Assistive/Adaptive Technology: Revisited

This week for EdTech 554, we explored some of the the issues surrounding assistive technology. Our forum prompt asked us to explore how we as leaders in educational technology can support the use assistive technology to make these possibilities a reality for our students, in spite of budget cuts.

This is certainly an exciting yet difficult issue, one laden with challenges on every front. My mom has taught special education in a low income area of Nevada for 20 years. She faces this issue every day and there is no easy solution.

Yet, “technology can be a great equalizer for individuals with disabilities” and can provide alternative solutions to assist students with physical, sensory, or cognitive impairments (Behrmann, 1998).  Technology holds great potential “to enhance access, inclusion, productivity, and the quality of life of individuals with disabilities (as cited in Chmiliar & Cheung, 2007). While the vision is a strong one, the implementation and funding for Assistive Technology often comes up short.

What stood out to me most from the readings (here and here) is the need to support professional development of teachers (a recurring theme in educational technology…). Assistive Technology (AT) will have little impact unless teachers know how to best integrate it into student learning.  Though teachers have a “pivotal role” in implementing AT, they generally receive very little training on how to do so (Chmiliar & Cheung, 2007).

Some things require little money or effort but still make a big difference. I have a nerve deafness, due to a childhood illness, that makes it difficult to understand spoken words. I function in ‘normal’ society but I am greatly aided by small efforts that make my life less frustrating. I enable subtitles anytime I can because it helps me differentiate words and it’s good literacy reinforcement for my children. I also always appreciate it when a speaker or teacher can see their students and speaks loudly and clearly.

The encouraging news, I believe, is that accessibility features are becoming more and more common on computers and tablets. What used to require expensive software is now built-in or available within an inexpensive app. Part of the solution to accessibility is to train teachers to properly use the accessibility features already available to them.
For EdTech 541, I explored the issue of accessibility. I created a Clarify-It tutorial on the built-in accessibility features on my iMac and wrote about it on my learning log. I designed a webpage suggesting iPad apps and software/hardware for students with cognitive, physical, sensory, along with at-risk and gifted and talented students.

This is an issue that we can tackle – one step at a time – together.

References:

Behrmann, M. (1998). Assistive technology for young children in special education: It makes a difference. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/assistive-technology-young-children-special-education

Chmiliar, L., & Cheung, B. (2007). Assistive technology training for teachers – Innovation and accessibility online. Developmental Disabilities Bulletin, 35(1&2), 18–28.

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English Language Learned: A Celebration to be proud of

I couldn’t have been more proud of these kids if they were my own.

Today 40 students graduated from the English Access Microscholarship Program, the first cohort of students in Nepal. At great personal sacrifice, these students have spent 6 hours weekly for the past two years learning English after school and on weekends. In addition to English language instruction, they have explored U.S. culture, traditions, holidays, ideals, and democracy. As a result of their hard work and supportive teachers, they emerge with greater confidence, lasting friendships, and leadership skills. This program, for many of them, has changed their lives.

I could see it in their beaming faces today, as they stood supported by their teachers, NELTA and U.S. Embassy representatives, and their families. They were happy. They were proud. They have accomplished something difficult and against all odds. As the Deputy Chief of Mission Patricia Mahoney said during her remarks, whatever they can imagine – with education – is possible. They can overcome challenges, contribute to their great country, and make a difference. They are, in short, the future of Nepal.

I first met these students during their Teej celebration during August 2011. They had been part of the English Access Microscholarship Program since that March and were making steady progress. They welcomed me as Nepali youth always do: with respect and love. Since then, I have visited them several times, along with their cohorts in outlying areas.

My contribution has been small (I blog about it here and here) but has had a lasting impact on me, a journey I will ever be grateful for. I have attempted to instill some form of 21st Century skills in them, or at least a desire to learn. We’ve covered Netiquette and social media, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and search engines. I’ve shown them slideshows, multimedia presentations, and how technology can be used for learning English. They’ve explored my cameras, iPad, and video camera. Just last week we had a good discussion on how they can be contributors and innovators to make their world a better place. They wrote some personal pledges on how they will make a difference.

Today is a day of pride and success: for the students and for everyone who has played a part in their great journey. Tomorrow may bring new challenges and new mountains to climb.But today, for one hour, these students were honored and their efforts celebrated.

Greatness was in that room.

Disrupting Class: A Reflection on Transforming Learning

VoiceThreadThis is a collaborative VoiceThread created in response to this article:
Disrupting Class: Student-Centric Education Is the Future
[I made my comments directly in the VoiceThread but wanted to put them here as well.]

This article has some very persuasive arguments, if not downright discouraging, about the state of our current educational landscape. As someone in this class mentioned in a previous discussion, and like many other similar articles, it uses scare tactics to make its point. It calls for a complete reform of learning, of education, of technology integration. I can’t debunk its persuasive arguments, and even agree with many of them. Yet, I wonder if there is a better way, something a little more balanced, a little more realistic. Or is that what vision is? More of a dream than reality?

I agree here when it says that the key to transforming technology is how it’s implemented, and here — that simply investing in expensive technology devices or software isn’t enough to move student learning forward. So what is the answer? I believe that while it’s complicated, it’s also possible — and it’s an effort we must continually support and fight for.

We need to use technology in strategic, measured, planned ways that allows students to learn the way they need to learn. We need to reach them on their terms and speak their language, which almost always involves some sort of social media format. We need to not be afraid to take risks, to try something new, to fail miserably and to try again. We need teachers that are willing to think outside the box, but to also be there for their students, both in a traditional sense and a digital one.

Maybe a complete transformation is needed, maybe not. Why don’t we start by doing a better job at the things we’re doing and continually looking for ways to bring our students along with us in this great world of learning.

Do you speak MOOC?

booksThe world is full of acronyms. Sometimes I feel a little bit like the barnyard animals in this classic tale who try to eavesdrop on the secret cow negotiations but can’t speak “Moo.”

So, for those of you who might not yet speak Moo, what is a MOOC? It’s one of those terms that has been floating around for awhile and is a frequent subject of both praise and controversy in the educational stratosphere. There is hardly a day in the news or related commentary that MOOCs do not surface. Just today, Voice of America ran a story called MOOCs are Moving Forward in which it says that MOOCs “are changing how people learn in many places.”

M = Massive
O = Open
O = Online
C = Course

These terms mean different things in various MOOC designs and scope, but the general idea is to bring higher education to the masses, so to speak. Some of the big MOOCs are being facilitated through major universities like Stanford, Harvard, CalTech, MIT, and the University of Virginia and on sites like Udacity, Coursera, and OpenCourseWare. The idea is that anyone can join, without admission criteria and without cost (there are fees if you want to obtain credit for the course). They make it possible for anyone, anywhere (with an Internet connection and computer) to learn. This video speaks MOOC:

 

Open, free education is not without opponents, for sure (no doubt including many universities and colleges), and quality control is a concern. Everyone on both sides is interested in how MOOCs will play out because they are potentially powerful vehicles in learning. Unlike a gadget or new tech tool for the classroom, MOOCs change learning design altogether. They just may change the future of higher education and brick-and-mortar institutions as we know it, especially distance learning. These changes will likely trickle down into K-12 environments in due time. It is not only interesting, but crucial, that we understand the pros and cons of MOOCS and how they impact student learning.

My culminating assignment in EdTech 543 was to create a pilot MOOC. I worked with two group members to create S.W.A.T. Students Working to Advance Technology. It is a small-scale MOOC designed for high school students but could easily be a larger project or involve younger students. The objective is to reach out to students who have a passion for technology and help them become technology leaders while strengthening their 21st Century Skills. It would be really fun to pull this off.

Interestingly, we reviewed our peers’ MOOCs using a screencast. This was certainly a learning experience and an example of using screencasting in assessment. Catch a quick glimpse of my screencast here (you don’t have to watch the whole thing to get the point):


Additional MOOC Resources:

Example MOOC-Inspired Courses:

Screencasting Resources for Teachers:

Social Network Learning: Supporting Theory and Framework

Pull up a chair. Here is my paper for EdTech 505:

Social Network Learning: Supporting Theory and Framework

While it’s not reading for the faint of heart, it is for those interested in supporting their use of social network learning with learning theory. It certainly contributed to my personal growth and connectivist learning. Enjoy!

An Evaluation of Evaluation

appleIn the spirit of reflection and at the completion of yet another intense course experience, I find that I learned far more than I ever intended. While I can’t say I was giddy at the thought of taking EdTech 505 Evaluation for Educational Technologists, I did recognize that my learning curve would be huge. It was. I entered with not even a working definition of program evaluation and now have the skills to conduct one.

I began the course by creating a Gretel-at-a-glance word cloud explaining who I am and what I hope to gain from the course. My formal experience with program evaluation was nonexistent. My objectives for this course were to learn evaluation techniques that could help me evaluate some of the big picture programs in a school. I feel like I at least have the tools and background I need to begin.

Many of the course assignments were exercises found in the course textbook so I didn’t find the need post them on this learning log. One of the downsides of this course is that it is not really designed to increase my digital footprint.

Program evaluation “enables accountability” (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2011, p. 38). I enjoyed reading about the various vantage points and considerations that make evaluations meaningful. Everyone, especially in today’s economy, wants to know “what did we get for our money [or time, or effort]? Did it work? Did it do what we hoped it would?” Those are fair and important questions. I appreciate the detailed explanations, both in the module and in the text, of programs, inputs, process, outputs, and outcomes.

Our final project was to conduct a small-scale but real program evaluation. The Explore Nepal program is an extensive school-wide program designed to help students reach out to the Nepali community and gain a deeper connection to their host country. I chose go evaluate the Grade 6 Explore Nepal week-long trip to a local Tibetan monastery to see whether the program objectives laid out for the trip were accomplished. The five objectives include: learning about Nepali culture through community interaction, environmental awareness, service learning, challenging physical activities, and team building. It was a major effort and here is a link to a generic copy of my final report:

Summative Evaluation: Grade 6 Explore Nepal Program

Summative Evaluation: Grade 6 Explore Nepal Program on Google Docs
Summative Evaluation Flipbook

One fun aspect of this course was the option on nearly every assignment to turn in an alternate submission format using some sort of tech tool. Some people created slideshows, videos, infographics, collaborative corkboards, flip magazines, and mind maps. It was fun to see the creativity and it sure was nice to have this option to shake things up. I wish every teacher would do that and allow students to complete an assignment while building their online presence, developing creativity, and taking ownership of their learning.

While I didn’t love everything about this course and would have liked more focus on education and technology, I certainly learned a lot that will serve me well, even if I don’t become a professional evaluator. What a ride it has been!

Other coursework:
Evaluation Design Format
Gap Analysis
Program Cycle
Goal-Based Method, Design, and Type
Top 3 Sites on Data Analysis
Review of Chapters 1-9 in course text
Request for Proposal (fictional)

References:
Boulmetis, J., & Dutwin, P. (2011). The ABCs of evaluation: Timeless techniques for     program and project Managers (3rd ed.). Jossey-Bass.

Personal Growth and Connectivism

My students would find it no surprise to see yet another word cloud in this reflection. I love word clouds! They are such a creative, versatile tool that can be used for fun, nonsense, and also as a writing tool like summarizing key concepts. This Tagxedo word cloud may not look like much, but let me assure you it represents hours (DAYS!), sweat, and tears. It also represents a newly grown knowledge within me, which is really what it’s about in the first place.  Specifically, this is a visual representation of my 2852-word synthesis paper draft for EdTech 504. I’ll spare you the math: that’s 8 dense, heavy, scholarly pages, not including 2.5 pages of peer-reviewed references. I don’t think I’ve ever written a paper that includes so-far 21 references. Wow.  It’s not called a synthesis paper for nothing. To synthesize is to combine, sort through, fuse, and otherwise make sense of a lot of information. I have read dozens of scholarly journals, articles, blog posts (which aren’t peer re-viewed but provide interesting context), and eBooks. I’ve scoured the APA Style Guide and become good friends again with Zotero. This is not light reading, by the way, about tools and apps. This is heavy stuff that includes words I knew little about before starting this course, words like constructivism, connectivism, taxonomy, and epistemology.  Yet, 2852 words later, I have a much better handle on the information. In fact, what was so utterly confusing and aggravating when I was in the thick of it, actually makes sense. I think I get it, at least as it pertains to my focus. Here’s the plain English: More and more teachers are using VLE social network learning sites such as  Edmodo, Schoology, Moodle, Blackboard, and Canvas. These sites provide a controlled environment where teachers and students interact, post and submit homework, give and receive feedback from their peers, and link to course resources and information. Social network learning, which by the way is distinctly different pedagogically than social networking, is like a walled-garen that helps students learn critical skills while in a safe and controlled environment. Most of us know and love social media and it is an integral part of our lives. How, then, can this desire to be connected, to be part of something greater than ourselves, translate into the classroom? Should we really require that our students completely “disconnect” when they come to school from their real lives and the tools that are integral to their very existence?  This paper supports the use of intentional, planned, purposeful social learning networks to engage students in the classroom. It attempts to “define social network learning and its theoretical connectivism foundations, and provides learning strategies that apply such pedagogy in the classroom.” Basically, it is the “why” of using social network learning strategies. I mainly look at social network learning through connectivist principles, and explore practical applications such as Virtual Learning Environments, Learning Communities, and Project-Based Learning. I explore traditional learning theories and emerging learning theories (the connectivism: theory or framework? debate) and use these to argue the critical need of using social networks in the classroom. I have long been a believer in helping students make connections, of giving them a larger audience, of equipping them with the rules of online social behavior while we have them in our reach. Now I have a basis for this belief, and I’ve emerged with an even greater commitment. Since technology has “reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn” (Siemens, 2004), shouldn’t we, as educators, be willing to help our students make some sense of it all? I believe we should.  Connectivism, at its heart, holds that rather than transferring, making, or building knowledge, connectivism is more like “growing or developing ourselves and our society in certain (connected) ways” (Downes, 2007, para. 6). As my word cloud flower proves, new knowledge has certainly grown within me. References:  Downes, S. (2007, February 3). What connectivism is. Half an Hour. Blog. Retrieved from 		http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2007/02/what-connectivism-is.html  Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A theory for the digital age. Retrieved from 				http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htmMy students would find it no surprise to see yet another word cloud in my reflection. I love word clouds! They are such a creative, versatile tool that can be used for fun, nonsense, and also as a writing tool like summarizing key concepts. This Tagxedo word cloud may not look like much, but let me assure you it represents hours (DAYS!), sweat, and tears. It also represents a newly grown knowledge within me, which is really what it’s about in the first place.

Specifically, this is a visual representation of my 2852-word synthesis paper draft for EdTech 504. I’ll spare you the math: that’s 8 dense, heavy, scholarly pages, not including 2.5 pages of peer-reviewed references. I don’t think I’ve ever written a paper that includes so-far 21 references. Wow.

It’s not called a synthesis paper for nothing. To synthesize is to combine, sort through, fuse, and otherwise make sense of a lot of information. I have read dozens of scholarly journals, articles, blog posts (which aren’t peer re-viewed but provide interesting context), and eBooks. I’ve scoured the APA Style Guide and become good friends again with Zotero.

This is not light reading, by the way. It is heavy stuff that includes words I knew little about before starting this course, words like constructivism, connectivism, taxonomy, and epistemology.

Yet, 2852 words later, I have a much better handle on it all. In fact, what was so utterly confusing and aggravating when I was in the thick of it, actually makes sense. I think I get it, at least as it pertains to my limited focus. Here’s the plain English:

More and more teachers are using Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) social network learning sites such as  Edmodo, Schoology, Moodle, Blackboard, and Canvas. These sites provide a controlled environment where teachers and students interact, post and submit homework, give and receive feedback from their peers, and link to course resources and information. Social network learning, which by the way is distinctly different pedagogically than social networking, is like a walled-garen that helps students learn critical skills while in a safe and controlled environment.

Most of us know and love social media, and it is an integral part of our lives. How, then, can this desire to be connected, to be part of something greater than ourselves, translate into the classroom? Should we really require that our students completely “disconnect” when they come to school from their real lives and the tools that are integral to their very existence?

My paper supports the use of intentional, planned, purposeful social learning networks to engage students in the classroom. It attempts to “define social network learning and its theoretical connectivist foundations, and provides learning strategies to apply such pedagogy in the classroom.” Basically, it is the why of using social network learning strategies.

I look at social network learning through connectivist principles, and explore practical applications such as Virtual Learning Environments, Learning Communities, and Project-Based Learning. I explore traditional learning theories and emerging learning theories (theory or framework debate) and use these to argue the critical need of using social networks in the classroom.

I have long been a believer in helping students make connections, of giving them a larger audience, of equipping them with the skills that govern online social behavior while we still have them in our reach. Now I have a basis for this belief, and I’ve emerged with an even greater commitment. Since technology has “reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn” (Siemens, 2004), shouldn’t we, as educators, be willing to help our students make some sense of it all? Use it? Benefit from it?

I believe we should.

Connectivism, at its heart, holds that rather than transferring, making, or building knowledge, it is more like “growing or developing ourselves and our society in certain (connected) ways” (Downes, 2007, para. 6).

As my word cloud flower proves, new knowledge has certainly grown within me.

References:

Downes, S. (2007, February 3). What connectivism is. Half an Hour. Blog. Retrieved from    http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2007/02/what-connectivism-is.html

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A theory for the digital age. Retrieved from                 http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

Connectivism: An attempted explantion

I find connectivism a most fascinating emerging theory, which is why I chose awhile back to design this Periodic Table of Connectivism for EdTech 543 Social Network Learning that incidentally was picked up and shared on various networks. I am intrigued by the debate on whether connectivism should be considered a modern-day theory or a mere framework for learning. Both sides have strong arguments, but regardless of its status, it “continues to play an important role in the development and emergence of new pedagogies” (Kop & Hill, 2008) and will become increasingly important in learning environments. Connectivism is based on constructivist principles that state learning is not acquired or gained; rather, it is distributed across a network of connections, built, and grown (Downes, 2007).

If this is indeed true, and if it is true that “technology has reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn” (Siemens, 2004), then connectivist principles should be embraced in schools rather than feared.

This year at our school teachers are discovering virtual learning environments (VLEs) such as Edmodo and Schoology. While we use Google Apps heavily, many teachers are finding that they really like the collaborative communication that VLEs provide. Students comment and give feedback, ask questions, and otherwise engage with the content and each other. This sort of connected learning is a fundamental principle of connectivism. I certainly want to include a more connectivist approach in everything I do. For example, I’m about to have the younger grades create their first eBook and then share and comment on each other’s. I anticipate that they will really like this activity because they will learn something new from a classmate and be able to comment on it.

Just because a learning theory or framework is complicated doesn’t mean teachers can’t incorporate some basic principles in their pedagogy.  While I have yet to really get a handle on connectivism, I do intend to have my students continue to reach out to each other and grow their learning.

References:

Downes, S. (2007, February 3). What connectivism is [Web log post]. Half an Hour. Retrieved from http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2007/02/what-connectivism-is.html

Kop, R., & Hill, A. (2008). Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past? The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 9(3). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/523

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. elearnspace. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

Theory-supported Social Networking: A Reflection

An annotated bibliography makes a standard APA reference list look like a walk in the park. In case you, like me until this week’s EdTech504 assignment, have never had the privilege of creating such a resource, let me help you. An annotated bibliography is a blend: part paper, part reference list, part taxonomy. In this case it includes 7-10 resources on a topic of interest relating to educational technology theory. Such topic should be (as our module instructs) “broad enough to allow full exploration of the topic but narrow enough to be a thorough analysis.”

Not only did I find, read, summarize, and cite such resources from peer-reviewed sources, I wrote a short paragraph on each one. Lest you think that is simple, let me explain. This paragraph is much more than a summary or abstract of the article. It is a critical analysis of its purpose, a comparison to other works in the field, an explanation of how it fits into my taxonomy, and requires my personal conclusions and observations.

In short, the annotated bibliography is no small feat, as you may surmise from its title Selected Research on Supporting Theory and Frameworks for Social Networking: An Annotated Bibliography.

In plain English, I chose to dive into the framework and theory that supports using social networking in education. I knew social networking is fun and engaging for students. Schools use sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Edmodo, and Schoology to help students collaborate and connect. What I didn’t have a handle on before now is the research supporting such practice. Eight long resources later, along with several other course resources, I now do.

Social Networking is much more than a fun way to socialize. The Internet, though not initially designed as such, has become a social experience focused more on relationships than information or content (Lankshear, 2000). Depending on how well it is integrated into course design, social networking can engage learners and foster better retention (Jonassen, 1991).

I have seen this as I’ve assisted in my school’s 9th Grade Understanding Computers course. The teacher chose to use Edmodo as a learning management system and I am impressed at how well the students have embraced this format. The students always know what is coming, what is due, where they stand, and have all course materials easily at their fingertips. Comments and feedback are integrated throughout and they have responded well to the social nature of this course. According to Boitshwarelo (2011), the versatility of the online environment is an excellent medium to explore the growth and facilitation of key concepts of the connectivism theory. Social networking is supported by select learning principles from other learning theories such as behaviorism, where the learner is reactive rather than active in creating knowledge. Anyone who has sat back and caught up on current events or sporting event outcomes by reading their Facebook news feed can relate to this idea.

