Archive for April, 2009

Part of the Bigger Picture

Sunday, April 19th, 2009


Are you familiar with the song “We’re All in This Together” from High School Musical? That was the song Beth Still dedicated to her personal learning network (PLN) this evening from to celebrate a victory.

On April 5, 2009 Beth started an online project to demostrate the power of a PLN. She wanted to see if she could get 1500 people in her PLN to donate $1 each to help send a newbie to NECC in Washington, D.C. this June.  She went on to say, “I decided that Richard Byrne (@rmbyrne) was the “newbie” that I wanted to send to NECC. Richard is a Social Studies teacher in Maine who has worked tirelessly to help ensure his students and coworkers are able to work on a network that is as open as possible. He also maintains a blog called Free Tech 4 Teachers that recently won the 2008 Edublog Award for the  Best Resource Sharing Blog.” (Please read the whole story on her blog.)

Then her PLN picked up the gautlet and we were off. As the days passed educators from around the world blogged about the project and used Twitter to get the message out to their PLN’s. Tweets and Retweets (RT) were sent by many people. Although the project didn’t go quiet as Beth had set it up, many people were involved and the $1500 was raised.

Why am I so excited? I am planning to have a F2F (face to face) meeting with Richard, one of the people from my PLN that shares great information each day with his PLN via his website. I also hope to meet Beth and many others who inspire me daily. Can’t wait!!!!



Earth Day Online Project

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Earth Day Project and Activities 


Earth Day 2009 Poster 

 I started my Earth Day celebration with my students before our spring break. We watched this video so my students had some background knowledge of how this celebration was started. I told them we were participating in a very large online project called Earth Day Groceries Project. I went to the grocery store right next door to our school and borrowed a bundle of paper grocery bags (400 bags to the bundle) which will each be decorated with a “save the environment” message and artwork by the students. The decorated bags will be returned to the store before April 22 so that customers can have their groceries bagged in one of them. Not only are my students learning the lessons of reduce, reuse, recycle, but they are helping spread the word throughout our community.

They are also making PowerPoint slides of math word problems that have an environmental theme, writing acrostic poems about Earth Day and litter, playing environmental online games, and finding their carbon footprint. Click on the link above the picture for lots of Earth Days to use with  your students.

Logging My Professional Development

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

I was reading a tweet by Alice Mercer when I realized we in education are not being given credit for all the professional development hours we log online. I joyously spent over 40 hours in PD over my recent spring break. My personal learning network (PLN) kept me very busy pointing to all sorts of wonderful resources all over the net. Websites, blogs, and Twitter oh my. Webinars, Skype, and wikis oh my.

I am keeping a journal of what I do online, but is that enough? Will I be given credit within my system for time spent online? Only one Webinar I attended during my spring break asked if I’d like to receive a certificate of participation. Should there be a way for educators to  track what they do online for their PD? When I posted a Tweet asking this Sue Waters responded with “@plnaugle that is one of the reasons I blog – I will often blog my reflections of the session which gives me a journey & record.” Great advise from a friend in my PLN. So I am following her sage advice and I am blogging. I will continue to write blogs about my online professional development

Please share any ideas you have for tracking PD online. How do you track your online PD? Do you get credit for it?