Tag Archives: networking

Pinterest – Who are you following?

12 Feb

Hi everyone,

I am hooked on Pinterest!  I don’t even look at it unless I have more than a half hour uninterrupted (how often does that happen??).  I think it is a great place to curate (the buzz word for sites you collect other sites on) because images are so much easier to remember.  A list of links doesn’t jog the memory as well.  The simplicity doesn’t hurt either.  Make sure you have the “Pin it” button, it is so very useful.

I am following some great people.  You can see who they are by clicking on “Following” on my page.  If you are following some great World Language teachers, I would love to know who they are.  I also have an interest in pinners who pin about History and using technology in the classroom.

I haven’t checked it out much but there is a similar site to Pinterest called EdShelf.  It looks promising too.  

Here are some other links that may be helpful to you relating to Pinterest:

How to save a copy of your Pinterest boards as a pdf

Larry Ferlazzo’s Pinterest compilation

16 Ways Educators can use Pinterest infographic

37 ways teachers should use Pinterest

Your Guide to Pinterest free eBook download

Are you using Pinterest with your students?  Please share how!

¡Gracias!  Penny


Grading technology assignments

31 Jan

Hi everyone,

I am presenting at SVSU on Monday for a group of World Language teachers.  
Part of the presentation is about using online resources.   I always have questions about grading technology assignments or projects.  It can be a lot more time consuming that grading paper tests and worksheets.  I have a short list of ideas for them below.  Please let me know if there is anything I should add.

**Grade technology as it is presented. Have your rubric and class list ready.

** Use dropbox.com so all projects go to the same place.

**When using sites like Photo Peach, Google Docs, Glogster, Issuu, etc; have a login that is the same for all students. Then all of the work is in the same spot.

** Always grade with your rubric beside you.

The website I have created for them is here. It is not nearly finished yet.  I always seem to find things to add.

I appreciate any suggestions!  Also, if you have a WL blog not included on my list, let me know.  I will be glad to share it!

¡Gracias!  Penny

twitter-handbook-for-teachers.pdf (application/pdf Object)

28 Jun

twitter-handbook-for-teachers.pdf (application/pdf Object).

Simple to read, great resource!

25 Important Pinterest Tips for Your Career | OEDb

28 Jun

25 Important Pinterest Tips for Your Career | OEDb.

Great ideas for using Pinterest as a portfolio, resume, etc….

May be some work, but quite impressive finished product!

Twitter for teaching

27 Mar

I only began tweeting about one year ago.  As the kids tell me now, I thought it was just to say that you were at Shamrock’s having an ice cream cone.  They don’t see the usefulness of it now as I didn’t then.

That changed when I began following teachers and educational technology experts.  I am not very good at keeping up with them, I don’t regularly monitor my account.  When I do check in I always have some great links and programs to check out.

My favorite thing to do with Twitter is the #langchat at 8pm on Thursday nights.  I have missed it the last couple of weeks because of our school play, so I am very excited to return to it this week.  It is so well organized with a topic for the night that the monitors keep us focused on.  The summary email and archive are the true treasures.  They can be found on this wiki.  Besides the Thursday #langchat, I search the hash tag occasionally and see some great resources.

I did learn that it is best to use “Tweet Chat” for the Thursday night chats.  It automatically adds the has tag, which occasionally I would forget in the excitement.  It also makes the chat appear on a larger screen so I can see more of the conversation.

I do give points to my students for tweeting.  It is an option on their homework page for the week.  I just have them use the hash tag #bccsp so I can search for them.

Other useful sites I have found regarding Twitter:

Cyberman’s list of Educational hash tags.

20 hash tags every teacher should know.

Top Hash Tags for Teachers

5 Ways Twitter has changed Education

Why Twitter

5 Essential Safety Tips for Introducing Twitter to Students

Why Educators should blog & tweet

A Spreadsheet of Educators on Twitter

Online Twitter book for Educators

12 Twitter Tips for the Classroom

Twitter 101: Rules for Newbies

Pictures made from various tweets.  Just a fun site.

What else is out there?


Interact with other classrooms

23 Feb

I have tried several different sites for collaboration between students this year.

