We’ve just scratched the surface

My 5 Words? We’ve just scratched the surface!

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Preserved Light by Caillum Smith

It’s been a fun couple of weeks! I have learned so much in ETMOOC already and I know we have just scratched the surface. However, over time, glaciers that scratch the surface of the earth create breathtaking beauty!

Although I am enjoying all the tips and tools, I am really looking forward to developing relationships and becoming a better teacher. Most of this post is what I learned from the Intro and Advanced Blogging webinars and the links people posted during the chat of the webinar. I intend for it to be a used to support a group of teachers that are new to blogging along with this presentation.

Link to others in posts.

  • It is a professional courtesy.
  • The net is a net because of the links. Hyperlinking to where you got your inspiration or to give more detail establishes a chain of information for anyone to follow without creating excessively long posts.
  • It creates pingbacks so that even if you don’t comment on a post, the blogger knows you have read their post and found something of worth.

Create an about.me page–about.me/susancampo

  • A great way to establish your “brand” and provide your PLN with an easy way to find you.
  • My background image is from a family trip on an Alaskan cruise last summer.

Use Flipboard on your iPad or tablet. Sue Waters describes it here. (Scroll down…way down.)

  • I love it for combining all the streams of information.
  • It is very visual, but also allows you to interact with your PLN by commenting, retweeting, etc.
  • I like how I can also mix in my Facebook feed, where I only connect to family and close friends, without linking Facebook with my professional communities.
20130129-124354.jpgImages are very important in blog posts.
  • Seeing how blogs are presented in Flipboard, Google+ and Google Reader, I understand how important it is to have a visual to accompany your post.
  • Of course, images or other media can be the whole post. Try out this “An image in 5 words” activity to “kick start your blog”.

Easily find Creative Commons media and the meanings of all those CC licenses!

The most popular sites for images:

The most popular sites for clip art:

The most popular sites for sounds and music:

Easily create correct attributions for images you use.

  • Use Compfight either as a plugin in your WordPress blog or directly on their website. Edublogs runs a filter that prevents inappropriate image searches.
  • Also ImageCodr will create the HTML code for a very unobtrusive attribution for Flickr images. (see below)

Comment often and add some html code to comments.

  • Comment boxes do not allow for formatting. Adding some HTML code allows you to use bold, italics, etc. and to hyperlink to other pages/blogs.
  • Thanks go out to someone in the Advanced Blogging webinar who shared a link to Mrs. Yollis’ post. If the kids in Grade 2 and 3 can do it, so can we! Try it out in the comments below!

Write and learn

Between participating in the Blogging webinar with Sue Waters as part of #etmooc yesterday and a Lance King workshop today, I’ve been immersed in some great ideas lately. During the webinar, we were encouraged to blog about our learning and experiences from etmooc. Sue suggested we write for ourselves and not to worry about what our readers wanted to read. Today, Lance King’s declaration that “failure is just feedback” was a further push. “Just write,”  I said to myself. Write and learn.

I have been working with teachers as they develop class blogs and eportfolios with their students and have done some blogging but I struggle with blogging consistently. Part of what stops me from sharing my reflections is that I work with teachers and not students. I feel torn between the desire to share my struggles, insights and reflections, and the privacy of the teachers I work with. Occasionally my role as an instructional technology resource teacher, and the “board office” policies that I am to represent, conflicts with my own beliefs and/or some teachers’ perspectives.

I have admired other bloggers who are administrators or other leaders who successfully blog and respectfully manage all these factors. For example, Erin Paynter is a vice-principal in Ottawa who has very reflective, respectful posts. Shelly Wright is a high school teacher and consultant from Saskatchewan whose teaching practice and reflections are inspirational. She pushes the envelope but is honest, thoughtful and respectful.

I hope to connect with many more honest, thoughtful and respectful teachers during etmooc and beyond. And I hope to write more. Write and learn.

Blogging with Manny

I am really enjoying working with “chefmanny” on his new blog! He has so much experience and passion for his students and food.  Check out this goat cheese and roasted pepper appetizer! 

