • in order to go with the flow, you need to know what the flow is, you need to not rely on reading solely from a sheet of paper, because that can sound very robotic and awkward
  • use inflections in your voice! you have a voice, use it!


We then listened to both podcasts again, this time focusing on the content and background of the Introduction and Conclusion, as those will be incorporated into our podcasts as well. After small group discussion Dr. Benko noted on the board the following:

If you can’t read it, or you don’t want to tilt your head fear not! I have a list, for the intro, we noted:

  • both podcasts had introductions by a different voice, the host
  • the first podcast begins by setting up the idea
  • the second podcast begins by setting up the person, then the idea (because he’s famous…I guess)
  • Kelly’s idea was general to specific (as a student noted, this was done to “snag readers” into continuing listening to the podcast)
  • Grazer’s idea was more universal from the beginning
  • The introduction introduces (duh) the idea of the TIB statement without directly saying what the piece is

For the conclusion we noted:

  • both podcasts had a glimpse towards the future/look ahead at the next TIB podcast
  • Grazer’s conclusion included a recap of the belief statement
  • Kelly’s conclusion included a short biography

In terms of music:

  • inviting tone
  • present (you can hear it under the introductions & slightly before the conclusion)
  • the music set the tone


What does this mean that we need for our podcast?

  • music that sets the tone for your piece (should be calm, so no dubstep…sadly)
  • an intro that gets at the big idea of the piece and also sets some content for the piece
  • for the conclusion, wrap things up
  • have a host introduce you (distort your voice, or use the classic buddy system and have a classmate record yours in return you record theirs)

If you are worried about finding music to set the piece of your tone, worry not! Included are some lists to sounds/songs that are free use:

(the last one listed in chapter 5 of the text was oriented more towards sound effects, and we are not focusing on those for this audio project, so I didn’t list it)


The Bigger Picture

In addition to learning about what to do and what not to do in terms of creating podcasts, we learned that there are several intricate parts that go into producing audio texts, and that as future teachers, we can have students write an essay, personal narrative, etc. then have them go back and record it, so they get the digital aspect as well. Also, we mostly know “introductions” and “conclusions” from the written standpoint, we know what goes into a good paper intro & conclusion to make for a strong paper, but we must realize that students aren’t going to only be writing papers their whole lives. Therefore, they (and us) need to understand what aspects cross over across media and which ones we need to pay special attention to. We don’t include music in papers (because it is scientifically impossible) but we do take into consideration our tone and how that sets up the rest of the paper.


For Thursday

  • Don’t come to our class, go to iCare in TC (it’s the room with all of the computers on the second floor)
  • Please bring your revised copy of TIB
  • Bring back writing tasks
  • Have a draft of your intro and conclusion (5 sentences for intro, 2-3 for conclusion)


Looking Ahead

  • When we turn in our TIB podcasts, we will also need to include a short reflective essay about what we learned about teaching writing while completing this task.
  • Keep working on your midterm! I know a lot of people who took this class last semester, and the first thing they said to me about this class was “start the midterm early!” so obvious it’s not just a scare tactic from Dr. Benko.



Be sure that you are following Troy Hicks (@hickstro) he is very active and may join in on a conversation or two! Peter Smagorinsky (@psmagorinsky) is also on twitter, he is not as active as Hicks, but his cover picture is him and his cat, so that’s pretty great. Here are some other teaching accounts that I follow

  • We Are Teachers – another online community of teachers, they share ideas for classroom management and even decoration, they also share inspirational posts as well (@WeAreTeachers)
  • 21st Century Teacher (@21stCenturyTch) – They link their online articles that are about education, and they even allow for submissions (extra credit maybe??)
  • Kelly Gallagher-teacher who happens to write about teaching, I’d honestly be surprised if you have never heard of him (@KellyGToGo)
  • Teacher2Teacher – a twitter account that links teachers together across the Internet, they share inspirational pictures, and have hashtags like #whyiteach to remind us all of why we are here (@teacher2teacher)
  • TED-Ed – the education side of TED Talks, they tweet short videos, link to lessons, and have Q&As with some prominent people *cough*Bill Gates (@TED_ED)


We’re almost halfway through with this semester, and as we have been warned it will only get harder from here.


Don’t lose hope though, here is an inspirational quote to remind you of that end goal we are all trying to reach:

“Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.” – Solomon Ortiz


Keep on keeping on,


Day 1 – Introductions

Hi everyone! Here is a summary of what we did on 1/12/2016.

Summary: We looked at how technology, writing, and teaching will work together in this class. We also talked about the reading “Informal and Shared: Writing to Create Community” by Deborah Dean and Adrienne Warren.

What we did today:

  • Quick Write (“What do you want someone to know about you as a teacher?”) and Info Search (‘Google Stalking’ using name). What did we learn?
    • We can find out a lot about people on social media (more personal than a quick conversation)
    • Sometimes our internet selves are not our teacher selves (how do we balance these?)
    • The internet can be used as a professional space (interviews, schools, curious students might look at you)
    • Think about audience. You don’t want to be invisible; you want to be part of the community!
  • Discussion of Dean & Warren – Community Highlights:
    • We learn about ourselves in a community
    • We need to work together in a community
    • We need to do tasks that are meaningful
    • We need to write to share
  • Syllabus
    • Motto = Writing is learnable and teachable
    • Goal = End semester feeling like you have a foundation to teach writing – “well started beginners” who are reading to continue learning!
    • This course is about juggling projects and readings. Don’t panic!

Thinking Ahead: