Thursday, July 6, 2017

My Educational Technology Journey


My name is Deirdre Keane and I am a librarian for a Chicago Public School called LaSalle II. My school is located in Wicker Park. I teach students from kindergarten through 8th grade. I have been teaching for fifteen years. I am taking this course, Foundations of Educational Technology through the University of St. Francis to get my Technology Specialist Endorsement. As I have been teaching, I have found that technology plays an ever increasing role in my career and I am finding I like technology a lot. I hope to learn more and expand on my technological knowledge from this course. My favorite tech tools so far are using Kahoot and Google Docs! Students love Kahoot which I am glad I have utilized. Tech does not always work as I have had problems with iPads not connecting or one day , the Internet is down so you must always have a backup plan. My funniest Ed Tech moment was when a student came up to me and was like :" Ms. Keane, my computer shut off!" I went over and the computer was on and for the life of me nothing appeared on the screen! I figured it out. The color/brightness of the screen was down! Duh!!! I have a a four year old niece and a 1 year old nephew. I am constantly amazed at how tech savvy they are. I give them my iPhone and they know immediately what to do!! Almost scary!! Looking forward to this class! 


One of my artifacts that I will definitely incorporate next year is my TES lesson on digital citizenship! Before this class, I totally forgot about this website and did not know how to use it correctly. Now I do!


I chose this artifact because it allowed me to pull so many resources on digital citizenship in one place. Digital Citizen is standard number two under ISTE-S. The standard states:"Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical."Using TES as a tool allowed me to design a unit that would incorporate digital citizen standard two. I wanted a tool that would not distract students from my main objectives of what it means to be a digital citizen. The article, MultiMedia as an Educational Tool: "A primary application of the interactive multimedia for instruction is in an instructional situation where the learner is given control so that he/she may review the material at his or her own pace and in keeping with his/her own individual interests, needs, and cognitive processes."
      I loved using TES because it was easy to drag and drop all of the resources that I wanted students to use as part of my digital citizenship unit. It was easy to move the squares around in the order that I wanted the students to follow. What I missed was the little white space below the square where you can add directions. Once I realized that, then I put directions for the students in each activity so they would know how to navigate it better! I also realized that sometimes it looks like the links work but I learned you have to double check those links and make sure they are working links!
      I teach computers once  a week. Using Today's Meet, I would ask students what do they know about staying safe online. Then I would have my students click on the Tes link on my library webpage and start with the directions . Students can ask any questions that confuse them about the directions via Today's Meet. They then start square 2 activity on Tes and follow those directions I have typed on there for activity two. Students can do on their own pace and speed as long as they complete all the directions. 

The second artifact is reviewing digital tools and learning how I can incorporate a new tool in my classroom. I learned about plickers and this is something I can utilize in my library lesson plans.


I picked plickers because it incorporates the standard number one of ISTE-S as students as Empowered Learners. This standard:"Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences. I always have used Kahoot but I use that when I know I will have the computer lab and iPads available. However, that is not always the case as other teachers use the computer lab and iPads too. Using plickers will allow me to assess my students learning in the library with only the use of my smartphone! Students will be able to use plickers to demonstrate their learning. Plickers will give me immediate feedback and allow me to easily see where I need to reteach concepts. I only have an hour with my students once a week in library and so immediate feedback saves me time! According to the article, Perspectives on the Integration of Technology and Assessment:" Technology-enhanced formative assessments during instruction can provide immediate, contingent feedback and adaptive coaching for reteaching of problematic knowledge and skills."
        Signing up for Plickers was easy and free! Inputting students names was easy as well but it will be time consuming to input more than 30 names as I teach more than one class but at least I will only have to do it one time. I like that students cannot change their names versus Kahoot where they can. Being able to see the questions they got wrong was easy to navigate to. I also liked how it saves the scores automatically so I do not have to quickly download anything. I did have trouble scanning the plicker but I think it was because my paper was not laminated. So I will order the laminated plickers from Amazon for easier scanning purposes. 
      I do a  lot of read alouds in library where we discuss  characters, setting, climax, problems and conclusion. I will design a series of questions in plickers based on the book we are reading and based on the above terminology. Plickers will help me to see if students understand who was a character, what is a setting, climax, problem and conclusion of the story!