I think time will tell how social networking will impact long-term education and achievement, but there are some exciting possibilities that teachers can use now help engage their students in learning.

References:
Boitshwarelo, B. (2011). Proposing an integrated research framework for connectivism: Utilising Theoretical Synergies. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(3), 161–179.

Jonassen, D. (1991). Objectivism versus constructivism: Do we need a new philosophical
paradigm? Educational Technology Research and Development, 39(3), 5-14.

Lankshear, C. (2000). Information, knowledge and learning: Some issues facing epistemology and education in a digital age. Journal Of Philosophy Of Education, 34(1), 17.

Behind the scenes of NETS•S K-5 Curriculum Integration Curation: A Reflection

Link to Learnist Board

Curating is hard work. To come up with this list of 25 acceptable resources involved a lot of filtering, sifting, and otherwise weeding out. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

That somebody is me – and lots of educational technology professionals like me who take pride in their work. We do the hard stuff so you don’t have to. The end result is a resource I feel is substantial, helpful, and contributes to the greater good of knowledge.

Last week in EdTech 543 I co-created a curation checklist of what 15 things to ask when creating such a collection of resources. This week I used that criteria to curate a collection on a topic of my choice. I opted to try the new Learnist platform, which has been compared to a Pinterest for education. So far it’s in beta and is invite-only. Sign up requires a Facebook account, and they claim to search my online presence to see if I’m someone they want. I must have passed because I received an invite in three days. This site could be a wonderful professional development tool and it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can even mark certain things I’ve read as “learned.”

I chose to create a board that collects best practices and resources for NETS•S curricular alignment, integration, and assessment for K-5 Elementary Schools. I am tasked with developing a NETS•S-aligned curriculum for my PK-12 school, which is a rather daunting task. I needed to scour the Internet to get an idea of what other schools and teachers are doing and glean the most helpful resources. I certainly have a much better handle on things than when I started.

Applying my group’s checklist criteria, here’s my self-evaluation:

  1. Does the content come from a reliable and trustworthy source? [Some do, some are unclear, but for my purposes I felt it was important to include lots of ideas, even if they are from a source I’m not familiar with.]
  2. Is the content I provide concise and targeted, meaning it is easier to sort through than just doing a Google search? [Yes, it certainly took a lot of digging]
  3. Is the title catchy, meaning did I name it something that will get my audience’s attention? [Yes, if someone is looking for help with this specific topic]
  4. Do the images and videos contained within support the message being delivered? [Yes. I purposely included screenshots that supported the message rather than the default images Learnist gleaned from the sites]
  5. Are resources cited and given full and proper credit? [Yes, they are linked to directly within Learnist]
  6. Are goals and objectives clear? Have I articulated why I am teaching the content? [Yes, the Learnist board description outlines my purpose]
  7. Do I make the content interesting and engage my audience. Does my audience participate in conversations? [Yes, I have made comments on each resource including what I liked and why I included it. Comments and sharing are enabled.]
  8. Do I make the content easy to understand and to learn? Do they know how to apply what they have learned? [Yes, though the topic is a bit dense, users can quickly see from my descriptions if it is worth it to visit a particular resource.]
  9. Does the content create deeper thinking and help the audience to take ownership of their learning? [Hard to say. Given the content, anyone searching for help on this specific topic should find something they can use.]
  10. Do I continue to research and develop so I can share only the most current and the best information? [Yes and no. I felt it was important to include a few older resources in order to provide specific perspective.]
  11. Is the content relevant and timely? [Yes]
  12. Is the content original and of high-quality? [Yes, every resource included provides substantial content]
  13. Are a variety of media represented to explain the topic at hand (video, articles, photos, blogs, infographics, presentations, journals, etc.)? [Not enough. Due to the topic, there are limited resources available. I did include a Prezi, several PDFs, blog entries, and websites.]
  14. Does the resource contribute value to the overall learning goal or strategy? [Yes. This is a good place to start for all things NETS•S in K-5]
  15. Do I expand, comment, explain, interpret, contextualize, critique, or otherwise make the resource understandable for my intended audience? [Yes. I felt it was important to annotate each resource in order to save my reader time.]

So, while curation is a lot of work, the end result is one that has really helped me and hopefully will help others out there as well.