Blog Quest

Hay and the sun is shining.

Hay and the sun is shining.

I am not a social network person.  The reasons are many.  They involve the security of my personal information, that they seem self-serving, and that they can become addictive and time-consuming.  Even though my grown daughters have reconnected with friends from years ago and even though I know two happily married couples who had reconnected on social websites, they are just not who I am.  Therefore, choosing a blog for the TOOL requirements went against my grain.  It took a long time!  I did finally make a choice, and I like it.  I may even blog after TOOL.

Please look:

Participate 1.1.1 Digital Citizenship?




Digital citizenship will continue to shape our future. What are characteristics of good digital citizens?

To fully participate virtually, good digital citizens require up-to-date equipment and high-speed connections.  Schools and libraries must keep abreast with the best equipment and software programs to accommodate the needs of the citizens who depend on them.

(International Journal of Communication, Mossberg et al, 2012.


Good digital citizens depend on information from vetted websites whose information has been proven to be authentic and reliable.

A good digital citizen thinks before posting.  A falsehood, an untruth about a person or group or a bad reputation is merely a click away, and it is permanent.  Once it is published for all to see, it will remain there forever.

Your personal and professional reputations will be largely formed by how others perceive your digital behavior.  Having the reputation of being a good digital citizen is one of the greatest assets in today’s world.



Participate 1.1.2 Learning Communities


Hungry for Learning


Digital Learning Communities can be assessed using tools used to assess a website.  Is the DLC authentic?  What are the credentials of the primary stakeholders in the DLC?  Does it corroborate or contradict information you have found, and which has the stronger validity?  Is the DLC current?  If there are ratings or a blog on the site, what are other people saying?  Open Culture is a good site for students to vet information.

There is always this question we must ask when using the Internet for any purposes.  This is a question we must always remind our students to ask.  Is the information inappropriate or offensive in any way?

A search engine quest will offer many choices for your particular interests. Additionally, some of those resources will offer information about other sites, further delineating your specific interests.

Open,, oli,cmu,edu, and all had exciting features for teachers. Certain ones are quite attractive for students, and some for teachers and learners. is a fine resource for teachers, especially those who do not have colleagues in their school teaching the same course. has a plethora of varied content.  For classic films, audio books and eBooks, it is a gold mine. is a good place for students to connect. has resources for students and coaches.  The content is somewhat limited.  I found no language arts, social studies or languages available. offers free courses for students and courses teachers can use with their own classes.  French is included.  I have just joined this site. There is an option to use the courses for your own classes with permission.  I’ll opt for that permission if I find the French courses are applicable in my online classes.



Students are, by and large, quite visually motivated.  I think that a DLC that attracts their attention at first with primarily images, rather than a screen of text, will be the most attractive to them.  Then, the issues that are most at the fore of a students mind should be those that are first addressed.  An appealing site would have simple ways for them to reach out to others and share ideas.  Many adolescents are more comfortable with anonymity in undiscovered territory.  Giving students a way to participate, while not revealing too much of themselves at first, would probably be most successful.

Good or bad, students today rarely relate to what remains static.  There needs to be variety and change on a site that would interest them.



Participate 1.1.3 Learning Community



Writing on the web

Writing on the web

Please watch here.


On my quest I found a site with a resource that has become part of my daily tool belt.  Surely I will never abandon PowerPoint, but Haiku Deck has features that I am using every day.  It has become my “blog favorite.”  Before latching onto it, however, I did some searching to find out what kind of reputation it has.  This is something we can teach our students to do.  Any number of times I have had a “must have” item for me or someone in my family that I never purchased.  That’s because I went to and read the reviews.  As there are reviews for goods, there are also reviews for digital resources.

I revisited  It is an excellent tool for students and teachers.  But, there is sometimes a “buyer beware” here.  I check this site and before I assign an activity there.  Teachers are human and make mistakes.  I have found them on both sites.  It requires some vigilance to send students to the web.

If we as teachers maintain a relationship of trust and patience, we can hope that our students will come to us with questions they have about the reliability of a particular site.  We need to communicate that this is part of our role as a “coach” to the class.

TOOL is a time and mind filling activity.  For awhile, at least, my free online time will be limited.  When this comes to a close, I am going after  It looks like there is an endless list of resources for learning and entertainment.  One of the safeguards we must share with our students is not to get lost in a website with “eat as much as you want” menus.  It is too easy to lose focus, spend a lot of time, and still not find what your really need.


Participate 2.1.1 Sites , tools, etc. on the web


What do you think?

What do you think?

Thinglink This is a free tool (to teachers) to activate your images.  When you watch the video, you’ll see so many ways to use it for online students.  You could give information or use it as an assessment tool with your students.  It is very cool-looking. iPiccy is a freebie that will allow students and teachers to do some of the basic photo-editing you need without the expense of Phtoshop. Easelly is a free site where you can use their templates or load your own and make posters, charts, graphs, etc.  This looks like a great site for teachers and students because the process is easy.  You do not need design background to do these. Info.grams lets you create a different type of interactive info graph.  In addition to creating charts,you can load and edit your Excel files.  Then they can be saved as PNG or PDF files to add to presentations or email to colleagues. Teachers and students can use embed code to enrich content and presentations.  One of the easiest to get code from is YouTube, which is a treasure trove of educational information.

Please look here:

Participate 3.1.1 Digital Access


The use of the Internet and other digital technology is a critical segment of core subjects that our students must learn to be educated citizens in the 21st century. It is also a critical knowledge base for citizens beyond school age.

There are many communities that are reaching out to make digital access more available to people who need more tools to be full digital citizens. In communities across the nation, almost every public library is providing computers, fast access and training. In my area, however, it is sad to see that the public libraries have significantly curtailed their hours because of economic reasons. Some do not open at all on Saturday…a true loss to students and adults who have Monday through Friday responsibilities. Sunday hours do exist at some libraries, but have been cut at others.

Here are a few worthy providers.

The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) teaches literacy skills at three computer centers.

The New Mexico State Library’s Fast Forward New Mexico project provides literacy skills and small business development workshops at public and tribal libraries in the state.

The Texas State Library & Archives Commission has upgraded public computer centers at 11 libraries throughout the state.

Participate 3.1.1b Barriers students might encounter in the digital world


The previous post covered many barriers, including physical impairments, that our students might face. Those barriers are global in nature. What about other specific barriers our own students might face?

Some of our students may not have computers or pads at home to do homework. If they attend a brick and mortar school, we could suggest that they use the computer lab or computers in the library during any free time they have during the day (study hall) or after school. Most students live in a community with a public library. Libraries have become, it seems, as busy with digital work as with books.

Other students may have the same problem I do, eyesight. We can show students how to enlarge the print and images so that they are more easily readable.

A computer that will not do what we have asked is extremely frustrating. If a student cannot reach a particular software that is used in our courses, if we have already added “help” information to the course, the student may be able to troubleshoot the problem without further help.

Until they become quite proficient, students may lose work they have completed. We have all faced that. Reminders to students to “Save, save, save,” are important.

Sometimes students need more assistance than being presented with only what appears on a computer screen. This is where synchronous resources can make all the difference. A phone call or a short “live” session using the available webcasting program can enhance learning in these situations.