Creating A Professional Learning Community (PLC) in Schools

What is a Professional Learning Community or PLC?  A PLC is a group selected within your school usually by you or your administrators to learn about some that impacts the school, students, or the staff.  PLC sessions/meetings can be led by the media specialists or school librarians most of the time the focus of such groups is technology based.

I have created a sample PLC plan along which I will post here as well as a Hyperdocument and sample creation with rubric.

The sample plan covers eight of the best apps and websites as announced by the American Association of School Libraries for 2018.  I picked out eight apps and websites that I though would be beneficial to my selected group of teachers.  I created a Hyperdocument that would literally walk them through the process of looking, discussing, reflecting, feed-backing, and eventually creating a lesson plan or enhancement to use in their classrooms.

I created a pathfinder on TesTeach that had access to all the apps and websites I would like them to look at.  I enjoyed TesTeach’s discussion and rating system for each app and/or website.  I like that teachers can talk about what they are seeing even if they are not in the same room as each other.

My school is big on blended learning and competency based learning.  I tried to create something that was very similar to what we are working with in teaching students.  My plan even revolves around the idea of student pacing and creating an authentic product.

Here are the links:


Blended Learning

What is Blended Learning? Why are schools making the switch to the Blended Learning model?

Blended Learning is a model of teaching in which student pacing, timing, advocacy, personalized instruction, and technology is used as a tool to enhance student learning.

The VoiceThread below along with the document gives more insight into the practices, styles, and models used in order to incorporate Blended Learning into a classroom setting.  The VoiceThread also highlights to the biggest concerns that one might have with the Blended Learning Model.


Continue reading Blended Learning

Digital Storytelling with WeVideo and Lesson Idea

Trying to generate interest with students in a digital world can be a challenge.  Especially, when trying to teach the importance of classic and antiquity reads like Gilgamesh, Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and anything by Shakespeare.  In order to the importance of storytelling, archetypes, and the hero’s journey to 10th grade students I decided to reach out to students in a more modern context to teach the basis of these important elements of the literary world.

The Once Upon A Time Activity aligns with the following standards:

RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.


SL.9-10.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

Continue reading Digital Storytelling with WeVideo and Lesson Idea

Digital Storytelling: WeVideo (The Basics)

WeVideo is a video editing website that allows for teachers and students to make videos using a software that is very similar to the Final Cut Pro software used by big name film editing studios.

The site is moderately easy to use.  Adding audio, pictures, videos, and the like are fairly easy to use.  All one has to do is drag the desired media to the video or audio bars.  There is even a storyboard mode for those that are completely new to editing digital productions that simplifies the tracks into straightforward pictures.  This option is great for screencasting and if one wants to do a long running clip without the worry and hassle of editing.

The grade that will probably able to use this website the effortlessly will be 7-12 graders.  Young ages might struggle with the complexities and fine motor skills that are needed to edit the sound and audio tracks.  

This site is perfect for Digital Storytelling videos and having students make their own videos, however the major downside to this site is to get the premium features one does have to pay for them.  

Some ideas to use Wevideo for speeches, instructional videos, music videos,and scene/chapter performances.

Click on the link below to see my screencast on how to use the basics of WeVideo.

WeVideo Tutorial (Part 1)- The Basics

Library’s Seed Packets

The Adventures of Library Girl:


The purpose of Jennifer LaGarde’s Blog titled The Adventures of Library Girl is to empower and inspire educators, students, future school librarians, and even current librarians to follow their passionate and drive of being in a library setting.  She gives great ideas for educators and students to explore.  From her #30secondbooktalk Challenge to her daily videos of the Best Part of Her Day, Jennifer LaGarde’s Blog is a fun worthwhile addition to any school librarians arsenal of ideas.

In this most recent post entitled, “My Year with Evergreen Schools“, Jennifer talks about using Thumbprint biographies to have teacher librarians revisit their ‘whys’ they wanted the job.  She uses technology such as Padlet to introduce her ‘students’ to online conversations.  Overall, the post has some great ideas and thoughts about asking the question of ‘Why?’ and how we could possibly get students thinking creatively and conversing in passionate productive online conversations.

Why This Blog? You may be asking yourself this very question. Well, friend, I can tell you that you will find many great ideas.  One of which would be how to start a book club, and how to run an online book club.  Overall, The Adventures of Library Girl is a great engaging experience that I highly recommend aspiring and current librarians use to stimulate creative ideas and to even find ways of engaging students and staff in a unique and inspiring way.

I would give this blog: 4.5 roses out of 5.

Knowledge Quest


American Association of School Librarians’ Blog, Knowledge Quest, gives current and aspiring librarians everything they need to knew about in through and interesting blog post dealing with many topics.  Whether your topics be about the new AASL Standards, Student engagement, or Intellectual Freedoms; Knowledge Quest is the place to go.

Knowledge Quest explores the newest of theories, practices, and disciplines for school librarians.  The blogs are engaging and easy to read without too much jargon.

Ready to get Creative for the Summer?  Trying not to fall into a creative slump?  In one of the most recent blog post from Knowledge Quest, “4 Ways You Can Get Creative this Summer, you’ll learn some quick and easy tips to not letting yourself stagnant in your creative juices over the summer break.

Why This Blog? Good question.  This blog needs to be added to your library of resources because of all the useful information that it contains.  Not to mention how easy it is to navigate and find blogs on any library related topics.

5 out of 5 rose rating!

The Daring Librarian:

Screenshot-2018-5-27 The Daring Librarian

Gwyneth A. Jones’ Blog, The Daring Librarian,  is a fresh and exciting blog filled with exciting tips and cool technology strategies to engage students and teachers.  Whether you need ideas for summer reading list (it is mostly geared toward middle school librarians and teachers) or a list for diverse books; Gwyneth A. Jones has the monopoly on great ideas.

