Questions to ask when choosing a K-12 learning platform

The Getting Smart blog that I follow released a list of 10 essential questions to consider when choosing the right platform for teaching in either an online or blended format. These are important questions to remember. The point that struck out for me was consideration #6, namely that “kids see their computers as places where the park and store their data. But they drive around on their Smartphones and tablets all day.” From this perspective, mobile access should an important consideration to remember.

The blog referenced A Guide to K-12 Open Source Learning Management Systems options from THE Journal. This guide provides a nice review of options behind Moodle, Sakai, Canvas,  ATutor, OLAT, and Google CloudCourse as open access options for schools, an important consideration for a smaller Christian high school on a limited budget.

Digital citizenship and protecting student work

I was reminded today that any classroom instruction which may include  online components and/or digital media should help foster appropriate digital citizenship in our students. We need to help students understand and practice safe, legal and responsible use of information and technology. This is especially important as we help students develop an online presence that glorifies God in all aspects of their digital footprint.

The new aspect that I hadn’t considered before, though, is to help students learn how to protect their own work, such as videos, audio, images or text, through a Creative Commons license. We need to include instruction on this and other aspects of copyright as we foster media literacy. The Creative Commons license-choosing tool is a good resource to help students practice this aspect of digital citizenship.


Saltman, D., (2011). Turning digital natives into digital citizens. Harvard Education Letter, 27(5).  Accessed 9/19/2011 at

National Educational Technology Standards for Students (2007).

Creating ‘talking photos’ in the classroom

I came across fotobabble today, which is an application that allows you to embed comments directly to your photos in order to share both photo and story with others. They call this a “talking photo.” As they mention on their website, “Fotobabble brings the power and emotion of human voice to social media.” It makes photos “more engaging and personal by adding the energy and emotion of human voice.”

Immediately, I started thinking about some instructional possibilities for fotobabble, such as projects, adding visuals to assignments and digital storytelling. This may be a great tool.