Published on Jul 4, 2013

Hello! My name is Amanda and I am going to show you how to use Wayfaring to map places of interest in a specific location.
Wayfaring is free to use. You may set up your account by first clicking on “Log In” in the top right corner of the screen and then filling out the information under “Sign Up”.
Since I already have an account, I will begin by logging in using the “Log In” button in the top right corner.
From this screen you may explore other people’s maps by clicking on the “explore” link. Here, you can explore maps by selecting one of the top maps listed under “Best of Wayfaring”, selecting a map by name or “Waypoints” under the “Search” option, or check out recent maps that have been made under “Recent”.
1:53 :
Now that you know how to explore, I will show you how to create a map of your own.
First click on the “Create Map” link on the right of the grey bar that goes across the top of the map screen. From here, you may center the area of the map you would like to focus on by dragging the map with your mouse and using the zoom in and out bar on the left side of the screen. You may also enter the name of a city and state under “Step 1” on the right hand side of the screen.
Once you have centered in on your area of interest, click the “next” button at the bottom of the right screen. You will name your map. I will choose to highlight the top five places to eat in OCMD. Click “Let’s Go!” once you have named your map.
Now you are ready to add “waypoints”. “Waypoints” are specific points of interest in your map. Click on “add a waypoint”. Since I am highlighting places to eat, I will name my Waypoints the name of the restaurants I’m choosing. My first “waypoint” is Crab Bag. Click “Next” when you have named your waypoint. Now you may click on the map where your waypoint should be located. You can also enter the address of the waypoint. Click “next” to continue.
You now have the option to tag your waypoint. This will allow people to search your map for specific words that may interest them. I will tag this waypoint with “restaurant, crabs, food, and happy hour”.
The tabs along the top will allow you to add more features to your waypoint. I can click on describe and add a description. When you are finished, click “done”.
Now I am going to add a “note” next to my waypoint to explain further what the restaurant offers. You can choose the location of the note by clicking a location on the map. Fill out the section under “What does this note say” and click “Save note” at the bottom.
Continue adding waypoints and notes as necessary until your map is complete. If you are making a map along a specific route, you can choose to route the waypoints by clicking “add route”.
Once you have finished, click on “save map”. Now you can go to “My Wayfaring” next to “Explore” and “Create” and see your saved map!


Blogging in the Classroom With 21st Century Learners

This is my first attempt at a VoiceThread. I’m not sure if it will work correctly. I compiled articles, videos, and images to share the research I found on classroom blogs and how they affect students. I welcome you to view my VoiceThread and learn about blogging for educational purposes with me.


Script for VideoThread:
Slide 1: I am going to share with you some research I found through articles, videos, and web sites on the benefits and disadvantages of blogging in a classroom.
Slide 2-6: Collaborative Blogging Artcle:
The first article I read shows the results of a study done by 3rd grade pre-service teachers and students. Writing feedback and research assistance was given to students through the means of a blog. Researchers believe that student blogging can: promote critical and analytical thinking, be a powerful promoter of creative, intuitive, and associational thinking, promote analogical thinking, be a powerful medium for increasing access and exposure to quality information, and combine the best of solitary reflection and social interaction.
This article explains that commenting and hyper-linking, two components of blogging, give others tools to communicate feedback to writers.
Through the study, the students used Kidzblog at home and in the classroom to report on a Native American Tribe. Pre-service teachers provided students with age-appropriate links to research about their tribe. After organizing their research using Inspiration concept map, the students were then instructed to create a five paragraph essay using MediaBlend. Wow. That’s a lot of web tools!
Throughout this process, the pre-service teachers commented on student blogs, which served as rough drafts for the assignment.
This survey was used to assess whether attitude change is taking place over the course of the project.
Here are the findings from the survey taken before and after the project. Student responses were much more positive after the project.
So what does this all mean? … Here is a summary of the intended and unintended results.
Now.. was technology or the collaboration process the motivator??
After reading about this study, I have concluded that the collaboration process was much more the motivator for the students than the actual technology of blogging itself. However, I do find that because all of these students had computers at home and were familiar with blogging, using this tool was engaging and exciting for them because they are 21st century learners.
Slide 7: The Prose of Blogging Article:
In this article, the author uses the last article I showed you to make a conclusion about the effectiveness of blogging in classroom. He states that the study showed an increased interest in student writing after the project with blogging.
The author also points out that using blogging in the classroom promotes writing outside of the classroom. Once our students know how to use this tool, they are more likely to use it inside and outside of the classroom. He states here that students were commenting on the blogs before, during and even after school sometimes.
The last example of blogging benefits from this author I want to point out is that blogging gives our students an audience other than just the teacher. Writing is now seen by everyone following their blog, which encourages them to write better.
One disadvantage to blogging that this author points out is the possibility of spam taking over the blog. In the case this author shared, the blog site had to be shut down.
I did some more research to find a solution for this problem. I found which gives users plug-ins to download and use to block the spam getting into their blog accounts.

Slide 8:
I will now show you some clips from a video of how blogging affects students first hand.
At 2:50 – This makes a great point about reading and writing across many different platforms, which blogging promotes!
At 3:27 – With other students and teachers as the audience, students writing blogs are held to high standards. They have higher standards for themselves and for other student’s blogs they are reading.
At 4:47 – Blogging helps improve students typing skills and vocabulary. When they read others comments, they have to comprehend what others students are writing, which sometimes means different words that they may not know.
Stop video – continue at 7:30 –
At 8:40 stop video –
In conclusion, these students who have experienced blogging have not only improved their literacy skills but have also learned a whole lot about digital citizenship and have even made global connections.
Slide 9:
CNN Video:
This CNN news report shows international students using blogging to learn the English language. The video explains how blogging helps students focus on their writing and hold their writing to higher standards because their writing is on display for the whole world to see.

Another disadvantage or challenge I thought of when researching student blogging was how to teach young students about internet safety and digital citizenship. My solution: BrainPop!
There is a cost to join the full version of the site, but it has a lot of great free resources, too, that are kid friendly to show students how to communicate online safely and with proper etiquette.
Slide 10: From this site you can teach an introduction lesson on blogs with a short cartoon video (show video)
Slide 12: You can also show a short cartoon video on digital citizenship on their “Free Stuff” page. (show video)
There is a cost to join the full version of the site, but it has a lot of great resources that are kid friendly to show students how to communicate online safely and with proper etiquette.
Slide 13:

Blogging in the classroom relates to the skills indicators, dispositions, and responsibilities mentioned in Standard 3 in the AASL Learning Standards.
The Standard 1 and Standard 4 Self-Assessment indicators in the standards are met through blogging in a classroom.

Classroom Blogs.

Wow! What an awesome way to get kids sharing ideas, learning technology and building social skills (digital citizenship included). I reviewed several blogs and found three that I really liked for different reasons.

1. Primary 5V Class Blog –

This blog, though kind of plain on the surface, has a lot of neat features. The first thing I noticed and liked was the student avatars at the top of the page. I thought this was a great way for students to not only express themselves but to also dabble in a little digital creativity. There is a total sense of community within the classroom on this page. I loved the idea of posting student driven projects, such as the video on this classes Random Act of Kindness project:


This video gives the students an opportunity to show off the work they’ve done in the classroom and school. I love the topic, idea of the project itself, and the way they showcased it on the blog.

2. Kids With a View –

This blog was so colorful, bright, and fun. My attention was immediately drawn to the first post, which displayed sample work of students using Prezi (WOW.. I have never even used that program). I was astonished at the work. This was such a cool way to give the students tools to be creative while practicing their writing and literature skills.

I love the images at the top with the students in different scenarios and the voicemail feature on the right side of the page to leave comments! Holy cow, these kids are techie! This site and the students work really impressed me.

3. Learning Legends @ Lonnie –

I just can’t believe all the things I am reading/seeing on these blogs! This blog was great and showed a lot of student interaction. One blog that stood out to me was the one on Afghanistan Skateboarding – The teacher noticed a huge interest in skateboarding in her own students and asked how they could get involved in the program shown in the video below. What a great idea and so inspirational!


Overall… I’m so impressed! I never realized how incredibly advanced some kids are with technology – way more than myself! I think this is so wonderful and it seems like the kids really enjoy being a part of it. This builds on their moral, self confidence, and digital footprint! After seeing all these blogs, the potential use for classroom blogs seems never ending! There are so many positive ideas and projects being shared on all of these blogs. Not only does it give educators a place to go for new ideas, but it gives kids a place to express themselves and their work. It gives other students around the world an idea of how students are applying their learning. I’m really beginning to form a more positive outlook on blogging as an educator or in a classroom.

Educator Blogs

To begin exploring the world of blogging, I decided to take a closer look at educator blogs to see what all the hype was about. I found three blogs that interested me off the bat with either the title or topic of the blog.

The first of three, Upside Down Education (, intrigued me with the title. After reading a few posts I quickly became familiar and friendly with the author and her style of writing. I like how raw this blog is. She posts about really anything related to education that strikes her. She talks about the use of cell phones and technology vs. socioeconomic classes and availability(, knowing where your focus should be in the classroom, and her opinions on curriculum. The blog is heavy on the authors opinions and does display some grammatical errors/spelling errors which is kind of ironic because it is about education.

The second blog I checked out was Classroom Chronicles ( This blog consisted mostly of posts on programs and activities involving students and teachers. I enjoyed reading about the different programs and all the ways to incorporate sharing the ideas with others. One program talked about “passion projects” as a part of homework. These were ways to get students to reach their own goals that they were passionate about while incorporating the curriculum. For instance, one child may want to learn how to bake a cake. This would involved mathematics in the form of measurements. The students had a class blog where teachers could read about their progress, what they needed to do to reach their goals, etc. ( This blog, again, was from the authors point of view and did share the opinions of the other along with some “thoughts out loud”.

Lastly, I looked at the Primary Tech blog ( and found a familiar topic on the first page: Creative Commons! I liked this blog a lot and though it related to what we are learning in my Learning Technologies course. This blog was awesome because it shared a lot of ideas on how to implement teaching kids about technology and the benefits technology can bring to a classroom. The author explains a huge benefit of blogging, “A sense of identity for the class is developed and the blog becomes an online meeting place and showcase for the all the wonderful things that are happening in the classroom” (Morris, This got my wheels turning.

After viewing these educator blogs, I think having a classroom blog would be a great idea to get faculty, students and parents on board and communicating about the curriculum and activities we do in school. I would love to have a blog for students to be able to go home and show their parents what projects we did in class, or share book reviews with their peers for reading, or even to develop their own portfolio of work that could help me assess their progress over the year.

As a professional development tool, sharing ideas such as the bloggers I reviewed above is a great way to keep things fresh. Posting blogs about activities, community outreach programs, or integrating technology could benefit other educators if they read a blog I wrote that documented my thoughts and ideas. In the education world, we are constantly needing to change our routine and lessons to keep things interesting for our students and ourselves. Blogs can be a great way to share those ideas and keep them circulating through the field of education.