Wednesday, March 11

Curt Schilling: Still Pitch Perfect

Having grown up in Connecticut, I can say from experience that it’s a “divided” state. I’m not talking about politics or religion, but rather, sports. You see, depending on which side of the imaginary line that you lived on, your family was either a Red Sox fan or a Yankee fan. I lived very near that imaginary line. While certainly not as profound as the division of the North and South during the Civil War, this sports rivalry was also known to pit brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor. I was fortunate in that my immediate family members were (and still are) die-hard Sox fans (sorry, but it’s difficult to hide my bias). Fast forward and it’s not a surprise that I chose to attend college in the Boston area and eventually, to make it my home.

Certainly every Red Sox fan over the age of 15 remembers the 2004 World Series where their victory over St. Louis erased the “Curse of the Bambino.” Memories of Curt Schilling's pitching finesse as well as his infamous “bloody sock” will forever remain in our hearts as we reminisce about that magical season.  
Fast forward again; this time to March 2015. Curt Schilling is back in the headlines and is once again, “my hero.” This time, Mr. Schilling finds himself protecting his daughter against a few "men" that were saying extremely inappropriate things about her on social media. Mr. Schilling, not one to sidestep a challenge or controversy, made it his mission to expose these “men” for their misguided actions. As a result, several of these “men” were fired from their jobs  and another found that his college acceptance offer had been rescinded.  (See Mr. Schilling's blog for additional details.) I’m sorry that the Schilling family (especially his daughter) were the victims of cyberbullying. If it is of any comfort to them, I hope they know that their experience is being used as a “teachable moment” by  many parents and educators as well. I incorporated this story in my social media class where my students reflect on the importance of building a positive digital footprint and developing a “personal brand” that truly represents who they are and one that they can proudly share on social media.

Thursday, February 12

Using Google Forms for Student Self-assessment

I read about a great idea on Twitter last night that had to do with creating a survey (using Google Forms) for students to use as a self-assessment tool. I couldn't contain my excitement so I went ahead and created one for my Social Media students to use. I made a copy of the survey that you can access here. The “survey” results are all captured on a spreadsheet. Complete this survey yourself (and look at the results) and see if this is something that you might be able to use in your classroom. If you’d like additional assistance or ideas on how to use this, let me know.

Thursday, December 11

In Celebration of Computer Science Week

This week, Dianne Pappafotopoulos and I collaborated on the “Hour of Code” challenge with students in our Ed. Tech classes. Students enrolled in Introduction to Computers, Web Design, and Visual Basic Programming all took part in this challenge. Using the JavaScript tutorial located at , students worked though the lessons (at their own pace) earning points and badges while building their knowlege of programming. Students recorded their scores on the Class Share spreadsheet .  

Students in the Visual Basic class prevailed (only by a few points Mrs. P) over their competitors. With 56 students participating in this event - for 2 days - our DSHS students logged in 112 hours in celebration of Computer Science Week.  Way to go everyone!!

Friday, June 13

Twitter-tastic, So Many Resources!

I've had another fantastic week on Twitter connecting with educators from around the globe as well as obtaining outstanding resources for professional development and curriculum development. Listed below are the resources that I've found (via Twitter) this past week. All of these sites are available on my Diigo Library as well. I add new resources to my library fairly often so please visit and help yourself to any resources that you may find useful. If you're not already using Twitter, what are you waiting for?

Thursday, May 29

Yes, Twitter is Used Successfully by Teachers and Administrators

In my quest to find resources for the social media course that I'll be teaching in September 2014, I've come across several outstanding videos that I'd like to share with my readers in an effort to get more educators thinking about how social media could (and should) be used by teachers in the classroom and by school administrators as a method of communication.

The following video, Changing the Culture of a School with Twitter, highlights how principal Steve Williams is changing the culture of Sunlake High School (Florida) by using Twitter to communicate with the students and the community. 

This next video, CNN: Twitter Has Place in Classroom, follows Enrique Legaspi, a teacher at Hollenbeck Middle School in Los Angeles, as he implements the use of Twitter in his classroom. Including Twitter in his teaching method has been well received by his students.

While this all sounds like a great idea, we certainly have numerous issues that need to be resolved before successfully implementing Twitter (and social media in general) in our schools: student safety, teacher safety and professional development for teachers to name just a few.  Are you a teacher that currently uses Twitter in your classroom? Or, are you an administrator that uses Twitter to communicate with students and the community? If so, I'd love to hear your success stories and the strategies that you followed along the way. What were some of the concerns/obstacles that you faced and how were they addressed?

If you haven't used Twitter yet but would like to learn how, please let me know. While it's still blocked at school (boo - hopefully not for long though), you can still use it from home (or places other than school).

Note: I was first introduced to these videos in the following article: