December 1, 2013
Throughout this experience, I have been able to follow some very influential individuals who
have tremendous insight into technology-based education. By following these educators on Twitter, I
have been able to learn of several effective strategies that can be utilized in the 21st Century classroom.
The first individual that I chose to follow on Twitter is Harold @CI350class. During the
Thanksgiving break he posted several interesting links that discussed the need to incorporate various
Web 3.0 tools, social networking sites, and storytelling applications into the 21st Century curriculum. All
of the digital tools that Harold addresses can be utilized in today’s technology-based learning
One of Harold’s tweets that I found to be very interesting addresses the need to flip the
traditional classroom to one that is more student-centered and technology-based. In this active learning
environment, learners are encouraged to collaborate with others in order to promotestudent
motivation and accomplishment. Within a flipped classroom, the teachers can upload instructional video
clips that students are to watch prior to class. This essentially provides more time to complete group
projects and larger assignments within the actual classroom. Overall, I believe that this setup could
potentially promote student autonomy and academic achievement by providing more time for hands-on
activities within the classroom.
Another link that Harold has recently tweeted reveals a few different virtual world
environments that can be used to enrich student learning. Within these virtual worlds, children can
explore new subjects by experiencing the lesson within a virtual reality, which ultimately brings learning
to life. The three virtual worlds mentioned in this website are Second Life, OpenSim, and Cloud Party.
Such Web 3.0 applications allow children to learn about various historical events through role-play and
other interactive activities. Overall, I believe that these technology-based educational strategies are very
meaningful to children who have grown-up in a digital world. Thus, with the right guidance and
supervision, the students can use these sites to enhance their overall learning experience.
In addition, Harold posted a link introducing several digital storytelling applications that
students can use in the classroom. My favorite storytelling tool is the Google Earth Tour Builder, which
allows students to create narratives using Google maps, video clips, images, and text. After selecting a
location, tour builder zooms in to that area on the map, and this image can then be used within the
digital story; thus allowing students to expand their creativity. By enhancing student technology skills,
learners will become much more prepared to thrive within today’s globalized economy.
Finally, Harold also brings out the importance of using social media in the classroom to connect
learners and foster collaboration between students. In fact, there are several other benefits for using
such technology in the classroom. For instance, social media sites can be easily accessed from any
browser, enabling the students quickly connect and retrieve information regarding important
assignments and projects. Such 21st Century learning strategies help to increase student participation
and communication within the classroom. Overall, Harold tweetedseveral links to relevant articles and
websites that discuss ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. I found these posts to be very
helpful, and I plan to utilize many of these tools throughout my future curriculum.
Another individual that I have been following on Twitter is George Couros, the Division Principal
of Innovative Teaching and Learningfor Parkland School Division. Overall, Couros tweets of the
importance of strong leadership in schools, implementation of technology into education, connectivity
between teachers, and collaboration between students by utilizing social media and technology.Couros
believes that it is important to “make learning viral,” in that students need to be able to access
information in a variety of ways. He was even asked to speak at the TedX Burnsville Education
Convention in Minnesota on this subject.
During this opportunity, Couros asserted that educators, students, and individuals within the community
should have an “empowering voice” in 21st Century education. Thus, George Couros challenges schools
around the world to share their knowledge and strategies with others by interconnecting through social
media and other Web 2.0 tools (emphasizing the role of Twitter in education).Additionally, Couros has
helped to initiate an online meeting place using Buddypress. This is an online community where
students, staff, and parents can collaborate to share ideas and innovative learning strategies. Eventually,
this site will also be used to create online portfolios of student progress. In my opinion, such
connectivity among schools and individuals of various backgrounds and communities will function to
encourage collaboration and the expansion of knowledge between learners. This will then enable our
students to more readily succeed in today’s digital world.
Furthermore, George Couros stresses of keeping educators connected. In order to promote
interaction and mass sharing among teachers, he began to have one-on-one sessions with educators
from various schools, encouraging them to ask questions or share material through Facebook, Twitter,
Google Drive, and email; thereby keeping the lines of communication and innovation open. Such media
makes it possible for teachers to find solutions to various issues or to simply share novel ideas.
