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A Publication of the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning










A Culture

of Collaboration

IN THIS ISSUE WeCollabrify: FREE Collabrified Apps That Support Synchronous Collaboration 2015 MACUL Conference Info Google Groups: A Tool to Civilly Discuss Controversial Issues



Problem Solving



For All Ages



For information on how LEGO® Education solutions can turn your classroom into a dynamic environment where students take an engaged, active role in their education, contact: Ivery Toussant, Jr. • LEGO Education • 877-647-0043 •


The MACUL Journal is published four times per year (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer) by MACUL, the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning, Inc. MACUL OFFICE 520 S. Creyts Road Lansing, MI 48917


Telephone 517.882.1403 Fax 517.882.2362 E-mail:







A publication of the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning Spring 2015 | Volume 35, Issue 3

Executive Director Mark Smith


Executive Assistant Ieva Kule

Calendar........................................................................................................... 4 MACUL Officers and Board of Directors............................................................ 5

Business Manager Barbara Surtman

Special Interest Group Directors....................................................................... 5

MACUL Journal Editor Judy Paxton

From the President’s Desk................................................................................ 6 From the Executive Director.............................................................................. 6

Executive Director Emeritus Ric Wiltse

Students, Our Best Advocates.......................................................................... 7 WeCollabrify: FREE Collabrified Apps That Support Synchronous Collaboration.................................................................. 8

Become a MACUL member for free at membership, or sign up to become a Friend of MACUL for $20/year and have the MACUL Journal print version mailed to you. The MACUL Journal digital version is available at

Professional Development Without Leaving Home........................................... 15

The MACUL Journal welcomes and encourages letters, articles, suggestions, and contributions from readers. Publishing guidelines are posted at: > MACUL Journal.

Collaborative Context for 21st Century Learning............................................. 18

2015 MACUL Conference Info.......................................................................16

MACUL Conference Photo Contest.................................................................. 19

All editorial items and advertising inquiries should be sent to: Judy Paxton, Editor 231.342.4801 E-mail:

More Than Magic R: Creating a Culture of Collaboration in a 1:1 iPad Clasroom.............................................................. 20 Collaborating with Skype................................................................................ 22

Composition and design by: Jonathan Guinn Rogers Printing, Inc. 3350 Main St. Ravenna, MI 49451 Telephone 800.622.5591

WIKISPACES: A Tool for Teacher-Librarian Collaboration................................. 23 Collaborating and Connecting with Others Using GoogleDocs.......................... 24

Information is available upon request.

Collaborating Remotely: 2 Tools to Expand Your Clasroom............................... 26

Portions of the MACUL Journal may be reprinted with permission as long as the source is clearly acknowledged.

iMazing Apple iMovie Field Trip....................................................................... 27

Opinions expressed in the Journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent MACUL.

Google Groups: A Tool to Civilly Discuss Controversial Issues......................... 28

Publication of items in the MACUL Journal does not imply endorsement by MACUL.

Personal Learning Networks for Librarians (part 2)......................................... 29 REMC Association of Michigan: A Culture of Collaboration.............................. 30

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2014 - 2015

February 2015

Igniting Learning Through Meaningful Collaboration And Innovation Founded 1975 An organizational member of The International Society for Technology in Education

Theme: Reading in the Digital Age

p rovide a state association for educators involved with, or seeking knowledge of, computer-related technology in learning ■ provide for the sharing and exchanging of ideas, techniques, materials, and procedures for the use of computerrelated technology through conferences, publications and support services ■ promote and encourage effective, ethical and equitable use of computerrelated technology in learning ■ encourage and support research relating to the use of computer-related technology in learning. ■

February 17 MACUL Board meeting, MACUL Office, Lansing

March 2015

March 18-20 MACUL Conference, Detroit, MI: A Culture of Collaboration

April 2015

April 17 Mobile Learning Conference, Kalamazoo RESA

Registration opens Feb 17

MACUL is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that exists to:

February 9 MACUL Journal 2015 Summer issue articles due.

April 21 MACUL Board meeting, MACUL Office, Lansing

May 2015

May 1 MACUL UP Conference, Kingsford

Registration opens March 1

May 17-19 MACUL Leadership Retreat, Grand Rapids May 22 MACUL Journal 2015 Fall issue articles due.

Theme: New Frontiers

June 2015

June 28 – July 1 ISTE 2015 conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Use the online digital MACUL Journal

E-mail address:

Download the complete PDF, or access the online Journal from the MACUL website. These formats give the reader direct access to live resource links in the articles. Website:


Share the MACUL Journal with your colleagues!

Spring 2015




Tammy Maginity President Pennfield Schools

Ron Madison Treasurer Flint Community Schools

Melinda Waffle SIG Liason Calhoun ISD

Kevin Clark President Elect Berrien RESA

Gina Loveless Secretary Calhoun ISD

Pamela Moore SIG Computer Science (CS) Eastern Michigan University

Pam Shoemaker Past President Walled Lake Consolidated Schools

MACUL BOARD OF DIRECTORS Laura Cummings Oakland Schools Laura.Cummings@

Mike Oswalt Calhoun ISD

Tim Davis Charlevoix-Emmet ISD

Mary Pinter Fraser Public Schools

Steve Dickie Divine Child High School dickie@

David Prindle Byron Center Public Schools

Terri Gustafson Michigan State University

Matinga Ragatz Grand Ledge Public Schools

Susan Hardin Macomb ISD

Steve Schiller Muskegon Heights Public Schools

Patti Harju St. Stephen Catholic School

Barbara Fardell MDE Liaison

Ron Houtman Kent ISD

Sue Schwartz REMCAM Liaison

Julie Myrmel

John Phillips SIG Elementary Education (EE) Battle Creek Public Schools Eric Strommer SIG Multi-media (MM) Flint Community Schools Erica Trowbridge SIG Library Media Specialists (LIB) Oakridge Public Schools Danielle Letter SIG Online Learning (OL) Genesee ISD David Noller SIG Professional Learning (PL) Traverse City Public Schools Gayle Underwood SIG Special Education (SPED) Allegan AESA Jeff Trudell SIG Technology Coordinators (TC) Wyandotte Public Schools Daryl Tilley SIG Technicians (TECH) Ingham ISD Ben Rimes SIG Webmasters (WEB) Mattawan Schools Go to > Special Interest Groups for complete listing of SIG Officers and SIG information.

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I Double Dog Dare You... Listen and Learn presentation. If you’d rather follow along on your own device while the presenter takes you through a site or project, attend a Participate and Share session. Maybe you would like to take part in the conversation and share what you know as you listen to others on a specific topic, then go to an Engage and Connect session. If you like to hear all sides of a topic from different people, attend a Panel Session. Don’t forget to visit the Spark Session room where you can hear quick 20-minute presentations from people using a tool or technology in a way that may “spark” your teaching.

Chances are good that as you read this, you are attending the 2015 MACUL Conference or strategizing your plan of attack for when you arrive. Whether you are going in person or wishing you were there, the opportunities for learning are plentiful! So I “double dog dare you” to learn something new and give it a try. There are many new things at this year’s conference. First, I think everyone will be impressed with the renovation of the COBO Center in Detroit. Although it is not completely done, it is absolutely beautiful and puts the facility in a class of its own. Because of the added spaces, we are going to have an EdCamp style event, a Maker Space, Spark sessions room, and an afternoon reception following the last session on Thursday in the Atrium Area. The conference will feature some new and traditional types of sessions as well. Using the conference app, you can read all about them and create a schedule to help guide you through your days. If you want to sit back and soak up information, attend a

to the Conference Chair Kevin Clark, Executive Director Mark Smith, the MACUL Board, Staff, and SIGS as well as conference staff, sponsors, and volunteers. It takes a dedicated team of hard-working people to make this all come together.

But wait, my “double dog dare” is for those of you not attending the conference as well. You can download the conference app to see what is going on and follow along via social media such as Twitter and Instagram. Simply follow the #MACUL15 hashtag, and join in the fun!

I also want to thank you in advance for accepting my dare and seeing what new and wonderful things you can learn that will take your teaching and learning to an extraordinary new level. Ready, Set, Learn!

Finally, I want to thank all of those people who make our conference such an awesome event. Thank you so much

Tammy Maginity is the Director of Technology at Pennfield Schools and the MACUL Board President for 2014-15. She can be reached at

Dynamic Collaboration


Ahhh, Collaboration; the term we all hear and use every day! Do we all model collaboration in our school buildings, PLNs, PLCs, with colleagues, design teams, etc.? How do you know if you are a true collaborator or just spend a lot of time in similar meetings with a lot of the same people on a regular basis? For me, I like to talk about collaboration as the 21st Century soft skill that brings stakeholders together smoothly and seamlessly. How does that align with your definition or your experiences? As we get ready for MACUL’s 2015 Annual Conference, I am glad to say I have found great inspiration though many MACUL members just in conversation, networking, connecting and sharing ideas. I am also glad to say that often times I find this to be the best form of collaboration. It is my hope that MACUL 2015 in Detroit will present you opportunities to collaborate and maybe more importantly the chance to grow your perspective on this dynamic skill that so many of us talk about today! 6


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Students, Our Best Advocates By Terri Gustafson and Pam Shoemaker

Each year, over twenty teams from around the state participate in the AT&T/MACUL Student Technology Showcase, an event held at the State of Michigan Capitol. It is an opportunity for teachers and students to present to lawmakers the importance of technology integration into the classroom through projects designed and created by students at all levels of K-12 education. The event is also a chance for teams move about the rotunda of the Capitol, exploring the presentations of students from other districts, growing their digital literacy knowledge, and discovering the possibilities of other technology integrations into school projects and curriculum. There are a few districts that have sent teams to the showcase year after year. Novi Woods Elementary School, Erie Elementary School in the Chippewa Valley School District, and Deerfield Elementary School in Novi Public Schools have all brought teams to the Capitol the past four years. We asked the team leaders to share their thoughts regarding why they participate and how the showcase has benefited their students. Myla Lee, from Novi Community Schools, has brought teams to the Capitol as a teacher and in her current role as a Project-based Learning Specialist with Technology Integration. Myla cites many benefits to students. Attending this event gives students a “voice past their classrooms,” an opportunity to connect with other student technology leaders, and the experience to see first-hand how they can advocate for what they believe in. In addition, Myla reflects, “For our student leaders who are chosen to represent our class, the student technology showcase becomes a culminating event to demonstrate their ability to collaborate and problem solve.” For herself, the event is an opportunity to make contacts with leaders from other schools, see other examples of effective technology integration in the classroom, and talk to policy makers about the importance of technology in the classroom. Myla’s teams have showcased projects spanning topics like using wikis, web pages, and mobile devices for global projects, using a “digital backpack,” and blogging to an authentic audience. One of the student groups that she worked with followed up their experience at the Capitol by creating a web page to advocate for technology in the classroom and to showcase their work online (http://stdnt4tech.

