Blogging Challenge


Our blogging challenge will provide an opportunity for you to build your technology skills and to share your passion in education with the world. In the spirit of collaboration, this semester the blogging challenge will be completed by students taking Jessica Brogley’s Teaching 4020 Educational Media Applications at University Wisconsin Platteville and from Jennifer Armstrong’s EDTD 3011 Instructional Technology Course at Georgia Regents University. In addition to creating your blog, you will be following the blogs of fellow bloggers.

Please know that your blog is something that can propel you into multiple collaborative opportunities and even employment. Treat your blog with enthusiasm and care. You can pick your platform for you blog. Really, they all do about the same thing, so you could seek out preference by experimenting or asking on Twitter. Here are some options (listed in the order of my personal preference):

You might want to ask instructors in your major or minor if they have a preference for you down the road. You can snoop at the Edublogs awards to see excellent examples for folks in education. When you select the URL for your blog, think about how it sounds when you say it. Will you have to spell it out? Does it sound like anything else that could confuse others? For example, mine is Almost every time I say it, I have to include “no dot after Mrs.” After you sign up, be sure to add your blog URL to our shared Googledoc. If you change it later, so what. That’s what tinkering is all about. After you make your blog, it’s time to start following the weekly challenges and following other bloggers. Move at your own pace.


As a reminder, in addition to completing the posting challenges on your blog, make sure to follow the blogs of the people in your group. More will be explained later as your blogs develop.

This assignment meets the following ISTE Standards – Teachers

Model digital age work and learning

Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society.

a. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations
b. Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation

Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility

Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices.

a. Advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources
c. Promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information

Engage in professional growth and leadership

Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.

a. Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning
b. Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others
c. Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning
d. Contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community

Here are our blogs for the Spring 2016 Semester.


Step 1: Customizing it.

Make your blog look like like a template and more like something that represents you as a professional. Note, I wrote professional. Remember, you’re writing for the WORLD, not me. Requirements:

  • Change your title
  • Change your theme
  • Learn how to add it a feedjit map so you can track visitors. If you can’t get that feedjit to work, try this one.
  • If possible, link to your Twitter and Google+ profiles.
  • Create an “About Me” page (suggestions below):

Interests and goals
Reasons for wanting to be a teacher

Consider also including a photograph of yourself, but of course, make sure it’s a wise decision that reflects you.

Keep in mind that grammar does count. Consider finding an editor buddy or seek assistance from the writing center. I make typos in all of my posts, so I write a draft early, let it sit, and look at it later. Sometimes I read my posts backwards. Lastly, I read my posts again after I publish them. Even then, I’ll still catch a typo. Heck, I catch typos a week later. Sure, they happen, but make a concerted effort to get rid of them.


Step 2: Connect Your Social Media Presence

Since you are emerging as a Connected Educator, it’s important to showcase your PLN development. There’s no doubt that your future employer will be concerned that you’re a teacher that understands the value of being a connected educator and that you can do it in a way that’s professional, collaborative, and complementary. Some of you may have already connected your social media accounts to your blog. If so, you’re probably done with this post. If not, now is the time. Do ONE of the following tasks:

  • Connect your Twitter and Google+ profiles to your blog so visitors can easily click on those words and be transported to the respective profiles. If you choose to connect more, that’s your choice. These clickable words should be on the side of your blog, not in a post.
  • Feed in your Twitter and/or Google+ posts as a running visual
  • Connect your Twitter and Google+ profiles using the tool. This is probably my favorite way to connect because it’s quickly replaced the business card. I can simply include my link in my signature line of my email and colleagues can connect with me in a variety of ways. Check out Mrs. Brogley’s for a sample.

Once you get the hang of, consider making an widget, if your blog allows for that widget.

Here’s how to make a clickable widget (to make a clickable link to your Google+ profile):


Step 3: Categories? What?!Unnamed image

Blogs are supposed to have categories. They’re like tags that help you filter out posts down the road. For example, this year I needed to know what blog posts I’ve written about geocaching. Because I categorized my posts and made a “geocaching” category, I could easily pull up all my posts for the past six years. Here’s a well-known blog that really needs categories for searching purposes. Plus, when your posts all say “uncategorized” that looks bad… Trust me, it’s much easier to handle this now rather than two years from now.

So for your post make sure to add categories. You can and probably will have multiple categories for each post.

Post One: First Post.

Here you go! Your first post. Usually, the first post is goals for the blog, the year, or your profession. Here are some options:

  • What are your goals for the semester?
  • What do you plan on using the blog for?
  • Why do you want to be a teacher?

