My Ideal 1:1 iPad Classroom @Google #sketchup using @steelcase designs! #MAETEL1

The winners won’t just be those with more I.Q. It will also be those with more P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime” (Friedman, 2013).

This classroom layout embodies my philosophies, passions, and curiosities as an educator. Because this was my “dream classroom”, I was able to skip all constraints of funding, school systems, and the environments we teach in to create the perfect learning center.

I recently read an article titled “It’s the PQ and the CQ as much as IQ” by By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN. He wrote specifically on why it is important for individuals to not only have a high IQ, but it is equally important to have as much passion and curiosity to develop new roles in society and create new jobs. This article has shaped the design of my classroom in a few ways.

My Passion Quotient

Passion quotient is the amount of passion a person has about something that drives their knowledge and excitement toward learning something new. My passion quotient definitely plays a factor in the layout of my ideal classroom. One of my biggest passions is creating connections for students not only within the material but also between one another. The seating arrangement is purposely designed to encourage these connections between peers. Students are easily able to group, regroup, and move around the room according to their own passions and knowledge. If one student sees that he/she is at a different part of their learning than another, they can shift their chairs around to find another partner to work with, collaborate with, or even teach a new skill to! We always confine our students to specific groups that WE make. Why not give them the choices to have their individual learning drive passions that will spark connections and collaboration?

Another one of my passions as an educator is to encourage students to be courageous about their learning, step out of their comfort zones, and own their own knowledge. In the model there are three rolling computer screens at one end of the classroom. These computer screens can be moved around the room according to whoever needs them! I really emphasize movement in this model to show that learning is always evolving and changing. These computer screens will act as presentation tools for students. Whether they are teaching another student a concept and just need a larger view, or giving a presentation to a group of 10 students, each student will have the ability and affordances of this technology within their own classroom.

My Curiosity Quotient

Curiosity quotient is the amount of curiosity an individual has that drives them to learn something new regardless of whether or not they have knowledge in this area. Curiosity drives many inventors, researchers, and scholars to find new theories, elements, or products in our society. Curiosity should also be a large part of the learning experience. The curiosity quotient is what keep students WANTING to learn, rather than just going through the motions. In my classroom model you will notice something that you may not see in everyday classrooms – a couch. This couch actually plays a specific role of motivation. Many students feel confined to a desk and a chair in traditional learning environments. They feel they cannot be themselves because of these stringent rules of “staying in your seat” and “raising your hand before talking”. These rules in traditional learning classrooms stifle our student’s creativity and learning. Allowing students to move freely around the room – sitting where they are comfortable, moving where they can concentrate, will increase productivity and encourage learning. The couch acts as a tool to show that learning can be comfortable, learning can be fun, and learning can be collaborative.

The design of this classroom is also for me as an educator to notice HOW students prefer to learn. Without a rigid design, I can observe HOW individual students learn best, in what environments, and also watch learning evolve into a more collaborative process. This serves my curiosity quotient because I am always wondering about how learning is changing over the years and how individual students learn best. Allow more leeway and letting them explore and move freely can help me design lessons and content based on individual learning styles I see within my classroom.


Check out my classroom Design!



Friedman, T. L. (2013). It’s P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as I.Q. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Items in Sketchup model were downloaded from Google’s 3D warehouse found at


NLP Post #3: Using @FormMule to auto-grade @Google Forms #MAETEL1 #assessment #flipclass

NLP Post #3: Putting it all together…


I started out this project with one specific goal in mind: make my life easier. Well, in a nutshell that is what I was trying to do. I currently run a flipped classroom for 7th grade math. I have put together an entire Weebly website that hosts all of my videos as well as post assessment quizzes which I created in Google Forms. The original reason I created post-assessments was not only to receive feedback on how students were performing, but also as a check to see that they were really watching the videos. Students received credit for the completion of the post assessment – it didn’t matter what grade they received.