Her technology tips are great ways to connect to students and let them have fun in the library/educational setting.  In her post, 5 Fab Ways to Animate Your EduLife, Gwyneth A. Jones teaches readers how to take Bitmojis to the next level were you can add your Bitmojs to make your own personalized websites, classroom signs, worksheets, etc…

Why This Blog?  Another excellent question!  This blog not only makes it easy and fun to learn about the different types of technology and books in the world that educators and librarians have access to, but it also practices what it preaches but having a colorful display and array of the technology talked about in each post.

4 out of 5 roses rewarded!



LaGarde, Jennifer. “The Adventures Of Library Girl”. Librarygirl.Net, 2018, Accessed 30 May 2018.

 Rendina, Diana et al. “Knowledge Quest | AASL”. Knowledgequest.Aasl.Org, 2018, Accessed 30 May 2018.

Jones, Gwyneth. “The Daring Librarian”. Thedaringlibrarian.Com, 2018, Accessed 30 May 2018.

“Famous Quotes At Brainyquote”. Brainyquote, 2018, Accessed 2 June 2018.

Educator’s Flower Pots

Catlin Tucker’s Blog

Catlin Tucker’s blog highlights great lesson ideas and creates emphasis on the blended learning model.  As one of the author’s of the book Blended Learning in Action, Catlin Tucker harks back to several lessons within her book and expanses upon the ideas written there in.

Several of her post surround the idea of student choice such as in the post entitled, “Playlist: A Path to Personalized Learning” which explores the idea of students picking and choosing their own activities or pathways to their learning.  In another of her posts, she writes about giving having students think and act like researchers in order to get them generating thought provoking questions and learning.  “Train Your Students to Think Like Researchers” is her most recent post on her blog in which Catlin Tucker discuss some ideas and strategies to get student thinking like researchers.  Not only does the blog give lesson extension, but it also gives great instructions and information on newer technology tools that teachers can use to ‘tech’ up their lessons.  One such post entitled, “InsertLearning: Transform Any Webpage into an Interactive Lesson” goes into detail about what InsertLearning does, how to get it, and how best to incorporate it into your classroom.

Why This Blog? At this point, the better question might be, ‘Why not this blog?’.  Catlin Tucker’s blog is also an essential blog to have in your classroom especially for any educator interested in the blended learning model or if you school is making the shift to that model.  This blog is filled with useful information, easy to read and follow, and did I mention it was full of amazing technology tips?

I give this blog a 5 out of 5 rose rating.


The Innovative Educator


The Innovative Educator by Lisa Nielsen is a blog filled with thought provoking entries and great tips on keeping up with a generation of students that are all about staying connected through the use of technology.  The blog contains information/importance of the Bring Your Own Device policies many schools across the country have adopted along with the useful tips on creating an innovative environment for the most reluctant of learners.

In one of her post, “6 Innovative Options for Students Who Don’t Like Regular School“, Lisa Nielsen explores 6 different choices for students who feel regular school just isn’t for them some of which are virtual school and career technology schools.  Lisa Nielsen also highlights resources parents can use to learn about Digital Citizen in order to empower their students to become good digital citizens.  She share this information in her post, “Resources to Help Parents Raise Empowered Digital Citizens from Common Sense Media“.  Technology tips are always a welcome addition in the blogging and educating worlds and The Innovative Educator has many tips for you!  One such technology tip comes in how to do forced copies of documents in Google Documents the post was called “Force Copy: The G-Suite Tip Every Teacher Needs to Know.”

Why This Blog? This blog is written by a teacher for teachers.  It is easy to read and find whatever subject you would like to read about.  The only issue I have with the blog is that some of the posts are opinions of situations or policies that teachers face, though Lisa Nielsen does a great job of giving solutions to the problems or at least a rationale of her thoughts behind her opinions.

Overall, I give this blog 4 out of 5 roses.


Cool Cat Teacher


Vicki Davies the author of Cool Cat Teacher blog creates a unique and very modern style of blogging with 10 minute podcasts of different issues, topics, and tips for educators to use.  In today’s, fast pace society it makes sense that the 21st Century Educator might not have the time to sit down and read.  Audio books and podcasts have become the way for many of us to engage ourselves intellectually while driving to and from work or where our own lives might take us.  This podcast blog is a refreshing breath of air from a teacher who practices what she talks about.

The topics are wide and vary quite a bit from why elementary schools should stop using clips (her most recent post), “Ditch the Clips in Kindergarten and Here’s What to do Instead” in which a #ditchtheclips hashtag has been spawned to useful and creative Google Slides tips found in her post, “Kasey Bell’s 8 Great Ways to Use Google Slides“.

Vicki also provides curriculum based posts such as “Math Teacher: 5 Principles of Modern Mathematics Classroom,”  to developing a digital citizen curriculum in “How to Develop a Digital Citizen Curriculum“.

Why This Blog? At this point the answer is fairly simple not only does Vicki Davies use modern technology to engage her followers she addresses a variety of different topics within her blog.  She even invites guest to come and speak on her podcast blog.

Overall, I would give this podcast blog 4.5 out of 5 roses.


Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow. - Anthony J. D'Angelo


Tucker, Catlin. “(No Title)”. Catlintucker.Com, 2018, Accessed 1 June 2018.

Nielsen, Lisa. “Lisa Nielsen: The Innovative Educator”. Theinnovativeeducator.Blogspot.Com, 2018, Accessed 1 June 2018.

Davies, Vicki. “The Cool Cat Teacher Blog By Vicki Davis”. Cool Cat Teacher Blog, 2018, Accessed 2 June 2018.

“Famous Quotes At Brainyquote”. Brainyquote, 2018, Accessed 2 June 2018.