Posted in ETMOOC, School, Uncategorized, writing

A Brief Blog Buzzing with Bits and Bites

In the etmooc (Educational Technology Media Open Online Course), I have learned how to use some interesting sites where you can curate and collaborate with information.  This has been incredibly eye-opening, useful, and liberating.  I began by lurking, dabbled by retweeting, blabbed with tweeting, flirted with reviewing, buzzed on my blog, and now – with these exciting new sites – aspire to curate.

Those who can, curate ... Those who can't twee...
Those who can, curate … Those who can’t tweet, retweet @bethkanter (Photo credit: planeta)

To begin, I am excited to be a publisher of stories or sites of interest to share with my “PLN” (Personal Learning Network), my colleagues, and friends.  The two sites that turned this simple hobbit-sized teacher into a powerful publisher (okay, I do exaggerate the power part, but not the hobbit part) are Storify and

1)  curates the material for you from tweeters that you choose to follow in your

2)    Storify allows you to curate your material by adding a “STORIFY THIS” button in your toolbar.  So, each interesting or relevant read can be “Storified”.

To help me sort through the confusion, this blog “ vs Storify” explains the pros and cons between and Storify.  I, actually, like both.  I feel that does a great job curating the PD reading of interest to me, which might interest my PLN too.   Whereas Storify offers me the power to select some great blogs, sites, articles, etc.. that I can customize to my audience and purpose.  (i.e. to share with my classes, or my Committee work on Learning Commons, or Travel info, etc…).  If I get to teach Creative Writing next year, then Storify is definitely a site I’d teach the students to use to curate their sources of inspiration with the PLN of the class.

3)    Finally, another two AWESOME sites for collecting information is DIIGO and EVERNOTE (these are buzz sites among educators).  This can be for personal use or collective usage (i.e. like our shared drive – but easier access, upload, and downloads).
a.    DIIGO –  offers a “Bookmarking” site that is easy to organize all the websites we educators collect.
b.    EVERNOTE – offers a sharing site of files and websites – allowing access to your storehouse of info, from any computer with internet access.

Such sites could offer awesome “sharing” and PD opportunities among staff and like-minded friends and PLNs.   I look forward to learning how to become “buzzingly” proficient with these bits and bites of sites that improve my interaction with the golden honey of the world wide web!

Posted in ETMOOC

Never Stop Learning

Disney - Pooh Reaching For Honey
Disney – Pooh Reaching For Honey (Photo credit: Express Monorail)

I’m not sure what I was thinking, but I’ve managed to find another honey pot to stick my head in.  I’m not sure if it is another form of procrastination – which I have a PH.D. in – or if it is an undeniable opportunity to learn and gain proficiency in projects I’ve been focusing on developing in my personal and professional growth and development.  Tonight – when I avoiding a dining table full of marking finish – I signed up for a free online Educational Technology course ( if interested:  In my defense, I discovered the course this week at our PD session on Tech in the Classroom via the illustrious Alec Couros, and I was alerted again to the course via an advertisement on the student blog site when I was marking the students’ blogs – I was marking!  So, it could be argued serendipity, not procrastination, led me to join.

Alas, I’m a workaholic high school English teacher who is always struggling to make each day better than the last with my children – Luca and Tulia, my love – Cristian, my students, my classes, myself, and my friends – in that order, probably!  I have a nagging  habit of getting stuck in multiple pots – but it is my passion of learning that drags me into these various bee nests.

So, why have I climbed this latest tree?  Well, for the past three years I have been pioneering blogging with my students, and I have learned to do so via trial and error and from the educational community online.  Technology is not a natural extension of my skills – it is a strange and foreign forest that often overwhelms.  But I believe in the transformational power of online learning for both me and my students.  So, I continue to seek out platforms to engage their learning and empower them to find their voices as readers and writers.  I love that blogging allows my students’ hearts and minds to be enjoyed by a larger community of readers, than just me!

But I believe there are many platforms for me to learn and embrace as an educational leader with my students – so it is my hope that Alec and his direction of this #etmooc course will help me build my skills and knowledge for more growth and development that takes our learning to the next level.

Furthermore, next year it is our family plan to live in Argentina for a semester – second semester.  So, I’m hoping this course can introduce me to learning with online technologies as well as, perhaps, open up opportunities to collaborate with my school online.

So, in the wee hours of the morning here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, I bid the #etmooc community a fond hello.

Disney's adaptation of Stephen Slesinger, Inc....
Disney’s adaptation of Stephen Slesinger, Inc.’s Winnie-the-Pooh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)