Amy Dent Digital Portfolio EDIM 510

I am an educator with a diverse background in education, performing arts, and technology. I taught music education in grades K-8 for nine years before acquiring a Masters in Education with an emphasis in technology. Currently, I am a Digital Learning Coach at the middle school level in an Expeditionary Learning School (EL). I provide support for students and teachers in a 1:1 iPad environment while working with educators to use digital assessment to guide instruction. I carry a large digital toolbox to spark creativity and collaboration among students. I strive to stay current with the fast pace of innovative techniques consuming the classroom. I am a lifelong learner and look forward to what technology innovation can do for education in the 22nd century.

Web 2.0 Intro

I had an A-ha moment after reading the Asselin and Moayeri article where they outline the importance of developing new literacies. I had not considered the concept of technology instruction as a true literacy or its essential function in a digital students development. “Web 2.0 applications are associated with empowerment…” (Asselin & Moayeri, 2011) speaks volumes to the importance of teachers taking the time to actually teach digital literacy instead of the “figure it out” method. I am in a 1:1 iPad environment and all too often teachers take for granted the ability level of digital students in this smart device infused world. I learned that teachers need remediation in digital literacy skills in order to properly provide the instruction and exposure to a participatory web. (Web 2.0 Framework, 2007) I cannot expect a students to instantly understand and navigate online feedback and editing. It took me years to develop a comfort level for online annotations and commenting. I have to put forth the same time in effort into exposing my students to those literacy skills in order to reach that level of empowerment. (Asselin & Moayeri, 2011) I agree that we need to develop new literacy skills, with a emphasis on professional online behavior and contributing new information and experiences to the web.

Kathy Schrock’s, Creating with Online Tools video, gave me insight into the SAMR, TECH, and digital Bloom’s pedagogy in a linear format (2015). I found the overarching theme to all of these methods of technology integration was student innovation. No matter the pedagogical model, if teachers are striving for the highest level of student learning, then the student’s are driving the learning, being innovative in their thinking, and creating something groundbreaking and new. I did find myself pondering what real SAMR redefinition work should look and sound like in a classroom of digital learners. In my experience, teachers label the students level of learning at redefinition because the student is creating something new. What we fail to take into consideration is the voice and choice the students are given to engineer this new product. Am I really at the redefinition level if everyone in the room is creating a video, no matter the creation tool chosen? I also continue to struggle with grading work at the redefinition level. If I use a rubric, the clarity of the student expectations can be vague in order to encapsulate all the projects students can create to show learning. Despite the struggles, this revisit to the different models helped me to see that I am working in the transformation levels of digital integration.

Asselin, M., & Moayeri, M. (June 2011). The Participatory Classroom: Web 2.0 in the Classroom. Literacy Learning: the Middle Years, 19(2), i-vii.

Galagan, P. (n.d.). Burp, Chatter, Tweet: New Sounds in the Classroom. Retrieved March 11, 2017.

Media, C. (n.d.). Introduction to the SAMR Model. Retrieved March 11, 2017, from

Schrock, K. (Producer). (2015). Creating with online tools [Video file]. Retrieved March 11, 2017, from

Episode 1: Dent's Digital Diner

I love podcast! I have several favorites I listen to, This American Life, The Moth, Serial, Reply All, 99% Invisible. I’m not sure why I have never thought of subscribing to an education podcast before and until this assignment, never really noticed I had no podcast of this genre. I am sad to say I have never created a podcast despite enjoying learning through listening. Creating my own podcast was engaging and a true learning experience. I checked out the websites and creators of some of my favorite podcast and learned about their process, background and equipment they use to produce a podcast. I found This American Life making radio section most useful for equipment to use on a podcast and StoryCorps and The Moth were great resources for students on storytelling. Side note: StoryCorps has a great app to create your own story contribution.

Screenshot of Tellagami website

Through this process I realized why I don’t create podcast, too many takes! My desktop screen was filled with saved audio copies titled Take 1, Take 8, and in the end, Take 16. I realize I could have thrown it into Garageband but I was looking to stay true to the process and sound conversational. I did some creative editing and recorded it in Quicktime on the computer. I setup my iPad to play the Tellagami voice; my phone cued up to play the intro music, and recorded it all in one take holding the different devices up to the microphone on the computer. I chose to script it via bullet points so I wouldn’t sound like I was reading. In the end I still had a few hesitations or hiccups in my script but didn’t feel it deflected from the overall message. This was fun learning and has my ideas brewing for the annual 7th grade veterans project. I think we might record the audio stories instead of video projects this time.

Podcast music: Steady Groove / Soundzabound / Soundzabound Royalty Free Music,

Blog Finds

The Discovery Educator Network (DEN) blog is a local hangout for myself since my district is a Streaming and Techbook subscriber. I have been in the DEN for 10 years and find the DEN blog my news for all things Discovery. Though some might consider the DEN blog bias, as it promotes specific Discovery tools and features, it uses the platform of a community to support all teachers with digital media integration. I like this blogs format and newspaper vibe makes it easy to navigate and read. Unlike the other blogs I read for this assignment, the DEN does have comments that are less critical in nature add more cheer and validation for posts.