I ran into a few issues with this set up:

  1. Students were failing the post-assessments without a care in the world
  2. Students were skipping through the video because all they had to do was go through the motions to get credit
  3. Students that really cared about how they did weren’t receiving feedback until the next day or two
  4. Learning goals went out the window because there wasn’t enough accountability from me (the teacher)
  5. Using Flubaroo (a Google Script), I was required to go into drive to run and re-run the script whenever students submitted a new post-assessment (or a late one). Here’s a quick tutorial on Flubaroo –

To solve this, I found a little script called FormMule. How did I find out about this? After scouring many forums and Youtube videos on the subject of “automatic grading” I finally came across some information about this script. Throughout this process I quickly found out that YouTube was the best resource for this because I could physically see how people were setting this up on their computer rather than relying on my technical knowledge (yuck!)

FormMule made my life SO much easier! It pretty much solves all of my issues I had with last year’s set up of the flipped classroom. Below are some of the thoughts I’ve had throughout this process of how I’m going to change things for next year.

Here’s my plan for this year:

  1. Require students to receive an 80% (or 70% cant decide) or higher to receive 100% homework credit for each lesson
  2. Still use the same videos and post assessments, but add in the FormMule script so that students receive their grades right away!
  3. Allow students to try as many times as they wish (going through the video and post-assessment) until they receive a passing grade. This pushes for mastery rather than memorization.

To set up everything I watched this tutorial to walk me through how to use FormMule (check it out here: Want to see what the post-assessments look like now? Watch a before and after video highlighting the top ideas of my new system below!


Wicked Problem Project: How do we design the perfect online experience? #MAETEL1 #NMC (Revised)

In my masters class one of our big projects is to solve a “Wicked Problem”. What’s a wicked problem? Well take a look at this clip and it may give you a glimpse into what type of issues are wicked problems…

What Ben Afleck talks about is that the situation they are in is so perilous and difficult. There aren’t really any great options, but there are some options that are classified as “the best bad idea”. Wicked problems are well… wicked. There isn’t ever one specific solution to the problem, there are only a lot of ideas. And many of these ideas are bad, and many of them are even worse.

In January of 2013, the New Media Consortium (NMC) came up with five wicked problems they believe that exist in the educational world. You can read about them here:

The article states, “Reimagine online learning. The demand for online learning is challenging us to rethink what learning via the network can and should deliver — whether the provider represents one of the world’s leading universities, a for-profit provider of skills or business training, or a school system trying to meet the needs of increasingly disengaged learners. Simply delivering content is no longer enough. Students expect learning that matters; learning connected in timely ways to the real world; learning that engages their interests; and learning experiences that see them as entire persons, not just consumers of content. Online learning owes its heritage to distance learning, but in today’s world, online learning is something even residential students want and expect. How to make online learning realize its full potential is a wicked problem because we are not even sure of the questions we need to ask so we can begin to understand what to refine, and what to improve. More experimentation, more data about every dimension of online learning, and new fresh ideas are needed to even begin to define the directions in which development should be taking place.”


You will see in the following Blendspace many of my group’s ideas, thoughts, challenges, and struggles as you look through different pieces of information. Within this Blendspace there are articles, videos, documents, and infographics all explaining our thoughts on this project. Enjoy! (Click this link) 



Mehan, H. (1979). Learning lessons. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

New Media Consortium (2013). The Horizon Project. Retrieved from NGAC, & CCSSO. (2010). Common core state standards for English language arts & history/social studies, science & technical subjects. Washington, DC. Retrieved from


Technology Survey of Baker Middle School #MAETEL1 #edtech

For my masters class at MSU, we had to design and carry out a survey to gain information on the following items…

  1. How are your colleagues currently using technologies in their professional practice?
  2. How or in what ways would your colleagues like to change or improve their technology integration practices, if at all?
  3. What type of technology-focused professional development would your colleagues find most useful?

For my survey I sent out a Google Form to my colleagues at Baker Middle School in Troy, Michigan. This survey was sent out in July which created a very minimal response – because who really checks their school emails in the summer? After much begging and pleading, I received 15 respondents out of roughly 50+ teachers at Baker. Yahoo!

Anyways, I had to work with what I had. These teachers taught various grades from 6th-8th, but most of my respondents taught 6th grade. They also had a beautiful varied amount of teaching experience which helped my data quite nicely. My largest amount of respondents have been teaching for 20+ years!

Dying to find out the results?!?


  • Technology at Baker Middle School

Info Diet & Networked Affinity Spaces: What are you consuming? #MAETEL1

Network affinity spaces are described by James Paul Gee in The Anti-Education Era (2013) as, “…the interest-driven and passion-fueled…learning spaces and democratic forums of the future” (p. 174). These spaces are crucial to my ideas incorporated into my teaching. Without these spaces, I would not be nearly as creative, excited, and passionate about my teaching. The two biggest affinity spaces I use are Pinterest and Twitter. These two sources help me to not only find creative ideas for lessons to use in my classroom, but they also provide me a network of peers who enjoy and are passionate about the same things as I am. I don’t need to consult an expert and scour the internet for hours looking for something specific. When I enter the “space” with other like-minded peers as me, I’m able to quickly participate and ask questions to find the information I need. I’ve used these spaces to glean information from experts about classroom management, structure, and even layout! The biggest way I use these spaces is to find inquiry based projects and lessons for my students. The best part of these spaces is that everyone is willing and excited to share the information/products they’ve created. It is not a space of “this is mine and this is yours” but a space that is forever living in beta. I am also able to contribute to these spaces to provide updates/changes/other information that I’ve experienced to add to the “decor” of our space!

How do we know we’re getting the best “nutrition” from our diet of constant information streaming on the web? As teachers we spend so much time telling students to be critical of their sources for research and to always use scholarly articles to be sure that the information is valid. Are we employing these strategies ourselves as well? Gee (2013) also states, “We have seen that in a world full of complex systems we need to recruit multiple sources of information and evidence” (p. 160). In my own experience I do not follow this same advice that I preach constantly to my students. My information diet is full of two food groups: technology and math. I do not delve into other subjects, nor do I Iook at contrasting viewpoints of the negative effects of technology. I don’t even look at what goes on in our world with technology. The picture below is a great depiction of how we consume technology with the nativity of a baby – we aren’t really sure what we are consuming, nor do we know the negative effects it may have on our body, but we do it anyway!



To change this information diet, I’ve added three sources to my affinity spaces: @VentureBeat, @usedgov, and @MindShiftKQED. @VentureBeat explores new trends in technology in the business world. I think this will change my thinking by being aware of what is going on in the business world and not just in the education sector. @MindShiftKQED focuses on the future of learning and cultural trends in education. Because I only focus on technology and math, I don’t ever read information that focuses on the student. This group will hopefully give me a better perspective of a more universal perspective when looking at technology and math and shift my mind to think about other things when planning lessons. I hope to learn a lot from this space. Thirdly, @usedgov shifts my focus to a national viewpoint. It is very important to keep up to date on what is going on in our world revolving around education. Whether this be initiatives, laws, issues, controversies, etc. Sometimes I find myself a little too comfy inside my own affinity space and I forget to branch out to other statewide and national educational places as well. Henry Jenkins (2011) talks a lot about this in his video on participatory culture and civic engagement. If I engage more in my surroundings, maybe I can encourage my students more to use the media and technology around them to take part in issues and the culture around them.



Pariser, E. (May 2 2011). Beware online “filter bubbles”. Retrieved from

Jenkins, H. (August 4 2011). Media Scholar Henry Jenkins on Participatory Culture and Civic Engagement. Retrieved from

Gee, J. P. (2013). The anti-education era. New York, NY: Palgrave Mac


NLP Post #2: The beautiful marriage of @Google Forms & @Formmule #MAETEL1 #assessment

Update: What I’ve learned so far… Challenges and Realizations

To remind my readers: My ultimate goal is to create a self-grading online post assessment quiz that my students can take and receive results directly after taking this quiz. That way I can require students to achieve a specific percentage (or higher) to earn credit for their homework each night. 

