on education

thoughts from a graduate student at the university of mary washington

Required Prompt: Philosophy of Giftedness


I think that I pull from a couple of different theorists’ ideas on giftedness when I picture my own idea of what giftedness is or looks like.

I believe:

  • There is a difference between giftedness and talent. (Gagne)
  • You can be gifted in something without ever having developed the talent that goes with it. But certain factors come together and act on that giftedness, and talent is developed. (Gagne)
  • There isn’t any one way to be gifted.
  • There are many areas and ways in which one can be gifted, and they can co-exist. You can be both highly intelligent and highly artistic. You can be gifted in sport. You can be book smart. (Gardner, Renzulli,Tannenbaum, Sternberg, Gagne)
  • Gifted students often display task commitment (Renzulli).
  • Gifted people are born with the predisposition to be great in one or more fields, but these gifts need to be nurtured in order for them to amount to anything.

I believe that gifted students deserve to come into the school setting and have a safe place to learn and express themselves. We owe them the same opportunity that we afford to every other student – to realize their potential. They deserve to be in classrooms with their intellectual peers and have stimulating conversations and learning environments that go above and beyond the scope and sequence of the general curriculum. They need differentiated instruction in the classroom and pull-out programs, and depending on their area of giftedness may even be served best in a magnet school setting. Because gifted students may have social and emotional needs that differ from their age peers, they should have access to group and individual sessions with a school counselor to help them with their unique needs.

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reflection – 18 February


Getting together in my task force to do the the identification simulation was great. Even though I’ve had a few classes with my group mates, I’ve never really had the opportunity to work with them on a project before. We mesh really well, and we all are, I think, largely on the same page.

Having those discussions is difficult. I liken it to being given the key to your mom’s car for the first time. You read the Driver’s Ed book and you took the test, but how does that really help you drive?! It doesn’t. Maybe if you’re at a stop sign and you need to know who has the right-of-way or if you need to interpret one of those wacky yellow signs. In theory, it’s great to be able to come together at a round table and say, “Yes! This child looks gifted!” Or maybe you’d rather all say, “Nah, I think this has some serious SPED written all over it.” By and large, our consensus on the simulation was that we couldn’t place the children in question because we didn’t have any relevant information. Sometimes, we had some good information, but it just wasn’t enough. But that draws out the question, then, when DO you have enough information? At what point will you have collected enough stuff to look at to be able to definitively say that you want to identify a child as gifted or no?

This lack of a consensus on what makes a child gifted drives me a little bananas. Funny, for someone that likes to be able to implement her own philosophies of education and management freely. I don’t want something like my humble definition of giftedness to be the barrier or golden gates to somebody’s future. In one of the articles we read for this week, the author mentioned that the identifiers for giftedness (sometimes despite a state’s definition) remain IQ and achievement tests. Okay, fine. But at our discussion tonight, we talked about the struggle we were having with putting a finger on giftedness in other arenas. Yes, we recognized that we needed more information to determine if so-and-so was a gifted musician or if so-and-so was gifted in leadership — but WHAT information do you use?! What should I be asking for?! SURELY, we can come to a consensus on that and write it down so that I know to say when looking at somebody’s file for theatre arts identification, “Oh, they don’t have this interview. Let’s get that.” I know it’s not so cut and dry. My cut and dry brain just wants it to be so.

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Reflection: 11 February


The readings for this week had me highlighting and writing in the text a lot more than I usually do. I’d say my markings were half because of “wow! I didn’t know that!” moments and half because of its importance to the topic at hand. This is truly the piece of the puzzle that makes me the most nervous: identification. Actually, that may not be true. I think the piece that makes me the MOST nervous is knowing what to do with these kids once they’re in my classroom! But next to that, I’m definitely apprehensive about being able to pick out which kids get gifted services and which don’t.

I was certainly grateful for the lecture on this topic. Like it or not, that’s how I grew up learning, and it’s where I’m most comfortable: listening to my teacher or professor and writing down what I think I need to know from what they’re saying. Sometimes, it’s really difficult for me to take a large amount of information via text and get the main points out of it. I’ll highlight things, but I may not really register what the text is trying to tell me. Being able to draw out the diagram of the identification process and hear how the process works was so, so helpful for me.

The chapter that sat the best with me (because I like things that are straightforward and regimented and labeled nicely!) was chapter 9 – basically he how-to manual for identifying gifted students. Axioms and postulates galore! I really had no experience with the gifted education realm, and I wasn’t even sure when or how kids got tested (because I thought that’s what it was – you took a test and got in or got out) and when or how you knew you were gifted. In the reading, the authors mention that an “exemplary practice” is an ongoing screening for giftedness. Does this mean you revisit everyone in your student population each year? It seems so cumbersome to do that. Or do you revisit the files that the committee marked as “has potential” or something of this nature?

I wasn’t sure what this chapter really meant by the multiple criteria smokescreen and the matrix mirage until having this conversation in class (again, thank you for all of the talking!), but now I understand. I never knew that your pass/fail score was actually a range. I also, having thought that being placed in GT meant taking and passing a test, never really considered looking at any other means until I started this course. In my mind, giftedness was very narrow – are you book smart, do you have a high IQ? Yes? Welcome to GT. It’s definitely not that simple.

While I’m sitting here thinking, another thing that really grabbed my attention from this week’s readings was in chapter 10 under the section of under-representation. Having my interest in twice exceptional students already stoked, reading a couple of “wow! no way!” sentences really got me thinking about them. I’ve often thought this – that because of their disabilities, their superior abilities may be mistaken for average and nothing special. Seeing it in writing strangely hit me like a brick. Also the sad statistic – 11.1% of students with disabilities were participating in GT programs. Big sad face. Why is this? Do they feel discouraged? Unwelcome? Are the teachers just unwilling to believe that a disabled person can also be gifted? So many questions.

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Reflection: 4 February


The cubing activity that we did on the characteristics of gifted learners was interesting. Being with a group of people I didn’t know that well made it difficult to really follow their thoughts along. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but that’s how I felt while we were doing the activity. There were also a couple of people in the group that really wanted to get their ideas out there, which made it a little harder to focus on my own thoughts about the questions. Even when it was my turn to go, I didn’t even get to answer my own question because somebody else jumped right onto it.

I do like cubing activities and found it to be very useful when I came home and tried a couple for myself. Going over all of the questions in class was helpful too. It certainly helped in synthesizing the abundance of information from all of the reading that we did for this week.

The most helpful of the assigned readings for me were the charts that compared a bright child to a gifted child. Some of the characteristics seem kind of indistinguishable to me, but I’m sure that with time I’ll hone the differences. My confidence was bolstered with the Truths and Myths activity that we did; I only got one or two wrong, which means I’m largely on the right track! Something that surprised me in that activity was that gifted students may need help with study and test taking skills. I definitely figured the opposite would be true, but looking back now, I can see how and why this would be the case. I spent much of my education being taught how to take a test (boring!).

I think that my favorite read for this week was the gifted visual-spatial learner packet. This one really hit home for me because of my autistic son. In trying to figure out how to reach him, I have spent countless hours researching the characteristics of autism (which.. I mean.. good luck, they’re all different from each other). One thing that does seem to be fairly steady among the kids lucky enough to have normal or above normal intellectual capacities is that they are very visual learners. As I kept reading on, I would highlight and star phrases and ideas that reminded me so much of my son. I guess you could say that I ended up making a distracted connection with my text, but I think that reading this piece of literature sent me down the path of researching twice exceptional students. In connecting gifted visual-spatial learners with autistic children, I found that I wanted to know more about what happens when you combine the two since they seem so similar.

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Reflections: 28 January


Studying the five theorists this last week has been a little dizzying. Some of them I know better than others because of their coverage in educational psychology courses like Gardner and Sternberg. Others, I hadn’t yet heard of. I can see merit in all of them, and taking the time to get to know their beliefs has helped me hone mine.

Something that I know about myself is that I don’t enjoy relying on other people to bring me information. Sitting in our jigsaw (or any jigsaw for that matter) makes me feel like I could be missing a major piece of the puzzle. It’s not that I don’t trust the group I work with. It has more to do with, I think, us thinking dissimilarly sometimes. I remember listening to one presentation and I wasn’t sure what to takes notes on because I completely didn’t understand what she was saying. I had to go back and read her theorist for myself. Once I saw it with my own eyes and made sense of it with my own background knowledge, it made perfect sense to me.

Gagne’s differentiation between being gifted and being talented is interesting. I think I believe this! I’ve seen people develop talent. I’ve seen it in music and in art. I’ve seen it in writing. But, can you be talented without being gifted? I say no (perhaps because of my definition of talented?), and my husband says yes. Thank goodness I’m married to somebody who will sit and have conversations about gifted learners with me on a Monday night. It makes sense to me that a person is born with some innate ability (and I love that he includes virtually all possible fields) and then various factors converge to develop a talent in that field.

