SLM 508 Learning Technologies

Learning in the 21st Century

Final Reflections from SLM 508 July 25, 2012

Filed under: Lesson Plans,Personal,Professional Development,SLM 508,Technology — Mrs.Hamilton @ 9:28 pm

SLM 508 has had a profound impact on my summer professional development.  Most of the classes that I have taken at McDaniel have been completely focused on librarianship and included many assignments that did not have any immediate real-world practical value.  While this class will definitely impact my abilities to be a successful librarian, I felt that the things that I worked on in this class helped me to be classroom ready now.  In essence, I geeked out a little bit.


This class offered me the chance to explore a variety of new technology tools and practices. I am now a blogger, a tweeter @mrshamilton13, a Diigo user.  I can screencast, Voicethread, Google Doc, and so much more. I have been amazed by how much professional content is available that I never knew about, and I know that my professional development will continue to be influenced by these new (to me) technologies for years to come.


I think that one of the most powerful lessons that I have learned in this class is to not be afraid.  When you look at today’s digital native, one of the things that sets him apart from the immigrants is the openness with which he approaches technology.  We cannot learn unless we try, and it is easy to shy away from trying.


I have also learned that you have to seek out what you need. One of my chief complaints with my online classes has been the lack of human camaraderie within the classes. You log on, you post your stuff, and you leave.  You never really take the time to get to know people, you never have people to commiserate with when things are not going your way, you never have someone to ask questions when you don’t want to post them on the discussion boards.  During module two, we explored social network tools. Twitter, Skype, Google Docs.  I have continued to use them to communicate with my classmates for the rest of the class and they have made all the difference. I posted my wiki with confidence because I had already processed many of the kinks out with my classmates prior to post.  It has been a powerful lesson, and one I will use in the last two classes I have with McDaniel.


I am leaving 508 with some great tools in my plugged in pocket and I am excited to share them with my 9th graders next year.  I am also excited to share what I have learned with my colleagues.  One of my key roles as a librarian will be to share new ways to access information…that has taken on a whole new meaning with technology.  I can’t wait.


Learning Log-Wikis July 24, 2012

Filed under: Professional Development,SLM 508,Technology — Mrs.Hamilton @ 4:07 pm

So, apparently English teachers really like wikis.  When I did a search I was able to find quite a few English classrooms that were using wikis.  I have included links to a few below:

Miller’s English 10 Resource Wiki keeps a running list of all of the assignments and announcements that are needed for Mr. Miller’s English 10 classroom.  He uses it as the starting point for class projects and the container for important documents.

Mrs. Huff’s Classroom Wiki is used to allow students to share curricular content.  She has students work through projects and provides links to other important places like the class blog.

Ms. Hogue’s Wiki is a place where students present their work.  Each group of students has a thread where they  have posted their findings on the Salem Witch Trials.

BHS English 10 Community Wiki is a place for students to access the materials needed for book talks. The teacher has posted questions and there is opportunity to leave feedback about the assignment.

Overall, wikis present the opportunity to teach in a variety of ways.  They can be starting points, a place where teachers place links to places or things they want the students to review.  They can be ending points, a place for students to post their work and make it public.  It is really up to the way that the teacher wants to manage the time and information.


Social and Collaborative Media: Why Educators Should Use Social Networking July 13, 2012

Filed under: Lesson Plans,Professional Development,SLM 508,Technology — Mrs.Hamilton @ 9:27 pm

As social media plays a more influential role in the lives of our students, educators must begin to adapt and integrate themselves into the social media scene.  This VoiceThread explores why educators should embrace social media and how they can utilize it in the classroom.  I talk specifically about how Twitter can play a huge role in the professional development of educators as well as foster discussion amongst students.  I also explore Edmodo and it’s possible presence in the classroom.  Enjoy.


Good Reads for extended reading July 10, 2012

Filed under: Lesson Plans,SLM 508,Technology,Uncategorized — Mrs.Hamilton @ 5:20 pm
One of the big changes in our curriculum next year as we adopt the Common Core Standards is to get students reading outside of the classroom.  Our English classes will now include required reading at home in addition to the text that students are discussing in the classroom.  With this in mind, Good Reads is a great way to connect students to choices.  The bookshelf I have embedded below is designed to highlight books that would fall under the 9th grade memoir unit.  If students could not find a book to read, they could go to this virtual bookshelf for ideas.


Telling Our Story

5 of 5 stars true
A powerful tale of tough choices. Every human should read this book.
Warriors Don't Cry
5 of 5 stars true
A powerful tale about what it was like to be one of the Little Rock Nine.
In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer
4 of 5 stars true
A different perspective from the classic Holocaust memoir told from the perspective of the resistance.

Share book reviews and ratings with Mrs. H., and even join a book club on Goodreads.


Google Drive: A great way to collaborate. July 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mrs.Hamilton @ 11:22 pm

My technologies class has been spending this week talking about different ways to use social media to collaborate with students and staff.  One of the neat tools that we have been playing around with is Google drive.  Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) is an online word processing suite that is free to Google users.  Users can create documents, share ownership of each document and even edit at the same time.  I have used Google docs in my classroom to write group papers.  As a graduate student we have put together group slideshow presentations without ever meeting in person.  My husband and I keep Google Doc Christmas lists that allow our families to call “dibs” on gifts without purchasing duplicate gifts.  To check out Google Drive click on This Google Doc to learn about my favorite social networking site.


Learning Log- igoogle: A professional development tool. July 4, 2012

Filed under: Library Blogs,Professional Development,SLM 508,Technology — Mrs.Hamilton @ 2:51 pm

I don’t know about you but I am easily distracted on the internet.  I will start on one page, see something interesting and click to there….until I can’t remember what I was doing on the internet in the first place. That is where igoogle comes in handy.  igoogle is a great feature that allows you to see all of your important web-based updates in one place.  It really makes me sad that Google will be doing away with this feature in the next year because it is a nice way to start your day on the internet.  I like igoogle because it allows me to stay current.  It is an excellent tool to keep track of  professional development sites and articles and it helps me stay on task when working with purpose.  I have annotated the screenshot above to explain how I use igoogle.


Learning is Alive….With Technology! July 2, 2012

Filed under: Lesson Plans,SLM 508,Technology — Mrs.Hamilton @ 1:40 am

This week I had the opportunity to attend a four day professional development seminar based off of the Teachers’ Curriculum Institute‘s Bring Learning Alive! book. It was presented by a Social Studies teacher in my county and the purpose of the seminar was to learn interactive strategies for my non-social studies classroom from a program designed to make learning social studies fun.  I have to say, it was one of the best professional developments that I have been to in a very long time. I am really excited to try out some of these new strategies on my students next year.

One of the strategies that we learned about was called a visual discovery.  Visual discoveries use a series of spiraled questions about an image or a series of images to introduce a new concept and get students thinking about what they already know.  In my Educational Technologies class (I know, I am supposed to be on summer break…not catching up on all this learning) we have been talking about how to use new technology to engage students in the classroom.  With this in mind, I decided to use the tool Voice Thread to create a Visual discovery about what it was like to immigrate to the United States via Ellis Island.  Student can post their responses to my recorded questions directly onto the slide show.  As students interact with the slide show we will have a conversation about what they know, what they deduce, and what questions they might have.  Check it out at

Overall, this technology worked really well with this strategy.  I cant wait to play around with it more and use it with my students next school year.