His students recently competed in the Ontario Skills Competition in Waterloo and received THIRD PLACE in Ontario! Congrats to the Turner Fenton Hospitality department.

Check out Manny’s blog at: chefmanny.edublogs.org

Rainbow Rose


This is a test post to use my iphone to post. BYOD is becoming more prevalent in our schools as we move to widespread wireless access. It’s an exciting time in education!

Storify: Technology Tools in the Classroom

MissZita and I recently had the opportunity to work with Student Success Teachers as they explored Web 2.o tools for their classrooms. These are teachers who work with students who are not always being successful in regular classrooms.  The students often work independently to complete credits.  We wanted to give the teachers a large range of tools that would support differentiation for these students. Student engagement is priority!

We decided to collaborate and build a “Storify” to bring together a large range of links, video tutorials and examples for the teachers. During the workshop, the teachers were able to not only get an overview of all the tools, but also chose two or three to explore further with our guidance.

This was the first time either of us had used this tool, but we are both impressed at how easy it was to use and the highly visual end product.  You can access our Storify on Technology Tools in the Classroom at the following link:



At my school board’s 21st Century Teaching and Learning Technologies Symposium, the keynote speaker was Dean Shareski.  By video conference from Saskatchewan, he asked us if we felt we had an ethical obligation to share. (I love the serendipity of his name and message!) If we discover a lesson, activity or idea that engages students and/or helps them be successful, makes teachers’ jobs easier or more impactful, or is just plain fun, are we ethically obligated to share?

When I was a new teacher, I was privileged to be part of a department that shared everything. We worked collaboratively in course teams to develop common lessons and evaluations while encouraging individual teaching styles in the classroom. Everyone contributed their expertise to the team and even if a teacher didn’t contribute very much because they were new to the department or were occasional teachers, we still shared because that was better for the students. I thought all departments were the same. Of course, this is not true. I know many teachers who refuse to share anything with their colleagues, who keep their binders at home in case someone takes it and copies it when they are not there.

There are many reasons, all valid, why teachers don’t share. They are fearful of criticism. They don’t feel it’s fair if they do a lot of work and someone else doesn’t. They feel they have intellectual ownership of their work and others will present it as if it were their own. Perhaps, they think some teachers are lazy if they do not develop their own lessons. However, isn’t it better that they use your excellent, engaging lessons instead of photocopying worksheet after worksheet and showing movies? What is better for the students?

I was recently part of a team of resource teachers (RT) who developed and led the rest of the RTs in a learning session. As part of that team, I helped make a PowerPoint presentation with embedded videos. Afterward, I sat down with another RT and taught her, step-by-step, how to download, trim, convert and embed video files in PowerPoint 2007 using RealPlayer. I documented those steps in a list and then sent it to the rest of my team members. When one of the RTs on the team asked me to share these instructions with all the RTs on our shared workspace website, I hesitated because I was worried about the legality of encouraging people to download clips. I was also fearful of criticism in case I had made an error or someone could not follow the instructions.

Sharesky helped me to see why I should “put it out there”. So, I have added a section in my instructions to help teachers find videos people have shared in the Creative Commons that are copyright free and have since posted the instructions for all teachers in my board. I have also been inspired to create this blog and have attached these instructions to this post. Please feel free to take these instructions to use, modify, or even pass off as your own work. If you find anything unclear or incorrect, or you know an easier way to embed video, please let me know in the comments. I would love it if you help me make my instructions better! I’ve also attached introductory instructions for Prezi, Exploratree, Voicethread, and Gapminder.

We all access information online. None of it would be there if people did not share. Before I start working on something—anything—I always see what’s “out there” first.  Why reinvent the wheel?

What do you think? Do we have an ethical obligation to share?

Instructions to embed videos in PowerPoint

Prezi instructions                  Intro to Voicethreads                      

Instructions for Exploreatree                   Intro to Gapminder