So I started out with this tutorial on using Formmule with Google Forms: This turned out to be quite useful as it slowly walks you through how to use the script. As I went through this tutorial I did come up against a challenge right away as I worked through the tutorial video:

  1. This specific script only works with the old Google sheets – QUICK FIX? Download an old version (found

Luckily all of my old post assessment quizzes for school are all using the old Google Sheets as well – Bazinga! So challenge #1 was solved pretty quickly. After working through almost the entire video I went to run the script and… it didn’t work. What?! I rewatched the video two more times and started from scratch with a new Google form and spreadsheet. Still no luck. Now I was getting a little frustrated. Then a thought occurred to me – maybe there was a reason in the video for naming the question headers like this:

Question Naming

But no! That doesn’t work. For some reason the script must be wired to only recognize if you write text in the other boxes, but not just copy and paste into the other headers. After 3 or 4 complete re-dos, it finally worked with the above naming conventions (Q1, Q2, Q3, etc.)

Question Naming 2

After working through this initial part of the tutorial (just setting up and running the script) I realized that I no longer needed Flubaroo at all for my grading. Formmule sets up and runs the grading all within ONE script! Clearly this will be much easier for my class than merging two scripts together. I was pretty excited but surprised that I didn’t know about this feature beforehand when I was researching Flubaroo and other Google Apps scripts. You can check out the spreadsheet and script here: 

The next exciting thing was adding an email feature to the grading process. Formmule not only will grade the post-assessment quizzes I’ve created, but also email students their results – immediately!!! As I worked through the next part of the tutorial for email, it was much easier than I thought. After getting the email to work I realized that it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. The email that went through the first time was super boring, only one line of text that said “Congratulations! You have received a passing score on your post-assessment quiz! You will receive 100% on your homework grade for this section.” This was not exactly a “quality email”. It looked like a third grader wrote it in about two seconds. I wanted my email that was sent out to be a little more polished. As I looked at the email template below in Google Sheets, I noticed something!

HTML friendly


Hmm.. HTML friendly, eh? Maybe I could work with that. So I started researching some HTML scripts to add into this email to jazz it up a bit. I found out how to make text bold and changed up the email a little. Now it looks like this:

Email Bold


I know it’s still a little dull, but I’ll get there! If you want to test it out yourself visit the test quiz @ You should receive an email shortly after pressing submit.

Take a look! Before and After:

Before: Using Flubaroo, grading by running the script EVERYDAY, and PRINTING results for students (what a paper waster!)

PA SubmissionsPA Grades


After: Formule, automatic grading, automatic emailing, NO PAPER! (Happy teacher)



Although I did find a Google Plus community called Apps Scipts for educaiton (found here:, I did not find it very useful. It did have a couple of cool other tools I’ll probably look into for my classroom, but posting on the wall did absolutely nothing. No one answered my question within the week so I figured I’d look somewhere else. I also posted on a Google Forum (found here:, with just about the same result. The biggest problem here was that the forum I found was so outdated – last updated 1 year ago! I figured I wouldn’t get a response and just had to figure it out. Youtube was definitely the most helpful resource as far as searchability as well as finding specific tutorials that walked me through exactly what I wanted to do. I also used this link to find out how to bold the text in the HTML email:


New Ideas: I’m on a roll!

I recently found a new script called MCQ with a tutorial on youtube: This script has a nicer interface when it emails the users grade and also provides ways to give students explanations about each of the quiz questions. This could be quite helpful when I am teaching more challenging sections and students need a little guidance on each of the questions when they retake the quizzes. Maybe this is what I’ll look into next?


