Upon completing my final HOMAGO, I feel a bit accomplished. In recording myself and walking through the setting up of flipgrid, I realized that I have learned a lot more than I even realized. I’ve definitely felt “stretched” through the HOMAGO process, but appreciate the space to explore, connect, and create. After reviewing the uses of flipgrid, it really got my mind racing as to the different ways I could apply this technology to my classroom. Since my goal is to open the minds of my students to the idea of exploration beyond the classroom walls, I’ve found that I, too, need to expand my own knowledge, and find new and alternative ways of teaching. I’m hopeful that I can hand down the HOMAGO process to my students, making time and the space for them to experiment and search different apps and tools to enhance their learning.

The video is not the smoothest, but hopefully, it shows what I’ve learned.

Final HOMAGO Challenge



When considering HOMAGO as a learning device, I think it’s a really good way to gain insight into different tech tools, as well as gaining insight from peers. The greatest challenge I’ve faced is the time component. Being able to carve out a time to investigate and experiment with different technologies has been the most difficult for me. Maybe it’s partially due to the fact that I’m a little older and haven’t grown up with social media, making it a bit more time consuming for me than the average person. And yet, I know it’s really good for me as I’ve gained insight into the uses of different technologies that could enhance student learning. Moving forward, I can see the benefits of incorporating HOMAGO in some way in the classroom. I’m still trying to figure out what that might look like in light of  the required content we are expected to cover in the school year. However, I do see the benefits in the long run, for both the students and for myself.

Challenge #10–Technology Manifesto

My Technology/Teaching Manifesto:

Be the kind of teacher that I wanted, and needed, when I was their age.

Don’t forget what it was like to be a teenager. Embrace the energy, address the angst, and uplift the weary.

Encourage my students to be the very best they can be…for no other person than for themselves.

Instill a sense of accomplishment within my students so that they get a taste for success, and like it.

Be willing to do for my students what I would expect them to do for me.

Always remember: by showing them respect, I gain their respect. It’s a two-way street.

Incorporate technology in a way that advances my students in a rapidly advancing technological world. Be innovative and creative.

Constantly revisit curriculum to update it and keep it relevant in each teaching year.

Maintain and update my own learning to better address my students’ needs. I can do this by challenging myself to learn new and better advancements in technology.

Create a welcoming environment that fosters student growth.

Create a risk-taking environment in which students feel comfortable pushing the boundaries of their own education.

Remind students often: “If they never try, they’ll never know.”

Communicate to my students that mistakes are proof they are trying—so welcome them.

Recognize the anxieties involved in using unfamiliar technologies and be the safe place to experiment. Address fear head-on with empathy.

Don’t allow complacency to find its home in my classroom—for my students or myself.

Encourage collaboration among my students, as well as among my colleagues.

Establish an open learning community among the staff at my school, to share ideas and address issues in order to become better for our students and for ourselves.

Try new things and experiment with new technologies.

Bring joy back into learning!

Dream big…and encourage my students to do the same.

HOMAGO–10 Geeking out with Flipgrid

So, I’ve decided to focus on Flipgrid and figure out ways to incorporate this into my classes. Because of the back-and-forth nature of quarantined students and the high school as a whole, I’d like to connect better with my students and get them to connect better with each other. I don’t want to just use Flipgrid as a replacement for “journal” responses. I’m looking for other creative ways to use the tech tool. I’ve looked into different ways to use it online, one of which is connecting with those outside of our school. I was thinking about seeing if our students might be able to connect with those of another school, covering similar topics. This may be a stretch and not possible. I do know it’s been used to connect those in the community with students. So maybe another way we could reach out could be by appealing to a local author or expert in an area we are working on. We could pose questions to them through Flipgrid and, if they’re willing, they could respond to the students. This is just a start…a work in progress.

Any suggestions would be SO appreciated!

