A Case for End-of-Year Portfolios

I am a big believer in portfolios, especially writing portfolios. But, like teachers everywhere, I never have enough time to teach everything I think my students need. It is tempting to skip the end-of-semester portfolio. We already did the writing once. Why should we do it again? I know it takes time, but I don’t skip […]

Take Your Lessons Online with HyperDocs and Multimedia Text Sets

What I’m Thinking About… Over the last couple of years, I ‘ve been experimenting with the “blended” classroom. This means some instruction is face to face and some instruction is online. Even though my school still does not have a 1:1 program, we have Chromebook carts, iPad carts, and computer labs. This means I can […]

copyright symbol on a keyboard

Who Owns This Work? An Overview of Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons

How Do I Copyright My Own Work? According to the United States Copyright Office (2012) document “Copyright Basics,” an original work enjoys copyright protections from the time of its creation. There is no need to register it with any government office (p. 1).  The work does not need to be published. Simply put, if you made […]

Use List.ly for Interactive, Collaborative Book Lists!

Trying out @listly for my #SocialMedia class at @SJSUiSchool: Adventure Reads for Junior High https://t.co/h0j4dmNBhn @Jen_Jumba #edtechchat — Amy McMillan (@amyjmcmillan) July 2, 2016 Here’s a recent library school assignment: Try out a social media tool, one you’ve never used before. Make a Prezi with a voice over to explain how the tool works and […]

Writing for Authentic Audiences #5: Multimedia Compositions

This year I tried an experiment: Instead of asking for traditional essays at the end of our final two units, I asked my students to create multimedia compositions. They still had to draft scripts to outline what they wanted to say or show. They still had to meet specific standards-based requirements. BUT their final products could […]

Writing for Authentic Audiences #4: Blog Ahead!

What is a blog anyway? In a world of Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Google Sites, Wix, Weebly, Twitter and Pinterest, where do blogs fit in? Here’s my own working definition: A blog— Is written using web-based tools. Contains several entries organized in reverse chronological order. Is based on EITHER writer interests or some kind of central theme. […]