Lake Shore High School students with Tim Hall, Project Director, Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant (TRIG)

House of Representatives Hugh Crawford intern, Aaron Martinez, awards certificates to students

Also from Novi Community Schools, Janis Canady, a Library Media Specialist, has brought teams from Novi Woods Elementary School to showcase presentations created with technology that demonstrate what they learned on Constitution Day about how laws were created over 200 years ago. Another year her students shared how their writing skills improved as a result of a persuasive blogging project. Janis finds it rewarding to bring students to the AT&T/MACUL Student Technology Showcase to “watch my students unfold a project from creation to presentation.” She states that her students practice speaking skills so that they can explain to their state legislators how they use technology to help them learn, resulting in an increase

STUDENTS continued on page 30 MACUL journal


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Explaining a project to Senator Kowall

WeCollabrify: FREE Collabrified Apps That Support Synchronous Collaboration By Cathie Norris, Elliot Soloway Jennifer Auten, Ronda Duran, Kimberly Lee, Sr. Rebecca Mierendorf, Cheryl Zuzo



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ABSTRACT: K-12 educators are being called on to support students in developing collaboration skills. In this article we describe the WeCollabrify suite of free, collabrified apps and how they can and are being used in K-12 classrooms to support students developing into collaborative learners. INTRODUCTION: SUPPORT FOR SYNCHRONOUS COLLABORATION “Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.” Common Core State Standards (CCSS) – College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening The above is not just one of the standards… it is one of the ANCHOR standards. It is core to the core! It underpins all the other standards!

1 We are renaming all the apps in the WeCollabrify suite; in Feb 2015 look for: Co-Write, Co-Map, Co-KWL, Co-Sketch. 2 We are rewriting the WeCollabrify apps in HTML5. By April 2015 all the apps will be able to run on any device: Chromebooks, iPads, Android tablets, MacBooks, Windows Phone 8 devices, Windows laptops! |

In our everyday “analog” world, we are quite accustomed to working synchronously with others; two heads are better than one in solving a problem! Finally, in the digital world, the technology is strong enough – networks are robust and devices are ubiquitous – to enable us to work together synchronously, to feed off each other’s ideas, and invent something that is the product of our joint effort.

In a collaborative conversation, as the participants work to solve the problem at hand, invariably questions and disagreements arise.

To address the need to support teachers in helping their students develop collaboration skills, we have created a suite of “collabrified” productivity apps – available at no cost – that can be used across grades and across subject areas. By “collabrified” we mean that the app supports two or more students, working together, simultaneously cocreating, while each student is on his or her own computing device (e.g., an iPad). And, students need not necessarily be co-located: rather than sitting face-to-face around a black, sink-based science table, each student in the collaboration group could be sitting at his or her kitchen table – all the while verbally talking to each other through their computing device (e.g., an iPad) using VoIP (Voice over IP). • WeWrite+1 - This app supports students in co-authoring textbased documents. While the Google Docs Editor, the Grand Daddy of collabrified text editors is geared to the secondary grades, WeWrite+ is being consciously designed for grades 1-6. • WeMap – This app supports students co-creating concept maps. • WeKWL – This app supports students co-developing KWL charts. • WeSketch+ - This app supports students co-authoring drawings and animations. All these apps work on iOS and Android devices; indeed, each app interoperates, e.g., three students could be in a collaborative session using WeWrite+, with two students on iPads and one student on an Android tablet2. So far, these tools have been used in 1st, 2nd, 7th and 8th grades – in science, social studies, language arts, and math. The second half of this article was written by teachers from those grades, and provides concrete examples of how the WeCollabrify tool suite has been used in Michigan and California classrooms!

MACUL journal

Let’s now talk about some the key components of collaboration: 1. SYNCHRONOUS COLLABORATION VS ASYNCHRONOUS COLLABORATION Web 2.0 was all about supporting ASYNCHRONOUS collaboration, where an individual posted a comment (e.g., in SMS, in Facebook, in Flickr) and another person responded with a posted comment. In Social 3.0, the next turn of the technology crank, there will be support for SYNCHRONOUS collaboration: two or more individuals working together, co-authoring an artifact, in real-time.

In Section 2, classroom teachers tell stories of how their children work synchronously coauthoring/co-creating using the WeCollabrify apps.

2. COLLABORATION IS NOT EQUAL TO COOPERATION! In the vernacular, we often use the terms collaboration and cooperation interchangeably. But, in education, we need to be more careful. • Collaboration: working together to develop a shared understanding • Cooperation: working together, helping each other, to do a task Collaboration has a cognitive goal; cooperation is about working to accomplish a task. At the end of a collaborative activity, when all the parties walk away, each individual walks away with the same, shared, common understanding. In contrast, after a cooperative activity, the task is completed, but there is not necessarily a cognitive impact. 3. LEARNING IS IN THE CONVERSATION. In a collaborative conversation, as the participants work to solve the problem at hand, invariably questions and disagreements arise. It is precisely as collaborators address questions and resolve disagreements that learning takes place. In talking with Sr. Rebecca’s 7th and 8th grade science students, they identified two benefits of collaborative conversations: • A student’s ideas become clarified during the conversation • Students gets new ideas from their peers during the conversation And the artifacts that the students co-create using the WeCollabrify apps, play a critical role in those collaborative conversations: the artifacts serve to concretize, to reify, the conversation. In effect, the artifacts are both the drivers of the collaborative conversation and the residue of the conversation.

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4. FACE-TO-FACE SYNCHRONOUS COLLABORATION VS NON CO-LOCATED SYNCHRONOUS COLLABORATION Every learner has had the following experience: working on homework at the kitchen table/in a bedroom, and hitting a big snag: confusion, a misunderstanding. For example, how frustrating is it to watch a Khan Academy video or a flipped-classroom video for the 3rd time and STILL not “get it” – and still not understand? While WeCollabrify apps are great for face-to-face support in the classroom, their real potential is to support synchronous collaboration when the collaborators are not co-located, are not face-to-face. Its 8:30pm, you are sitting at your family’s kitchen table, the test is tomorrow, and you are confused about how the water cycle really works. Using VoIP on the mobile device, call a friend on Google Hangouts, jump into WeMap together, and create a concept map that lays out the water cycle process. Learn together; it works!

independent. But how do we go about supporting students when we are managing a whole classroom of students? When using WeMap, how can we monitor and assist every child in connecting to their small collaborative group at the same time? Voila! My colleagues and I have created and use “direction cards” to guide our 1st graders in connecting to their collaborative group. We have found that providing each child with a simple, easy to follow set of directions works well – and helps the children to feel independent!

With apps like those in WeCollabrify, one never has to learn alone again. (Oh, for those using Khan Academy videos, check out YesWeKahn3 on the Android Play Store; watch a Khan video with a friend or two while talking AND while drawing/writing/concept mapping!) CLASSROOM USE OF THE WECOLLABRIFY APPS Coming up next you will hear from teachers who have actually been using the WeCollabrify apps in their classrooms. Here are some stats, noted by our collaborating teachers: • 1:1 – Each child in the classroom has his or her own device. Two children on one device might sound like two collaborating children, but in fact, whoever has the device “wins” – whoever has the device controls the conversation, controls the learning. What the teachers have told us is this: with each student having his or her own device, each child has an equal opportunity to have his or her ideas, his or her voice, heard! Figure 1: A Directions Card – Supporting 1st Graders in Creating and Jamey Fitzpatrick • 20-40 minutes per session – The amount of class time perByuse Joining a Collaborative Session President & CEO, MVU seems to vary between 20-40 minutes. Though, in Sr. Rebecca Mierendorf ‘s class, she has been known to give her 7th & 8th In WeMap, one student needs to create a collaboration session, grade science students 5 minute assignments on WeMap/ while the other students join that session. The student who will WeKWL! be creating the session will receive a directions card with a star by • Used across subjects: The 1st and 2nd grade teachers report his/her name and the key information. (See Figure 1) That student using WeMap/WeKWL for science, English, social studies – will start a new WeMap session (green tab on the start screen of and even math! WeMap), enter a filename (e.g., Words AY), enter the teacher’s • Used weekly: Also, the teachers report using the tools on a name (e.g., Smith), and enter the group’s name (e.g., Table1). regular basis, e.g., 1-2 times per week, every week. The students who are not session creators will also receive a EXPERIENCES USING THE WECOLLABRIFY APPS IN THE directions card with the key information. These students will CLASSROOM4 select the “Find and Join Group” button (orange tab on WeMap’s While the preceding sections talked more abstractly about start screen), enter the teacher’s name (Smith), and then select collaboration in the classroom, in what follows, the teachers, who their group’s name from a list of existing collaboration sessions have used the WeCollabrify apps, describe their experiences and (retrieved by WeMap) in order to join into their collaboration their students’ experiences, with the apps. group. CREATING A COLLABORATION SESSION – AND JOINING IN! By Ms. Ronda Duran, 1st Grade, Workman Elementary, PlymouthCanton Community Schools, MI Independence. As teachers, we want all students to become

I have found it helpful to have short group and file names in order for the children to be able to enter the information easily and correctly. To begin with, I assign the color of the students’ nodes; after the first use of WeMap, I give them the opportunity to select a node color for themselves.