The most interesting part to me has been the reaction by my students.  We are collaborating with a classroom from San Jacinto, California (we are in Bay City, Michigan).  Many of my students have loved it and a few are indifferent about it.  I have some students who are still technophobic, they make a big deal out of HAVING to do technology in Spanish class.  The ones I am most confused by though, are the ones who are annoyed that we use many different types of technology and many different online venues.  I suppose I should not assume that all students like to have an eclectic experience…

Currently I am using Collaborize Classroom. It is very easy to organize classes and create discussions and polls.  Discussions and polls can be assigned to everyone or just one group very quickly.  When you are finished with a discussion or poll, you close it out.  The nice thing is that does not mean it is gone forever.  It goes to a new folder for you to review and out of the student view.  The student create their own accounts and you accept them into the class.

Another one we are trying, right now on our own, is Diigo Education.  My favorite part about it immediately was adding students into separate classes without their email addresses.  This site is not a discussion site.  So far we have used it for research.  When we are in the lab I can have the students bookmark the sites they are using.  It allows me to see where they are going, and also gives some references to me and the entire class.
I have not used Diigo to it’s fullest potential yet.  I would love to see how others are using it.  Here is what Diigo’s site says:   “Diigo is much more than a simple web annotation or social bookmarking service — it is a new kind of online research and collaborative research tool that integrates tags and folders, highlighting and clipping, sticky notes, and group-based collaboration, enabling a whole new process of online knowledge management, learning, and teaching in the information age.”

Schoology is a new one I/we are trying out.  I think it will be a great discussion area because it looks and acts like Facebook.  The big difference being that each assignment is a new page, so the information doesn’t disappear.  Setting up was easy.  I created a class and was given a code to give the students.  When they put the code in, they were directed to my class to make an account.
Here is what Schoology says about their site: “With Schoology, educators can do things as simple as posting assignments, quizzes and links to additional resources or as sophisticated as conducting online courses, providing one-on-one remediation, or hosting discussions.”

My new adventure will be with Diipo.  It is on my summer list of things to do.  It is “social networking for your class”.  It looks VERY promising.

We also have a wiki page, BCC Spanish, that we use when we go to the lab or to post their work.  I have found it is easier to put all of their directions for their lab days on the wiki.  It comes in very handy for those students who are absent or do not finish their work in the lab.

My final tip for using so many different sites online, is to make a document for them to save their passwords.  Ours is called “My Spanish Passwords“.  I have this template on our wiki page.  The very first time I assign a password (which is always their textbook online), I have them open the document and type in their password.  The template is a table with 3 columns.  the first column is the name of the site, 2nd column for user name, 3rd column is for their password.  they save this in their H-drive.  Before I began doing this I would be asked incessantly for their passwords each time we went to the lab.  In some cases, like for Photo Peach, we use a common password.  That way all of their work is on one page to check.  I made a class Google account just for this reason.



Networking with other teachers

10 Feb

I love to share with other teachers and find out what works for them.

I have joined a few social networking sites.  It is very exciting to see what others are up to and be able to answer their questions too.  It makes you feel so powerful and knowledgeable.  I also have a hard time keeping up with them.  I have heard that there are ways to manage your online networks, but haven’t tried any yet.

These are the networking sites that I try to keep up with:

Classroom 2.0 is a free, community-supported network. We especially hope that those who are “beginners” will find this a supportive comfortable place to start being part of the digital dialog. Because of spammers, we have to approve all memberships here. While your membership is pending you are still welcome to peruse the site or attend any events!


Teacher 2.0 is an independent community for educators to explore their interests and passions, and to build a network of support for educators at all levels.  Through this community, with online events, interviews, and workshops, our goal is to have educators help each other become re-energized in their careers and in their contributions to the world.


Our communities help connect you with ideas, information and inspiration that leads to success in the classroom. Browse the categories to find your areas of expertise.


BetterLesson was founded by a group of teachers from Atlanta and Boston public schools to connect educators and help them create, organize, and share their curricula.

Most of the people I follow on Twitter are teachers.  I teach World Languages so I follow a lot of language teachers.  I also follow teachers who are techies.  Each Thursday night at 8pm there is a #langchat in Twitter where we share our ideas on a different topic.  The #langchat archive is there to look back at because the tweets fly so fast I can hardly keep up.  The summary and archive make it possible to still enjoy the experience.
There are many chat sessions that happen every day, many that are related to education.  If you use the hash tag, you can follow along and contribute.  There is a list of hash tag chats for teachers at this page and at this page.  If you do a “Twitter hash tags for teachers” search, you get plenty more.

If you have some favorite networking sites or ideas, please share.

Gracias, Penny

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