A Closer Look @ Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship Arrow
Anna ISD

With a rapid increase in technology, there are more opportunities at one’s fingertips. There is no “go look it up” in the dictionary, instead it’s “Google it”. The internet has provided opportunity since it’s time being born. However, are we so crazed about technology that we forget our digital manners? It’s quite common to log onto Facebook and see a political rant shared by a friend, a viral video of a 13-year-old girl getting mouthy on Dr. Phil’s show, or a pretty boy “squad” dancing to the newest hip hop song on the charts. One thing that has been forgotten is limits. Social media users have become addicted to the thought that they are invincible behind a computer screen or smartphone. Users have become so strongly opinionated that they do not think before they post.

I see 4th grade students walking around logged into every popular social media app connecting with other users. When did we forget to teach how to properly use technology? We don’t forget to teach our children and students how to use the restroom, we don’t forget to teach how to write a name, and we don’t forget to teach classroom and home expectations. As an educator, it extremely important to connect with students and to address classroom procedures and expectations to have a complete understanding. Why are we not teaching digital expectations? Students of all ages are craving the relief of freedom—in which they receive in technology. They can post, share, like, follow, tweet, swipe, and click with no limit, so what’s stopping them?

In today’s classrooms technology is being integrated in many different ways. Students are enjoying to have a choice of their own. With a choice, comes responsibility.


Integrating digital citizenship into the classroom is essential for students, because students may not realize the consequences of their actions on the web. There are many sites that leave a digital footprint. Even though you can delete, set to private, or save—there is still a footprint that an action took place. Many social media sites are available to the public. The same sites allow access to change privacy settings, but make it difficult to manage. Digital citizenship is the act of responsibility and appropriate use of technology on social media. If a person is responsible enough to post it, they can be responsible enough to accept the consequences.


Hey, I Like Your Name


I had way too much fun Googling myself. I started off searching my name, then my mom’s, grandparents, and ended up doing a background check on people, haha! That’s like YouTubing how to change your oil and end up watching a video on how long giraffe’s tongues are. Fortunately, I hardly found anything on myself. I found 1 picture, my Twitter profile picture to be exact. I was pretty happy about this, since all my social media accounts are set to private except for my Twitter account. The thought of a random searching me is disturbing.

A while back I read a post about uploading pictures. A mother uploaded a picture of her daughter on her 1st day of school onto social media (which was not private). A local predator saw it and stalked the elementary school the little girl went to. Once the mother dropped the little girl off the predator lured the girl by making a false accusation about the girl’s mother. The predator sold the little girl into sex trafficking. Although this message may not be real, it can easily happen. After I read that I immediately changed all my privacy settings on social media accounts. There is predator’s lurking all over the web and streets.

It’s astounding that the internet can hold unlimited information within seconds. When


I searched my mom, I found a public record that revealed relatives (including me), contact information, places lived, currently address and more. That is a super uneasy feeling! The
site that I found all that information from is Spokeo, to access this information there is a monthly fee so I was only limited with so much information. I searched my middle name as well, and nothing came up. The only thing that came up was the Barnard Residence Hall in Madison, WI. The top result was on Instagram—a cheerleader for Oklahoma University. I figured out that she’s in phenomenal shape while I’m eating leftover birthday cake from 2 days ago. I did my fair share of creeping, I mean we do have the same name!

I’m very cautious of what I support on the internet. I have this rule, it’s: don’t post anything your grandma wouldn’t be proud of. When I post or share something, I ask myself “what would a future employer think of this?” That’s why I don’t post anything political or rant on social media. It saves me from a lot of other nasty comments made by others. People can sometimes feel invincible behind a screen, and that’s why it’s so easy to get carried away. I’m pretty happy with my results, I feel that if a person is in my life they know everything they need to know. Otherwise, it’s none of your business 😉


Midterm Reflection

When this course began, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. My first initial thought on Literacy in the Digital Age (ENG 361) when registering, was that it’s some sort of English class (hence the word literacy). I was pleased and a little anxious to find out that we would be exploring a deeper understanding for the digital world. Being in college, I thought I had a proficient knowledge of popular apps, social media sites, and websites; even though I don’t have very many of them. I initially got my first Twitter account when I was a Sophomore in college. I was taking a spring course called Technology for Teachers, and an assignment was that we had to activate a Twitter account and tweet 5 tweets. I never got rid of it because I heard that there was a course for my degree that I had to take that required it. I never signed into it for about a year, and then Digital Literacy began! I was a bit skeptical about Twitter at first, mostly because I had no idea how to work it. Luckily my roommate came in handy and gave me the 101 on the well-known social media app. One thing that has blown me away is the amount of resources available on Twitter. I had no idea that so many people used Twitter as an advantage towards higher learning (for educational use).

The most interesting module so far has been week 5. It’s been the module that has benefit me the most. I was confused on what a personal learning network (PLN) is; I thought it was something you had to join! With some exploring and researching I found out that it’s a way of thinking. I thought it was something you had to sign up for or subscribe to, but it’s focused on where you inherit your time towards. I don’t follow a single friend on Twitter just for the fact that I dedicate my account towards my learning of education and technology and want to keep it professional. I will most likely never get a personal Twitter account, because I have other social media accounts to keep in touch with people such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The challenging module was week 5 as well. With expanding my personal learning network, it was very time consuming. A lot of education-based accounts were not as dedicated as I had hoped to find. Some were too political or opinionated, which is fine it just wasn’t what I was looking for. Since then I’ve followed, unfollowed, retweeted, and commented many users. My biggest highlight was Laura Numeroff tweeting me! img_0076
I’ve loved her children’s books since I was a kid. She’s the author of If You Give a Pig a Pancake, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, If You Take a Mouse to School, and so many more! I was also (and still am) confused on the daily creates in module 7, so if you have any tips and tricks feel free to comment them below! As far as the 2nd half of the semester goes, I hope to learn more about how to incorporate technology into lesson plans. How could this help students? How can technology help the classroom? How can teachers teach students to use safe, reliable, and trust worthy sources? With much opportunity in technology and communication comes risk. Not everyone on the internet is targeting a learning experience.



xuark38nTo be completely honest, I’m still not totally sure that DS106 is, so bear with me! What helped best figure out what is was, was the DS106 “course syllabus .” DS106 is a free, open to the public, ongoing, active session with you as the instructor. There is no set time, or checking in, or grading involved. This is specifically about an individual developing a deeper understanding in technology use and skills. The “DS” of DS106 is referred to as Digital Storytelling. The material required for this course is Wi-Fi and various social media accounts. Having a Twitter and WordPress account is a very strong way to get involved (personally). With digital storytelling, there are five different media types: writing, photography, drawing, audio, and video. With all of these media types being very important, I hope to be proficient in all five. However, that’s not the case right now. Photography and drawing is something that comes easy to me, and that I enjoy partaking. Video and audio (more so audio), is a little intimidating. The more experience and practice, the more proficient I’ll become with audio and video!

With DS106, comes with positive and easy challenges. Following DS106 TDC, makes it easy to see what the challenge is that day without having to get frustrated or pressured to participate. After all, YOU are the instructor! As a teacher, I can see myself using this to motivate all those technology-hungry kiddos out there! Under the right circumstances, this could potentially be a great resource to use in the classroom. It can encourage good behavior, smart choices, and strong morals.


Digital storytelling can be used as a check point for understanding in the classroom. Whencdsg teaching a lesson in the classroom, post a challenge relevant to the material. For example, if teaching a lesson on oceanography, challenge students to create their own “underwater” picture—placing a picture of themselves in an underwater background. Including hashtags will encourage discussion and more abstract ideas. Or perhaps while teaching a math lesson, have students include a picture of shapes—draw or make a picture of triangles, ovals, rectangles, diamonds, etc.

DS106 is a course intended to push you out of your comfort zone with technology and ideas. So, be prepared for technology overload!


My Long Lost Best Friend

Chief sponsoring Home Depot

Thursday I ventured out to Home Depot with my puppy, Chief. We searched and collected items that I had made a list for: a painter’s tool, frog tape, putty spacula, Krud Kutter, After Wash, Citristrip Stripping Gel, wood filler, Polycrylic, and a 1 quart mixing cup.

My completed materials list from Home Depot

It was cold and snowy in Sheridan, so I decided if I was going to do anything it was going to be in the garage. I’ve found and saved a few pieces of furniture over time. I just got this little night stand on Wednesday, yay!

I was super excited to try this Citristrip stripping gel! On Home Depot’s website, this is the product description for a better idea of what exactly it is.

“Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel removes layers of paint, both latex and oil-based paint. It’s also effective at removing varnish, shellac, and epoxy in 1 step. The stripper has a pleasant citrus scent and is biodegradable. Most important is that it’s safe for indoor use.