As can be seen from the above tweet, Couros expresses the need to make education more
relevant to the students.Children who grow up in a digital world must be taught with technology, if we
are to make learning meaningful. Therefore, Couros refutes the saying that individuals can be great
educators without technology. In fact, he challenges such old-fashioned opinions with the following
words: “My question is, in our world today, can you be an effective learner without using technology?
We constantly talk about preparing kids for their future but I am concerned that some of them are not
even prepared for their world right now.” Students cannot effectively collaborate, create, or
communicate unless given the opportunity to connect and share through the use of technology and
social media. Thus, Couros emphasizes that we must make education meaningful by giving students the
digital tools they need to succeed.
By following George Couros on Twitter, I havelearned of the importance of global connectivity
within the classroom. His tweets have provided numerous strategies to incorporate technology within
the classroom, which not only promotes collaboration among teachers but also encourages
collaboration between students. Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed following George Couros and
reading his tweets which contain vast amounts of knowledge and advice regarding 21st Century
I have also been following Aviva Dunsiger, an elementary school teacher who is currently
teaching fifth grade. Mrs. Dunsiger tweets many insightful pieces of information regarding various
teaching strategies that can be used within the classroom to incorporate the many different learning
styles of students. She also tweets about inquiry education, feedback, hands-on teaching strategies, art
integration, and the role of technology in the classroom.
One of Mrs. Dunsiger’s favorite quotes is that, “Good feedback causes thinking.” Thus, she is
constantly trying to keep her students actively involved in the learning process. Therefore, Mrs. Dunsiger
has just recently begun utilizing instructional methods that provide quick feedback to students so that
they can reflect on their work. Such feedback always includes specific things the students have done
correctly as well as one or two areas that could be improved. However, instead of traditionally telling
the students what to do, she instead asks the students questions. This enables the children to reflect
and critically think about what could be done to improve their work. Such strategies promote
independent thinking, because students are then encouraged to learn by exploration.
Furthermore, Mrs. Dunsiger encourages the use of technology within the classroom. For
instance, she incorporates student blogs and digital storytelling to promote self-expression throughout
the learning process. She also utilizes a website known as Radio for Learning (105 the Hive) which
enables students to audio-record projects and speeches. Such technology motivates students and allows
them to become more comfortable in sharing their voices. I believe that these experiences help to make
education more relevant to students by incorporating technology into education.
One of my favorite teaching strategies that Dunsiger uses is called inquiry learning. This method
encourages students to ask questions that they themselves must answer after conducting various
experiments, observations, and research; thus placing students more in control of their own learning.
Such a student-centered environment encourages hands-on learning within cooperative groups. This
prosperous learning environmentcan be seen in the picture below.
By following Mrs. Dunsiger on Twitter,I have learned several great teaching strategies that I
hope to incorporate into my own curriculum. My main goal is to include inquiry-based education within
my future classroom to promote student involvement and participation.
The Daring Librarian (Gwyneth Jones):
I have also been following Gwyneth Jones (the Daring Librarian), who is one of the ISTE Board of
Directors and an international speaker/blogger from Washington, D.C. By far, she has been the most
eccentric educator that I have followed on Twitter, tweeting about such topics as:her favorite television
episodes, types of makeup, various snap-chat apps, photo and animation tools, music clips, and a few
educational articles regarding the implementation of technology into the classroom. Despite some of
her more eccentric posts, I have learned of a few new technologies that I can incorporate into my future
One useful educational resource created by the Daring Librarian is the At-a-Glance Tech Tutorial.
These creative comics give teachers needed technological advice, while encouraging the implementation
of digital tools into the classroom. For example, the following tech tutorial describes how to create
animations and characters for a particular lesson. This tool promotes student creativity and sparks
excitement about learning by allowing the students to more actively participate in the lesson through
digital applications.A few of the tools she suggests for such a project would include: Glogster, Comic
Creator, and GoAnimate. These websites allow students to create graphics, videos, and animated
stories; thereby encouraging students to use their creativity and imagination to enhance their
Another educational tool that the Daring Librarian tweets about is a website called Flocabulary.
Flocabulary produces educational rap/hip-hop music for practically any subject and can therefore be
used as an instructional resource. This website allows students to listen to educational lyrics or even to
create their own that can be used as study material. I hope to use this tool in my future classroom to
provide differentiated instruction for my audio learners.