#MSU #MAET #MAKERFAIRE fun!! Playing with your food using a #makeymakey. Check it out! #MAETEL1

Today we ran our own MAET Maker Faire at MSU. The experience was something I never expected. When we started out designing our project, I admit I thought it was a little elementary in its design… I thought for sure it was going to be pretty boring for people to use and everyone else’s ideas would be SO MUCH COOLER! 🙂

Materials and Set Up:

The goal of our Maker Faire activity was this: Connect various items to a Makey Makey and use them to control a computer game.

Below are a few pictures of our set up and a video explaining the directions that we gave to each of our Maker Faire participants.

IMG_2381  IMG_2380  IMG_2382 IMG_2383 IMG_2385IMG_2384

Easy right? Well, yes, in concept this was quite easy for participants to use and set up – mostly because we gave them directions. I later found out, however, that this wasn’t really the focus of this Maker Faire. My thoughts and feelings from the beginning drastically changed throughout this process. In the beginning I thought it was all about the technology – What kind did you use? How did you use it? What does it do? After setting it up and seeing a few of our cohort members play, it was exciting to see people figure out how to collaborate and make everything work. We had a pretty good amount of people come to play our game and no matter what the ages were, everyone had fun playing!! It definitely changed my perspective as I saw so much team building going on – through the decisions to be made in the beginning of what controllers to use, to the coordination of playing Tetris with four people at once! Every single person that came by our table ended up giggling, laughing, and having a great time together! This is also a great ice breaker activity because we had people who had just met each other and they needed to communicate and work together in order to complete the process. With the younger crowd we noticed that if we showed them an example of how to set up the connectors, they were more likely to set it up correctly than if we just explained the directions. We also noticed a difference with the younger generation – they would use one finger to hold on the copper strip and another finger (from the same hand) to press one of the controls – genius! These are definitely digital natives because a lot of my group members and others did not think of this efficient idea. 🙂

IMG_2395 IMG_2392 IMG_2389

Things to keep in mind:

  1. The less information you give your participants, the better!
    1. It is so much more valuable to let them figure it out themselves through trial-and-error. It is also great to see all of the brainstorming ideas that come into play when they aren’t given as many directions as we gave in our video.
  2. Have a variety of games that are different levels of difficulty.
    1. It was really great for us to see that our games served so many different levels and interests. Many younger kids wanted the more challenging games and many adults wanted the easier games! (quite opposite of how you’d think it would go, huh?)
  3. Remind students to keep a finger on the “ground” copper wire!
    1. The games will not work without completing the circuit with your other hand. It may be wise to show younger kids that they can keep one finger on the ground and use the other hand to tap the controls.
  4. If the tools cross the ground copper wire, the controls will not work – be careful with this because as students play the utensils were moving all around when they got excited!

Lesson Plan 5.0 Final Revision! #MAETEL1 #PLN #TPACK #UDL

Below is the final culmination of all of the researched theories and information that I’ve learned throughout my masters course at Michigan State University. These theories include TPACK (Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge), UDL (Universal Design for Learning), and Networked Learning. The revisions purposed outline the theories and information found in each of these frameworks. Enjoy!!

 See Revised Lesson Plan Here: (Original with Revision below)

Revision #1: Go Paperless with the Internet!

The first big revision I made was after reflecting on the UDL approach and TPACK theories to learning. As I reflected on my approaches to these frameworks within the contexts of my lesson, I realized that I did not have any “customizable” options for my students. The main concepts of the UDL are to providing multiple means of representation, provide multiple means of action and expression, and provide multiple means of engagement. I decided that in order to have these present in my lesson, I need to create an online version of the worksheets used in this lesson. Not only will online versions of directions and worksheets provide multiple ways to view (changing text size, brightness, etc.) but it also provides students with another form of inputting answers. Students will now be able to input text into a Google Form by typing rather than having to write the information. I would ultimately like to add in some audio aspects into the online lesson plan and create more of a “webquest” with this lesson online. This also connects with the TPACK theory because the big idea is “how do I use technology to GET to the learning?”. Mishra and Koehler (2009) connect TPACK with the theories of UDL when they state, “[Teachers] find solutions to complex, dynamic problems of practice by designing curricular solutions that fit their unique goals, situations, and student learners” (Mishra & Koehler, 2009). The “complex, dynamic problems” that Mishra and Koehler speak about are the essence and goals of reaching all of our diverse learners through the UDL framework. This webquest/online lesson would provide one “solution” for students of all learning styles to get to the proposed learning. This solution also marries the two theories of TPACK and UDL framework together in one revision. After reflecting on this change I’ve also realized how many options we can give our students by providing online materials! This will definitely change the way I look at other “worksheets” and projects because it is relatively simple change to make but the effects of these revisions make differences in many students learning.