3 Careful how you spell YesWeKahn: We changed the spelling of our app’s name at the Khan Academy’s request. 4 In what follows, all the names of the children are fictitious.

WEKWL: SPARKING CONVERSATION – AND LEARNING At the end of the school year, I presented my 1st graders with



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the task of working collaboratively in a small group to compile a list of everything they knew about 2nd grade. Once they were connected I prompted the students to notice a great big “K” at the top of their iPad screen. This is where I instructed the students to enter the information about what they already knew about 2nd grade. As the students worked I monitored the groups. I noticed that they were talking and writing some things down but, not surprisingly, they had a limited amount of knowledge about what 2nd grade was really like.

Prior to starting a WeMap session, one group struggled with which member would be able to use the color blue. I guided the discussion with questioning, as teachers so often do, to allow my little people the chance to figure out strategies that could possibly solve this dilemma. “How can you solve this problem?” To my delight they came up with multiple strategies. “I could use blue this time and you could use it next time”, devised David. “Let’s use rock, paper, scissors to decide who gets Figure 2: A Collaborative KWL Chart About What 1st Graders to use blue.” chimed in Thought About 2nd Grade John. The group excitedly decided together that rock, paper, scissors would solve their dilemma. I was so proud of their ability to communicate as critical thinkers and collaborate to come up with At this point, I stopped the children and asked them to scroll the a unanimous decision. K page to the right. Here they found a big “W” at the top of their screen. I encouraged them to create a list of questions they wanted At the conclusion of the lesson and review of learning targets, I to know about 2nd grade. Listening to them collaboratively come asked the students for their thoughts on working with the WeMap up with these questions was amazing. I saw that each child had his app. Cathie commented, “I liked seeing what the others were or her own worries, fears, and wonders. And, they began to build adding.” Sam’s comment summed up the social piece perfectly, “I off each other’s thoughts in order to come up with some great liked how we worked together!” questions we could ask actual 2nd graders. The following day the students took their questions in the W column of WeKWL to an actual 2nd grade classroom and asked the second graders those questions. When we came back to the classroom I asked my students to reopen WeKWL to the file each group produced the day before. The students scrolled right twice to find the big “L” at the top of their screens. I asked the students to work together in order to fill in what they learned about 2nd grade. To my amazement, the students were entering not only answers to the questions they had entered into the W screen, but they were also discussing what they noticed in the 2nd grade room. They were excitedly teaching each other about the books they saw in the book center, the lack of “games” available for them to play with, how the desks were arranged, and how the words on the word wall were both similar and different from our own word wall. When each group presented the information of what they learned, great conversations were sparked! In turn, the groups entered the new information from these conversations into their WeKWL charts. In using WeKWL my 1st grade students showed me what it truly means to work together in order to develop a common, shared understanding. They were learning from each other in order to deepen their understanding on a topic. Each and every one of my students was engaged, focused and eager to learn from their peers. RESOLVING DISAGREEMENT & VALUING COLLABORATION Ms. Kimberly Lee, 1st Grade, Bentley Elementary, PlymouthCanton Community Schools, MI MACUL journal


As primary school educators our charge is to teach the “Whole Child:” socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. In my contribution, I focused on the social/emotional aspect of that charge. Ms. Duran and Ms Lee, in their contributions, addressed the intellectual/academic components. All our examples bring in the physical component (fine motor skills). Using the WeCollabrify apps is an innovative and technologically creative approach to educating the “Whole Child” in 2014! WEMAP - FORMATIVE & SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT By Ms. Cheryl Zuzo, 1st Grade, Bentley Elementary, PlymouthCanton Community Schools, MI As a teacher, I am always looking for ways to identify which students are on track, following directions, and understanding the concepts being taught. WeMap has not only become a way to assess each student’s understanding but holds them accountable within their collaborative group to contribute ideas. The students feel a responsibility to their group to participate. They want to see their colored nodes appear on their peer’s screen. Students at this early age, both boys and girls equally, are eager to contribute to the collaboration process as well as patient to become the group leader. The experience of WeMap takes the sharing of student ideas to a new level of displaying evidence of what they have learned. WeMap has become a tool to assess each student’s learning both as a summative and formative assessment. Beginning each WeMap activity, students are either assigned or have selected a color for their mind map nodes. As students add ideas to the mind map,

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I am able to assess who exactly is participating and contributing to the group’s web by their corresponding color. I am looking to see if all the colors are equally represented in each group’s mind map. During a recent activity with short vowel word families, (e.g., _at, _et, _an, _ill, and _in) I was able to observe which students were sharing ideas and understanding the concept of building words within a word family. As a summative assessment, I was able to evaluate which students understood how to accurately extend a word family by maintaining the spelling pattern of new words. Many students were able to demonstrate the complexity of using the root word family in words such as Finnigan and pumpkin.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER - USING WEKWL, WEMAP, WEWRITE+, WESKETCH+ FOR PROJECT-BASED LEARNING By Ms. Jennifer Auten, 2nd Grade, Montclaire Elementary School in Los Altos, CA I have found the suite of WeCollabrify apps to be beneficial to the inquiry, collaboration and discovery process of my second grade students’ education. Let me share with you some stories of how we used the four apps in WeCollabrify in a unit about the Pilgrims and Wampanoags. Our week-long unit started with the essential questions “Who were the Pilgrims and Wampanoags?” and “Why were they important to us?” After I posed these questions, each student opened the WeKWL app on their iPad and began typing what they already knew and questions they were curious about. However, this was not a silent, independent event; instead, students sat in close proximity to each other and discussed their thinking. So that the document didn’t get too long, four students worked on the same session and therefore had access to the thoughts of three classmates. What I noticed as I listened to conversations was that students didn’t write one or two facts and questions and decide they were done. They wrote their initial facts and questions, but then as they read the facts and questions added by their peers, it created an “ah ha” moment that allowed them to recall facts they had “forgotten” and to pose questions that hadn’t immediately come to mind. In jigsaw fashion those students then shared their sessions with students from other sessions, thus gaining exposure to the knowledge of an additional four peers. During the unit, students were free to return to the WeKWL chart and add their findings and further wonderings.

Figure 3: A Collaborative Concept Map of Words Ending in “ay”

The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used to improve areas of teaching as well as improve student learning. Using WeMap has allowed me to recognize where students are struggling and address the problem immediately. During the word family activity, the mind maps displayed evidence of which groups understood the word family pattern and which individual students or groups of students needed additional support. The collaborative experience of the WeMap program encourages every student to contribute individual ideas. In my experience of using the program, students are talking in rich, meaningful discussions. Together they are helping one another add words, discussing problem solving strategies to not duplicate words, and deciding if words were real or nonsense. Concluding the lesson, groups presented their mind map on a projector, sending their mind map wirelessly via an Apple TV unit. As their map projected, students took turns counting their colored nodes and sharing their words. The collaborative experience of WeMap gave everyone an opportunity to feel successful!



Figure 4: A Collaborative Concept Map Developed by 2nd Graders about the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians

Following a research phase, involving books, websites, articles, and videos, groups of four students, again working on four different iPads, collaborated to organize their learning in WeMap. I left this portion very open-ended as far as what to put into the mind map, and the products were quite different. Some groups focused on a single facet of life, such as clothing, and created a map to compare and contrast what was worn by Pilgrims and Wampanoags. Other groups chose either Pilgrims or Wampanoags and used branching nodes to give examples about a variety of topics, such as food, homes, and chores.

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Pilgrim The pilgrims sailed on a ship called the may flower. They came from England. The English wanted to go to a new home. Well there was one problem, there were already people that lived here. They were being called Indians for theyr’e skin color however they were actually not. The pilgrims wanted to teach the pilgrims how to live correctly. The wnglish thought they were wild and sometimes called them wild people. The pilgrims realized that the Indians are friendly when Squanto came and thaught the pilgrims how to fertelize plants. Maybe they were really smart. The pilgrims built a vil age called Plymouth. Plymouth wasn’t to big. The Indians called Plymouth plymex. The pilgrims used guns to hunt. At the end of the fight between pilgrims and Wampanoag tgere was a big harvest everybody celebrated a feast with the Wampanoag. They called this feast thanksgiving. After that they named the country America.

Figure 6: A Collaborative Drawing Developed by 2nd Graders

Finally, yet a different pair of students collaborated to create a drawing of the first Thanksgiving as well as an illustration of their own Thanksgivings using a three-box product in the WeSketch+ app. They made the initial picture together and then each created their personal picture, while conversing and remarking on similarities and differences between the three.

Wampanoag The wampanoag stored their things outside The wampanoag thought the pilgrims would start war with them.

As students use the WeCollabrify apps, their ability to collaborate effectively improves. They are learning how to read and listen to what has been said by their peers and to build off that knowledge with their own insights. They are also realizing that their expertise and opinion are important and that all group members need to step up and contribute.

The wampanoag called Plymoth, Plymex. The wampanoag were invited to the good harvest the pilgrims put together. The wampanoag helped the pilgrims.

TECHNOLOGY IN SUPPORT OF CONVERSATION By Sr. Rebecca Mierendorf, 7th/8th Grade Science, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School, Ann Arbor, MI

Figure 5: Co-authoring in WeWrite+

After additional research I paired students who had not yet worked together on this unit. As a summative assessment, they created a WeWrite+ document, using their WeKWL and WeMap “notes”, to address our initial driving questions. As with the other Collabrify apps, the synchronous functionality of WeWrite+ allowed students to more quickly and efficiently capture their thinking because both students were working simultaneously, rather than one student typing and the other watching. As they wrote their own facts, students could see and respond verbally to what their partner was writing. With equal access at all times, there was no grabbing or fighting or arguing about turns. Since the names of all participants were on each document, students bought into the concept of creating a shared understanding. Students knew they were being held accountable by me and by the other members of their group to submit a document with accurate and complete information. They were excited to interact with each other and explain their thinking. I overheard conversations in which students debated the validity of a typed fact, and they returned to their resources to fact check and convince each other of what should be included in their product. MACUL journal


We’ve all seen computer labs full of students wearing oversized headphones, staring at computer screens, totally engrossed in whatever is happening on the screen and completely unaware of the world around them. This scene repeats itself in elevators, on buses, in restaurants, and in grocery store lines where people of all ages are glued to their phones, checking messages or playing games incessantly. We know that technology is an important part of young people’s lives, and, like it or not, it is here to stay. It is a valuable tool in many ways, and as educators, we need to find ways to integrate this tool into our system of education. Technology makes education relevant to students. It is the language they speak and the means they use to communicate. We cannot fall into the trap, however, of simply replacing paper with a computer screen and pencils with a stylus. If technology is going to be worth the time and expense of implementation, it must be better than paper and pencil.