Additionally, the Daring Librarian suggests that Infographics be utilized in the classroom as a
type of assessment. Infographics are a visual representation of data that enable students to combine
information with visual images through technology-based applications. Thus Infographics can be used
for either formative or summative assessments, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge or
mastery of a particular skill. For instance, children can create Infographics that represent statistical data
using charts and graphs. Another creative assessment technique would be to encourage students to
create a histogram on Instagram, describing a historical event using today’s social media tools and
technology. I believe that such innovative assessments would spark intrinsic motivation among students;
and thereby increase academic achievement.
The Daring Librarian also encourages the use of social media among educators as form of
collaboration. To see other what other educators thought, she sent a few requests asking her Twitter
followers to share why they use Twitter in education. She received the following responses:
As I read these tweets, I began to see the potential ways to use Twitter as an educational resource. One
such reason is that it allows for increased connectivity and sharing, creating a community of educators
who are able to offer tips and advice. Previously, I had no idea of the educational advantages that
Twitter could provide or of the network that it created allowing educators to collaborate and
Although I did not appreciate the numerous tweets of trivial information that the Daring
Librarian constantly posted, I have found many of the technological applications that she has suggested
to be very useful within the classroom. Thus I plan to use many of these ideas for future projects in my
own curriculum. Such assignments could include: creating educational comics/animations and
Infographics or even histograms to encourage student involvement throughout the learning process.
The last educator that I have been following on Twitter is Stephany Madlinger. She is a mother
of four, a former elementary school teacher, and currently the Director of Teaching and Learning in St.
Louis, Missouri. Mrs. Madlinger posts many meaningful quotes as well as interesting articles regarding
character education, leadership, technology implementation, and various teacher resources. Thus, it has
been a privilege to follow her over the past month,because it has enabled me to collect information
advice that I will utilize throughout my teaching career.
As can be seen, Mrs. Madlinger encourages the implementation of character education within
schools to promote future achievement and success among students. One such topic she believes
should be taught throughout the 21at Century classroom is Digital Citizenship. Such meaningful
applications will function to mold a generation of learners who are well aware of how to act when using
digital technology and social media. In order to implement such a topic into one’s curriculum, Mrs.
Madlinger encourages the use of Microsoft’s free lesson plans. This curriculum features digital
citizenship and intellectual property rights while offering numerous activities and best practices that
align with national academic standards and objectives. Overall, there are four units that teachers can
choose to incorporate within their current curriculum. Each unit contains activities, questions, and
assignments centered on creative rights and the importance of digital citizenship within today’s digital
Furthermore, Mrs. Madlinger encourages the implementation of digital media throughout the
21st Century classroom in an attempt to make learning more relevant to students. Thus she believes that
individuals should be taught media literacy, which comprises essential skills for learning and
collaborating as “citizens of a digital world.” According to Mrs. Madlinger, media literacy involves
engaging the students with a variety of media tools and technologies, so that they will be able to
communicate and succeed within today’s digital community. Such a curriculum promotes critical
thinking and communication skills among students. Due to our ever-increasing digital
culture/environment, I agree with Mrs. Madlinger; in that, children should be taught the essentials of
media literacy within the classroom so that they will be “educated for success” and be able to
participate and collaborate with others in today’s globalized and digital world.
Not only does Mrs. Madlinger encourage students to utilize technology in the classroom, but she
also encourages educators to do so as well. One of her suggested tools that I found to be very useful is
an application known as “Doctopus,” a Google spreadsheet that can help keep teachers organized by
allowing educators to manage and share their materials on Google Drive. This digital tool allows
teachers to share the class roster or other documents with students and provide them with immediate
feedback. Overall, I have found such advice to be very useful and applicable to my future teaching
career, and I hope to implement many of these digital tools in my own curriculum.
Although I have gathered a lot of useful information throughout this assignment, I found this
project to be very time-consuming. In fact, it was at first difficult to collect all of this information,
because a few of the educators are not as faithful to their Twitter accounts as others. Despite these
initial difficulties, I was able to learn of several digital to that I can incorporate within my future