I’m not sure how I feel about Renzulli’s Three-Ring Model. Yes, I believe that a variety of factors interact with each other and act upon the giftedness. But where is the talent portion? I definitely believe that you can be gifted without nurturing a talent for something. I personally knew a few gifted kids whose lives melted away into nothing because they never cultivated their passions and talents. One thing I can get on board with is the idea of task commitment. This is definitely a characteristic that I think gifted people have.

Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences have always sat well with me. Acknowledging that there are many different arenas that people can be gifted in or stronger in is kind of a no-brainer for me. The shortcoming that I do see with this theory, though, is that it is hard to put a finger on what makes a person gifted in one area. As teachers, I think we all too often mistake intense interest for giftedness, and this theory lends itself well to that. Maybe I believe in this more as a way to run my classroom and plan my lessons to fit a variety of learners than I do as a way to identify gifted students.

I’m still trying to sort out how I feel about Sternberg. This is the one that is hardest for me to wrap my head around, I think.

Tannenbaum I just don’t like. To say that children only have the potential to be gifted is doing them a disservice, I think. You’re born with a gift! It’s already there, and the potential to cultivate that talent is what exists! I also had a problem with his 8 categories of gifted people, and the idea that they have to be contributing something profound and meaningful to society in order to be truly gifted. What if nobody ever hears you sing, sees your painting, or reads your treatise? Does that mean you’re not gifted? Do you have to be seen and heard for it to count? I don’t like that.

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Reflections: Gifted Education – 14 January


I have had such  limited experience with gifted education. Truly, I’ve never been exposed to it. I had friends growing up that were in “GT” or “TAG” pull-out classes, but we never talked about what they did there. In middle and high school, I got onto the “Honors” and “AP/IB” track and to my knowledge, there were no more gifted and talented programs. They were mixed in with us common folk.

Something that sticks with me that one of my AP English teachers said in high school was this: This class, anyone can do. Anyone can be here. You don’t have to be insanely bright or have breakthrough ideas. You just have to be motivated to do the work. And it hit me at that moment. It was SO true. After all, I had never been identified as gifted, and there I was, sitting next to a couple of brainiacs doing the same work. Being in those kinds of classes is only about motivation. Do you want to read four books each semester? Do you want to spend your summer working on dialectical journals? Or would you rather sit glassy-eyed in a classroom staring at a teacher diagramming sentences for the fourth straight year? Of course the gifted kids would pick the former.

I guess it never occurred to me that their academic needs weren’t being met. I mean, if they were doing the same work I was, maybe they were insanely bored where I felt challenged. I remember one run-in in that same AP English class where a kid named Justin was just belligerent with the teacher. We were discussing Paradise Lost and he was thinking about it on a level so different than the rest of us (including the teacher) that she was writing him up for being a distraction. After the talk we had in class about how gifted students can sometimes be seen as behavior issues, I look back and wonder: was that him? I don’t think that teacher was overly concerned with meeting his needs. She was more concerned with him meeting hers.

In chapter one of Fundamentals of Gifted Education, I put a star by the paragraph that talked about the “Would, Could, Should” test: would all students want to do it, could all students do it, and should all students do it? If the answer is yes to any of them, then what you’re doing isn’t appropriate for gifted students. So, you can’t shove them in a class that differs only in motivation level of the students from the “regular” curriculum and expect that to satisfy their needs. We talked in class about how some schools will label these AP/IB courses as their gifted curriculum and not offer any additional support to students identified as gifted/talented. How is this okay? When we were told that only two cents are spent on each gifted child’s education, I was a little shocked. Surely that’s doing them and their talents a disservice.

On the top of my notes page for our first class, I wrote a question to remember for my own someday students: How do I meet your needs? How do I make sure that you aren’t being written up for divergent, higher-level opinions and outbursts of creativity? How do I challenge you? I need to learn a lot more about you, that’s for sure.

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new technologies. week eleven.



Here are some folks getting ready for their class meeting in a virtual world. 

This week, I must admit, is a hard one for me. I want to be on the forefront of all of the educational technology that’s out there, but this is where I draw the line. I will say it, loud and proud:

I absolutely do not like and will never use virtual realities in my classroom. 

Now, this is a bias I’ve carried with me since these things cropped up years ago. But after investigating them this week, I can’t say that my mind has been changed at all. I looked at the web-based virtual homeschooling site, and I wasn’t really that impressed with the demo campus tour. I could, however, see the benefits of home schooled kids collaborating with others on group projects since they don’t have that opportunity sitting around their kitchen tables with mom and pop. In this sense, when the students are cut off from others, I suppose that a virtual reality is better than nothing. Even so, they freak me out. To me, they disengage you with the actual world around you and thrust you into something make believe, and everything about that sits wrong with me. I guess I’d rather take my students on a field trip and let them talk to real scientists, see real experiments or microcosms representing what they’re learning. Be hands-on in that way.

Now, on to the thing that really, really got me going. My husband had to listen to me rant about this for at least half an hour. Ladies and gentlemen, the TED talk. Does nobody else find this kind of technology alarming and ridiculous?! And that line at the end about coming back with an IMPLANTED BRAIN DEVICE?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Just no. No, no, no. My mind is going so quickly, I’m not even sure where to begin with this. I suppose that in a nutshell, this is how I feel about the technology these people presented: It stops you from thinking. I know, I know. It’s supposed to be about expanding our horizons and giving us real-time access to information, but that’s just not how I process what’s happening in that video. Take, for example, the projection of a word cloud onto a person that you’re meeting for the first time using keywords from their blog posts, Google search results, what have you. This device is preventing you from thinking about this person. It’s telling you what to think. Its persuading and forming your opinion based on words that it chooses. And again, with it being able to pull up information for you about a book or a product, same result: you don’t have to think! It does everything for you — the research, the synthesization of information, and the end product. Who cares if the book gets 5 stars or 2 stars? If you want to read it, read it! If you want to know the most ecologically sound toilet paper to buy, look them up before you go to the store AND MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION ABOUT IT! And by the way, this lady is so wrong — I do, in fact, hop onto my iPhone and look things up while I’m standing in the store every now and then. I’ve never once in my life wished I could pull a Tom Cruise in Minority Report and look at metadata (or metacontent, if you will) moment. It seems to me that this kind of thing almost borders on encouraging groupthink, and lacks the kind of divergent thinking and critical thinking that I’m trying to instill in my students.

I understand that I’m probably in the minority in this, but that’s the beauty in designing my own classroom and my own philosophy of how this all plays out. I’m totally allowed to think this whole thing is nuts!

I suppose that, truly, my biggest beef with these virtual worlds that we’ve been exploring this week is that I feel like it’s displacing the role of the teacher and the school environment in favor of a completely simulated one with perfect conditions. I’m anti-textbook, I really am. I enjoy bringing technology into the classroom. I like using iPad apps and making Skype calls between countries or with subject matter experts. I’m in favor of authentic learning experiences. Most of the things we’ve explored in this course have piqued my interest. Just not this. I know that in the Solomon & Schrum text they talk about how these virtual “MUVEs” are supposed to create divergent thinking and offer complex, real world problems/solutions, but I’m not really buying into that for my age range. It would appear to me from reading the text that these are geared toward older students, anyway. The examples they gave of elementary grades and projects/simulations in these virtual environments still seemed to me that they used a lot of time out of the virtual world, and their end result (in my opinion) could have been reached without using the virtual world at all.

My content area is pre-k thru grade 6. My job is to teach these kids how to research and dissect information, synthesize it, begin to think critically, and come to their own conclusions. These ideas are so new to them, I want to be there to guide them through it. I want to do it together in this actual, physical world. Maybe it’s the limitations of my own mind, but I just don’t see how Second Life is going to help me do that. Also, you know, if we’re talking about me doing pre-k or kindergarten, my role is mainly to teach them socially appropriate and acceptable behavior. Yes, we’ve got content that we’re learning, but as I’ve witnessed in my kindergarten practicum placement, it really does take a backseat to teaching them to be good citizens, first and foremost. I’m not so sure that these virtual environments will be useful to me in these grade levels. If we’re going to take a virtual field trip somewhere, I want to log in to the field trip that’s being held at the real, physical place! I want a real scientist guiding me through or a real expert on botany or what have you. I’m not interested in some made-up world with cool computer graphics. Are you?