Revision #2: Create Purpose for the Product and Connect with Others!

The second revision I added/changed was the final “product” that students created. Originally students were to create a dinner menu for a restaurant they made up and look up items in sales flyers that they would sell in their restaurant. Although this was fun for the students, it didn’t have any connection or meaning for WHY they were doing this (which is part of the UDL guideline 7.2 to optimize relevance, value and authenticity). Because of my experience with learning about personal learning networks as well as UDL principles of design, I decided to create an interdisciplinary connection with the home-living class that would reach out to the community as well. Having students create a product with an end goal in mind shifts their thinking and purpose to something relevant, valuable, and authentic. The UDL principles also come in to play when students get to decide and make choices on what item they’d like to make, how they will convey it, and how they will search for their ingredients (4.1, 7.1). Students have the freedom to use the sales flyers, or find places to buy ingredients online if they wish. Providing different ways to access information ensures that students can learn in their own ways.


Revision #3: Put Students in Charge, Drive Meaningful Connections to Learning and Networking within the Community

The third change I made in this lesson plan is to give the control to the students. I really liked the idea of not only creating a purposeful product (creating and making food items in connection with home-living) but also using that product for the community. Students will use their food products to host a bake sale to donate to a charity of their choosing. Incorporating principles of the UDL (providing many ways of action II.4 and expression II.5) students will create a 1 minute “presentation” to get other students to vote for their charity. Students can use any tools they have to create this presentation which allows for multiple ways of representation as well. Having a vote at the end of these presentations further puts students in charge of the direction their networking takes. I’d really like to have the students whose charity is chosen be in charge of contacting the charity and donating the money once the bake sale is completed as well. These revisions heighten the drive to make the product the best it can be (8.1) because students can see the end goal and purpose that the project takes. Lastly, students will be accessing the networks of their own families to talk about how their parents find the best deals on ingredients they buy everyday to connect the learning to a real-world, familiar context.


Assessment, Evaluation, and Professional Thoughts:

Throughout this extensive lesson plan revisions and studying various theories and methods, I’ve taken away one big idea from the whole experience: let go of the control. Now I don’t see myself as a super controlling teacher, but there are many ways that I need to put more control in the hands of my students. I am used to having a big part in how students complete projects – outlining specific requirements down to what type of pencil they can use for the assignment (I’m not really that bad, but you get the idea). Through this experience, not only am I more aware of little areas that technology can be implemented, but also that there is a certain amount of learning that takes place when students are left to make these learning decisions all on their own. I am going to step away from the detailed rubrics, one format of expression, and simple grading “checklists”. I am going to revamp ALL of my projects (yikes!) to allow for multiple means of expression – videos, papers, posters, websites, speeches, etc! This is what students crave after all… they just need to express themselves! Who are we to tell them how to do it?



Mishra, P. & Koehler. M. J. (2009). Too cool for school? No way! Using the TPACK framework: You can have your hot tools and teach with them, too. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36(7), 14-18.

CAST (2011). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield, MA: Author. Retreived from

Networked Learning Project: Planning #MAETEL1 #PLN #Googleforms #flubaroo #formmule

Networked Learning Project 

Throughout the next 4 weeks I’m going to embark on a journey to learn something new: I’m going to immerse myself in Google forms, apps, and scripts to try and revolutionize the way that I run my flipped classroom.