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WeCollabrify provides opportunities for students to work collaboratively with their tablets—both Androids and iPads.

WeCollabrify provides opportunities for students to work collaboratively with their tablets—both Androids and iPads. They use the tablets to record ideas, but those ideas are generated through conversation. Group members each use their own tablets, but they work simultaneously on the same application. They have grown in their ability to discuss concepts and agree on how to represent them on the app. Early on, students asked if we could put (text) chat boxes in WeMap and WeKWL. That way, they could simply type messages to their peers and bypass the conversation. “Of course not!” we responded. The point is not the technology itself and all the short cuts that come with it. The point is to have focused conversations and build meaning together. If technology can help us meet that goal, then bring it on.

OBSERVATIONS ABOUT COLLABORATION AFTER USING THE WECOLLABRIFY APPS By 7th/8th grade science students at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School, Ann Arbor, MI • “Collaboration is a skill that will be used throughout life, both in the workplace and socially. Learning to work together at an early age is instrumental for the development of social skills in later life. Now, with immense integration of technology, it is especially important to learn how to collaborate and communicate when you cannot see a person’s facial expressions or body gestures beyond an emoji.” (Jeanne) • “Working collaboratively is very beneficial as you get to understand other people’s perspectives. You also get a better reinforcement on the topic you are focusing on. If you are communicating with other people you understand the topic more.” (Cathie) • “WeCollabrify has made it easier for me to work with my fellow adolescent scientists, by providing easy-to-use apps that help us break down what we are learning. Personally, I prefer visual learning, as I’m more entertained which keeps me focused.” (Sandy) • “When working collaboratively, I am able to learn and share my ideas or theories with others. I can validate and edit my theories to make them more interesting and factual.” (Sandy) • “Working collaboratively is very beneficial because everyone can contribute something they know.” (David) • “It helps us see what other people think about what we are learning. It helps us see other people’s perspectives.” (John) CONCLUDING REMARKS Schools don’t want technology. Schools want curriculum! While the WeCollabrify app suite does provide support for synchronous collaboration, what’s needed are instructional strategies for exploiting the apps’ capabilities. To that end, our teachers have graciously written up some of their curriculum ideas and we are posting them on our website: In addition to the CCSS calling “collaboration” an anchor skill, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills identifies “collaboration” as one of the four C’s – Collaboration, Creativity, Communication,



Critical Thinking, and the NextGeneration Science Standards (NGSS) identifies collaboration as a key practice that scientists and engineers engage in and thus a practice that students then need to also engage in. Yes, integrating collaborative practices into the classroom is a challenge. But, given the importance of collaboration, it is a challenge that needs to be addressed.

This article – and the WeCollabrify suite of collabrified apps - is a first step at providing K-12 educators with support for their efforts at helping the young people in their charge develop into effective, collaborative learners! Let us know how you are doing, please! Drop us an email; post your curricular ideas on our website. Collaboratively we will make progress! ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We wish to thank Dr. Michael Meissen, Superintendent of the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, MI for his unwavering support! And, we wish to thank the science publisher, It’s About Time, Inc. for their continued support. The work described here is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under grant number NSF 1123965, 1249312. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NSF. Finally, all this work would not have been possible had it not been for the exceptional contributions made by the WeCollabrify team of developers at the University of Michigan. Thank you, team!! [Note: the underlined words are links to more information and directly accessible via the online or PDF versions of the MACUL Journal at]

Cathleen Norris, Regents Professor, College of Information, Department of Learning Technologies, University of North Texas. Dallas Public Schools awarded Cathie its Golden Apple Outstanding Educator Award; she taught for 14 years in K-12. She has been President of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and President of the National Educational Computing Association (NECA). Cathie is also a co-founder of Collabrify.IT, Inc. Email: Norris@ Elliot Soloway, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Dept of CSE, College of Engineering, School of Education and School of Information, University of Michigan. In 2001, the UMich undergraduates selected him to receive the “Golden Apple Award” as the Outstanding Teacher of the Year. In 2004 and again in 2011, the students of the EECS College of Engineering HKN Honor Society awarded Elliot the “Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award.” Elliot is a co-founder and CEO of Collabrify.IT, Inc. Email:

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MACUL journal


Professional Development Without Leaving Home It’s getting increasingly difficult for teachers to get a substitute or guest teacher so they can be out of their classroom to attend professional development. Yet, we continue to hear that the greatest weakness in helping educators to better use technology resources to improve teaching and learning is the need for professional development.

GUIDED LEARNING New tools are making it easier and easier to guide learning, blend instruction or flip your teaching. Learning Management Systems such as Moodle, Edmodo, and Schoology make it easy to post resources including video tutorials created by you or by others. Google+ is growing as tools to create and support professional learning communities and support learning from each other.

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING When was the last time you used YouTube to learn how to do something? From changing the belt on a dryer, to how to tie a LEARNING TOGETHER Winsor knot, YouTube is the “go-to” site to learn something new. Adobe Connect has been a popular tool to deliver professional YouTube, or alternatives such as Vimeo, are sites where you can development, online meetings, and tech support. It provides a learn not only how to fix something, but how to use a new app or useful option to record the learning. As part of a collaborative integrate the app into instruction. More schools have decided to agreement with Adobe, the REMC Association is allowed to open YouTube because YouTube is an important tool for creating provide schools with a license at a greatly reduced price. www. self-directed learners. When a student wants to use an app that A no-cost alternateacher doesn’t know how to use, teachers will now say, “Check tive growing in popularity is Google Hangouts and Google online for a tutorial and once you know how to use it, you can Hangouts On-Air. A Google Hangout for Google Apps for show the rest of the class.” You can model how to search and find Education is restricted to 15 participants and is not recorded. the best tutorials from YouTube and A Hangout On-Air automatically saves similar sites. You can also take the Try teaching/learning using guided a recording to YouTube and allows more best tutorials or lessons to create play- learning and webinar tools provided than 15 participants. Learn more about lists. Individual videos or playlists can in the 21 Things projects. Learn at: Hangouts at: be linked or embedded in a classroom learnmore/hangouts/. Both Adobe Connect, website or learning management sysand Google Hangouts work with mobile, tem course. And users can create their devices. own videos which can be shared with and others. These videos may be created Whether you are an independent learner, using a mobile device, a Chromebook or laptop’s built-in webcam, or lead others – new tools are making it easier to guide and supand through using screencasting apps such as TechSmith’s SnagIt port learning. Challenge yourself to try to use one or more of or Screencast-o-matic. Be sure to explore GCF Learn Free www. these tools, and explore how you can learn and the amazingly rich, Learning Express Library, and teach in new ways. available through the Michigan Electronic Library (MeL) http:// Andy Mann is the Director, REMC 4, Instructional Search for “Massive Open Online Courses” or Technology Consultant for Muskegon Area ISD, MOOCs, and you will uncover a world of college-level courses, and a certified Google Education Trainer. available at no cost.

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KEYNOTE SPEAKERS Opening Keynote: Leading Innovative Change George Couros Division Principal, Innovative Teaching and Learning, Parkland School Division, Canada Friday Keynote: What’s Wrong With What’s Right Rushton Hurley Executive Director, Next Vista for Learning Closing Keynote: Culture, Innovation and Learning-A 21st Century Paradigm Two Guys and Some iPads Drew Minnock & Brad Waid

FEATURED PRESENTERS The MACUL Conference is an excellent opportunity to obtain information on best practices on how to use technology to enhance student learning opportunities. You’ll leave the conference fueled with information on blending technology and curriculum in order to ignite student learning! Conference sessions are organized into strands relating to the ISTE Standards for Administrators, Teachers and Students. Educators at any level will find meaningful sessions to build a Culture of Collaboration! With over 200 featured, breakout, interactive and handson sessions, the 2015 MACUL Conference is Michigan’s largest education conference. The conference provides an outstanding opportunity to ignite learning for… ● Teachers ● Curriculum Leaders ● Technology Leaders ● Superintendents and other Administrators ● Library Media Specialists ● Online Instructors ● Policy Makers including School Board Members ● Teacher Educators ● Staff Developers ● Higher Education Representatives ● Government and Industry Representatives at the local, regional, state and national levels.

FEATURED Presenters are highly regarded educational technology experts from across the country. They will present sessions on best practices, tools for the classroom, and in-depth training for educators of all levels. GARY ABUD, JR Teacher, Grosse Pointe Public Schools MELODY ARABO Teacher, Walled Lake Consolidated Schools and 2014 Michigan Teacher of the Year TIM CHILDERS Assistant Principal for Technology Integration, L&N STEM Academy, Knox County Schools (TN) LESLIE FISHER Director, BRAD FOUNTAIN Discovery Educational Team Sponsored by Discovery Education SYLVIA MARTINEZ Author and Independent Education Consultant LUIS PEREZ Apple Distinguished Educator KRISTEN SWANSON Senior Director of the Research Institute, BrightBytes


PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS Half and full-day sessions are sponsored by MACUL Special Interest Groups on Wednesday, March 18. Pre-registration and an additional fee required. Participate and Share Sessions 60-minute sessions where participants will use their own laptops and other devices. HANDS-ON LABS Two-hour sessions in a Mac, Windows or Chromebook lab. Pre-registration and an additional fee required.