Discovery Educators Network-

Tools, tools, tools! That is what I enjoyed about the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog. This blog is very hefty and well organized. Multiple posts per day led me to believe this site had multiple contributors. I searched around for names on each post and was only able to find the editor and blog owner, Med Kharbach. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning may have different contributors working for Mr. Kharbach, I just could not find that evidence. This blog is targeted toward educators but I feel as if anyone interested in technology might find the lists and reviews helpful. This site did not look to be open for commenting and the writing style was informational and less opinion based.

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning-

Lisa Neilsen: The Innovative Educator had very current technology infused social issues. The Fake news post was enlightening. I read her bio and ashamed to say I have never heard her name or blog. Many of her influences are people I encounter online and at conferences (Chris Lehmann, Vicki Davis) but somehow over looked her contributions. Ms. Neilsen’s audience is educators of all subjects and locals. This blog, like many of the others had no comments. Glad this blog was in the list to investigate. I like her facts, resources embedded within posts, and her forward philosophy. Her views and writing stretches my thinking and I like that. I will be back to this blog.

The Innovative Educator-

Despite the primary audience being librarians, the Daring Librarian's blog is chocked full of fun, practical ideas for educators and students. I have read the Daring Librarian's blog over the years and though it looks a little outdated, it is not a dull read. The Instagram post was full of visual examples. I appreciated her creativity in many of her writings but wanted to bring along spell check in some of the older posts. She only posts once a month on average making it seem like a manageable blog for a busy educator. The Daring Librarian was the eclectic one in my blog selections. The writing felt more casual, personable and seemed to fit even young readers looking for good books to devour.

Daring Librarian-

I was disappointed in my selections lack of outside comments. I always looked at the concept of blogging as a platform for conversation and constructive criticism, as well as, news and information. With no public commenting, the blog is simply a public piece of writing. If I were to consider blogging as a student's writing platform, there are two elements that need deciding before publishing, are students using the blog platform as simply a public display or is the student looking for feedback from a wider range of people. Neither is wrong in their pursuit of high quality student work, just an element to be understood when assigning the blog writing task. Educators who offer the option of blogging allow for students to make connections with their world, using the tools of their world, for their world. I’m all for that!

FEED your Brain!

When I reflected on the information and resources I consume online, I realized blogs and online news outlets are not the bulk of my source of learning. Why was that? I sit at a computer 40% of my workweek, using digital tools all day long, at work and home, and literally have a tiny computer in my pocket everywhere I go (cellphone). So, where am I getting my facts and information?

The A-ha moment came when I was searching for digital breakout tools after a tweet from @louiseleach810 and realized I use aggregated materials more than I know.

Feedly app for iOS devices- Free

(enter Feedly)…..Where was Feedly three weeks ago when I started EDIM510?! I read blogs but not on a regular bases and now I know why. I had no good way of capturing all these amazing resources for later use. Before the introduction to Feedly and its functions, I had bookmarked everyone’s blog the old fashion way, the bookmarks bar. I am all for kicking it old school but aggregates change the game so everyone can play, especially those that fall behind due to lack organization or time constraints. I am a podcast and YouTube fan, enjoying favorite videos, storytellers, reporters and entertainers with a simple click of the subscribe button. I get email updates when new episodes or videos are uploaded reminding me to download or zoom over and check things out. Feedly is doing the same thing for blogs, that subscription buttons on podcasts, YouTube channels, or Pinterest pins are providing for me, currently.

For students, rss aggregation cuts the fat, so to speak. Not only will aggregation collect all the resources needed for students, it also allows the student to find and sort quality digital resources. My students have their own school issued iPad and most of the classroom resources are in digital format. I can see students using Feedly, or a similar aggregation tool, to collect online resources quickly in the beginning stages of a research project. Initially, sorting for current resources, then for quality with a more critical eye using The 5 W’s evaluation or CRAAP test. I utilize the collaboration features of Google Apps with students frequently and the Feedly Teams feature would be a great way to extend the collaboration when collecting resources. Students or teachers could flag articles or posts to highlight current versions of topics for class discussion or Socratic seminar. I did an experiment to see if an aggregation tools could be added to a student filtered device and unfortunately, they are blocked due to the potential inappropriate comments and unrestricted web access. That aside, aggregation has its place, especially in our digital learner filled classrooms. For teachers, having the capability to quickly accumulate current, online resources for students to consume in their work, is a good practice for digital leaders.

I look forward to seeing what interesting, informative, and thought provoking blog posts find their way into my aggregate… to FEED my learning.