Challenge #9–Learn about Learners Infographic

The question I posed regarding student learning was, “How effective is remote learning compared to in-person instruction?” This question stems from the recent 9 day school shutdown our high school was forced into due to the increased number of quarantined students. I used skyward to examine the number of missing assignments by students during the 9 day period, compared to the 9 days prior to the shutdown. Likewise, I looked at the grade averages from before remote learning and after remote learning. I then conducted an anonymous poll of students, asking them which they preferred in relation to how well they learned. The information gathered from these sources was placed in the infographic below, in the form of pie graphs and charts. In reading the Pearson pdf, it was mentioned that the data collected should be “user friendly.” In thinking about the conversations I’ve had with colleagues, as well as my students after returning to school, I thought these three pieces of information would be useful in determining not only the efficacy of remote learning, but stimulate conversations for ways to improve it. This led me to select Canva as a way to display my findings, as I do have some experience using the tool, and like the simple layout of the infographic. Actually seeing the results as images has been impactful. It’s made me really consider what I need to do to help my students progress during remote learning days. Knowing that future school shutdowns are a possibility, I want to proactively put remediations in place to bring continuity in learning to all of my students.

Challenge #8 Freedom Stories Augmented Reality

In my freshmen class we read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. We analyze the speech for the rhetoric used, as well as MLK’s gift for public speaking. We do discuss this in tandem with To Kill a Mockingbird, which also deals with issues of race and prejudice. I found an app called Freedom Stories AR which presents stories of oppression and struggles for freedom. This tool would pare nicely with this unit as a supplement in engaging students in the realities of those less fortunate than ourselves. In the article, “Augmented Reality: The Future of Education,” the author states, “Augmented Reality applications in education provide new ways of teaching and learning, bridging the gap between the virtual and real world.” Through the use of this AR tool, issues from almost 100 years ago can be brought to life.

Students have the ability to hear and see those freedom fighters from yesteryear tell their stories as they interact with them using this AR tool.




Lessons can be transformed, allowing students to not only read the text, but interact with it.

Undoubtedly, the written text maintains it value over time. However, through the use of AR technology, the print text can be enhanced to create an experience for young learners.




By allowing the two modes of presentation to work in tandem, student learning can expand while their understanding of texts, issues, events, and cultures can become a reality.






If our end goal as educators is to assist our students in internalizing their learning and to encourage them to apply it to their lives outside of the classroom, AR is a tool to use. Through the expansion of texts to include these AR apps, students will certainly reap the rewards.

HOMAGO 9: Geeking out with

This past week I made a determined effort to work a bit more with in the classroom. What I like about it is the capacity for students to visualize their brainstorming efforts as well as connect their ideas. With this tool, students can add quotes where they see fit and color code different topics or categories. Students have the abilities to move the bubbles around, easily adding to or deleting portions if they see fit. This makes it easier to use, because as individuals brainstorm, their ideas are meant to evolve. As they do, they can easily adjust the mindmap without needing to erase or start over.

I used this in place of the traditional outline, simply because it affords students the freedom to express themselves without being stuck in a very structured format. I’ve read online how other instructors have replaced the outline with this type of mindmapping, and it’s improved student writing through a deeper development of ideas. I believe that once students see the connections, they can write more freely while including their ideas and required pieces of information, like supporting points or quotations.

I can see using this when writing papers or written responses. I also think it could come in handy when discussing in the classroom. While engaging in group discussions, one person could record the responses from their classmates on a mindmap on the Smartboard. This, again, could allow students to “see” their discussion in real time.

What I also like about mindmapping that using pen and paper can’t do, is that it allows students to collaborate. I can separate students into groups and have them all work on the same mindmap. This kind of collaboration can allow ideas to develop through group thought and work. Likewise, it gives my quieter students the ability to give their input without feeling uncomfortable. Their ideas can be “heard.” This I really like. It also allows students to watch the topic develop in ways that they may not have considered themselves. To me, this is real learning.

Challenge #7 Blended Learning

The approach I’d like to work with in my classroom is the flipped classroom. This form of learning would offer my students more autonomy regarding the literary devices we will be studying in the classroom in relation to the texts we cover each week. According to the article by Amira Awaad, “one benefit to students of a blended-learning approach has been the driver of our school’s work: preparedness.” By getting my students accustomed to thinking ahead about their learning in regards to the week’s lessons, I will be training them to be more organized and prepared. This plays into one of the goals I have as a teacher of high school students which is to prepare them for life after school. This skill of looking ahead and being prepared will give them a leg up on their competition in the working world.

