Sunday, May 4, 2014

DigiLit Sunday

      I love that Margaret Simon has started a Sunday Link Up for posts about digital literacy at her blog.  
     A couple Sundays ago, I wrote a post about giving my students the choice to make mind maps digitally instead of on paper as a culmination of reading a Scientist in the Field book with their partners.  We spent the week reading the books with partners and completing rough drafts.  On Friday it was time to start finals.  Some groups decided to go ahead and make them with markers and pencils on chart paper, but I'd say an equal number decided to try out the website I suggested for them.  I went through eighteen suggested mind map maker websites I found through a search and decided was best for the Chromebooks they would be using.  It was free, collaborative, and easy to use.  My philosophy is that I don't have to be an expert on a digital tool before I introduce it to students.  I try it out first and get the basics, and then I let my kids loose on it.  They are fearless and find it fun to show me things.  This was no exception.  They got excited when they tried some things and it worked.  I can't wait to see how they turn out!



  1. I am with you in that I don't have to be a technology expert to allow my students to explore and use technology. Love the pictures of your kids working diligently. I wonder how the digital tool may have enhanced or diminished the final product. Why did some students feel more confident still using paper? And how great that you honored their learning styles by allowing a choice.

    1. Thank you for your wonderings and questions. Those are good things to explore.

  2. I think giving ourselves permission to not be a technology expert is key. It's been a major shift in my own teaching. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your kids working. I agree with Margaret. It's wonderful that you honored kids' choices in letting them decide if they wanted to work on paper or digitally. Have a great week!

  3. Hi -- I'm Tim, the creator of Slatebox. So glad you liked it. I sent a tweet as well; please shoot me an email at tim AT, I'd love to set you up with a free dashboard like ( and migrate your slates and students there.