  • Can be used on wood, metal, and masonry
  • Gel stays wet and active for up to 24 hours
  • Non-toxic
  • Non-corrosive
  • Works in 30 minutes
  • For best results, use in temperatures between 65˚ and 85˚F and away from strong breeze and hot sun
  • See label for complete instructions”

(Home Depot)

I read the directions, which was to pour the gel into an aluminum pan (I used a glass Mason jar) and to apply a generous amount on the surface with a thick paint img_0064brush. The gel didn’t smell overbearing or headache-inviting, which was nice because I had the garage door closed. I applied a layer to all 3 pieces of furniture. Since I was doing one, mind as well do them all since I was already dirty and had all the supplies out. The directions said to wait a minimum of 30 minutes up to 24 hours. After waiting a half hour, I got my putty spacula and started gently scraping the surface of the wood. I looked like peeling a facemask off your math, or peeling a sunburn (kinda gross). It came off super smooth! My first thought was why in the world did I not learn about this earlier??? Here is a picture of the aftermath of Citristrip, down to the bare wood! My next step is to put After Wash on the surface- to remove any remaining product.

Below I included pictures of the few pieces I’m going to use for my ILP. Once I scrape off any remaining product (thanks to my new BFF Citristrip), I can begin the fun part of prepping for the post-makeover!

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Project-Based Learning

Okay, let’s be honest. How many times did you find yourself zoning out in the classroom thinking about weekend plans or how to avoid the famous “head bobbing”, trying not to doze off to sleep while your teacher talked about pond water molecules? If you didn’t mentally raise your hand, nobody likes a liar.

Stanford Graduate School of Education – Stanford University

Stand Up Kids
provides a very realistic study of standing vs. sitting. “The average U.S. student is sitting at school an average of 4.5 hours a day”, not including sitting at breakfast, lunch, dinner, the bus, in front of the TV, and even sitting more at home doing homework! To me, learning is engaging cognitive abilities to their full potential, while exploring personal growth and experience.

Project-Based Learning is a simple solution to get students’ creativity pumping, and increasing the opportunity for interaction, the ability to work with others, and exploration of resources. Edutopia suggests that PBL involves:

  • Students learning knowledge to tackle realistic problemsas they would be solved in the real world
  • Increased student controlover his or her learning
  • Teachers serving as coaches and facilitatorsof inquiry and reflection
  • Students (usually, but not always) working in pairs or groups

(Barron & Darling-Hammond, 2008Thomas, 2000)

A classroom that encourages PBL looks a lot like this: 

Students are typically solving highly complex problems leading them to become managers of their own learning process, with the guidance of a teacher. With PBL, it lets educators have multiple opportunities for assessment. Students who demonstrate and apply content knowledge are essentially exhibiting a check point for understanding. PBL allows a student’s ability to apply desired skills such as exploring their strengths or enhancing them. ­­­Having said that, it enables a teacher to learn more about each student, and classroom management. Individual, group, or partner-based projects can also help a teacher understand the atmosphere of classroom management with PBL.

With such a broad style of teaching, it gives teachers a lot of room to work with in incorporating PBL in a classroom. Giving students the ability to use their personal learning process opens the door for many advantages:

  • Students who partake in project based learning for classrooms often develop a greater ability to organize and research.
  • Students are evaluated based on their projects and presentations, rather than tests and exams.
  • Students can develop their communication skills and effectively listen and pass information along to the group they work so closely with – a skill that is essential as an adult in the real world.
  • Students are encouraged to facilitate a constructive investigation of a problem in which they are fully engaged in the learning project.
  • Rubrics can allow teachers to evaluate the students based on the curriculum/common core.
  • Develop transferrable skills
  • students are encouraged to become not just passive learners and note-takers, but rather critical thinkers who are highly capable of solving real-life problems that they are likely to encounter as they grow and mature into adulthood.

(PBL SuperStore)

Possible disadvantages:

  • Potentially have poor test-taking skills.
  • Student/teacher unpreparedness and/or disorganization.
  • Time-consuming assessment.
  • Possibility of getting off track.

With advantages and disadvantages listed above, it’s very clear to have a healthy balance of PBL in a classroom. Test-taking skills are important for standardized tests and for future education, so it is needed that students regularly practice test-taking procedures. Furthermore, with so many strong advantages for PBL, it is also equally important to incorporate this style of teaching/learning as it is test-taking, to encourage creativity and student interaction!