I read through several studies about education and virtual realities, and I found a few that talked about the side effects of these kinds of things, but none of it really suited me to the point of including it here. I’m talking headaches, disorientation, etc. I’m more interested in the effect using these virtual worlds has on our ability to interact in and engage with the real world, but I couldn’t find anything about that. I guess this one thought sums up why I dislike these worlds so much: “Students do many things these days in the world of virtual environments. They invent extensive and creative lives for themselves in which they play, build, interact, and explore” (Solomon & Schrum, 2010). They invent extensive and creative lives. Meaning, they’re not themselves. What’s wrong with the life they’ve got? And I can promise you the people they’re interacting with aren’t being their authentic selves, either. So they’re playing, building, interacting, and exploring in a world full of little white lies and falsities, in which, at the very base of it, their creativity is making their actual lives not good enough. They come out of these worlds feeling a little less than, I think. I want my students to build their self-confidence and explore their interests outside of a fantasyland. I want them to collaborate with the people sitting next to them, or use the class iPads to Skype with students in Beijing learning about the same topic, and they can brainstorm and work together in that way. With other real kids. In a real setting. These virtual worlds may be beneficial in learning about, I don’t know, exploding stars, but that’s not what I’m teaching to young kids. If I want them to feel like journalists, I’ll send them out to interview actual people in their communities. I’ll schedule a video chat with an author. I am absolutely confident that my classroom would not be lacking in creativity simply because I choose not to use these MUVEs.

I want you to peek into how my brain is approaching this, if only because I’ve known a few kids that have gotten too into virtual worlds, and ended up losing the self-esteem battle if you can gather what I’m saying. You’re using the homeschool website I mentioned above. You’re logging in as a student for the first time. You also happen to be 150 pounds or so overweight with acne and crooked teeth. Tell me something: is that the avatar you’d build for yourself? I bet it’s not. Already, your true self is a little less than, and for what? In the name of innovation? You walk through your virtual world, and what else are you making up? What about the people around you in your virtual world, what are they making up? So much for it being authentic. So much of what we do in school goes beyond information. And it’s equally as important, if not more so, in the lower grades. Now, I recognize that not every assignment will be done completely  in a virtual realm and that, according to our text, much still has to be done outside of that environment, but for me…. it’s just not worth it. These kids are so immersed in this kind of technology outside of school that I feel their brains need to be able to shut off from it and do a different kind of work. Actually, I wrote a small paper on it last semester — it’s called digital brain! (You can look at it here, uploaded to my google site)

And take a look at The Telegraph‘s slide show of the most anticipated video games of 2013. What do you notice about these games? Most of them are straight-up scary. All of them look like they’re set in these virtual worlds we’re building for our students. And they spend well over 4 hours a day doing this. I want to pull them out of fantasy land and engage them in the real world. Not a simulation of it.

Check out this short story — The Machine Stops, written in 1909. Funny how something written so long ago rings so true.




Forester, E. M. (1909). The machine stops . Retrieved from http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0 how-to for educators. (1st ed.). Washington, D.C.: International Society for Technology in Education.

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mini projects, take two. week ten.


The first project that I chose to do was the Google Trek activity. I got off to a bit of a rough start with this one, and it took me about 5 days to get it figured out and done. That being said, now that I understand it and can figure out what I’m doing, it’s not so bad. I decided to make my Google Trek on the 7 Wonders of the World. Oh, except this list kind of changed through history, and plus we needed 8 place markers, so, I put 8 of them. I decided that I wanted my students to start to understand how architecture can tell us about culture, money, religion, etc. Multiple literacies, and all of that.

You can find my Google Trek here. 

I find it interesting that I choose content that’s way above an elementary school kid’s head, even though that’s my endorsement area. Anyone else caught on to this?! Once upon a time, I really wanted to teach high school social studies. And then I student taught in high school social studies, and I decided immediately that it wasn’t for me. So, I’m kind of jumping at the chance to create these lessons because I haven’t in a while. Anyway. I can see Google Trek being useful in an elementary classroom as well, just not this particular trek. Dr. Seuss style, right? Oh, the places you’ll go! 

Yeah. So.