ROBOFEST IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LAWRENCE TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY AND MACUL Wednesday, March 18, Noon – 4 PM Teams from around the state will participate in Robofest 2015, an annual robotics competition focusing on learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) for students in grades 5-12. STUDENT TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE SPONSORED BY LEGO EDUCATION Thursday, March 19, 11 AM – 1 PM. The showcase features some of the best learning environments enhanced with technology in Michigan. Students and teachers will be available to discuss their projects. Open to all conference attendees. ADMINISTRATORS FORUM SPONSORED BY PLANTE & MORAN LUNCH PROVIDED BY TRIG Administrators from all over the state will have a unique opportunity to engage in professional learning about many of the current topics facing Michigan educators and schools. This event is by invitation only. Mike Flanagan, State Superintendent, and Vanessa Keesler, Deputy Superintendent, Education Services will be the guest moderators at this special gathering for administrators.

Join over 4,000 educators who attend each year.

MAKERSPACE @ MACUL15 Create, invent, and learn in Makerspace @MACUL15. Bring ideas, expertise or simply enthusiasm to this informal collaborative environment which is designed to celebrate handson exploration and creation. SPARK SESSIONS 20-minute sessions on a topic to help spark ideas for the participant. Check out the topics and times posted during the conference and drop in! LIGHTNING TALKS This fast-paced event will be held just prior to the closing keynote on Friday. Participants will deliver a 5-minute dynamic presentation on a topic about which they are passionate.

EXHIBITS: HALL D IN COBO CENTER Thursday, March 19, 9:30 AM - 5 PM Friday, March 20, 8:30 AM - 1 PM Visit this dynamic exhibit area which features displays of current hardware software, and other materials related to educational technology. MACUL PARTY AT COBO SPONSORED BY HP Thursday, March 19, 5 – 7 PM Gather after the sessions at Cobo for a time of fun and networking. Enjoy great music along with light refreshments. CONFERENCE APP Use the NEW MACUL Conference App to plan your schedule and explore session descriptions, featured speakers, presenters, strands, session times, exhibitor information. Maximize your conference experience using the app for your desktop, Android or iOS device!


REGISTER NOW for the 2015 MACUL Conference - a must for educators in Michigan and the Midwest!

To receive these early registration discounts, register online by credit card or purchase order by March 3, 2015. Call MACUL Office for information about discounts on full conference registrations for 10 or more attendees from the same school district. Individuals who have pre-registered for the conference may add workshops to their registration online until March 11. Workshop tickets will be sold on-site at the Help Desk, as space is available. Visit www. for complete conference pricing, information and registration!

Michigan’s MI Learning on iTunes U Publish and access curriculum Courses or Collections for FREE. Michigan’s MI Learning on iTunes U is a home for Michigan educators to publish resources for students around the world! You may also apply now for a grant for publishing a curriculum Collection or Course on Michigan’s MI Learning site on iTunes U. Your application will be reviewed in an ongoing basis throughout the year.

1. Publish a Collection of videos MACUL offers $500 grants through Michigan’s MI Learning funds for publishing curriculum collections of 10 or more videos. With an additional 10 videos, the recipient receives the Camtasia package from TechSmith along with a free registration to the MACUL Conference. Videos and PDFs in these collections are accessible by any device that plays MPEG4 videos. If the device doesn’t access iTunes U, such as Chromebooks, the files may be downloaded to a folder for student access. 2. Publish Courses & iBooks The grants also include the creation and posting of Courses and iBooks. These resources are available for iOS devices (iPhones, iPads) through the iTunes U app. The iBooks are also accessible using Mac computers with updated operating systems.

For more information and grant applications, visit!

Share your conference experience and win prizes!

Share your favorite conference photos and videos to Twitter and/or Instagram with #macul15. Conference attendees who submit media are eligible for prize drawings. One lucky photographer will receive a free MACUL Conference 2016 registration. Other prizes will be announced at the conference and we’ll share the best from the photostream at the closing ceremony. This is your chance to show your commitment to education excellence and help us tell the MACUL conference story. The deadline to submit your photos is 10am on March 20. Contact Susan Hardin with any questions at


#macul15 18

****By entering the Tell Your Story with #MACUL15, you are granting MACUL permission to share/publish your photos in digital or printed formats.

@ MACUL 2015

@ MACUL 2015


Collaborative Context for st 21 Century Learning By Jamey Fitzpatrick President & CEO, Michigan Virtual University®


ollaboration is one of those big concepts that has been defined broadly as “working together” with the shared understanding that the collaborators have a common goal or expectation, sharing both risks and rewards. From the student perspective, education is a collaborative activity in the strictest sense of the word because it requires that the learner engage with a source outside him or herself to add to his or her experience, come to a greater understanding or develop expertise.

the traditional required and elective courses offered by schools. Documentation of apprenticeships, internships, volunteer and service club experience as well as special interest non-academic subjects is becoming more critical. Students who are bound for college and technical schools or going directly into a workplace need a means of sharing their endeavors and accomplishments both in and outside of school. Specifically, educational entities need a means of sharing the students and their records.

It has been a challenge for schools to make the transition to a more flexible, student-focused environment given the traditional dependencies on time and location. We know that the academic, personal and work world 21st century students face require a different orientation. The ways teachers, counselors, curriculum directors, technologists and administrators work together have changed with the development of software and systems that obliterate boundaries of geographic location and time. Ironically, while our technology allows us to be physically separated, we have virtual access to products, ideas and people from all over the globe. Students, parents, teachers, administrators and other support personnel have many options for materials, content, strategies, setting and delivery. Any one choice affects implementation, outcome and relationship to the others. But new options made possible by educational technology provide opportunities for new levels of collaborative learning, planning and delivery of services.

Some educational leaders call for the documenting of all the ways students participate in formal and informal learning activities and advocate for a means of providing acknowledgement and, ultimately, credit for all the experiences a student has in and out of school – a universal transcript. As envisioned, this transcript would not be tied to the educating entity, but instead would be the province of the student and parent/guardian. It is not yet prevalent in Michigan, but some states have seen a growing interest in a universal transcript. This approach to maintaining student records would require cooperative processes among credit granting institutions as well as shared systems for reporting – another extension of a collaborative culture.

In Michigan, we’ve gone from the 2006 requirement of an online experience before graduation to the option of taking a minimum of two online courses every term in 2013. Who would have thought that students would earn credit toward graduation for courses that are taught by someone out of district whom they would never even meet face-to-face?

Granting credits for courses not taken at the school of residence creates the need for another kind of collaboration. In the future, no one institution will have exclusive rights to a student and the corresponding funding he or she generates. A collaborative, cooperative approach to delivering educational services will yield greater success for more students.

The expansion of course access options has made it possible for students to take courses with learners across the state from teachers in other geographic areas and earn credit. The opportunities available to students to increase knowledge and skills go beyond MACUL journal


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Jamey Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of MVU®, has served as a catalyst for change and a champion of innovation in public education. Fitzpatrick serves on the Board of Trustees for Olivet College.



More than Magic Rectangles: Creating a Culture of Collaboration in a 1:1 iPad Classroom By Erica Hamilton

It’s really important for teachers to think about the collaborative nature of one-to-one. It’s got collaboration in the name – one-to-one. So it’s not just about each kid having a device. It’s about each teacher having the opportunity to work one-to-one. And that’s the transformation. That’s what makes it worthwhile. - Shawn Jacob, Zeeland East High School teacher

However, because of the 1:1 technology he now has available, with some of his classes he uses Edmodo ( – an online classroom management site – to share coursewwwrs to his students. Students can also connect and collaborate with one another using Edmodo. Integrating Edmodo was a positive change because it enabled him opportunities to share information and directions with students ahead of time, so that he had more time to work with and provide feedback to individual students during class.

For high teacher Shawn Jacob, collaboration is imperative for success. He’s in his tenth year of teaching and – something that makes him a bit unique among his peers – he’s also a former magician and music storeowner. I first met Shawn when we both taught at Zeeland East High School and even though I’m now in higher education, Shawn and I continue to collaborate and learn from one another. We are both committed to using technology in purposeful, thoughtful ways that enhance teaching and support students’ learning.

Collaboration has also come through his use of iTunes U. Using iTunes U forces Shawn to think ahead and be more intentional in his conceptual and day-to-day planning, challenging him to purposefully

As a teacher, Shawn commits himself to building relationships with his students, being a positive role model, and providing students opportunities to use language and literature to learn about themselves, others, and the world in which they live. Shawn’s story of teaching in a 1:1 iPad classroom highlights ways teachers can use technology to know and serve their students better, as well as connect them to the world beyond their classroom walls. COLLABORATION AND TECHNOLOGY: EDMODO AND ITUNES U According to Shawn, prior to teaching in a 1:1 iPad classroom he spent the majority of class time providing whole class instruction. 20


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Figure 1. iTunes U screenshot from Shawn Jacob’s American Literature class (Spring 2014) |

MACUL journal

connect standards, assessments and course content. Shawn also values the iTunes U platform because it provides him with an electronic venue to share more “tertiary materials” and content with his students, such as videos, web links, models and examples, and course content. More importantly, he’s seen students experience great success staying organized with the to-do lists iTunes U automatically generates based on posted assignments and due dates. This feature sets iTunes U apart from other learning management systems. For example, he used iTunes U to support his independent novel unit in which students participated in book clubs, based on the novel they chose to read.

he’s using 1:1 technology to create a “one human to one human” learning environment, he explains that “it’s really important for teachers to think about the collaborative nature of one-to-one. It’s got collaboration in the name: one-to-one. So it’s not just about each kid having a device, it’s about each teacher having the opportunity to work one-to-one. And that’s the transformation. That’s what makes it worthwhile.” For teachers using or getting ready to use 1:1 technology in their classrooms, Shawn Jacob’s example of collaborative thinking and teaching is an important contribution to changing how we think about and use technology in our classrooms.

