Using Time to Save Time: How much is too much?

My name is Martha, and I am an on-again off-again follower of ed tech gurus through online forums and social media.

I wish I could tell you that once I find a forum I like, I follow it religiously, but that would be a bit of an exaggeration. You see, I know forums, blogs, and twitter feeds are good resources, but who has the time to stay up-to-date?  While the authors are writing all these great time saving tips, I am consuming time and being consumed by ideas as I try and stay current on my feeds.

So, I decided I had to let the thousands of unread tweets and posts that are filling my twitter feed and forum tab die an unread death.

I’m starting from a clean slate and moving forward…but with a slightly smaller scope.

Here are my 5 must follows:

The Gooru for all things Googly (This one I follow through email.)

MakeUseOf for a wide range of techie things (This one I follow through email and facebook.)

Cult of Mac for all things Apply (This one I follow on facebook.)

Wicked Decent Learning or @WickedDecent for some wicked cool ideas on teaching and learning (This one I follow on twitter.)

Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher for a tech integration in education (This one I follow on twitter.)

Who are your must follows? Do you follow them through an email forum, tweet deck, facebook, or some other reader or social media? Leave your ideas and suggestions for PD through online sources.


School Day Gratitudes

I have a friend that has beaten cancer. Let’s just pause and rejoice about that – since we are all touched by the “c word” sometime in our lives. Each day, during treatment and since, she has posted to Facebook about the things in life for which she is grateful. Her goal was three items each day, but she almost always comes up with more. This lady is an amazingly positive influence in my life, and I’d like to try and emulate her gracious and life-affirming way of looking at challenges. So, I am posting to Facebook – yes, Facebook – each school day with one gratitude. Yes, I said one. As my friend is an author and has a way with words, I cannot hope to live up to her example in quantity…and probably not in quality…although I hope someone enjoys it.

I will not be copying all of the posts here, but I thought I might post the first few.

School Day #1 Gratitude:

Back at it. I am so grateful for the ability to be involved in education. This is year 33, and I still love my job. So each morning before I go to work I will post 1 thing I am grateful for. Thanks for your wonderful example, Sue Thibodeau Baumgardner

School year day 1 gratitude: I woke up on time. This is something I have nightmares about…seriously!

Jim Compton's photo.

School Day #3 Gratitude 

What, I missed Day #2? Ok, well here are two:
1. My husband brought me flowers for the first day of school. Sunflowers “symbolize adoration, loyalty and longevity,” according to 25 years of marriage and 32 years in education – good choice, honey! I adore you.
2. I found a great resource for helping kids revisit study skills. This internet scavenger hunt has three different levels and is a good introductory activity to discuss some digital citizenship and classroom management techniques as an aside to the study skills. You know, two birds, one stone….

So, having said that, I WILL post to FB every school day, and I will try and post to this blog every week during the school year.
Have a wonderful year, everyone!!

Visual Literacy

My last post dealt with infographics. That is one type of image that students will come across as they navigate on the web. What else is out there that we should be preparing our students to recognize? Here are 10 sites (articles, lists of resources, tools) to help you teach visual literacy:

Have fun exploring!






Infographics are very popular in media today; they show information in a unique, interesting, informative way. There are many sites that allow you to create infographics, like, and some have a database of infographics, like Daily Infographic. THIS IS NOT a site to send students to! But there are some really interesting infographics there for you to look at and choose to use with your students.

Here is one example of an infographic:

The World as 100 People

How could you use this in your classroom? What other types of infographics would you like to see?

Elementary Technology and Literacy

General Literacy/Technology Resources

Maine Open Educational Resources (OER) Resources for ELA

MLTI Minute  – 131 One Minute Videos

Diigo – Collect and Organize Information from Websites – More than a bookmarking tool!!

National Children’s Literacy Website

Five Criteria for Evaluating Websites

One Period or Less Activities for Upper Elementary:

Technology Tools:

Publishing Student Work: