Hosting a Webinar: From Beginning to End

Copyright, Google Hangouts On Air, Intellectual Property, Learning, MAET Year 2, PLN, Research, Tech Tools, The Bridge Webinar Series, Webinar

MSU MAET The Bridge Webinar Series:

Social and Ethical Uses of Technology: A Webinar for Intellectual Property & Copyright in the Classroom

Blog post written collaboratively by 4Tech: Lauren Villaluz, Renee Jorae, Kate McCallum, Alexis Miller

What is a Webinar?

“Webinar is short for Web-based seminar, it is a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the Web using video conferencing software.  A key feature of a webinar is its interactive elements — the ability to give, receive and discuss information. Contrast with Webcast, in which the data transmission is one way and does not allow interaction between the presenter and the audience. ” according to Webopedia. It is a great way to pull together a group of experts or interested participants and have a conversation about a specific topic. Often times there is a backchannel running simultaneously or chat for participants and for attendees who watch the webinar. The backchannel provides a place for viewers of the webinar to comment, ask questions, and provide additional resources. The chat within the webinar  provides a place for the webinar participants to talk behind the scenes.

There are several webinar services to choose from for hosting a webinar.  The type of service depends on the type of webinar. provides a buying guide for how to choose the right service. If budget is an issue consider  a free hosting service.

What was our purpose for hosting a webinar?

For our MSU-MAET project, students are required to host a webinar about a key topic in educational technology.  Our team, 4Tech, hosted a webinar on July 16, 2014 at 7:00 in the evening.

Our focus was Social and Ethical Uses of Technology: A Webinar for Intellectual Property and Copyright in the Classroom. We used Google Hangouts on Air and were featured on the Michigan State University MAET webinar series “The Bridge”. For more information on the MAET Bridge webinar series go to  or follow #MAETBridge.

How to prepare for hosting a webinar?

Below is the process we went through from beginning to end to make this webinar possible, evidence/samples are provided as hyperlinks:

Webinar Preparation and Conceptualization:

Step 1 – Determine the topic

  • 4Tech was assigned: Social and Ethical Uses of Technology: A Webinar for Intellectual Property and Copyright in the Classroom

Step 2 – Create a Collaborative Document for Team Collaboration

  • We chose Google Docs as our collaborative planning tool. Our Google Doc was a work in progress and constantly changed to reflect what we were currently discussing.

Step 3 – Determine each person’s role on the team and divide responsibilities.

  • Before the first practice session, everyone created questions that they thought should be used for the webinar on the shared Google Doc.
  • BACKCHANNEL: Renee Jorae (Twitter #maetbridge), created the blog post for the 4 Tech Team to share on their MAET portfolio, researched information and create a document to use for twitter posts for each question, thus making it easier to copy and paste into Twitter as we go along. This also documents the event through Twitter. We were each required to write our own evaluations.
  • TECHNICAL SUPPORT COORDINATION and  COMMUNICATION: Lauren Villaluz, learned how Google Hangouts on Air works (Training Authors Tutorial and YouTube Video) so that the technical aspects of the webinar would run smoothly. Lauren monitored the audio and video input during the live hangout.  
  • CO- MODERATOR/PANEL EXPERT : Kate McCallum, located resources for the background knowledge for team to read to prepare for the conversation and for links to tweet out. Prepared herself for webinar conversation.

Step 4 – Get 1 – 3 “experts” and make contact to see if they are interested in participating.

  • We wanted to get various people who would provide different perspectives about copyright and fair use guidelines. Each of us contacted individuals and once they confirmed we sent an email to our team’s Technical Coordinator, Lauren. (Contact Sample)
  • Our panel of experts:
  • Adel DiOrio – St. Johns Middle School Principal (unable to attend at last minute)
  • Kyle Dunbar – Tech Integration Specialist
  • Jeremy Whiting – President of the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association

Step 5 – Coordinate and scheduling the date and time of the actual  webinar and the practice sessions

  • Practice Session 1 was Tuesday, July 8 from 6:00 to 8:30. We discussed where we were at, made final preparations, determine the structure of the webinar, the order of the questions and learned the features of Google Hangouts Live.
  • Practice Session 2 was Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 6:30 to 8:30. We finalized everything possible and shared further information about the backchannel, documents, and format.
  • Online Live Webinar was Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 7:00 in the evening. Our panel of experts along with our team checked in at 6:30 and tested equipment to make sure everything worked properly.  We introduced ourselves and got acquainted, used the Google Toolbox and set our lower third (names and additional information), answered questions, and went over the format of the live webinar.

Step 6 – Develop a questionnaire to attach to the confirmation email for the participants.

  • Lauren sent the email and our questionnaire to the experts as soon as she received a confirmation email. When participants replied back she shared these with the team in our webinar folder. The questionnaire provided a brief biography of the participants and important contact information.

Step 7 –Develop the webinar abstract.

  • Our abstract was shared with participants and coordinator of the MAET Bridge, Michelle Hagerman. She then added it to  the MAET Bridge to encourage viewers to participate.

Step 8 – Develop a draft of webinar format which includes helpful webinar tips.

  • Our draft of the webinar format also included specific script for individuals as well as tips. Hint: It may be helpful for the host to use note cards or a teleprompter for introductions and questions so they are looking up and not down at their notes. ipad works good for this with a teleprompter app.

Step 9 –Determine the best way to handle the backchannel.

  • Renee is responsible for #maetbridge on Twitter; posting comments, updates from the webinar, and providing links to resources. She has prepared a resource ahead of time with shorten URL’s and possible Titter Posts for 4Tech to add to if they find more resources.
  • Renee will communicate the Twitter feed questions to our panel using the chat feature within Google Hangouts Live during the webinar so they can answer questions as we go if they so choose. The panel could also answer the questions in the last 10 minutes if any are left.
  •  Renee will use the Titanpad to document what is going on in the chat when participants post resources or answer questions. She will also use it for the Q and A part of Twitter. This may not get done during the live Webinar. The purpose of the Titanpad (previously Etherpad) was to documents questions of viewers and the panel, then provide a place where anyone can provide answers as well. If a question is not answered during the webinar our team needs to find the answer or a resource and put it on the Titanpad. The Titanpad was embedded at  under our webinar session. Our TITANPAD LINK – . Note that Renee put information on the Titanpad before the webinar session.
  • Renee will send an email to MAET Bridge Instructor Support  providing the Titan Pad Link (Rohit)
  • For a good example of how to use Titanpad in conjunction with a webinar, visit the Teachers Teaching Teachers TitanPad

Step 10 – Invite other participants to join in online

Step 11 – Share MAET Bridge blog post with coordinator.

Step 12 – Look at the technical aspects of how to add the Bridge YouTube Intro to our webinar.

Step 13 – Make a shared Google Doc blog post for class for our MAET course 815.

What happens during a webinar?

The 4 Tech webinar ran quite successfully with minor issues. This can be greatly contributed to the practice sessions we conducted which supported us in determining technology issues and finding solutions to them. Our tech expert, Lauren Villaluz, did a phenomenal job ensuring that the webinar ran smoothly. Renee Jorae, our backchannel moderator, kept us well informed of our audiences thoughts throughout the webinar.

The webinar took on a great conversational feel as participants were able to add in their knowledge, expertise, and experience. The main topics of conversation were:

– What is copyright?

– What is fair use?

– What are resources for educators and students?

– What are common misconceptions educators have about copyright?

– Ways to best educate students about copyright?

Throughout the webinar we uncovered that there is a lot of gray area when it comes to copyright and fair use, but that explicitly teaching copyright will ultimately lead to increased creativity and increased awareness over copyright laws. In addition to explicitly teaching copyright it is essential, as educators, to model fair use and copyright.

Another important element of the discussion was expressing that staff and administrators need to be on the same page when it comes to dealing with copyright and fair use. In order to be on the same page it is important that the misconceptions and misunderstandings are addressed – for example, fair use does not mean that anything goes.

Together the panel put together numerous resources that can be useful to teach about copyright laws and be used to avoid breaking copyright. Despite copyright and fair use being a gray area there are many resources to support the public.

How to Wrap Up the Webinar?

Step 14 – Complete the blog post for the MAET program.

Step 15 – Update the Titan Pad for a record.

Step 16 – Copy all conversations as evidence for Coursework.

Step 18 – Create a public document for anyone to add resources to.

Step 19 – Send out thank you’s and link to panel experts and wrap up.

Step 20 – Breathe and Enjoy!

Personal Reflection

Previously having the opportunity to be a contributor to a webinar on the MAET program, I was excited to have the opportunity to put together a webinar from start to finish. When determining roles, I wanted to have knowledge about the technical side of hosting a live webinar via Google Hangouts On Air so that I can potentially host future webinars or help other teachers or administrators create content via Google Hangouts. So I took on the role of Technological Coordinator for our webinar. Preparing for the role proved to be a bit of a challenge, as the only way to play with the controls and tools authentically is to actually host a Google Hangout On Air. As a result, the group scheduled multiple practice sessions so I could play with the control room settings where I discovered how to adjust everyone’s individual volume and appearance on screen.

The webinar itself as prepared as I could be was a bit more stressful than I anticipated. One of our invited guests was on vacation and was receiving error messages when being invited to the Google Hangout on Air. I had prepared for this and sent her some resources for resolving common Hangout errors but none of them were able to resolve her issue. So she was able to access the Hangout via her smart phone but that left her with an obvious echo every time someone else spoke. We tried troubleshooting by having her insert headphones but that took away her ability to speak because of the multi-use headphone/mic jack. So, in the end we settled on having her just mute her mic whenever she was not speaking and I helped monitor that as we went along.

Also, although we had practiced, I did not realize the lag time in switching from the Chat application within Google Hangout On Air and the Control Room application. Both applications can not be displayed simultaneously so if I was reading a message in the Chat app and something went wrong with someone’s sound, there was a delay in my ability to fix it as I closed out Chat app and opened the Control Room app. For future purposes, I know that if the host is expected to be monitoring the Control Room then there needs to be another form of contact like via text message to communicate important information to the host so there is no switching back and forth.

The webinar flew by and focusing on the technical aspects made it a bit difficult to keep up with all of the wonderful content being shared. I will admit to having to watch the archived webinar so that I could fully grasp what was discussed since I was multitasking during live webinar. I have a new respect for all the roles involved in hosting a webinar and now have a new respect for people who host a webinar with less than four people! Our group agreed that it would have been difficult with one less person! I really appreciated The MAET Bridge Webinar Series allowing us to be the guest hosts for the month of July. Overall, I think this was a great experience and I look forward to hosting, participating and viewing in many more future webinars on great topics.

Maker Activity #3 (Assessment & Reflection)

Learning, MAET Year 1, Maker Movement, Squishy Circuits

I have been using the Maker Kit of Squishy Circuits to design my Maker lesson plan and UDL redesign. I had never previously heard of Squishy Circuits before but do remember vaguely playing with electric circuit kits as a grade school student. As an adult, I can reflect and say that comparing the two circuitry experiences, I would have learned considerably more about how circuits work had I been able to explore circuitry as a young student through using the Squishy Circuits kit. The kit is more engaging than a pre-set circuit lab activity because Squishy Circuits have both cross-curricular ties and can be created unique to the learner but accomplish the same overall academic objective.

My group made many interdisciplinary connections while working with Squishy Circuits. It just seemed to make sense that students could use their “…cognitive-creative skills that cut-across disciplinary boundaries” with this kit (Mishra & The Deep-Play Research Group, 2012, p.15). However, without a culture of collaboration and team teaching amongst teachers, I think this would be more difficult to implement in practice. I am not highly skilled in the area of science, therefore did not feel like I could really use the Squishy Circuits to their full potential because I was lacking some basic foundational science knowledge to really help my students unleash their capabilities. For example, I had to look up which kinds of materials were conductive and which were insulators because I had forgotten. So it seemed like a times, in order to incorporate Squishy Circuits into my curriculum meaningfully and not doing some creative stretching, I would need to team teach with a science teacher which is why I re-designed my lesson to include that adjustment.

Maker education seems to fit seamlessly into fields of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics). As …. says,  “creative thought processes are considered increasingly necessary as criteria for accomplishment in the progressively complex and interdependent 21st century (Mishra & The Deep-Play Research Group, 2012, p.14). I think maker education can work in other disciplines but it will be incorporated most effectively if it involves teachers from all disciplines working together on student projects so that learning is more meaningful.  However, the challenge to this is that many of our school environments are set up to be “silo” oriented and do not allow for this type of collaboration.


Mishra, P., & The Deep-Play Research Group (2012). Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century: Crayons are the Future.TechTrends, 56(5), 13-16.

From Trash to Treasure Part 2: Inspiration to Reality

Learning, Learning Theory, MAET Year 1, Maker Movement, Repurposing, Squishy Circuits

I recently shared my Thrifting experience and design plans for a Don Quijote inspired Spanish windmill. I had thought ahead a bit and designed my invention to be a “test run” of sorts for my potential lesson plan.

Again, the maker kit that my group and I had was “Squishy Circuits”. This kit is an awesome tool for younger students to more actively participate in the circuitry experience safely and creatively.

My third and fourth grade Spanish students focus their cultural learning on Central American countries. My goal for this particular lesson including “Squishy Circuits” is to have them contribute to their understanding of Culture through the Products and Perspectives Standard, which requires that students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied.

It would be easy to assign students to create a poster or a PowerPoint packed to the brim with information about a certain landmark from a country and present it to the class to demonstrate their understanding. However, this is a topic that students really struggle to assign meaning to. How without actually physically traveling to these landmarks am I able to get my students to achieve a deeper understanding and make connections? Regurgitating memorized information is not going to create that deeper connection.

My idea is that earlier in the year, we would have covered the basic geography of Central America and done a bit of background about each country. We would have explored Nicaragua deeply in fourth grade through a service-learning project and Guatemala deeply in third through a holiday related project.

Bringing in the idea that “…learning is enhanced…when teachers pay attention to the knowledge and beliefs that learners bring to a learning task, use this knowledge as a starting point for new instruction, and monitor students’ changing conceptions as instruction proceeds, ”(Bransford, Brown & Cocking, 2000, p. 11) I would begin this lesson by introducing students to a specific Central American landmark and have them help me produce some basic background information about that landmark. This would ensure that my students are achieving meaningful learning by giving them the background knowledge to build their future knowledge upon.

In my experience, Vygotsky’s learning theories of scaffolding and the zone of proximal development are key in successful language teaching. I usually scaffold my learners through teacher or student modeling, which I would do in this lesson by having them walk through an example list of resources that I would probably post using the MentorMob learning playlist tool for the example landmark. As we walk through these resources, I would ask questions to have them describe their thinking about the landmark and encourage them to make connections from the resources we looked at and from using prior knowledge. I would then divide my students up in small groups and assign each group a landmark.

Some examples of landmarks:

Panama Canal (Panama)

Ometepe Island (Nicaragua)

Tikal Temple in Tikal National Park (Guatemala)

Catedral Metropolitana/ Catedral de Panamá (Panama)

Joya de Cerén (El Salvador)

Depending on my students’ background knowledge of circuitry, I might either go through just the tools included in the “Squishy Circuits” kit, give an actual demonstration or just hand it to them with no explanation via the constructivist theory (or the Craig McMichael method).

I would give my students the tools to get started on their creation of this landmark and then focus on supporting the participatory and hands-on learning portion that really creates the meaning for this particular topic. I think it is awesome to have the science part embedded within the culture through the “Squishy Circuits” kit. I will probably be able to kick start some students’ motivation on the sole fact it is science related. I consider myself a global educator who “…use(s) participatory learning activities such as simulations because they infuse their classrooms with complexity, unpredictability, and realism.” (Byrnes, 1997, p. 100) Students have to be able to feel like they can go out and apply these skills in the real world. Through my use of participatory learning, I can see that “…participatory learning helps students develop analytic and interpersonal skills” (Byrnes, 1997, p. 99) that they would not be developing just working individually on a PowerPoint.


Bransford, J., Brown, A., & Cocking, R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Byrnes, R. S. (1997). Global education’s promise: reinvigorating classroom life in a changing, interconnected world. Theory Into Practice, 3695-101.

Getting Things Done

Learning, MAET Year 1, Organization

 I am most interested in the organize portion of the “Getting Things Done”. I have no trouble collecting and processing, but I think the most difficult is organizing all that information. So for that reason, I explored some organize focused tech tools.


I DESPISE looking at multiple calendars. I tried out Apple Calendar to tie my calendars together on my iPhone, iPad and MacBook. The problem my husband and I ran into was that Apple Calendar is not multiple user friendly and you have to tie all of your devices together in the cloud. He could not with his Apple id access my calendar, which was under my own Apple id. He came across a calendar app called Cozi that I love. I believe the complete app costs $2.99 and can be shared throughout multiple devices. I have it on both my iPad and iPhone and my husband has it on his iPhone. Both of us can add, edit and change events but everything is on one calendar!

Cozi also includes reminders options, to do lists, shopping lists and birthday calendars. Though unfortunately at the moment, you can export and import to Google Calendar but this app does not allowing for syncing with Google Calendars. It appears they are working towards adding this feature though. For now and for my purposes of combining professional and personal affairs into one calendar it works just fine!


 I’ve heard of Diigo multiple times and wanted to learn more about it. I explored it today and was turned off instantly when the educator upgrade would not accept my school e-mail address because it is not a public school e-mail address. But now that I have been playing with Diigo, I wish I would have explored this website about two weeks ago. This tool is exactly what I was thinking I needed as I read a website on my iPad and then found myself taking notes on my MacBook so I didn’t have to flip back and forth. Diigo could have allowed me to take notes and highlight within the webpage itself. It has an easy tab that you install in your bookmarks toolbar that allows you to instantly access the tools on any webpage. It also includes a library of your bookmarked pages on your homepage in Diigo. I believe however taking a quick peek at EverNote that it may offer a more comprehensive scope of organizing materials. When I have more time, I will check out EverNote and compare!

From Trash to Treasure: Thrifting for Inspiration

Learning, MAET Year 1, Maker Movement, Repurposing, Squishy Circuits

As a relatively young teaching professional with a generous amount of student loans, thrifting has recently become a new default mode of shopping for myself. Yes, having shiny new things are nice and necessary occasionally,  but through some recent personal experiences I have become much more weary of the culture of consumption that we live in.

For this reason, I was excited to dive into thrifting for our maker project experience. I did not get a chance to visit the MSU Surplus store but did visit digitally via the website. I also physically visited several local resale shops to look for inspiration.

Our group’s maker kit was the “Squishy Circuits” kit. This kit uses conductive play dough and insulated play dough along with a battery pack, two buzzers and a rotor to allow younger students to safely and creatively play with circuitry.

I must admit, I approached this task thinking ahead to how I would incorporate my maker kit into a lesson for my Spanish classroom. At first glance, I was at a loss for ideas. This is after all a tool geared more for science and art.  When we had a our “play”sessions, we only seemed to go so far and then we ran out of things to do with this kit. So I began brainstorming to think of something I already do with my students and how I could incorporate the “Squishy Circuits” kit as a way of embedding the science portion into the Spanish content. My students study Hispanic cultures and one of the hardest things to give them is perspective. How do you accurately describe the beauty and significance of a certain culture landmark in ways that have meaning for students who have never had the experience of actually seeing the landmark in real life? Rather than research the landmark, print off some pretty pictures and give a poster or PowerPoint presentation, what if I had them actually work to (within reason) accurately create the landmark using “Squishy Circuits”?  They would get a hands on experience and have to research and answer those key critical thinking questions in order to be able to represent theirlandmark accurately. I could mold this idea to whatever country or concept we are talking about but the first inspiration to strike me was the majestic windmills in La Mancha in Consuegra, Spain that inspired Cervantes in Don Quijote.

So with that idea in mind, I went thrifting for inspiration.


I saw Legos, which reminded me of the Lego architecture sets that are out there and how popular they are. I thought about how building the landmark will give my students a completely different experience than just looking at a picture or talking about it. I looked at all the small jewelry pieces and thought about giving my students all sorts of random mediums to accomplish their goal of replicating this landmark. Exploring the different mediums will also force them to understand the circuitry aspect of “Squishy Circuits” as well. Roaming the thrift stores, there are all sorts of objects that could be incorporated into the play dough of the squishy circuit. If it is a plastic object say Legos, they will have to understand that it is not conductive and therefore design their building accordingly. If it is a metal object, they will have to experiment to see if it is a conductive metal or not and if that effects the architecture of their building. In the case of this project, I was using the thrift store more as a starting point of inspiration of where to go with the design of my windmill. And it worked…

Less than twenty minutes later, out to lunch with my husband, I began to talk out with him the idea for my windmill design. The stars seemed to have aligned as we happened to be eating at a restaurant that gives you one of those paper tablecloths and crayons. We both began to illustrate what we were thinking and created prototypes of this windmill made with “Squishy Circuits”. Amazing how some of the best ideas come together and appear in the oddest places (7 Brilliant Ideas Scribbled on Cocktail Napkins).


Ok, so my drawing skills leave much to be desired but after talking it out with my husband, we sketched out a basic layout that would work in theory and determined the tools I would need to create it.

How to Create a Spanish Windmill using “Squishy Circuits”

I will do my very best here to explain step by step how you could go about creating a working La Mancha inspired windmill that should end up looking as majestic as the real ones in Spain. Or at the very least, a functioning windmill.

Supplies Needed:

  • 2 batches of conductive play dough NO FOOD COLORING ADDED SO DOUGH REMAINS WHITE (click here for recipe)     (HELPFUL HINT: make sure to label this dough in a plastic bag “conductive” so it does not get confused with the insulating dough)
  • 1 batch of insulating play dough NO FOOD COLORING ADDED SO DOUGH REMAINS WHITE (click here for recipe)                         (HELPFUL HINT: make sure to label this dough in a plastic bag “insulating” so it does not get confused with the conductive dough)
  • 1 batch of conductive play dough (equal portions of blue, yellow and red  to create black play dough) (click here for recipe)


1 metal spool with holes (no thread)

  • 1 medium sized rubber band
  • 1 wooden skewer
  • needle nose pliers
  • 12 inches by 1 inch of mesh (can be wire mesh or window screen mesh) cut into four separate 3 inch by 1 inch pieces
  • hot glue gun

What To Do First?

Create Your Windmill Shape


1. Begin by forming your white conductive dough into a vertical cylinder shape. This will represent the white bottom of the windmill. You may not use all the dough depending on the size of your desired windmill.

2. Now take your white insulating dough and create a cookie shape cylinder to insert on top of the white conductive dough vertical cylinder. This dough should be about an 1″ in height on top of the white conductive dough.

3. To finish your windmill shape, take the black conductive dough and create a cone shape proportionate to your white cylinder shape. Make sure that the black conductive cone shape is not touching the white conductive dough only the insulating dough underneath.

photo(11)Create Youphoto(12)r Windmill Blades

1. First, find your metal spool and four sections of three inch wire. In the tiny holes on the side of the metal spool, locate four holes that are diagonal from each other and will create an X shape for the blades of your windmill.

2. Use the needlenose pliers to bend each wire through one of the tiny holes on the spool and bend it back through to secure it to the spool. Do this with all four pieces of the metal wire to form the X shape blade.

3. Heat your hot glue gun. When the glue gun is ready, attach your four pieces of mesh or window screen to each wire vertically to imitate the blades on the windmill. Make sure to use small dots of hot glue so that you are not making the blades too heavy with glue. Let each dry.

4. Find one of your wooden skewers and your metal spool. Take your wooden skewer and thread it through the large hole in the metal spool. On one end of the wooden skewer add a small sphere of leftover dough to act as a stopper for the metal spool. Make sure the dough does not actually touch the metal spool.

5. Insert the wooden skewer near the bottom of the black conductive dough cone. Make sure to leave space of the metal spool to be able to spin freely. If there is extra wooden skewer stick out of the back of your windmill, feel free to cut it off with scissors.

Make It Move


1. On the side opposite your windmill blades, attach your positive (red) side of the the battery pack to the black conductive dough. Attach your negative (black) side of the battery pack to the white conductive dough. Your dough is now charged.

2. On the side with the windmill blades about 1-2 inches directly below your metal spool insert your motor into the white conductive dough. Insert the positive (red) side of the motor into the black conductive dough. attach your negative (black) side of the motor to the white conductive dough. Your motor should now be functioning.

3. While working on step 3, remove the negative side of the motor so it stops rotating. Take the rubber band and wrap it around the metal spool and around the spinning motor end. Reattach your negative side of the motor to the white conductive dough and now the rotation of the motor should translate to the spool and result in a spinning windmill!

Give it Some Character

You have successfully created a working windmill. Feel free now to give your windmill some character or just bask in the glory of your accomplishment. You can add windows, doors, cracks in the dough, ect. to give it that older and more authentic feel. Also each “La Mancha” windmill has name so feel free to add that above the door of your windmill in marker. Excelente!

Please comment below if you have any suggestions or ways to improve the design of the windmill. Do you have other architectural structures that lend themselves to recreation using “Squishy Circuits”?


Chopped Revisited

Learning, MAET Year 1, TPACK

Chopped Round 1

Content: “A Small Price to Pay” by Stephen Kosslyn

Technology: Montage

Pedagogy: Chef’s Choice (Whatever means necessary)

FINISHED DISH: Completed Montage

Chopped Round 2

Content: “A Small Price to Pay” by Stephen Kosslyn

Technology: Whiteboards and Whiteboard Markers

Pedagogy: Create a visual image



I feel like my groups were pretty successful in both Chopped rounds. Maybe we would have made it to Round 3 for dessert?

These Chopped activities were useful in seeing that despite different pedagogy and such completely different technologies we could still create something meaningful. It forced me to recognize my own pattern of thinking as we reflected on things that were positive and negative about using each technology. I know that I personally have gotten caught up in “chrono-centric” mindset and focused more on the technology and how I can mold what I am doing to fit that specific technology. I now recognize that the focus should and CAN as Dr. Mishra(2012) says be on what we “…want our students to learn and how that learning is going to happen” (p. 14) rather than letting technology dictate learning.

Obviously, these Chopped assignments also tie in with our “Cooking with TPACK” repurposing activity as well. I appreciated the opportunity to actually see the TPACK theory in action as we were doing these activities and being able to note the differences in learning. I think many teachers resist “technology” on the basis that they do not realize the tools they use on a daily basis like whiteboards, crayons, ect. are forms of technology. I think if all teachers approached new technology with the TPACK model in mind, they would enjoy and want to continue using it as opposed to getting frustrated and giving up.


Popcorn Maker

Conference Proposal, Learning, MAET Year 1

We were given a pretty limited time to explore Popcorn Maker today. Despite having a pretty decent background in video editing, the new tool kind of threw me for a loop. The creations and features are really cool but I don’t think I was completely vested 100% in figuring it out today. Our conference proposal group worked collaboratively to create a video on Popcorn Maker to spark interest in our conference proposal and to embed (*fingers crossed*) on our website. We found a YouTube video of a toddler using an iPad that perfectly illustrates how we sometimes feel as teachers implementing technology in the classroom. There are ups and downs and the downs just make us want to SCREAM!

We discussed that some of the features of Popcorn were not the most user friendly (i.e. having to enter separate text boxes every time you want a new font size). Overall, it was relatively easy to compile our video with pop-ups, video and text. We did not add any additional audio but maybe it would be beneficial to add some to the beginning and end for a little extra spark if we have time.

I personally had fun playing with Popcorn Maker having it spark ideas as to how I could use it in my Spanish classroom. I use music and music videos all the time and it would be awesome to be able to point things out within the video with pop-ups or text. It would be awesome to have my students create a Popcorn Maker and just illustrate the meaning of one Spanish vocabulary word using all the different resources. I love that you can add a Twitter feed as well even more examples of authentic language that I would not normally be able to get from a preset video.

Here is our video:

Cooking with TPACK

Learning, MAET Year 1, TPACK

Our Task: Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Our Tools: Large Pink Bowl, Blue medium size plate, pumpkin carving knife

Our Supplies: Seeded Italian Bread, Smucker’s Goober Grape Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly Stripes

What does this activity has to do with teaching, technology integration, and TPACK?!?!?!?!

We were given specific tools for this activity. We choose to use the plate as it was intended to be used, we repurposed the pumpkin carving knife and we did not even use the bowl. We also added a tool (our hands) to the mix pulling from what we already possessed.

As we were creating the sandwich, we both thought of different ways to create it. One of us liked the sandwich to be cut in half and with peanut butter on one side and jelly on the other. The other one liked the sandwich whole and to mix the peanut butter and jelly together on both sides of the bread.

We can directly relate this experience to our teaching and learning. We have all sorts of tools available to us as teachers. We are constantly sifting through them repurposing, tossing out and finding ways to make materials work for our own learning goals. Dr. Punya Mishra spoke about the movement from “technology integration into technology innovation” and we think we see this innovation in ourselves as teachers on a daily basis. We mold and adapt our teaching to reach all of our learners.

Written collaboratively with Thoughts & Wonderings by Yalonda

Reading Presentation 6/25/13

Learning, MAET Year 1, Maker Movement

Reading Presentation

All resources can be accessed via the notes section of this HaikuDeck.

HaikuDeck Presentation

Has the Internet changed the way we see? Here’s what we think.

Does the Internet make us nicer? Here’s what we think.

Reflection on “Replacing Experience with Facsimile” and “I am Realizing How Nice People Can Be”

The essays Replacing Experience with Facsimile by Eric Fischl and April Gornik and I am Realizing How Nice People Can Be by Paul Bloom open up new perspectives on the power of the internet.  While also looking at the maker movement and remix culture we see that “false illusion of knowledge and experience” (Fischl and Gornik) has occurred while also a level of production, creativity, and emerging ideas not imaginable before.  Similar to professional athletes making their chosen sport look easy, the internet also often has the same effect.  Fortunately, somebody else on the internet has usually had the same problems as you and has posted a solution to the problem on the internet.  Paul Bloom claims that the internet has made people nicer.  I think this point is especially interesting because in schools we often focus on the issues of cyberbullying and the negative outcomes of the internet while disregarding the positive.  I was babysitting one night and the mom had bought an OtterBox for their iPad.  She and her son could not figure out how to put the OtterBox on the iPad and there were not any directions.  After about five minutes of failed attempts I got on my phone and Youtube’d “how to put an OtterBox on an Ipad.”  After about another five minutes of video watching, the eight year old and I had successfully ensured that the next time he dropped the iPad a shattered screen would (hopefully) not be the result.  People are becoming more and more willing to share their advice on the internet.  Through a Google search one can find most answers to any question or problem they pose.  Some of these solutions might be help forums, videos, blogs, or instructional manuals.  If you are looking for a recipe online the comments usually offer up great advice of tweaks to make that dish more enjoyable.

The maker movement and remix culture are essentially the internet come alive – they are innovative creators and helpers.  They share their experience and expertise.  They are excited to create new things and share with the world.  They are learners.  They are teachers.  They are a self-correcting and peer-editing culture.

Written collaboratively with Teaching with Miller

Let’s Get Personal…with our blog design

Learning, MAET Year 1


So I was struggling with my WordPress theme and making it reflect more of my personality. I will be stuck with it for the next three years so I should be happy with it! I would never be one to leave something plain and  in life and the same goes for my blog. I’m not particularly artistic but definitely crafty and creative. My frustration with WordPress settings actually drove me to switch to using Weebly for my school site this year.

I sat down this weekend to begin my readings being the responsible student that I am 🙂 and I could not take it any more. Something had to be done about the visual appeal of my blog before I could add any more posts or pages! Don’t you worry. I got my homework done too.

I have always wondered how everyone makes their blog so beautiful and unique with these images, headers and posts that are modern and professional. So I put aside the readings to delve into LearnWordPress. In the chaos of the new school year, I had never actually taken the time to read this when I started using WordPress two years ago. I reflect now on how silly that was and how incredibly useful I think this resource is. It is full of all sorts of suggestions and things I would not have ever thought of as a beginning blogger otherwise. It was here in the “Get Configured” section that I learned about adding a custom header or background! Ta-da! Finally, somewhere I could put a little something special.

In my searching, stumbled upon this blog posting by Something Swanky about Creating a Custom Header using PicMonkey and followed her awesome directions to create a custom image using the PicMonkey website. The PicMonkey website is free (there is an upgrade available) and does not require any registration! You can create custom images with text and give it all sorts of different effects. You can even drop in your own photos and customize them. So check it out MAETers so you too can personalize your blog and then get back to the critical thinking 🙂

I will be using PicMonkey again to create custom images and maybe even change my header if I’m not happy with it in the next few weeks. But now I know that the option is there! It is a breath of creative fresh air in the default blog settings.