All posts by slm508sjs

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

My VoiceThread is about Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Many administrators are debating whether or not they want to have their own BYOD policy in their schools. In order to completely understand the topic, they need to research the possible advantages and disadvantages, as well as, brainstorm solutions to potential problems that may occur if the policy is implemented. BYOD can be beneficial to instructional use in the classroom, but students may not always be fully engaged.

View my VoiceThread here, and learn about the pros and cons in implementing BYOD into your classroom!


Animoto Digital Product Video Tool

Animoto is a digital video tool I came across for the first time in my sophomore year of college. When I had the opportunity to review and create a digital product with the tool, I jumped at the chance. Animoto is a great tool that allows users to use pictures, videos, music, and text to create instructional videos that can be used in the classroom.

Teachers and students can access Animoto and create videos that are going to allow for creativity and innovation. Teachers can use Animoto to introduce a unit and get students engaged in what they are going to be learning. Students can use Animoto to create videos that will introduce a topic they have been researching.

The digital product I created using Animoto, which can be located by clicking here, allows 4th-5th grade students to view a motivational and engaging video about Chinese culture before a lesson would begin. The intended purpose of this video is to get students thinking about Chinese culture and how it compares and contrasts with American culture. This video would be shown during a culture unit in the media center and folktales from different cultures would be read to help students see the similarities and differences between different cultures.

After the lesson, students could brainstorm and create their own Animoto videos showing the similarities and differences between American and Chinese culture and share with the rest of the class as a final project.

You can also view the Animoto digital project by clicking on this link-

The Effectiveness of Classroom Blogs: Elementary, Middle, & High School

Blog 1: Mr. Geiman’s Language Arts Class- Elementary Blog (4th Grade)-

The purpose of this blog is to share information that has been happening in Mr. Geiman’s classroom, as well as, sharing the different blog challenges for the Student Blog Challenge. Mr. Geiman created this blog partially because his class was entering a blog challenge and this was the place where students could go to read the guidelines for the next challenge. There are several posts about the challenges, but also about events that have occurred throughout the year. Basically, this blog is serving as a way for students, teachers, parents, etc. to stay involved in what Mr. Geiman’s class is doing throughout the year.

Post 1: Last Week of 2015-2016!!!!-

The idea of this post is to show how much the students have accomplished over the school year with their blogging and all the hard work they had to do in order to make it to the end. This post serves to share with students and parents how successful the students have been over the school year with their writing for the Student Blog Challenge and is in a way, a congratulatory post. It is letting the students know their hard work has paid off and they have grown throughout the course of the year. The post is very effective because it showcases how beneficial blogging can be and that students should not “silence their voices”, but instead share their assignments and thoughts.

Post 2: Reflecting: What A Year!!!-

The purpose of this post is to have the students reflect on their school year through the use of a blog post. The teacher gives students some questions they can reflect upon, but encourages them to add any other questions they may have while writing. This post is effective because it is allowing students to think about their ups and downs over the year and delve deeper into more questions they may have of their own. The questions the teacher asks are also very beneficial because they make the students really think about how they have grown and how they want to keep growing.

Younger students may not have the chance to create blogs on their own, which is why it is important for teachers to create classroom blogs. Sharing experiences and joining in challenges is a great way to keep students involved and it never hurts to start them off by doing this when they are young. This will give the students to chance to grow and become better aware of how important blogging can be, for when they need to create a digital footprint, and will already have an idea of how to do this because of the blogging they started when they were younger.

Blog 2: Write Out Loud- Middle School (6th Grade)-

The purpose of this blog is to post different assignments that students are to complete throughout the year. There are various assignments, some of them being for all students and some being for either girls or boys. Either way, all of the students are given clear directions and are asked to write something about the assignment that has been shared. Some of the posts make students reflect on previous experiences and some of them have students use their imagination and create stories or new ideas. Within this blog, students are given a chance to express themselves and create thought out work.

Post 1: Judging a Book by Its Cover-

In this post, the students are expected to look at the given image and answer the questions that are at the very end. The purpose is to get students to understand that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. This is very effective because after the students have viewed the image, the follow-up questions allow the students to ponder their own thoughts and think about the books they have previously read. Students can begin to think if they have ever judged a book by its cover and what they think the book should have been titled instead.

Post 2: Your Ideal Bookshelf-

Students are asked to think about the books they have read over the year and decide on which three they have enjoyed the most and why they would be placed on their “ideal bookshelf”. Students are given the chance to process and think about each book they have read and really reflect on why they liked/disliked each book. Therefore, allowing them to decide which books they enjoyed the most. I think this post and assignment is very effective because it allows students to think back on every book they have read over the year and choose which ones they liked best. This may end up giving them something to talk about with their parents as well because they could recommend the book and give a short book talk.

This middle school blog allows students to grow and learn to express their ideas through various assignments. The teacher is giving the students a way to constantly check-in with the blog and is getting them used to the idea of how a blog works. At this age, students should learn about their digital footprints and any work they create from these types of assignments could go on their own blog, which would be a great start to a digital footprint.

Blog 3: Mrs. Scales’ Room- High School (9th Grade)-

The purpose of this blog is to share assignments and events that have occurred within Mrs. Scales’ English classroom throughout the year. She is also able to reach out to future high school students and start getting them ready by reading blog posts during the summer. There are many photos on this blog that highlight the events that have happened, such as National Poetry month and the black out poems the students created. Along with assignments, Mrs. Scales is also able to review material and prepare students for any upcoming tests they may have.

Post 1: Postcards-

The purpose of this post is to get students ready for the upcoming school year and to keep them engaged by having them read over the summer. Students are given the chance to earn extra credit points if they read over the summer. The important part of this post is that the teacher is specifically telling students to keep checking in with the blog because she will be giving them more information about the extra credit assignment as school comes closer. She even mentions for students to become active with Twitter because that is another avenue where she will be giving them information. This is a very effective way to get students to participate in activities and follow along with the blog page. An incentive of extra credit is always a positive reinforcement of getting students to do more activities as well!

Post 2: Poetry Introduction-

This post is a great place for students to come back to if they ever need to study and review different ideas related to poetry. In creating this post, the teacher has given the students somewhere they can access all the important information they will need to know about for future reference. Introducing a subject on the classroom blog page is also a way to get students to read the blog because they will need to know the information related to the subject, in this case, poetry. Students can effectively check back to this post whenever they need to help them with any assignment that relates to poetry. They are given vocabulary words and forms of poetry for this unit that can be shown on this blog post.

One of the many wonderful things about this particular blog is that the teacher puts up reviews and information about different units, which gives students a place to look at when they need to refresh their memories. A lot of the information is very detailed and serves as a great place for students to come back too at any time. The teacher was able to keep up with this blog and add assignments for students to complete as well. A high school blog can be very effective because it starts to prepare students for college, with all the more in-depth assignments they are going to start having to do. It is also beneficial because high school classroom blogs are focused on one subject, which allows students to focus on that subject when they decide to browse through the blog. They will not have to worry about multiple subjects.

Wrapping everything up…

Since my ideal goal is to work in a high school, I would use a blog to help students keep track of assignments they had due for class. I also think it would be a good idea to have students respond to the assignments on a blog they had created for themselves. This way, they would begin to create a professional digital footprint with their work being shared. The assignments students complete would be a great way to open teachers up to the idea of trying to incorporate blogs into their classrooms. I could get feedback on how effective the blog is to students and share that feedback with other teachers. I could also share the work students have created on their blogs and let teachers see the educational value of how their assignments can be viewed by potential employers in the future. Each week I could send examples of student assignments to teacher emails to show them the great work they are producing and how that work is accessible to employers. These classroom blogs would be great to also share at conferences and start getting more and more students prepared for the next step after high school. My classroom blog could be shared as the basis for which students were creating their own assignments on their own blogs.

Overall, it is important to start using blogs in an educational setting. Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide stated in one of their blog posts, “Blogs can promote critical and analytical thinking.” When I got to college and I was expected to start critically analyzing my work, I was at a loss. I did not feel confident in this area at all from my high school education. Blogs allow students to process their thoughts and analyze the assignments they are given. The blogs are a space where students can write out their thoughts and begin to really express how they feel about subjects. If I had been given the chance and knowledge to create my own blog, I feel I would have had a better understanding when I was given the task of analyzing in college. Blogs are great when it comes to learning, growing, and understanding how you truly feel about a subject.


Eide, Fernette, and Brock Eide. “Eide Neurolearning Blog.” : Brain of the Blogger. Blogger, 02 Mar. 2005. Web. 16 June 2016.

“Mr. Geiman’s Language Arts Class.” Mr Geimans Language Arts Class. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 June 2016.

“Mrs. Scales’ Room.” Mrs Scales Room RSS. Edublogs, 2016. Web. 16 June 2016.

“Write Out Loud.” Write Out Loud. Word Press, n.d. Web. 16 June 2016.

Librarian Blogs: New and Endless Possibilities

Blogging is a new adventure for me, but I have been searching through library blogs and have decided on three that I would like to review and reflect on the effectiveness of each blog. Below you will read about three library blogs and the purpose of each one.

Blog 1: The Adventures of Library Girl-

The purpose of this library blog is to provide useful information about how school librarians can help students want to read and learn more about the world. Through the wise words of “Library Girl”, this blog also shares information for school librarians on how to create a welcoming library, gain the trust of students, and to have them want to come into the library and read. There are posts that also share challenge winners from school contests, conference reflections, and presentations of workshop ideas.

Post 1: Finding the “Bigger Vision” in Your Work-

The importance of this particular post is how one librarian can change the world. The post begins with a story that the librarian then has to rewrite. The main goal is for the ending of each story to have a moral of how a person’s overall goal should be about the big picture. A librarian’s big picture goal is to change the world by helping one student at a time. Although there may be other obstacles on the way to achieving the big picture, a librarian should always strive toward the overall goal. Not only did this post focus on the moral of the stories, but how to actually achieve the big picture. The post focused on a librarian could show they were trying to change the world if someone were to simply glance into the media center. Each idea discussed in this post reflects on hard a librarian must work to create a better world for students, by focusing on the big picture rather than the small details.

Post 2: Let’s Share Book Displays That Matter!-

In this post, the importance of library space and the use of book displays are discussed. The way space is covered in the library shares how important others should view the library when they visit. This post allows other school librarians or anyone interested enough to read this blog, to share their ideas of great book displays they showcase or have seen in libraries. “Library Girl” asks various questions that help a school librarian really think about why they are showcasing the book displays and how they are going to reflect a positive learning environment for students. At the end of this post, there are book display ideas being shared, which create an effective “use of space” on this blog post. The pictures allow readers to picture how a book display could effectively take up space and encourage students to read more often.

Post 3: #30secondbooktalk Challenge! It’s On! (Like Donkey Kong!)-

First, I would like to mention how student/(kid)-friendly the title of this post sounds. It sounds like a title that would draw students in and something they would want to read. This post shares the directions for the beginning of a challenge that is going to allow students, teachers, and administrators to vote on which teacher they believe has given the best book talk in each round, until only one winner remains. Not only is this a fun challenge but also students get to hear their teachers talk about their favorite books and why they enjoy them. The purpose of this challenge is to encourage students to read some of the great selections teachers have book talked. The videos of the book talks are even linked to this post, which make it simple for the students to find and vote. The post is very effective because it allows students to use Twitter to vote and to leave comments about the challenge on this blog. It is also effective because students are given a chance to participate in an exciting challenge AND learn about different books they may not have heard before, hopefully enticing them to read the ones that interest them the most.

The benefit of this blog is that it helps future school librarians get ideas to create a better library. There are so many lessons and goals that can be strived for and this blog effectively gives each person the chance to create that perfect library. The main idea is to get students to read and venture into the library and these ideas from “Library Girl” are a great start to making this happen.

Blog 2: Mighty Little Librarian-

The main purpose of this blog is to share the “Mighty Little Librarian’s” thoughts and achievements that occur within the school and library. This acts as more of a personal blog that focuses on positive aspects of what is occurring in the school and library. Each post varies, depending on something the “Might Little Librarian” decides to share her thoughts on. I think this makes a great reflective blog because there is room for discussion and thoughts on some of the ideas this librarian has used in her library.

Post 1: My Breakout EDU Obsession-

The beginning of this post talks about a conference the librarian went too and how she learned ideas that she could incorporate into her own library. She became very enthusiastic about the new game she had learned about and wanted to have her students play as soon as possible. The game was called BreakoutEDU and students were expected to problem solve and collaborate with other classmates in order to figure out clues to open the locks to a box. Even though this is not something specifically relating to the media center, I think the idea of having students work together is great. It was also discussed how it was difficult for the librarian not to give the students the answers or tell them when they had missed a clue. I think this goes along with being able to listen and observe as a librarian, so we can then learn about our students and understand the types of books they may like. The post was effective in that it shared a new approach to getting students to work together while having a fun time in the process.

Post 2: Winter Book Challenge-

This post shares a reading challenge that is going to be a fresh start to the New Year. The description for the challenge is presented in the beginning of the blog post and the actual challenge is shared last with a picture. The “Mighty Little Librarian” shares her own thoughts about book challenges and how it will allow students to read out of their comfort zones and read a broader range of books. This is a new challenge than I have seen before and adds to my ever-growing ideas for my future librarian career. Each book in the challenge must fit into a specific category. This post is very effective because it shares a new idea that will allow students to read numerous books and branch out into other genres they may not have known they were interested in until the challenge.

Post 3: Operation Weed and Genrefy-

The focus of this post is to share, not only how important weeding of books is, but how time-consuming the process can be. It is also a worthwhile process because the remaining books in the section that has been weeded will be the best ones for students to continue checking out. The section will probably also end up being more organized, as you can see from the multiple pictures the “Mighty Little Librarian” shared in this post. The librarian documented her steps along the way to weeding her fiction section. I think by including pictures, she is allowing other librarians and even students to see the hard work that needs to go into weeding and selecting the best books to keep in the section. She also took the time to genrefy the books and put them into sections that best fit their topics. This post is very effective because it shows how these processes need to be done, even if they are time-consuming. The overall end result will be wonderful for the library and students.

The “Mighty Little Librarian” shares her thoughts and ideas about her school and library that can help other librarian’s create new plans for their own libraries. Each post is dedicated to promoting a great library atmosphere that will encourage students to grow, learn, and read.

Blog 3: The Daring Librarian-

The main purpose of this blog is to share engaging ideas that will create a better library and place where students will want to come. The different posts go through extensive processes of each idea the “Daring Librarian” has used and her failures and achievements with each. The way she ends up solving any failures and the next step with achievements is also an important aspect of this blog. The post is also very student friendly and has many animated diagrams that would seem to draw students into reading more posts.

Post 1: Got Charge? Inside My BYOD Charging Lockers-

This post is very extensive and shares how the “Daring Librarian” tested out a new idea she had thought of to try and get more students to come into the library. Since many schools are starting to use the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, the librarian came up with the idea to have a charging station in the library, where the students could charge their devices and read while they waited for them to charge. What a great way to get students off of their devices for a while and sit down to read a good book. Of course there were obstacles along the way, but the “Daring Librarian” shared each step of how she overcame the obstacles and worked to make her idea better.

Post 2: NEW Google Image Search Save-

This posts serves to explain a new technology feature the librarian found and wanted to share with anyone reading her blog. It is also something she plans on sharing with other teachers and students, but the blog allows other readers to learn and access the new feature as well. The “Daring Librarian” explains how to search on Google images and save those certain searches. However, as there usually is, there are bound to be some issues. But no worry, the “Daring Librarian” shares her thoughts on the idea and how she has worked to fix the problems. She shares examples on how to navigate the Google search and save feature. This post is effective because it shares a new technology feature that can be used for research papers or presentations that many people may not have known about.

Post 3: A Shockingly Private Blog Post About Social Media-

Shockingly, this post is about social media. The “Daring Librarian” is all about creating a positive digital footprint and posting nothing that is private or too personal. She shares both good and bad examples of something that may be tweeted or shared on social media accounts. The post is very effective in showing how unprofessional comments on social media can look bad in the eyes of future employers. Even if you choose to re-tweet or like a comment, it reflects back onto you. This post helps students understand that while social media can be useful when used professionally, it can be a hazard if used in the wrong way. Her message is to make sure you are only sharing what you would want a future employer to see if they were going to be searching through your social media.

The “Daring Librarian” writes blog posts that want the best for students. Any way to create a better learning environment is one of her main goals. She shares ideas in student-friendly language and has numerous pictures and animations to go alongside her thoughts and ideas. Each post is vibrant and colorful and the personality of the librarian really shows through. Most of all, the librarian is willing to go through multiple failures to reach the best success she can to help her students.

And Finally…

As an overall summing up of all the library blogs I have viewed, I would love to begin a library blog once I am working in the school system as a librarian. There are so many new ideas I have viewed, just from the three blogs described above. I cannot imagine the other ideas I will be able to find when I search other librarian blogs. In order to incorporate blogging into my future school library, I would share the already established blogs with teachers and even students and then brainstorm their ideas on what they might want me to include in a blog. This could potentially allow teachers and students to understand how important blogs can be to share information and possibly lead them to create their own blogs. I would make everyone in the school building aware of my library blog through email and announcements. The library blog could reach out to the community and invite people to read about what is happening in the school and library. My library blog would help with professional development because it would provide numerous examples of how to create a better and more positive library environment.

“Over the succeeding weeks, my blog became my journal, my family newsletter, my therapy session, my creative release, and my photo album”. This quote by Carie Windham enlightens us as to how important a blog can be. In the educational setting of a library, a blog can be used for numerous ideas. Book challenges, new technology ideas, personal favorite books, personal opinions on a subject, the list can go on and on. The purpose of a blog is that is can reflect any idea that comes to mind and share new ideas with anyone that is informed about the blog. There are so many discussions that can be had in any comment section of a blog that can allow the blogger and reader to bounce ideas off of one another and create more and more ideas than there originally were from the first post. Making students and teachers aware of the possibilities of a blog can only help to create a better learning environment for students.

Resources Used:

“Mighty Little Librarian | Librarian Tiff’s Blog.” Mighty Little Librarian. Word Press, 2016. Web. 15 June 2016.

“The Adventures of Library Girl.” The Adventures of Library Girl. Blogger, n.d. Web. 15 June 2016.

“The Daring Librarian.” The Daring Librarian. Blogger, n.d. Web. 15 June 2016.

Windham, Carie. “Reflecting, Writing, and Responding: Reasons Students Blog.” Guide to Blogging. Eli Discovery Tools, 2007. Web. 15 June 2016.