The next project I really struggled with. Not even the actual project, but the choosing of which project to do! I kept going back and forth, and I just wasn’t sure. I really wanted to try the fusion tables, but I just could not wrap my brain around it, and I was coming off of 5 solid days of trying to figure out the trek activity. I ultimately decided on the Timeline project. I chose time toast because I liked the set-up and ease of use. I also like the display of the entire timeline instead of clicking through each individual event. The content standard I chose was understanding the key events of the Civil War. I left out a lot of the battles. As a history nerd, I can tell you… these just don’t matter. Memorizing that junk doesn’t help anybody with anything unless you aim to be a subject matter expert. I think that trying to get your students to memorize battle after battle and fact after fact only dissuades them from learning about the history of this country. Make it interesting and relevant, and keep it light. If you engage them in the right way, they’ll read all about those battles anyway and pull out the information that matters. Understanding the events that led to a national war are much more important. Anyway.

You can see my timeline here.

I think that with some practice and instruction, my students could make a google trek of their own, and they can definitely use this timeline tool to help them review or better understand events spatially. Good stuff.

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mini projects, take one. week nine.


I decided to choose the Comic Life project right out of the gate. I wasn’t familiar with using this as a tool and I thought it would make me a little uncomfortable, so I decided to go for it.

I was wrong. I wasn’t uncomfortable at all.

I didn’t read any tutorials, I just started clicking around and I figured it out. I decided that since we weren’t required to align it with an SOL or anything that I’d do something I’m pretty sure nobody learns about in K-12 education. (By the way, remember how I told you my husband likes to stand behind me and watch me explore these technology tools? He likes this one a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I do too. No more coding!)

I did my comic on The Gunpowder Plot of 1605. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about? You will soon. Hopefully you’ll also memorize at least the first stanza of the catchy little poem and walk around saying it for the rest of your days. You’re welcome.







If you have trouble viewing the comic here, you can also find it on my web portfolio here. 


I think this is a pretty fantastic tool, and honestly, the possibilities are endless for using this in a classroom. Yeah, yeah, I know. Enumerate them. Weeeeelllllll… This seems to me to be a way to let kids really grasp their creativity to do a project. No more book reports! Ever! Create a comic for me! I also think they could almost be used like class meetings to bring the classroom together, too. This would be really fun to use, and I bet the kids would like it. Definitely a departure from the same-ol, same-ol.


I also chose to do the Voki assignment. I knew that creating the actual Voki would not be difficult, but I really need to get my brain working on lesson ideas, so I chose this to enable me to do that. I didn’t align it with any specific SOL, I simply designed my activity for an elementary classroom science/language arts lesson in animal biomes/habitats. You can view my end product here.

I tried to play (hopefully successfully?) to multiple levels of technology use. I laid out explicit links for the kids who might not fully understand how to navigate websites, and I also gave a single link that they would be able to click around on and find all of the information that they need for the activity.

I like the idea of talking avatars on websites that we use in the classroom. I’m sure it’s the case here as well, but in Texas we had multiple language learners in the classroom, and they all understood English better in different ways — some liked to read it, some needed to hear it, etc. I like having both options available for them, and it’s really not hard to do at all. It takes no time to put one together, especially if you add your own voice. I also had the avatar say mostly the same thing as what I had written down, but not all of it is the same. This way, they get some information via reading and some via listening.

I’m looking forward to the next two projects next week!


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shared sticky notes. week seven.


This week, we’ve been tasked with setting up a collaborative wall on padlet/Wallwisher.

I decided to set up a “Before I Die…” wall. I’m always interested to know what the hopes and goals of people are, especially my friends. So, I set up the wall and asked my friends to participate in it. Some put their names, and some decided to be anonymous. So far, I’m definitely pleasantly surprised at the responses.

You can find my wall here, and I’d love it if you’d add to it! You can remain anonymous, if you like.


I think that this would be useful in my classroom to provide feedback from students. After a lesson or a unit, they can anonymously post a sticky and tell me if they liked the lesson, if they’d change anything, or if they really didn’t understand and need more clarification or a different activity. I also think that it would work well for them to organize their ideas for writing center. They can post ideas for stories or characters onto their own personal boards, and then sign on to the computer during centers and organize their sticky notes to suit their story. Then, they can write it out with an outline of sorts, without making the old-school outline that you and I are used to.

Not too bad — it’s a little like the sticky notes function on my Mac computers. It’s an app, and I can open up sticky  notes and change note colors, fonts, font sizes, and font colors. I can even choose to make the sticky notes transparent-like or opaque. Kind of neat. That’s what this padlet activity reminded me of, and it’s a function that I’ve always enjoyed about my computers so it’s nice that other people can use something like it, too. I use it personally all of the time; I guess it never occurred to me that I can use it in a school setting. But now I know, huh?

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