Welcome to the Jungle




Eight steps to Great Digital Storytelling by Samantha Morra is a very good article if you are a novice working your way to proficient digital storytelling.  She gives 8 suggestions to think about in your story.

  • Are personal
  • Begin with the story/script
  • Are concise
  • Use readily-available source materials
  • Include universal story elements
  • Involve collaboration at a variety of levels

This medium of writing and expressing ideas has been a very rewarding experience for me.  At first, I did not really understand all of the steps that I would have to undertake to complete my digital story. It took me almost a day to complete it and then, of course, it wasn’t just right so I had to re-do some of it.  For my first attempt, I am satisfied and I hope that it is entertaining for you.

I have really enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of this Digital Literacy class and I have learned a tremendous amount about some of the ins and outs of technical learning. I am excited to take this new learning and ideas into my classroom and share them with my students, I think they will enjoy and benefit from digital activities.

My video is entitled, “Teaching is a Jungle”. My jungle encompasses both tranquility and craziness and I hope it gives a little insight of what it is like to be in one of my classes.







Learning to be an Innovator

Forming new habits or changing a mindset can be very complicated and uncomfortable tasks. The life of a teacher, many times, revolves around our ability to change, create, synthesize, and adapt to accomplish our teaching goals. We also have to incorporate planning, strategies, and organization to complete the process.  All of these considerations are supported by the ability to use text, technology, and human resources. In choosing how to create the best learning environment we are faced with many ways to reach our learners.

Spiral staircase

As educators, we must develop a mindset to be open to the opportunities of technology and new literacies. In his article “The Mindset of an Innovator” George Couros reminds us of the fact that we have tremendous access to people and information. This ability allows us to become innovators and expose ourselves to many new ideas and ways of thinking. It also opens a vast world for developing new abilities, seeking out opportunities, and connecting with peers to share knowledge and experiences. As we make choices for learning we should consider the environment that our students will encounter and what experiences they will need to proceed into the world that is highly transitional.

Considering the many resources available, students of the past century may have to be willing to give up some old practices.  Antiquated ways of thinking are going to become outdated and irrelevant in some cases. In order to keep up with the mindset of 21st-century thinkers, “unlearning” of outdated and irrelevant ideas may be warranted.

Will Richardson has written about the challenge of “unlearning. We are living in a world where we need to determine systemic ways of moving education forward with the goal of actually seeing the possibilities that lie before us. Traditional ways of thinking have become a stumbling block in the progress of creating an updated technology-embracing classroom. The world of technology can open up opportunities for self-directed learning, individual accommodations, and global access to information. To begin this process most of us will have to dive into the digital world and transform our own learning practices.



In the journey of becoming a more tech-savvy teacher, I can see that I have improved my innovative skills. Researching, experimenting, creating new projects, failing at new projects, and searching to discover that really helpful or interesting website has helped to make me a better student of technology. I have discovered a wealth of resources to implement on my own or in my classroom setting. There are many ideas and sites to provide tools for students. I really enjoy discovering online so I will continue to research and probably spend too much time trying to discover that “very best” site to accomplish my goal. I do highly value the ability to use technology and the vast resources that it provides and I would like to help instill that awareness in my students as well. Coming from a generation where the primary sources for research were periodicals, encyclopedias and card catalogs, I don’t think that students realize the wealth of information they have at their fingertips or most times exploit all of the avenues they can learn from. It will be my great pleasure to introduce and expose my students to as many new resources as possible in the hope they will become thinkers and innovators for the future.




Attention Log-Stardate…


Life as a student…log one

July 17, 2017

4:18-4:50 pm

  • Sitting at my kitchen table after making cookies
  • I sit in my kitchen because it is sunny and I like the atmosphere
  • Using my laptop computer
  • I am listening to the TED talk by Paul Miller-in one tab
  • Opened all of the other tabs for the week 7 assignment/mindfulness
  • I am eating cookies that I just made and feeling anxious because it is Monday and I have many assignments to do for my four online classes.
  • I flip through tabs as I am listening to Paul, looking for other articles about internet use.
  • I check twitter and see who has posted to the #diglitclass.
  • I do the Robot dance Daily Create while I am listening
  • I read the article about -Simplify the Internet
  • I check WordPress to see if anyone else has uploaded a blog post
  • During this process, I am sitting with my feet on one chair and my cat on my lap

July 20, 2017


  • Sitting at the kitchen table with coffee
  • Using my laptop computer
  • Open MS word
  • Open Chrome
  • Open WordPress-check notifications/read a blog, respond
  • Check phone
  • Open UNK Canvas, read assignment
  • Open Chadron/Peru and check email
  • Read assignment in my book
  • Write in MS word
  • Read assignment in my book
  • Write in MS word
  • This morning I am wide awake and excited to be doing homework! 🙂
  • I have a cat that would like to walk on my computer, so that is not working so well.
  • Done with the assignment so my attempts this morning are a success!

July 20, 2017


  • Sitting in the office with my 3 computers
  • Using my laptop to write a paper for English Composition
  • I open tabs on the desktop for my research
  • I have water and a pop to drink
  • I can’t find my glasses–frustrating
  • I shut the door because there is too much noise in the house
  • I have 7 tabs open on the desktop and 6 tabs open on the laptop
  • I am switching back and forth from MS Word to Chrome, not very efficient I should use all of the tabs on my desktop
  • I open the online thesaurus on the OTHER desktop, good thing I have a rolly chair
  • I read a lot on the desktop
  • I write on the laptop
  • I open UNO blackboard to check assignment and see how many pages I need to write and what pronouns I am NOT supposed to use
  • I feel a bit stressed…
  • I check my email on my phone because it went off, I email a colleague
  • I read
  • I write
  • I read
  • I write
  • I text my principal to ask a question about how we do testing in our school
  • I leave the room and get more water
  • My phone alarm goes off that I have to get my hair cut in 15 minutes, I forgot
  • I save  my document and go get ready
  • The system of three computers together works quite well for me. Sometimes the old one is slow but it is still good for some functions. I like the kitchen feng shui the best because it is open and sunny, but I can accomplish many tasks with my multiple computers.

July 21, 2017


  • Sitting in the office with coffee and 3 computers beside me
  • Using the desktop computer
  • Researching for a blog post for Adolescent Literature class
  • Searching for information on Organ donation in the U.S.
  • Searching for information on Stem cell research
  • I have 8 tabs open in my browser
  • Flipping back and forth between MS Word and web sites to read information and attach links.
  • Checked phone notification
  • Refilled my coffee
  • My grandson showed up so I talked to him
  • Talked to my daughter
  • I’m kind of stressed, so my breathing is shallow and I am hurrying
  • The set up in my office works pretty well. I have 3 computers near me so I can look something up on one while typing on another and I don’t have to flip through programs so much.
  • Finally finished, posted the thread and now on to another project

July 22, 2017


  • Sitting in the office with coffee-on desktop computer
  • Log into Peru State College-blackboard
  • Listen to a recorded blog  for 45 minutes
  • Take notes
  • Listen
  • Take notes
  • Check UNK canvas assignments
  • Pause video
  • Get coffee
  • Listen to video
  • Take notes
  • Texted colleague about a meeting at ESU Monday
  • Log onto ESU 10-register for meeting
  • Listen to video
  • Take notes
  • Text colleague
  • Listen to Video
  • Take notes
  • I feel good, awake and focused on my assignment

In the Google video No Time to Think by David Levy, he speaks about have the time to think and using it to facilitate the growth of wisdom, calling in mature and creative thinking. One of the most significant references he makes in his talk is about Jose Pieper, a German Catholic philosopher, and his theory that people need to participate in more leisure activity in order to return to the art of thinking. The definition of leisure that he provides are activities where a people devote time to being still, stilling the mind in order to “hear” and receive understanding about their thoughts and the world around them. People get so busy, that they don’t actually “hear” things in the world around them. Humans must achieve a state of quiet for these thoughts to arise in the mind. Thinking is a slow-time activity so we struggle to find a place for it in the pace of our lives. Creative thoughts can’t be rushed, thinking takes time. Where in our culture do we take time for creating and thinking?

I really enjoyed this video and the ideas that David Levy brought to the surface. It helped me to understand some of the situations in my own life where I feel overwhelmed with all of the things that I have to accomplish. The attention log/journal was a validation of all of the moments that I spend “chasing bunnies” in my technological life. Many times I see this behavior in students, the inability to stay focused on a particular aspect of their life for the time it takes to accomplish a task. They are distracted by sounds, movement and all of the “chatter” that goes on their heads. It becomes an overwhelming stimulus that many have trouble controlling. Most times when I am using technology I have to consciously redirect my attentions back to the task at hand in order to get tasks done with any brevity. The complications that come with using technology in daily life are ones that will have to be addressed on a daily and personal basis for each of us.  Creating an awareness that this distraction is happening, is a good place to start in teaching ourselves to battle the problem. Balance is my personal means of dealing with this matter, finding ways to monitor and redirect my own thinking and actions will allow me to be more effective in my technology use.


Piktochart-Online Creation

I chose the Piktograph creation tool to complete my tech assignment. I added some of my favorite technology sites, programs, and generators that I have been researching and the ones I have used the most in this class.  The Piktograph Editor is a very user-friendly site. The most challenging thing about it was to become familiar with the features and the tools to start creating. It contains graphics and backgrounds as well as font choices and sizes. You can upload photos, up to 40 MB and add video from YouTube and Vimeo. These YouTube link file types did not transfer into WordPress, but there is an added link to view my project. Piktochart would be a very simple choice to recommend to students for projects, displays or reports. I like the myriad of graphics, pictures, and features that allow the creator to personalize and create a professional looking product.

Leslie’s digital learning project link



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