Personal Learning Network (PLN)

Educator in Oz

As far as career growth and personal growth, this week has been a huge stepping stone for me. My agenda for the week was to join a PLN—personal learning network. A personal learning network is an informal network environment with learner interactions upon a desired topic. I focused my PLN on general elementary education tied with early childhood development. With this, I had to find 100+ people on Twitter who would be reliable, educational, and beneficial to my learning. Having said that, I was a little anxious to follow 100 more people on Twitter, since I could barely even follow all 15 or so classmates. In the process of doing this, it was a realization to me how much Twitter is used for more than just sharing how good your sandwich is or how slow traffic is. Finding 100 people to follow on Twitter relating to education is like mining—you must chip away all the crap to get to the good stuff.

I’ve learned through social media that the best (and easiest) way to lurk and checkout desired learning content is through hashtag (#). By including a hashtag in your social media posts, it can access a whole new digital world! It allows other uses to view posts incorporated with the hash tag (topic) and to spark discussions and ideas (hence: PLN). One challenge I found while searching for users dedicated towards education is the accuracy of their dedication. Some had politics and other government-related matters that I didn’t care for; I was strictly there for educational purposes only. Another challenge I faced was how often the user posted. Since I’m newly very active on Twitter, I wanted resources that I could access every time I checked my Twitter feed, besides posting new content once a month.

With discovering that Twitter is such an eye-opening source, this gives me an opportunity to collaborate and involve myself in discussions that will only add to my professional knowledge. In the Twitter share I provided, @Gary P. Lambert implies what it takes to be a good leader—a good follower, on social media!


Although finding the right Twitter users to follow, it taught me how to find the right ones to follow. I know what to look for; and that’s the same career passion that I have about education. Bloggers, teachers, administrators, homeschool teachers, all the works. The more experience and knowledge I’m available to will only better me and my career.


Furniture Makeovers


This week I did more reading than anything. I had a full-on case of the flu Thursday and Friday so my body was not up to anything that involved being vertical. In my past posts about my ILP, I had introduced the book  A Touch of Farmhouse Charm by Liz Fourez. While sipping on 7-UP and nibbling on saltine crackers, I took the opportunity to read my second book, Furniture Makeovers by Barb Blair. While reading this, I had no idea on how much I was missing! This book is extremely informational in my ILP, and I feel like it will be a guide on how to prepare my foundation on this experience.

Like Farmhouse Charm, this book also has a supplies list. With this supplies list, Blair explains how to use the tools and how to apply them. Before the content starts, Blair lists her tools used for every project-her necessities. Here is a list of the tools/materials recommended:

[the bullets indented are ones that are new to me]

  • Chalk paint
    • After wash: It’s used for cleaning and preparing a surface after “stripping.”
  • Danish oil
  • Gloves
  • Measuring cup
    • Citristrip: a natural, biodegradable stripping agent to remove layers of paint or old varnish from a piece of furniture before applying a new finish.
    • Latex paint: a water-based paint that provides great coverage.
    • Milk paint: gives an authentic finish like crackle.
    • Odorless mineral spirits: a general-purpose thinner for oil-based stains and finishes.
  • Paint trays
  • Paintbrushes
    • Polyurethane: a clear, fast drying finish used to protect both the porous wood and the painted surfaces in furniture projects.
  • Rollers
  • Shop towels
  • Stains
    • Bondo All-Purpose Putty: wood filler for repairs made on wood
    • Fiddes Wax: recommended on chalk paint and milk paint, used for a beautiful shine
  • Gorilla glue
  • Mod Podge
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Wood glue
  • Bolt cutters
  • Craft knives
  • Metal file
  • Rulers
  • Sanders (orbital and belt)
  • Wire brush
  • Clamps
  • Putty spatula
  • Compressor (for nail gun)
  • Drill
  • Overhead projector (used for tracing designs)

I have a lot of these things sitting in my garage, so this week my goal is to gather these supplies:

  • After wash
  • Citristrip
  • Polyurethane
  • Wood filling
  • Putty spatula
  • Possibly an orbital sander


With these tools, I’m excited to try and “strip” previous paints and varnishes to the few pieces of wood furniture I’ve held off for projects. YouTube will probably be my how-to guide, but I’m excited to give this process a go!


