This has been a good week in my DL&L class 5316. We have discussed and researched cyberbullying. This has opened up a lot of avenues for discussion.  My thoughts on cyber-bullying may not set well with some of you. I have been teaching for 16 years and I have seen so much bullying from students and teachers that it blows my mind! We have been trying to stop bullies for many, many years. They are still bullies. Unfortunately, I feel that no matter the resources we have at our disposal we will never stop cyber-bullying. The cyber world makes it easier for these bullies to do what they thrive on. They want to hurt others, this is much easier to do when sitting behind the computer versus face to face. I can think of a lot of ways to help people who are being bullied, but in my opinion, the bullies are the one we should be focusing on. They are the ones that have issues that need to be addressed. If we could stop the bullies, then the people who are being bullied would not need as much help.

Our school system or law enforcement systems are not ready to combat cyberbullying. No one knows how to handle it because there are no legal consequences for the cyberbullies. This is a new realm of bullying that needs to be addressed immediately. A school can hand down punishment to a student for harassment, stalking, sharing inappropriate content, etc, but there are no laws against cyberbullying because legally the bully is protected under the freedom of speech amendment. If we really want to make a difference then there is going to have to be some laws that protect a person being bullied and punishes the cyberbully.

One that same note I know we can slow down and help the students who are being bullied if we are more aware, alert, and involved as friends, teachers, parents, and community members.

I have learned that people of all ages can be cyber-bullied but the most susceptible to be harmed by the inappropriate behavior are teenagers. Cyberbullying occurs more in the ‘online’ generation, which predominantly consists of children and adolescents (Kowalski et al., 2012). A teenager is very vulnerable to what others say or think about them. They spend a lot of their time trying to “fit in” or gain others approval. This not what they should be doing, but it is often difficult to get students to realize that it is ok to be themselves and not be concerned with what others think. It is often a self-confidence problem. A bully can see this weakness and feeds off of it. It is often easier for a cyber-bully to harass others because they are in their private domain and not in the public eye. Students tend to be a little bolder and use bad judgement when conversing digitally versus face to face. Kowalski & Limber (2007) state that “Technology may attract more socially anxious personalities and those that would not engage in bullying offline.” The cyber-bully is not necessarily the mean, big guy on campus who takes lunch money. The cyber-bully can just as easily be the pretty cheerleader, the star basketball player, the introvert that never talks, or even the most intelligent most liked person in the school. Cyber-bullies can hide their identities from the person being bullied and the public.

In order to bring awareness to cyber-bullying we must first of all realize and accept that it is a problem in our schools. There are many students who are bullied and no one ever knows about it or the teachers/administrators do not take it as serious as offline bullying. I think that this occurs because no one really knows what to do. It is easy to stop someone if they are bullying someone in class or in person in front of us. But cyber-bullying is not so blatant, often the bully is anonymous. As teachers we have to reach out to our students and encourage them to come forward to us. If they do not make us aware of a problem, we will never know it exists. This 21st century problem is one that we have to accept and learn how to curb the cyber-bullying. It is not going to go away on its own.

We have to make our students aware of the consequences of cyber-bullying and that it is not acceptable because they are not physically harming someone. Cyber-bullying is more of a mental abuse than offline bullying. It can be done through something as simple as stalking, the bully does not actually have to be verbally attacking anyone to be bullying. The root of the cyber-bully problem is the bully. If we can make them aware of the danger and harm they can cause others and the possible consequences they can suffer from bullying I think we will be moving in the right direction to combat cyber-bullying.


Kowalski, R. M., & Limber, S. P. (2007). Electronic bullying among middle school students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41, S22–S30. j.jadohealth.2007.08.017.

 Kowalski, R. M., Limber, S., Limber, S. P., & Agatston, P. W. (2012). Cyberbullying: Bulling in the digital age. John Wiley & Sons



Copyright Woes

          This week in my 5316 DLL class I have learned about copyright laws, copyright infringement, fair use, open source, and plagiarism. There is a lot to learn about all of these, a lot more than I can learn in one week. This is going to be a continuing education concept for sure. Copyright and plagiarism can be somewhat blurred at times. In order to ensure that I nor my students are not plagiarizing and abiding by the copyright laws I must be aware of the rules, laws, and regulations. Which there are many. I deal with copyright issues a lot in the classroom because my students will often use other artists work for a reference. I then have to explain that another person’s work can only be used for ideas, it cannot be duplicated.    

          In our class meeting this week Dr. M had one of her colleagues speak to us about writing. Billie Anns’ input was insightful for me. It made me question what my own kids are doing in school though. I have a 5th grader going to 6th and I don’t really think he has been taught how to write an essay like she is teaching. I’m sure that he has not been taught how to do research properly. She has a real good handle on teaching the students how to write and research properly. Her students are going to be well prepared for junior high and high school. I’m impressed with what she is doing for her students. She is teaching students in 4th grade what my school is teaching in high school. Great advanced teaching.

          On a final note, I learned a lot by reading through two different case studies and picking them apart to analyze the information they contained. It was challenging to put myself in someone else’s position and really think about how I would handle the situation differently or the same. The case study writings were challenging and rewarding.


Some references I found beneficial this week were:


Bailey, J. (2013, October 7). The Difference Between Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism – Plagiarism Today. Retrieved from


Bailey, J. (2017, June 21). Why Fair Use Isn’t Enough Sometimes… – Plagiarism Today. Retrieved from


Copyright and Fair Use Animation. (2014, September 15). Retrieved from


Copyright Basics: Crash Course Intellectual Property 2. (2015, April 30). Retrieved from


Morehouse, S. (2012, August 7). Explanation of the Creative Commons for Open Educational Resources. Retrieved from


Trademan, M. (2014, November 25). Trademark, Patent, or Copyright? | USPTO. Retrieved from

Digital Footprints

          This week in my Digital Learning and Leadership class has been somewhat rewarding. I have found that my digital footprint is good. No negativity at all! I have learned about net neutrality and the importance of keeping up with the laws concerning it. Using technology is what we do everyday, we must be responsible and teach responsibility to our students. If we do not teach our students right from wrong there is a big possibility that they will never be taught. Many parents do not have good digital citizenship and the ones that do often do not pass the rules on to their children. Continue reading

Digital Citizenship Defined

         Week one in my 5316 digital learning and leadership class has introduced me to digital citizenship in a very in depth way. I thought I knew the difference between citizenship and digital citizenship, and I did to a small degree. There is much more to having good digital citizenship than I was aware of. After a lot of reading and research about the two I have come to the conclusion that there is not a lot of difference between digital citizenship and citizenship. I define Digital Citizenship as being responsible, respectful, courteous, and safe while using anything digital. Including, but not limited to computers, phones, tablets, cameras, or ipods. This is important to instill in our students because everything they are doing now will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

         Someone who displays good citizenship, is respectful, responsible, mindful of others needs, courteous, and portrays safety for themselves and others. This correlates very closely to digital citizenship. So in my opinion the only difference in the two definitions is that one revolves around everything digital and the other does not. We should be modeling and teaching our students to act in the same manner when we are using technology as we would if we were face to face with someone. It is very important that we keep in mind when we are working, playing, sharing, and communicating that there is a person on the other side of the computer we are sending information to. Although we are using a digital tool as a device for communicating, we are still conversing with a person and we must always be mindful of that.      

         There is more to using the internet or any digital tool correctly and safely than I thought. Our students are creating their personal digital footprint now, while under our supervision. That puts a lot of responsibility on teachers. This week I have learned that using and instilling Ribbles (2015) nine elements of good digital citizenship in my classroom is not only beneficial, it is a requirement. Ribble shares these elements – etiquette, access, law, communication, literacy, commerce, rights/responsibility, safety, and health/welfare that must be shared and enforced in the classroom in order for our students to become good digital citizens. I have went through the list and recognized the elements that I use almost daily and the ones that I need to spend more time learning and sharing with my students.  

          In conclusion, teaching and modeling good digital citizenship is just as, if not more important, as teaching and modeling citizenship. We as teachers must do what we can to make sure our students are aware of and abiding by all the local, state, and national rules and regulations while they are in our care. Hopefully we can instill in our students good digital citizenship and teach them right from wrong so they will make good choices when they are not in our care.

Some useful references I have found this week are:

Curran, M. (2012, June). iCitizen: Are you a socially responsible digital citizen. Paper presented at the International Society for Technology Education Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX. Retrieved from icitizen_paper_M_Curran.pdf )



Heick, T. (2013, May 2). Definition Of Digital Citzenship. Retrieved from

Ohler, J. (2012). Digital citizenship means character education for the digital age. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 77(8), 14-17. (PDF: Ohler_Digital_citizenship_means_character_education_2012.pdf)

Polgar, D. R., & Curran, M. B.F.X. (2015). We shouldn’t assume people know what digital citizenship is. Retreived from




Ribble, M. (2015). Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know (3rd ed.). Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education



After many hours of reading, skimming, glossing, pretending to read literature that others have published I have found that I am headed in the right direction with my Innovation Plan. There are some changes that will be made to make the implementation go smoother, but overall, if I can get my colleagues to get on board with my plan I think it will be a success. Continue reading

Literature Review II

booksMy classmates and I started a Lit Review in an earlier class in Digital Learning and Leadership. The class I am in now has allowed my partner and I an opportunity to explore in more depth the literature. We have found a lot of very useful information that works well with our Innovation Plan. My plan is to integrate ePortfolios into my classroom. This has proven to be a difficult task if not planned correctly.  Continue reading

Lit Synopsis


          book-1867171_960_720The past few weeks I have been doing research, a lot of research for a literature review. I have scrolled through tons of useless information for my innovation plan, but I have found a lot of information that is very informative and helpful. My plan is to incorporate ePortfolios into my classroom and get other teachers on board to do the same. This is going to be a big undertaking and it takes a lot of planning.

Continue reading

e-Portfolio PD

Whenever PD is mentioned most teachers cringe and get a negative idea in their head of sitting in a cafeteria or auditorium listening to someone ramble on about how we should be teaching. Most think PD adds more work to their already full load. And sometimes this is true. Having an entire school of teachers sit in front of someone giving a lecture is never going to be beneficial to everyone. But there is a better way.

In most cases we do not have to reinvent the wheel, simply improve upon what we already have. Incorporate teacher input into PD classes, gear them toward individualized learning, utilize smaller learning groups, and put more responsibility on the learner. Continue reading

e-Portfolios and the future

            My plan is to begin the process of changing the way Professional Learning is taught at Buna High School in August 2017. This training will extend through May 2017. Each teacher will create an e-Portfolio that they will use in their class to help their students, parents, and administrators collaboratively engage in the students learning. education-1580143_960_720I chose this time frame to give teacher ample training so they can pass along their knowledge about e-ports to their students so they can be used effectively and efficiently. Through this ten month PL training the administrators will have time to make the necessary adjustments for the 2018-2019 school year when student e-portfolios are fully implemented. Continue reading

The New PD

I have worked with very few teachers that get excited about professional development. Whenever PD is mentioned most teachers cringe and get a negative idea in their head of sitting in a cafeteria or auditorium listening to someone ramble on about how we should be teaching. holzfigur-980784_960_720Most think PD adds more work to their already full load. The people that lecture to us have usually never taught. If they did teach at some point in their career they can only relate to a small percentage of the people in the room because we are so diverse. There are a few key principles that Gulamhussein (2013) pointed out in his report that every teacher knows. These principles focus on the fact that the best teaching practices are lessons that target specific goals, are relevant to the learner, and have multiple supported, active learning opportunities to practice new skills. Why don’t we do staff development that way? Having an entire school of teachers sit in front of someone giving a lecture is never going to be beneficial to everyone. But there is a better way. Continue reading