My Goal: Learn how to use FormMule to create an automatic running of another Google Apps script called Flubaroo to create a self-grading quiz that will report results in real-time and update automatically.



Currently in my classroom, I have created video content and post assessments (using Google Forms) for the entire 7th grade math book. I have a few issues that I’ve run across that have created quite the headaches and extra work along the way that I’d really like to make easier on myself. I am using a Google script called Flubaroo to grade my post assessment Google Forms each night the students do their homework. With this I run into two BIG problems:

  1. Students do not receive immediate feedback on their scores from the post-assessment quiz. They must wait until the next DAY in class to see the printed (yuck!) reports that I put on the whiteboard each morning (lots of work and wasted paper).
  2. When students turn in post-assessments late, I have to re-run the grading script to see how they did. This usually takes about 10 minutes to go through all my classes EACH DAY (bleh).

Sources I will use that may help… 

Through these forums and YouTube, I hope to gain knowledge of how these scripts work and also make connections with other teachers that may be in the same position. Up to this point, I haven’t met a teacher that structures their flipped classroom in this same way. I’m excited to reach out to other teachers and users on Google Forums to connect and find new ways to run my flipped classroom. Who knows, I may run into new ways above and beyond what I’m looking for during this exploration!

My plan:

  1. Learn about Formmule and how to use it – implement it with my existing spreadsheets to test
  2. Look into the HTML language inside Formmule to see if there are ways to create autorun language for scripts
  3. Test, retest, and re-re-test until it works!

We’ll see how everything goes, I’ll keep you posted as I go throughout each step with my insights, finds, and frustrations 🙂

Lesson Plan 4.0 – Networked Learning Revision #MAETEL1 #MAET #PLN

What is a personal learning network?

A personal learning network is an informal group of people that are connected online, social media, or in person. Every participant in the network is a contributor to the content and the more each person contributes, the greater strength of knowledge and interaction the network has. Check out these awesome images of what teacher’s personal learning networks SHOULD look like! (via


How did I leverage the use of networks BEFORE creating my lesson?

Before creating my lesson I used many different networks to create this lesson. A lot of ideas that I find for my lessons usually start with a Google search. This google search leads me into various teachers blogs, pictures, etc. If I don’t find what I need during this search, I use Pinterest. This particular lesson I found the Fruity Cheerios activity from a teacher blog found here: I definitely could have used more networks to create this lesson. The biggest thing teachers forget about is the huge network all around them – the other teachers in the school! So many times we get wrapped up in what WE are doing in our classroom, that we forget that knowledge can always be connected to another subject area. By using interdisciplinary lessons, we show our students that knowledge is not categorized into subject areas. Math is used in cooking, science, and everywhere else! What I would have liked to do is talk with the home living teacher in the building to create an interdisciplinary lesson between math and home living. If the students had to purchase ingredients to bake a cake, for example, they would not only be looking at how to find the best prices at each store, but have a real-world example for when ratios are used to find the best price. Students could then actually purchase the ingredients they need to bake a cake, make spaghetti, etc.


How could my students branch out and use personal learning networks?

One of the easiest ways to get my students involved with a network themselves, is to involve their immediate families in this project. So many times students are at the stores with their parents/grandparents, and it would be the perfect opportunity to ask them how they find the best price for an item they are purchasing. What questions do they ask themselves when comparing two similar items? Do they always choose the best buy? Getting students involved with a real-world application along with their parents will allow them to not only have communication about the content, but also solidify the content they are learning. Another way they could involve their community if I changed the lesson to an interdisciplinary unit with home living is that students could sell the dishes/baked goods that they create in a bake sale at school.

An even bigger way we could involve the community is by using the profits from the sale to donate to a local charity of the students’ choosing! I could have each student who has a specific charity in mind to create a 30 second to 1 minute video showcasing their charity and asking students to “vote”. These students could post their videos on a blog (or on my classroom website) to have all classes vote on which charity they want to help the most!