Bonus edition….After investigating the Feedly online tool I went hunting for more rss feed aggregates, in hopes that I could find one that would keep all my personal learning and connections in one place. In my research I found TweetDeck. I am an admitted Twitter slacker who lurks and rarely posts. That is primarily because it is so overwhelming. TweetDeck has helped me sort Twitter into categories for my immediate needs. I even made two columns just for EDIM 510, one for the course hashtag and another with everyone’s handle. Check it out if you struggle with Twitter.

Critical Evaluation of Resources

Several years ago a colleague introduced me to the CRAPP test of critical evaluation. I co-teach with my media specialist during research and copyright portions of projects for teachers daring to venture into the use of digital research tools, and have found the CRAAP acronym perfect for the silly middle school attitude. Students tend to remember the measures used in the CRAAP test and it covers all the crucial areas of evaluation needed for any resource used for research; currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose. I chose to highlight the CRAAP approach in my assignment because of its high level of recall among students, as well as, its correlation to the 5 W’s method of evaluation. Cross referencing the two methods, the CRAAP test and 5 W’s of evaluation, I found that the key questions students needed to ask about a resource were included in both approaches. In my personal teaching and survey results this week, I have found instilling a sense of ethics and ownership of digital work, is the hardest area of critical evaluation for students to grasp. Giving students the importance of “why” we cite and evaluate resources needs to be intentionally taught and modeled in teaching materials used in the classroom. Including a work cited slide with online articles I read and citing the Discovery Education images is a exemplar for students to reference in their own work.

Though my readings and study this week on Creative Commons, I decided to approach copyright with students from the perspective of their own work. Students struggle creating personal work, supported by high quality evidence, without stealing the efforts of others because technology has provided an enormous body of resources to weed through, in a copy, paste, create, digital platform that makes it simple to turn others into “mine”, in seconds. I have never taught Creative Commons license for evaluation of resources or students work projects. I feel as if I ask students to copyright their own work with a Creative Commons license they will attach a value and importance to their own work, giving them a greater understanding of how to research, create, and share without stealing. Maybe if students see the legal terms of adding a CC license to personal creations, the quality of work and effort will rise to a higher level. I also reconsidered my own creative commons license on my web page this week. Slide 35 of Creative Commons in the Classroom (Woolley, 2008) had me thinking about letting go of my work. I do not like the thought of my work being static or stuck in a particular place in time. I put my work out in the world to see it grow and get better. I hope more educators can have a sharing mindset and watch their great ideas become valuable to others.

Woolley, M. (2008, October 09). Creative Commons in the Classroom. Retrieved April 2, 2017, from

Sneak Peek

Image below was created in Thinglink and it is a sneak peek to my first digital breakout. Checkout the hyperlinked image HERE. Stay tuned for more!

image created in Thinglink for the What's the WiFi Password? digital breakout

Adobe Spark Video tool

This is a tutorial for my CREW that have chosen the topic of deforestation to take a stand against. This tutorial gives students a few terms and tips to investigate as they begin the research process on deforestation and how they, as a CREW, can take a stand. This research is part of our 2017 eighth grade expedition, Take A Stand.

Web 2.0 Presentation tools

Read the latest reflection of two, easy to use, presentation tools for students and teachers, at Dent's Digital Diner. Thinglink and Adobe Spark video can make beautiful student presentations that are highly engaging and deeply reflective of their learning.

Text + Graphics = INFOGRAPHICS

Using infographics is a great way to combine informative text and visual graphics to tell a story or inform your audience. Using infographics to represent timelines is an innovative way for students to visually capture and sequence events in history, science processes, and organize thoughts during brainstorming. I have been using Google Apps for Education (GAFE) for two years and I have never thought of using the photo storage as an option for a timeline. This is a fantastic idea for students! Using Google photos in this form, allows a visually clean timeline that can be shared with the teacher for evaluation, peers during collaboration, or with the world, broadening the authentic audience for student’s work. The process of creating the album was simple and editing the order and text can be done by students as young as Kindergarten. A Canva infographic is also represented below. This is an example of how students might use Google Photos to collect, brainstorm, and collaborate on a timeline before putting it in a more graphic design format, such as the Canva example. Both Google Photos and Canva work well alone or in combination as creation tools for student timelines.

Using Canva Infographic layout to display a timeline.
page 2
Using Google Draw to represent statistical data

Blog Post Viewing of Effective Video Messages

I actually surveyed a few students after asking them to watch the video in order to get a correct perspective. I have condensed their views and perceptions, as well as, offered my thoughts on the videos from the student view.

Screen Time

vs. Screen Purpose

The audience for this PSA are parents presented from the perspective of a student or child. Most of the video is filmed and edited by myself with a few Discovery Education and Creative Commons Flickr images with voice over added. The voice over allowed me to ask the audience questions to think about during the video and report data from a 2015 national college survey on mobile devices and education, to support the use of devices of young students. My video is asking parents to monitor the purpose of being in front of a screen and not track device usage, or screen time, for their child.

Created By
Amy Dent


photos by Amy Dent

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