However, Shawn cautions that using resources such as Edmodo or iTunes U doesn’t necessarily lead to collaboration. “Things like iTunes U or Edmodo have to be paired with vigilance from the teachers. Otherwise, it’s just online learning, but trapped in the classroom.” And, being “trapped” is not what Shawn wants for his students or himself. Although he’s shifted the majority of his course content to online sites such as Edmodo and iTunes U, he’s also become even more committed to supporting students’ collaboration, which means he plans for students to daily engage in collaborative and independent work time and conversation, not only with their peers but also with him, their teacher. Reflecting back on the first semester he started using sites such as Edmodo and iTunes U he shares, I think my biggest misstep first semester was simply trying to have it be so inquiry-based that I was really pushing myself into the shadows – despite the fact that I was going to each team [of students] and making attempts to work with each team...But I think that’s what I come back to, that you also can’t approach this thinking that the device [1:1 iPad], to a certain extent, replaces you. It mustn’t. Our role as teachers isn’t just to move students toward mastery of curricular content; we are also tasked with the critical job of guiding students in the development of social skills that no digital device could ever effectively foster.

Visit Michigan’s MI Learning on iTunes U to find Shawn’s new iBook & course: Jump Start Your Writing with Adjectives. Erica R. Hamilton is an Assistant Professor of Education at Grand Valley State University and an advocate for classroom-based research. She and Shawn are currently working on a project focused on using technology to support and expand high school students’ literacy skills. Contact Erica at hamilter@ or @ericarhamilton. Shawn Jacob is a high school English Language Arts teacher at Zeeland East High School and an Apple Distinguished Educator. Dedicated to using technology to support student learning, his grammar iBook, “Writing Tune-Ups” took first place in the 2014 iBookHack Challenge. Contact Shawn Jacob at

He then brought it back to his own belief that even in 1:1 technology based classrooms it is still important to use humanto-human contact and teaching to foster students’ development of knowledge, themselves, and the world in which they live. Some of the initial research that I’ve seen says to most effectively use one-to-one technology it has to be a mix of the technology and human interaction. There’s still that deep need for human interaction and [students] hearing it explained to them and having the opportunity to look confused even after the explanation and for the teacher to then go, “You’re not quite getting this, are you? Well, how about this?” Now in his fourth year of teaching in a 1:1 iPad classroom, Shawn has come to value the ways he’s learned how to use technology to foster collaboration and connection using sites such as iTunes U and Edmodo and it has been successful because Shawn is also available in class to explain and further scaffold and support his students’ learning. These are just some of the examples of how one teacher uses 1:1 iPads to foster collaboration and connection in his teaching and classroom. For Shawn and many other teachers who utilize 1:1 technology to support relationships between students and the world in which they live, it’s not about the technology but, rather, what he and his students can do with it. When asked about how MACUL journal


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As an instructional technology consultant I have the opportunity to see first hand how teachers are collaborating in their classrooms. I get to see lessons in action, the things that go well, the things that don’t go well, and the things that make educators cringe when it comes to using technology with students. One of the biggest challenges with technology is the ease of use. As a teacher, it can feel like technology is one more thing to add to an already overflowing plate. Who wants to run around trying to figure out how to log young students into their accounts? What if there aren’t enough devices? These questions can dissuade even the most seasoned educator from implementing technology. AN EASY WAY TO INTEGRATE TECHNOLOGY So what is a good option for a teacher who wants to collaborate beyond the four classroom walls, but doesn’t want the hassle of multiple accounts and devices? Is there a tool that you can use right away without having to spend hours learning how to use it? Why yes, yes there is! By using a free tool called Skype you can have your students connect with other classrooms around the globe, ask professionals to speak about careers, or invite guest readers to read a book virtually. Students can hear and see speakers they may not have had access to in the past due to distance or funding. Students can ask questions, share ideas, or, how about connecting with another classroom virtually? Skype is surprisingly easy to use and best of all it’s free. To connect on Skype for your lesson you will need to create a Skype account at and will need a webcam on your computer or device. If you don’t have a built in web camera you can purchase them online for as little as $10. That’s it! You are ready to Skype. Still feeling a bit hesitant? Here is a video link that will walk you through how to set up your account: maculskype. CONNECTING CLASSROOMS Looking for other classrooms to collaborate with? Check out Mystery Skype where students from two different locations attempt 22


to identify where the other classroom is located based on given clues. This isn’t just for geography–you could create a book club where students discuss books they are reading in the classroom, or you could play guessing games with younger students where students use clues to identify a mystery object. Other classrooms have teamed up on a science get the picture...the possibilities are endless! There are classrooms everywhere looking for Skype partners. If you are using Twitter, follow the hashtag #mysteryskype to find classrooms looking to connect or you can access com to find lessons and other educators interested in classroom partnerships. Want to bring an author into your classroom? This website gives a list of authors that will Skype with your classroom for free broken down by grade level: YOU CAN DO THIS! Using technology can sometimes be stressful, but remember technology is just a tool to support the already wonderful things you are doing in your classroom. Start small, try incorporating a tech tool like Skype in one lesson or unit. The first step is always the most difficult so get in there and try it out – your students will thank you! MORE RESOURCES Want to know more about Skype and how to use it with your students? Take a look at these collected resources from the edtech consultants at Jackson Intermediate School District http:// Here you will find podcasts, ways to begin using Skype, examples from other educators and much more. Stacey Schuh is an Educational Technology Consultant at Jackson Intermediate School District and former 6th grade teacher. Stacey can be reached at or on Twitter @sschuhtech.

Spring 2015


MACUL journal

WIKISPACES A Tool for Teacher – Librarian Collaboration

By Erica Trowbridge, MACUL SIG Library Media Specialists (LIB) Unfortunately, there are many teachers working without a school librarian in their buildings. For those teachers that are privileged enough to have a media specialist working in their schools, here is a tool that I think you both would be interested in. Wikispaces is not a new addition to the Web 2.0 world, but should be revisited (or “hello!” to the first-timers) as a major tool in the school librarian’s collaborative toolbox. Teachers have great ideas when it comes to using technology to enhance their lesson plans, units, and projects, but sometimes need an extra boost of confidence or even someone to stand by their side to help bring this great idea to fruition. Here comes the school librarian! I had a teacher come to me with one of these great project ideas…the webquest, but she wasn’t quite sure where to begin or even how to create one. The collaborative conversation began which resulted in the creation of what I like to call, the project (or assignment) wiki. The collaboration was easy as she was trying to revamp an old project so most of the documents were already created and all she had to do was check them over and email them to me. She wanted the students to work in collaborative groups and we set the wiki up according to her subject grouping and her own example. The result of this collaboration can be seen at http://theprogressiveera-oakridge.

The 7th grade social studies teacher wanted to put the travel fair online and wondered how to go about it. We had been using an assignment wiki for the project over the past few years, so to put the students’ final projects on a wiki seemed a logical step. We had the students use another cool tool ( as their project board for all of their displays. This ended up working fairly well for the first try and we look forward to revisiting this project later this school year. My favorite use of wikispaces is that of the professional development site. Librarians have so much to offer in training teachers to use technology and also in finding technology that will work best with specific teachers. Not everyone is going to work well with each piece of technology and it does students a great service when teachers use what works well for them. We don’t send all of our students to the same college or to the same workplace so we need to introduce them to several different types of tools to prepare them how to switch from one tool to another efficiently and effectively. I created the Oakridge LMC Wiki ( to help teachers use the tools offered to them and as a place to house operational manuals and training videos to refer to at any time because I want them to be able to find and access the materials that will work the best for them. That is my hope for you as well. You can start your own wikispaces site for free in a matter of minutes by going to You must provide your school email as wikispaces is only free for K-12 education. Wikis to Explore Further:

While the assignment wiki helps organize classroom projects for students on the web, the showcase wiki helps organize students’ final projects for the teacher to easily grade and show off to parents, colleagues, and the whole Internet world. The best example I have of this is the 7th Grade International Travel Fair MACUL journal


Erica Trowbridge is the Secondary Media Specialist at Oakridge Public Schools in Muskegon, MI. She is the winner of the MAME Teacher Collaboration award and director of MACUL SIGLIB. She can be reached at

Spring 2015



Collaborating and Connecting with Others using

By Julia VanderMolen and Maryly Skallos, SIG Professional Learning

Many schools have moved to the Google for Education app for their classroom use. Did you know that Google has many add-on apps that enhance those documents both for teacher and student use? These add-ons are mostly free but certainly enhance the experience for the end user. An add-on is a way to add functionality to the various documents through the integration with a third-party app. So what is out there and what is working in education? Before you can go looking at the various Google add-ons, you need to ensure that they are available to you. To do this, open up any Google document and click on the “Add-ons” menu item located at the top of the page. Now you can click on “Get add-ons” to determine which add-ons you have available. To install a Google Drive Add-On, simply find the appropriate AddOn from the list, click the “Free” button to install, then be sure to accept the permissions. A message will appear that states that the add-on has been installed. Once you have installed an add-on, a manage add-on option will appear under the Add-ons menu listing.