Farmhouse Charm

This week I got my books in the mail! I really like them, one is paper back, the other is a hardcover. They are sitting on my nightstand as I type. Every night before bed I’ve been reading a few pages of for about 20-30 minutes. I’ve started reading the book A Touch of Farmhouse Charm by Liz Fourez. She has a lot of creative ideas of what to make, what to recycle, and goes through each room of the house. I’ve always really liked the farmhouse theme, I think it’s very cozy and chic and fresh. This book really fits my style and the type of things and decorations I want in my future home. My mom has always had a rustic and charming personality to our home. Growing up with that, I’m following my mom’s footsteps and starting to take after her. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

Back to the book, Liz offers some ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of. She takes the reader through every room of her house, which is nice that 50% of the book is filled with pictures because I’m a more visual person—especially with DIY and crafts. Her rooms are covered as chapters in the book. She takes the reader through: the living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, office, bathroom, kid’s bedroom, and playroom. I LOVE that on the side of the page she has a materials and supplies list.

That helps a bunch! She also provides the difficulty level and her personal tips on the page. Love, love, love this book!

I reflected on the blog that I had used as a resource for the aged-copper finish, The Graphics Fairy. I got an awesome response back from her, and some useful input!

I screen shot the blog comments between Heather (blog author) and me. I went back to Home Depot for a few things and looked again for some of the recommendations she had. I spoke with the paint specialist and he said that Home Depot unfortunately doesn’t carry special paints (I didn’t even know they were special.) then he told me that Home Depot was going to get in some special paints in the future (so I will probably be stalking the paint section—hehe.) There was one product that she recommended to use—the oxidized patina. I’m about ready to order it from the company site, but I’m going to see if I can get a copper finish somewhere else in town before I place my order. This coming week I’m going to start reading the other book and possibly jotting down a supplies list for maybe a possible near-future Billings, MT trip?? Let’s see what more I learn this week 🙂


Animals, Giving, and Pizza

Know Your Memes

I am passionate about animals, helping people/giving, and pizza. Being passionate about something makes it easier to do and easier to learn. There is no dread or burden, because we look forward to it. Students tend to stray away from passion, because they are told what is okay to be passionate about. Having said that, many students have their fire for passion dimmed down, because there is “reality.” What if as educators, we encouraged passion, not put a limitation to the imagination. What if students loved to learn as much as we would like them to?

Edutopia’s Passion-Based Learning article by Ainissa Ramirez encourages that we being passion for learning back into the classroom. Ramirez explains that there are two ways to get students passionate about something.

  1. Find out what each child is innately passionate about.
  2. Be an instructor that exudes passion for the topic, and infect your students with that excitement.

Being a passion-based teacher, incorporate student interests and turn their interests into passions. Be excited and show students that it’s great to be excited about something they find interesting.


“Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.” (W.B. Yeats) When students are inspired or motivated to learn, they naturally absorb learning content. Engaged students are like a sponge—they soak up the nearest substance available to them. InformED’s online article 25 Ways to Institute Passion-Based Learning in the Classroom by Saga Briggs, there are numerous ways to encourage passion-based learning. There are a few that I feel spoke out to me. Let students share their passions. This is when students are seeking support from their teacher. Too often do we tell students what they measure up to. Positive feedback and enthusiasm is the best thing we as educators can give back to students sharing their passions. Introduce students to resources that help them exercise their passions. Feed students the opportunity to expand their knowledge and passion! Value all passions equally. No passion has a better value over another. If a student is passionate about something that you don’t find the subject being a passion (let’s say the passion is the color red), it is our moral skill to guide students, even if it is something unreasonable or silly.


Introduce the student to art—how many different shades of red there is: hot red, violet red, blood red, blush red, cheery red, deep red, etc. Introduce what emotions are ignited when red is in sight, what was the social status of red in the 17th century? Art, history, and psychology are all subjects that can be included with red. Allow for students’ passions to develop and change. With maturation, experience, and knowledge there is so much that can change. When I was 9, I wanted to be a Yellowstone National Park Ranger. At 17, I wanted to be a physical therapist. Growing up and experiencing life has made me a rich learner, more than just what is on the curriculum. Weave standards into passion-based learning. How amazing would it be if students were passionate about standards? That sounds like a wish granted from a fairy God-mother. Although not all standards are fun to teach/learn, there are many broad standards that can be tied in with some passion. Thank goodness as teachers, we get the fun part of planning how to deliver the content and exercise our personal teaching methods 🙂