ISTE Standards FORSTUDENTS. (2016.). Retrieved July 04, 2017, from

MultiMedia as an Educational Tool[PDF file]. Retrieved from

Pellegrino, J. W., & Quellmalz, E. S. (2010). Perspectives on the Integration of Technology and Assessment. Journal of Research on Technology in Education,43(2), 119-134. doi:10.1080/15391523.2010.10782565

Friday, February 10, 2017


February 9th, 2017

On February 9th,  I was invited to a teacher's workshop at Bitspace on Lawrence Avenue in Chicago. The topic of the workshop was on Arduinos. I have been to workshops before on coding. I am now imparting my knowledge of coding to my students. Last year, I ordered finch robots from the Chicago Public Library and my students loved those. In addition, I also used dash and dot to make learning programming more exciting. Students loved dash and dot and I only wish I had more. I have heard of arduino  but did not know much about them. This workshop I went to at Bitspace was awesome. According to Arduino website it is: "is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino boards are able to read inputs - light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message - and turn it into an output - activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online." Basically, I learned how to use wires using Arduino to make an LED light light up and how to create buzzers. The presenter at this workshop gave a wonderful presentation and refresher course on understanding voltage, wattage, power, resistors , circuits and so much more. It was great networking with other teachers and hear how they would use arduinos in the classroom. I hope to incorporate it into the coding curriculum as there is a bit of coding involved in Arduino! I am looking into seeing how I can acquire Arduinos for my classroom. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Smoking Mirror Garza Twins book One

January 30, 2017

I really enjoyed reading the book, The Smoking Mirror Garza Twins Book One by David Bowles. I read it because it was on this year's Chicago Public Schools Battle of the Books List. The cover has a wolf like creature coming out of a tunnel and that just drew me to read the book right away. I read it over winter break. It was a very easy, enjoyable read. Even though you really had to use your imagination to visualize what this world was like, it was easy to go on this adventure with twin brother and  sister , Carol and Johnny. Carol and Johnny are on a fantastical, magical adventure to save their mother! Furthermore, the author tries to weave in a bit of mythology and that makse the story more interesting. READ THIS BOOK TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS. I am going to find out if there is a BOOK TWO! I sure hope so.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Learning Keynote


 Tuesday November 1st, 2016

     On Tuesday, I had an invitation for educators to go to the Apple Store in Oakbrook to learn about keynote for iPads. I just received an email that Apple is providing free education lessons for educators on certain days and times as well as various Apple locations. I am not sure how long they have been having educator workshops but I am glad to know about them now. There is no cost to join. LaSalle II Library has a set of classroom iPads and I am in charge of managing them. I admit that I knew about keynote but never really gave it second thought because I am use powerpoint and now google slides. However, I thought just go because you will never know. Keynote is very interesting. It is similar to powerpoint but built for iPads. I am still playing around with it. I like how you can use the pictures from your camera roll and easily insert those pictures into your slide. I also love how you can make pictures transparent. You can manipulate your objects on the slide. You can also use your finger to circle important things on the slide that you want your viewer to focus on. The presenter said that there is so much more to keynote than what he taught us. I would like to play around with it more and see if this is something students would like to use as a presentation option.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

BoxCar Children in Graphic Novel Form!

June 1st, 2016

I used to read the first book of The BoxCar Children to my second and third graders.  I only had The BoxCar Children in chapter book format. The students loved it! I used to love it when I was a kid but I was not sure if The BoxCar Children was still popular with students today. I was happy to find out they still are. So much so that i had to pull them out and put them in a section of the library so students in primary grades can find them more easily. However, I wished the book had more pictures! To my surprise, I found The BoxCar Children in graphic novel format! I was so excited! It has wonderful pictures and it allows me to finish reading the book at a much faster pace! I can ask my students to compare the two formats-the chapter novel format and graphic novel format. I have not read this to my students yet via the document camera but I will keep you posted. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Gum Girl!

May 31st, 2016

     The Gumazing Gum Girl by Rhode Montijo

I just started reading this book as a read aloud to my kindergartners, first graders. and third graders. I saw this book on another librarian's blog and thought I should add this book to the LaSalle II library collection. I thought it would pair up nicely with my invention book, called POP that I previously discussed in my blog. I thought they might pair up nicely as a nonfiction/fiction book. Many students loved the book, Pop , so much so that I cannot keep it on the shelf! So I decided to stick with the gum theme as students can relate to gum chewing. I thought I would teach about graphic novels/comic books and this book was a basic introduction to the design of graphic novels. I was nervous reading this out loud to my students because I never usually read a graphic novel out loud but this book was part story and part comic. Also, I never read chapter books (this one has eight chapters) because I do not have my students every day and it would take a long time to finish reading the whole book! However, I was pleasantly surprised as I read Chapter one to my students and when I  said I was going to leave Chapter two for next week, they were all like NOOOOOOOOO! I even had one student try to sneak a peak to see what would happen next in the book! I am so glad I purchased it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Did you ever wonder how Bubble Gum was invented? Well, this delightful story tells you how!

Why did I order this book for the LaSalle II Library? I had ordered invention books for the library and I am always looking for books about inventions. I perused through other CPS librarian blogs and I saw this book on the blog! This book tells a great story about the man who invented bubble gum. It is a nonfiction book but it is told like a story which makes for a very good read aloud.

I also liked how the back of the book provides more facts about the man who invented bubble gum. It shows students that anyone can invent something. The book also provides interesting facts about bubble gum like how much bubble gum is sold daily.

The front of the book is so delightful and I hope it is sure to grab a student's attention! I now know who invented bubble gum! Do you?