ADD-ON’S TO TRY FOR GOOGLE DOCS Consistency Checker This one is useful for those creating long documents or other documents that have to be consistent. Consistency Checker will do an extra check for spelling but will also check numbers, hyphenation and other types of writing mechanics. Consistency Checker does not check for spelling or grammar but it does check for consistency in spelling such that the same word is spelled the same. For example, if the word “color” is used, then the form “colour” would be marked as inconsistent. Document Merge Document Merge is an Add-On that allows students and teachers to merge documents into a new Google doc. If taking data from a 24


spreadsheet and merging it into a Google doc is your need, then this add-on is for you! It is a handy tool for the more tech savvy teacher who needs to customize things for others. Mindmeister Mindmeister lets teachers and students take bulleted lists and convert them into a mindmap for graphical depiction. This can be a fascinating way to convert a table of contents or outline for a paper into something easier to read. This tool is a great teaching add-on to determine what students have remembered and understood. This is one way teachers can determine what elements still need to be reviewed. Open Clip Art Clip art is always an issue because appropriate clip art can be difficult to find. This handy tool seems to mitigate the problem of worrying about licensing for students and clip art. With 50,000+ clip art items and icons, it is a great start for quick images. Template Gallery Teachers can create various documents using the rubrics from this gallery. Teachers can create rubrics using the rubric template and students can create forms that can be shared and modified. This has been endorsed by various end-users for both specific and general student use. This add-on is a great alternative to the Microsoft Office template gallery. Uber Conference This collaborative tool creates an online session with all editors and viewers of a document so all participants can be productive simultaneously. This can be used with students who need to collaborate on their work or by teachers who are trying to plan events with their parents. Uber Conference must be used with Google Chrome. Twitter Curator Twitter Curator is a Google Doc add-on that provides students and teachers with the ability to pull together the tweets your class makes as you share your learning. Teachers can also use it to share tweets that are successful or even those made by authors and others to

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MACUL journal

document further information about what students have learned. This is sort of like Storify meets Google Drive. Kaizena This tool is one that is going to take further notice. The purpose of Kaizena is to help teachers give better feedback to students. Teachers can pull the document into Kaizena with one click using this addon to easily add voice comments and thoughts on student work. Kaizena must be used with Google Chrome. Teachers and students will also need to install the Kaizena plug in. Doctopus The Doctopus Apps Script was one of the most popular tools for teachers because it made assigning projects much easier. The new Add-ons section should allow even more educators to get on board because Doctopus is now so much easier to use. With Doctopus you can create, assign and track progress of your students projects while never leaving the document. Other Notable Add-Ons for Some Teachers ● Music teachers will want to check out Vextab Music Notation. ● You can embed Google Translate into Documents. ● Geography and history teachers may want to insert Google Maps into their Document. ● Math teachers check out g(Math) for complex mathematical functions writing.

FINDING MORE ADD-ONS While there are other add-ons including those that can let you send a fax from within Google Drive and others that let you sign contracts and documents, these are our favorites for educators. To see the whole store, just open a Google document and go to Add-Ons > Get Add-Ons. References Nielsen, L. (2014, March 16). Lisa Nielsen: The Innovative Educator: Google Drive gets add-ons. Yeah or Eh? Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://

[Note: the underlined words are links to more information and directly accessible via the online or PDF versions of the MACUL Journal at] Dr. Julia VanderMolen is an Assistant Professor of Allied Health Sciences with Grand Valley State University. She is the Communication officer for MACUL SIGPL. She can be contacted via phone @ 616.331.5566 or by email @ julia. Dr. Maryly Skallos is an Instructional Designer with Ellucian and consultant to Muskegon Community College and an adjunct instructor for Davenport University. She is the Assistant Director for MACUL SIGPL. She can be contacted via phone @ 231.777.0214 or by email @ maryly.

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MACUL journal


Spring 2015



expand throughout the United States and globe. The featured project in September was mystery connections: com/site/connectedclassroomsprojects/mystery-connections. This collaboration has facilitated over 150 connections. As more teachers see the importance of collaboration in their classrooms to facilitate learning and provide an authentic audience, the need for collaborative projects increases. The Connected Classrooms Projects provide various projects throughout the year, as well as a Google Community, to extend the connections. Currently, over 600 educators throughout the world belong to this community and are in the planning stages of a virtual conference that will be held via Google Hangouts.


2 Tools to Expand Your Classroom By Danielle Letter, MACUL SIG Online Learning Director (SIGOL) and Kim Powell

Want to make an inspiring, long lasting memory for your students? While teaching, Kim Powell from Bedford Public Schools had that opportunity! While reading author Jacqueline Davies’ series “Lemonade War” in the classroom, Kim’s students were eager to meet her via Skype. After emailing Mrs. Davies, she agreed to provide a few minutes of her time to Skype with the class. In that short time, students were able to learn where the author received her inspiration as well as how she created the characters. As an added bonus, students were the first to view the cover of her upcoming book that was to be released six months later! The opportunity to learn about the author’s purpose from the author herself, was a powerful learning experience that will never be forgotten. If you’re new to virtual collaboration, let’s start with an explanation. Skype is a software application millions of people use each day for voice and video calling as well as instant messaging. A Hangout is a web-based tool created by Google for communicating through video. Both of theses amazing tools are absolutely FREE! You may call one person or add up to 25 people during a Skype call. For Hangouts up to ten people can “hang out” at one time in a virtual room. Both of these tools take conference calls and transform them into robust meeting rooms. As an added bonus you have the ability to record hangouts and post for folks to view them later. For the classroom this is a great way to support all learners!

Social media continues to provide an outlet for teachers to build their professional learning network, and this is also a source of many collaborations. Two years ago what initially started as a conversation among educators on Twitter brought out a collaboration between 8 educators. The group has been meeting every Sunday night and created the ‘Global Collaborators Network’, which facilitates and promotes various collaborative projects. This group has presented to many edcamps virtually throughout the states to promote the power of connecting and collaborating through Skype and Google Hangouts. If you wish to join this group, contact @kimpowelledtech. With Skype and Hangouts you can collaborate anywhere and anytime. Learning doesn’t only take place during the school hours, but can take place in the comfort of our homes, on vacation, weekends, or even on a field trip to connect with another classroom. There are so many opportunities to jump in and get started! Sign up and get connected today with many educators throughout the world who are looking forward to connecting and collaborating with others. Together we can all achieve more to provide personalized and meaningful learning experiences for students. Want more information or resources to g et started? Skype Community for educators that showcases collaborations, authors, projects and more for all grade levels: Eduhangout: Skype an author: Michigan Ed Tech Specialists Google+ Community: Connected Classrooms Google + Community: com/u/1/communities/108970749795268318221

Not only are teachers using Skype and Google Hangouts as powerful learning tools in their classrooms, but also as a way to connect with other educators as a form of professional development. Michigan Ed Tech Specialists are seeing the benefits of collaboration using a Google+ community to connect and share about what is happening in districts across the state to learn from one another. There have been several Google Hangouts to discuss the growing needs of tech integration throughout the state. This community has close to 200 members and continues to grow. If you would like more information please search for Michigan Ed Tech Specialists in Google+.

Danielle Letter is Greater Michigan Educational Consortium (GMEC) Project Manager of Classroom Readiness. She is also the director of SIGOL and a TWICE board member. Contact Danielle at or follow her on Twitter at @dmletter.

The Connected Classrooms Project began in 2012 with a purpose to build connected classrooms between Jackson County Intermediate School Districts in Michigan and Keystone Area Education Agency districts in Iowa. They continue to grow and

Kim Powell is the Educational Technology Coordinator for Bedford Public Schools and is also a TWICE board member. Kim is a founding member of the Global Collaborators Network. Follow her on Twitter at @kimpowelledtech or via email at



Spring 2015


MACUL journal

iMazing Apple iMovie Field Trip By Tasha Candela Field trips are ubiquitous in primary and middle school years. There are elementary trips to farms, cider mills, and museums, sixth grade camp, and eighth grade Washington D.C. Curriculum-based educational trips give students a chance to experience live learning and connect that knowledge to their textbooks and in-class activities. However, once in high school, class field trips are not as common. Due to the nature of scheduling, transportation, and funding, there is a severe drought. In fact, only 23 out of 131 classes participated in a field trip during the 2013-14 school year. Although there is a hefty amount of planning to pull-off a field trip, I feel that it should be a goal for educators to organize a field trip for their students. What will our students remember more? Worksheets or hands-on experiences? Lectures about a textbook illustration or an expert’s knowledge on a topic that can be viewed and touched first-hand? The answers to these questions are easy; for this reason, I am excited to share how a field trip to an Apple Store inspired my students.

application sold by Apple. Students learned how to put together a movie from video clips. They edited and arranged clips, added special effects, and added sound. As a teacher, I have dabbled with Windows Movie Maker, Vine, and Photo Story apps, but I am a far cry from an expert in the field. Delia Hohenthaner, Field Trip Coordinator and Lead Trainer helped the advanced web design students transform their basic video clips into engaging movies. She also had two other helpers that were just as knowledgeable, patient, and fun. During the demonstration and application process, my students were collaborating, problem-solving, asking questions, and laughing. I appreciated the personalized 90-minute professional development session from these Apple connoisseurs, too. We were learning by doing. Without hesitation, I can unequivocally state that this was the best field trip I have ever shared with my students.

Over the past five years, my web design students have participated in an annual web design competition sponsored by the Michigan Council of Women in Technology. One of the requirements of the advanced division is the ability to create and embed a video component. In October, students went on a field trip to the Apple Store in Clinton Township, Michigan, for an unforgettable learning experience about iMovie. iMovie is a proprietary video editing software PAST FIELD TRIPS AT LAKE SHORE SUBJECT/COURSE LOCATION American History Henry Ford National Portfolio Day at AP Art Studio Kendall College Art and Design Manufacturing Day at Building Trades/Design Studio K & K Stamping Company English Detroit Institute of Arts Environmental Ed Metro Beach German Frankenmuth Mandarin Mongolian Chinese Restaurant Marketing Palace of Auburn Hills Medical II Beaumont Hospital Practical Law 40th District Court Publications Detroit Free Press Video Productions Fox 2 News Web Design Apple MACUL journal


Senior Dasha Jones said, “I loved learning about iMovie and being able to use the program to add cool features to my contest video! I cannot wait to show it to my family, classmates, and the contest judges.” If your school is interested in scheduling a field trip to Apple, please visit In addition to iMovie, there are many other topic areas that can be taught. Thank you, Apple, for providing free t-shirts, flash drives, and a priceless opportunity! Tasha Candela is a National Board Certified Teacher at Lake Shore High School in Saint Clair Shores. She is an instructional technology consultant and web design teacher. She was named Technology Teacher of the Year by MACUL, an Outstanding Alumni by Central Michigan University, and her own district’s Teacher of the Year. She enjoys sharing new uses for technology and classroom successes by presenting both nationally and statewide. Contact her @bethetigger. Spring 2015



Google Groups:

By Benjamin Williams

A tool to civilly discuss controversial issues! Have you ever wished that people agreed to disagree more often? Fortunately, as teachers, we have the opportunity to teach students this important democratic skill! Everyone can benefit from learning how to pivot a conversation to a subsequent point, respectfully disagree with another on a meaningful topic, and advocate one’s viewpoint in the face of an opposing perspective. The above reasons characterize why I use the Google Group platform as a forum for online discourse. Google Groups allows individual students to respond to prompts, converse with each other online, and see each other’s views in a safe, digital space. As a history teacher, I’m well suited to utilize Google Groups as a forum for online deliberation. However, all teachers who wish to improve students’ interpersonal conversation habits can greatly benefit from using this tool too! Setting the Purpose Students are not accustomed to formally dialoguing with each other in the school setting. Therefore, the purpose for using the Google Group should be explicitly discussed prior to its use to ensure students know why the tool is being used. I have found that a single 15-minute whole class conversation can successfully familiarize students with the virtues of online discussion. One major 28


point that I’ve highlighted is the virtue of agreeing to disagree. I message to students that there is value in learning to engage with others who see things completely differently than they do. During this brief conversation, I’ve found that students can also generate reasons why this skill is important to practice. After the purpose for using the Google Group is set, I introduce students to the tool itself! Creating the account and joining the group! There is a little legwork needed from both teacher and students before the tool becomes alive. Teachers must create an online Google group simply by accessing Google and completing a brief string of settings questions. In this part, teachers determine the name of the site, the URL, the privacy settings, and enable who and how students are able to post on the site. Once this step is done, students are then able to create accounts! There are two options in getting students access to the group. The first is to manually enter students’ email addresses and send them an invitation, through email, to join the group. The other method, which I highly prefer due to it being less labor intensive, is to give students the URL address and have students go to the website. Once

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MACUL journal

students arrive at the website, they simply click a button to ask to join the group. Once the teacher accepts the invitation, the tool is then functional. The only other actions that are needed before students can begin posting is to create discussion groups and actual posts. I’ve created discussion groups by dividing classes according to class period. This can be more manageable for students because they will then only respond to other students in their class hour. As for the posts, teachers merely write a question or prompt, similar to a Facebook post in style, and direct students to access their class hour, click on the post for the day and then reply. Using the tool to further reflect, converse, and engage in dialogue Once the tool is created and students have joined the site/group, the platform can be used for multiple purposes. It can simply serve as a way for students to respond to a prompt and post an individual reply to a discussion question. However, as stated above, much more is possible for promoting dialogue amongst students. To achieve this purpose, I assign two different prompts for students to answer. However, I assign half of the class to answer one question and the other half to answer the other question. Then, on the following day, students are asked to select a student’s response that they didn’t answer and to respond to that post. In class, we focus on transition statements as a way for students to segue from classmates’ ideas to their own. When we practice this skill in class, we focus on disagreeing with an individual’s idea and never attacking the individual personally. This is a very important life skill that students need help practicing. The language of this exercise is very important, meaning that students will learn how to acknowledge another students’ idea and then pivot using transition phrases to their own thoughts. In this sense, my attempt is to replicate a real-life conversation in which two people may or may not agree with each other on a controversial topic. Potential topics include the idea of who is included in the “American Dream”, affirmative action, the death penalty, and the role of government in society. However, students could apply content from any discipline or an interdisciplinary question depending on the teacher, their content area, and their purpose for using Google Groups. Takeaways! Helping the young people of America learn to be civil is an admirable endeavor. It takes an incredible commitment and explicit teaching to be done well. While I have by no means mastered this skill, I do believe that my students have learned that they are capable of discussing controversial topics without arguments resulting. The more practice students receive with this skill, the more capable they will be at talking with people in society about difficult issues. This Google group is not a panacea to helping students value and act on creating more civil conversation habits. It is, however, a start. I hope that you, as teachers, staff, and members of the school community will share my viewpoint and encourage other education professionals to prioritize the teaching of this skill. Using Google Groups in this way is merely one method to working towards more civil, respectful, and just interactions amongst ourselves as citizens. Ben Williams is currently a Middle School Social Studies Teacher at Two Rivers Public Charter School in Washington DC. He received his Master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Michigan and taught at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor.

MACUL journal


Spring 2015

Personal Learning Networks for ACHIEVING LIBRARY 2.0 Librarians (Part 2) In the first article about personal learning networks for librarians, we talked about involvement with professional organizations, mail lists, blogs and wikis. In this article, I would like to share with you some of my favorite blogs. I have created a list below. As I looked through this list, I had a couple of thoughts. First, how few of these blogs deal only with “library” related issues – school libraries are so inter-connected with all aspects of learning and education, including leadership and technology and the political climate. Second, how fortunate we are to have the MACUL Conference available to us. Most of these authors I first became acquainted with when I heard them speak at the conference. I encourage you to attend the March conference and look for folks who blog. Here are a few of my favorites: Blue Skunk Blog Doug Johnson helps us think about technology, libraries, administrators and life. Free Technology for Teachers — Richard Byrne shares lots of resources for teachers and librarians. The Hub (YALSA)Young Adult literature blog from ALA • DML Research Hub —Digital Media and Learning Research hub brings us lots of voices. The Daring Librarian — Gwyneth Jones is a very colorful and positive Teacher Librarian and Technology Specialist • Dangerously Irrelevant — Scott McLeod shares thoughts on education, technology and leadership Virtual Dave — R.David Lankes is a professor, author, and library thought leader. Tame the Web— Michael Stephens is another leading library thinker. Emerging EdTech — Kelly Walsh ponders changes in learning, technology, and education. Pair A Dimes — David Truss also thinks a lot about education, learning, and technology. A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet — Julie Greller helps us explore. The Booklist Reader — “Opinion, news, and lists from the book people at Booklist …”

How does one keep up with all these blogs? Use a tool to manage your blog and wiki reading. Most can be subscribed to or have their RSS feed managed. There are several good RSS readers available for free - I use Feedly. Next time I plan to continue our discussion on Personal Learning Networks for Librarians and examine how we can to use social bookmarking to work with our teachers and their personal learning networks. Tim Staal is a retired Librarian, Past-President of MACUL, former Executive Director of MAME and a technology coach,


A Culture of Collaboration and Michigan Virtual University (MVU). We also collaborate and support many of the Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant (TRIG) activities such as Device Purchasing and Classroom Readiness.

w w w. r e m c . o r g An organization’s capacity to collaborate productively with others— members, peers, stakeholders, customers, even competitors—has become an essential skill for thriving in this increasingly interdependent and diverse world. The REMC Directors recognized early on the importance of collaborating together and with others when, in 1969, they formed what is now known as the REMC Association of Michigan. The REMC Association of Michigan has a long history of developing and nurturing cooperative, collaborative relationships that have a mutual benefit for the Association, its respective partners and schools throughout the state. Consistent with its mission “to provide a forum for interaction and…equitable access to quality services” long-standing, productive arrangements have been formalized with vendors of products and services, universities, intermediate and local school districts and other educational agencies and associations. These cooperative arrangements have a single purpose: to add value to services offered by Regional Educational Media Centers to their constituents. Currently we have formal collaborative partnerships with the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL)

The Association is supporting eight projects this year. All project content and resources are available for the Michigan educational community to use within their instructional setting. Current Association collaborative projects include: • Blended Learning in the Classroom course • MI Streamnet - live and on-demand video resources • Michigan Learns Online - resources and content supporting online/blended learning • Michigan Common Core Resources and Guides • SAVE Bid Project - volume contracts saving Michigan schools $625 million since 1990 • 21 Things 4 iPads - learning activities galore • 21 Things 4 Students - free technology & learning skills curriculum • 21 Things 4 Teachers - core technology skills for the classroom One of the most fruitful collaborations over the past 10 years is with the ISD/REMC instructional technology specialists (RITS). RITS members are key in supporting and implementing REMCAM projects and initiatives. If you have any questions about the Association and its activities please feel free to contact me. I would love to tell you more about the exciting work we do. Sue Schwartz is the Executive Director for the REMC Association of Michigan.

STUDENTS continued from page 7 of confidence in speaking with adults. During one particular showcase, Senator Mike Kowall spent one-on-one time with each student. Representing Chippewa Valley Schools in Macomb County, Vicki Myers and her fourth graders from Erie Elementary School have come to the Capitol to showcase digital storytelling projects about topics such as life cycles of monarch butterflies, favorite Dr. Seuss books, and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go in Michigan”. Her students have also demonstrated Glogster/Timeliner projects and their class “TweenTribune” website. Vicki enjoys watching her students “bloom under the eyes and ears of our state legislators and other educators,” and notices how even shy students find their voice to share how technology impacts their learning at the showcase. Vicki shares that her students are amazed that adults are REALLY interested to find out about their technology knowledge and how they use it every day in the classroom. The benefits for Vicki of taking a team of students to the Showcase include seeing what other educators are doing in their classrooms, speaking with legislators and seeing her students take on the role of ambassador for technology when they interact with legislators. She sees the Showcase as a forum for her students to get the 30


undivided attention of lawmakers to explain to them how important technology is for them in the process of learning. For example, at a recent Showcase, her students advocated for all students in the state of Michigan to be able to have a tablet to use in school on a daily basis. We hope that all Michigan educators will consider taking a team of students to future AT&T/MACUL Student Showcase events. The structure is in place and the environment is perfect for educators and students to share their unique stories with state legislators regarding the importance of students having ongoing technology-enhanced learning experiences. Students are our best advocates! Terri Gustafson, M.A., is a member of the MACUL Board of Directors. She is the Director of the Center for Teaching and Technology in the College of Education at Michigan State University. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @tgustafson. Pam Shoemaker, ED.S. is the 2014-15 MACUL Past-President and serves on the MACUL Advocacy Committee. She works as the Technology Instructional Coach for the Walled Lake Consolidated School District. Contact her at pam. Follow her on Twitter @shoemap.

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MACUL journal

The MyBlend program provides a combination of products, resources, tools and services to aid in effectively implementing blended learning using personalized learning options to improve student achievement.



Spring 2015


MACUL journal

Profile for MACUL

MACUL Journal Spring 2015  

A Culture of Collaboration

MACUL Journal Spring 2015  

A Culture of Collaboration

Profile for macul