Before you post, your blog will ask you to pick a category or tag. These are very helpful, and you should set these up early. Basically, it indexes your posts.


Post Two: Technology Integration Goals.

Integrating technology can be a daunting task. There’s so much to know! Just think of how much you’ve experienced in three weeks. Many teachers create action plans outlining what they want to accomplish. Putting goals in writing and in public creates a greater sense of drive. PICK ONE OPTION BELOW.

  • Write about a piece of technology that you would like to try this semester. Explain.
  • Write about consideration teachers must consider when integrating technology. Create, say, five things teachers need to consider. Think of the past four weeks.
  • Write about how technology integration has changed since your elementary school years. Explain what you suppose has spurred these changes.
  • Write about the oldest piece of technology you can find. Take a photo. Include the photo in your post. Explain how that technology has evolved.


Post Three: Creating Your Own Graphics

IMG_20140925_092813One of the many beauties of apps and web 2.0 tools is that there are so many resources to create your own graphics. Take a photo of anything blog appropriate — think creatively! Edit that photo using any of the many free editing tools available. Consider changing filters, adding frames, et cetera. There’s a lot you can do!

Here are some of my favorite free photo editing tools:


I noticed my phone also has photo editing built right in. Very cool stuff. By opening your mind to creating your own original work, you’ll free yourself from many of the copyright restrictions that teachers have to follow. Plus, your creations will have a great impact on your students. Remember, creation is at the top of Bloom’s Taxonomy!

After you upload a photo, describe your thought process behind the editing.

Here’s my picture from this morning. Okay, the original is just a plain shot on a cloudy Sunday afternoon. Now it tells a story, right?!!


Post Four: Things That Make you go “Hmmmm…”

In all of your courses, you’re learning new information, skills, and trends in education. In this post, pick something you’re learning about that is overfilling your mental cup.20141104_090854

  1. Explain where you’re learning “it” and what “it” is.
  2. Explain the impact “it” is having on education.
  3. Discuss why teachers should care.
  4. Ask questions about “it.”
  5. Direct where can we learn more about “it.”



Post Five: Technology Models

Two popular models for Educational Technology are TPack and SAMR. Choose one of the models to research. Find 3 resources about your chosen model. The resources could be websites, blog post, videos, journal articles, infographics, etc. Describe how the model you have chosen will or will not impact your practice in teaching


Post Six: Guest Blogger

Surprise! This is a post you do not have to write yourself. For this challenge find a guest blogger to post on your blog. The guest blogger could be one of your classmates, a teacher, someone in  your PLN, a friend, etc. In your post, you’ll introduce them, and then turn it over to them. Here’s a guest blog post I requested years ago.


Post Seven and Post Eight:

Choose 2 of the topics below to write post on.

Post Option A: Communication and Collaboration

In our digital world there are many tools that may be used to foster classroom communication and collaboration. Spend some time learning about communication and collaboration tools. The livebinder is a good resource for finding tools though you may use other sources. After your research choose a communication and collaboration tool. Briefly describe what the tool does, and explain how it could be used in a classroom.


Make sure to include a link to the tool you chose.

Let your reader know if the tool is free or if there is a fee.

Include a tutorial to how to use the tool if applicable.

Collaboration LiveBinder


Post Option B: Tools for the Flipped Classroom

For this post look at tools and strategies appropriate for teaching in the flipped classroom. Spend some time researching the flipped classroom. Choose 2 tools that would help a teacher flip the classroom. Briefly describe what the tool does and why it would be useful to a teacher flipping their classroom.


Post Option C: Tools for Formative Assessment

Choose one of the tools listed below or a tools or another tool for formative assessment. Briefly describe what the tool does, and explain how it could be used in a classroom. In addition find a tutorial for the tool and post the tutorial link.


Post Option D: Google Add-Ons

Explore one of the add-ons in google spreadsheets or google documents.  Create a post in which you explain the add-on and share how an an educator could use the tool with students and/or as a professional tool. After your initial post, respond to at least 2 of your classmates post. Your response post should be an additional idea for how the tool could be used or you may share a similar tool with additional applications to those shared by  your classmate.


Post Nine: Things I’ve learned from fellow bloggers


Over the course of the semester you have followed other bloggers in your class. What are the top 3 best things you have learned from these blogs?  Make sure to name specific names of where you learned the topics and also link to the individual blog post.

*All three memorable things should not come from the same blog.