Likewise, other benefits students may experience through a flipped classroom are the abilities to work independently and to collaborate with others, while seeking additional help and explanation when necessary. I think I may be able to accomplish more with my students it they were to receive the direct instruction before coming to class.

Measurements I would utilize for this will be formative and summative assessments. Additionally, through group participation and individualized questioning, I should be able to determine if learning is occurring.

The approach I would take would be to post short 5-10 minute videos at the beginning of the week using Loom, introducing the literary terms we will be dealing with throughout that week. This will afford students the ability to go back and revisit the video as needed should they need to review the terminology, examples, or concepts. Then, depending on the texts being read for the week, students will be able to apply the literary terminology to the texts through the selection of different activities, group projects, or individualized approaches. This will afford students the autonomy to select different ways to show their understanding of the materials through a variety of choices. Likewise, this should give students the freedom to collaborate with others to create products that reflect the learning that has taken place.

The model I would be using is a flipped classroom. After students view the Loom lessons posted each week, they will receive a list of the required readings for the week. With each reading, students will be given a list of options they can use to apply the information learned from the Loom videos to the texts for the week. Students will be given a list of options regarding how they can show this learning, ranging from group projects, to individual activities. The options will depend upon the texts read for the week, as well as the literary terms associated with the readings. This model will afford me, as the teacher, to rotate throughout the classroom, answering questions, and instructing students regarding the choices in assessments they make. Additionally, I will be given the opportunity to encourage students to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zones to experiment with different modes of expression.

The digital technologies I would use to support my instruction would begin with Loom for recordings of lessons for student viewing. Based on the student work for the week, different technologies would be introduced to students such as Mindmeister, Canva, Glogster, Storyboard, and others. Through the flipped classroom style, more time would be available during in-person instruction to teach students how to use different tech tools. This would afford them more independence and freedom in completing assignments.

Towards the beginning of the week, I’d like to solidify lessons viewed by students through the creation of discussion groups. Then, throughout the course of the week, students will have the ability to select from a list of activities to choose the way in which they show what they’ve learned. Towards the end of the week, different students will be chosen to present their projects to the class. This will afford students the experience of getting up in front of their peers and speaking, as well as showing the application of the lessons they’ve learned.



HOMAGO 8: Messing Around with EdPuzzle

One of my main goals regarding technology has been to figure out a way to help my students collaborate online. With this being said, I’ve also realized the importance of collaboration among teachers. I chose to check out EdPuzzle because of the comments I’ve heard my colleagues make about it, as well as the different ways they’ve used it in the their own classrooms.

I’m currently teaching The Crucible and have been discussing with my students regarding the psychological impact of mass hysteria. Through EdPuzzle, I was able to find a video clip regarding 12 teenage girls who exhibited similar ailments. Throughout the clip, I was able to include questions for them to answer, which fueled great conversations. As students were skeptical of the mass hysteria we read about in the play, it helped them see it in “real time.” We then began talking about ways we see this type of contagious fear among ourselves, times they have experienced it personally, and ways in which we’ve seen it in current events. EdPuzzle allowed me to attach the site as an assignment on Google Classroom, which made it easy for them to access. One thing I think would be really nice is a way to allow students to comment on the video, creating an ongoing conversation.  I was able to use the feature on Google Classroom which allows students to see each other’s comments and comment back, but I found that these few extra steps stifled their comments, as they lost some of their “mojo.”

I really like the ease of using EdPuzzle and the way in which it works with Google Classroom. By being able to cut out a few extra technological steps for students, it reduces the stress some experience who are less technologically advanced. As we’ve moved to remote learning, I’ve become more sensitive to the anxieties my students experience. Not only are they worried about being able to complete their assignments, but they’re also stressed about being able to access those same assignments. I’m learning right alongside my own students.