Day 15: Commenting on Blogs


Day 15: Commenting on Blogs

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“The most important practice in becoming connected is dedicating time” (Donna Fry, OSSEMOOC)

We often ask our students to share their thinking and learning with others, but do we model this practice our self? I have come to learn that there are some fantastic, reflective and collaborative educators who share their thinking and learning with others through blogging – we just have to make the time and find the blogs.

I have tried a few strategies to follow blogs, but I must admit, I have not made the time to regularly read the blogs.  If you look to the right side of my blog, you will see that I share 20 blogs that I follow – if you find someone who supports, pushes or challenges your thinking, look to see who they follow to look for connections.

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On most blogs, you can sign up for to follow blogs through email so you can get notifications when a new post is made.  I had found that I was getting overwhelmed with all the email I received – and I was missing important emails so I “configured my inbox” for my gmail so that the Primary tab had my work emails, but my Updates and Promotions tabs had emails from blogs and sites that I subscribe to.

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Once you find blogs you want to follow then you need to make some time to follow them, and eventually, share some of your questions, comments, and thoughts on the blog for others to read.  By commenting on other people’s blogs, you are nurturing and encouraging others to keep sharing.  I love when I receive a comment or feedback on my blog and I ‘get’ how valuable feedback is to people, no matter how young or old.

In our 30 Days to Getting Connected, we are halfway through – we will take a break over the holidays so we don’t rush the learning, so others can catch up and so we can spend time ‘playing’ with what we have already learned.  I have learned so much by preparing these posts and commenting on feedback from others – looking forward to more in the new year.




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Day 14: Twitter as a Curation Tool


Day 14: Twitter as a Curation Tool

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On the journey to be connected, I have been following @OSSEMOOC’s 30 Days to Getting Connected, and I have been sharing my thinking and questions using my blog.  Being almost half way through (and also being on the countdown to Christmas), I realized this morning that sharing everyday was getting to be too much – maybe we needed to take a break to allow others to catch up, to spend some time reflecting on the learning we have done and to refocus in a few weeks to continue the journey.  Sometimes we need to go back before we can go forward.

I love using Twitter as a way to collect and share information for myself and others – when I retweet or share a resource, it is like I am bookmarking it so I can find it again.  Over the last few days, I have been learning about curating, I have come to realize that I don’t just want to collect resources, but I would like to curate them.

twitter curation

I need to push myself and a learner, and take that next step to sharing information – I need to find value in myself and create connections, share resources and put in perspective what I am learning and how it might help others learn.  Through my blog, I have come realize the importance of feedback from others, and I have come to value how important it is for others to share their thinking, challenge my thinking and push our thinking outside of the box.

I have connected with different educators and resources more purposefully in my journey to being connected, and it amazes me the connections that come together and overlap:


Twitter can be used for different purposes, but one that I need to spend some more time developing is following those who challenge and deepen my thinking, and taking risks in sharing my thinking and reflecting so that others can learn with me.

How can twitter be used to strengthen you PLN? How do you balance things so that you are able to not just collect, but to contribute to the PLN of others?



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Day 13: Curating with Scoop.It


Day 13: Curating with Scoop.It

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Being a learner, you need to realize that you can’t know everything, and when you have an opportunity to try something new, take it.  I’ve heard of Scoop.It before, but I have never used it.

Since this connected is all about 10 mins a day, I followed the instructions and signed myself up for

scoop it

When you first sign up, you need to pick some keywords you would like to search.  I picked Education, Leadership, Learning, and Strength Based, and the above results came back.  Since I was interested in the article on being a more effective learner, I clicked on that and liked the article.

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I shared the article  to my twitter feed, referencing where I found it and sharing it for others to learn from too.

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In just 10 minutes, I was able to try a new platform, find an article that I wanted to share, and I shared my learning with my Twitter network, and through blogging.  Now I need to continue my learning by going back to Scoop It, seeing if it something that works for me and then either using it, or using other things that I find useful.

Have you ever used Scoop it? How does it work for your curation?


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Day 12: A Deeper Look at ‘Curation’


Day 12: A Deeper Look at ‘Curation’ in Professional Practice


cu·ra·tion (kyəˈrāshən)
The subjective selection, categorization, and arrangement of content.

Basically, content curation is the process of sorting, arranging, and publishing information that already exists. When you take information that you find on the internet, and you make a pinterest board with that collected information, you are curating.  When you share information that you found on twitter, and you add your thoughts or ideas to it, you are curating.


Over the last few days, we have learned more about Twitter, Pinterest, Flipboard and building our PLNs through my blog and the OSSEMOOC blog.  We can easily  become overwhelmed with all the information available, but if you start small and spend a little time each day, you will be amazed at what you can learn.


How has your learning changed over the last few years?  How do you share what you learn from others?


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Day 11: What Do We Need From Our PLN


Day 11: What Do We Need From Our Professional Learning Network (PLN) – Connecting with FlipBoard and/or Zite

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In our journey to be connected, we can’t possibly be experts in everything.  I do think, however, it is important to learn and know about the tools available so that you can use the things that work best for you and suit your needs and the needs of those you teach and work with.

In building our PLN, there are many resources and online tools that can help you be connected.  Flipboard is another tool, like Twitter and Pinterest that can be used to follow topics you care about and learn from.

As I was doing this post, I was playing with my Flipboard, but since I don’t really understand it yet, I searched for resources and found this:


Basically, Flipboard is an online, personal magazine mobile app that can be used to follow things you are interested in and let you catch up on news you care about and stories from around the world.  You can use FlipBoard on your phone, iPad, mobile device or computer to read about current cover stories, articles and resources that are available.  If you sign into your Twitter account, Facebook or other sites you follow in your Flipboard account, it will share new articles and stories from your other platforms and keep you updated on what your friends are sharing.


I have tried Flipboard, but I have not spent enough time on it to have it be one of my go-to resources.  In doing this post and learning as I go, this is a tool that I would like to learn more about.

Have you ever used Flipboard?




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Day 10: Pinterest


Day 10: Pinterest is For More Than Just Crafts & Recipes


“It’s the world’s largest set of objects that people care about.”

Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests.  It can be used for anything – arts, crafts, cooking, design, quotes, etc…  When you ‘pin’ something, you are basically tagging it so that you can easily find the link and go to that resource or idea at a later time (it saves the picture and when you click on it, it brings you to where the item is found on the internet).

Did you know that there are a lot of educators who ‘pin’ and share things they have done, ideas and resources.  It is a place where you can save your interests in Boards to keep things organized and share with others.


If you were to look at my Pinterest Boards, you would see I love cooking & food, quotes, math, technology, school culture, critical thinking, literacy, kids and being healthy (and more). If you were to click on “Building School Culture“, you would find many resources that I have shared and saved that talk about building school culture.

I haven’t spent as much time on Pinterest lately as I would like, but when I find things that I know I want to save for later, I often ‘pin’ them so I have that quick visual and reminder when I am looking for it later.

There are many educators that I follow, who I go to when I am looking for ideas or resources:

I also follow fellow teachers, twitter friends or colleagues that I have connected with over the years.  Since there is only so much time in the day, I find that I have not been on Pinterest much in the last year. It can be very easy to go on to look for something quickly, and then an hour passes and you still haven’t found what you went looking for (but you probably found many other things you didn’t know you were looking for).  As always, it’s about balance and connectedness.

What do you use Pinterest for?  Do you have any followers you would recommend?

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Day 9: Beginning to Share Content


Day 9: Beginning to Share Content


Social bookmarking websites are sites on which Internet users share their web pages, articles, blog posts, images, and videos for others to read, use and share.  Just like you might have a bookmark folder on your computer, using sites like those listed below saves the information not only for you, but for all of your followers.

10 Most Popular Social Bookmarking Websites of 2015 
(according to Brandwatch Blog)

  1. Twitter
  2. Pinterest
  3. Linked In
  4. StumbleUpon
  5. Delicious
  6. Digg
  7. Reddit
  8. Slashdot
  9. Newsvine
  10. Scoop It

Some of these I have heard of and use regularly (Twitter, Pinterest), some of them I have tried (LinkedIn, Delicious), and some I have seen but never tried (the rest).  The thing with social bookmarking and being connected is that there are some things you will learn about and use, and there are a whole lot of other things that you may have no idea how it works or why you might use it.  Sometimes it can be overwhelming with all the choices and things available, but knowing about different platforms, and learning about them either by asking others or playing with it on your own is a good way to figure out how if these tools work for you.


One of the reasons I like twitter is that when I find an article I like or a resource, I tweet it so that 1) I can share it with others and 2) I save it for myself so I can go back and easily find the article or resource again.  Through twitter, I find resources, blogs, sharing and content that I would never find on my own.

Did you know … when you share a URL on Twitter



your twitter count (out of 140 characters) will be altered to 23 characters (it is shortened when displayed) so that you can also put words, mentions and hashtags in your tweet – I just learned that!


I haven’t spent a lot of time on Pinterest lately but I love Pinterest for the visual sharing and saving of things that I would never find on my own searching the internet.  You can use Pinterest for a wide variety of likes and topics, and if you are a visual learner I would recommend trying it.

What sites or “social bookmarking” sites do you use?  What sites would you like to learn more about or try?




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