Day 7 Reflection

Julia and I are clinging to the WordPress site set up cliff, but we are hanging on. I made this infographic for our presentation and embedded it, with hopes that it helps explain what we did. Thanks to Craig for mapping it out on paper first and for the uber helpful “build a house” analogy. I will embed our Google Slides once we have finished them up.

And I am keen to try some of the photo manipulation tricks we were shown this morning with a whack of photos I took outside the Miro museum after lunch.

Day 6 Reflection

My brain has been WordPressed … but with a little overnight consolidation I am hopeful to put some informawordpressmemetion into long term memory and work with Julia to get this all figured out for our presentation on Thursday. Hopefully we can produce something that will be of use to others in the class (or anybody else at our level of experience) if they are keen to move beyond the basic .com cookie cutter product (which I now see some simplistic advantages to using  … this will all be good in the end.)

Wonderful image editing tricks presented this morning, especially the one for making the background transparent (for free!). I will use that somehow. Digital storytelling … so many obvious applications for elementary kids, but I bet MS and HS kids could create thoughtful products, demonstrating their understanding of concepts in many subjects. Our 8th graders have traditionally produced an iMovie reflecting back on their lives, but incorporating storytelling tools may be a welcome option for them.

And, as mentioned, most the pie chart of my mind was dedicated to getting off the ground, with Craig doing most of the heavy lifting this afternoon outside of class for the set up. Thank you, Craig!!!! I want to take a full blown course in this this fall, and get the process for setting this up so I more fully understand what we did today, especially the FTP, modifying the code and the ins and outs of the security plugins. As the theme seems to be going, I have enough knowledge to get in trouble with so many aspects of tech, but not enough to get myself out of i! For some reason, when I was trying to follow a friend’s blog on my reader this afternoon, a new WordPressblog site seemed to be have been created, not connected to either my work, the TCNJ, my personal tetheredexpat blog nor the new one we created this afternoon. Automagically it seems I had an account (without any pages) created for meaganpavey2015. Hmmm … a strategy by WP to get me to create an account, not knowing I am already juggling too many? 🙂

I really appreciate the “building and modifying a prefab house on a plot of land” analogy Craig used with me today.  I think Julia and I might run with that one. To be determined Wednesday.

An ode to the gif animation

And another significant accomplishment for the day … bought two bottles of cava and two cartons of juice for our class fest on Thursday. Vitamin C and hydration are important for learning. Need to find some plastic glasses!

Reflection – Day 5

Do you ever have one of those days where it smacks you in the head,  how little you know on a topic? The “hardware talk” today made me realize how I’ve been cruising through my tech life so blissfully ignorant, leaving issues such as processor speed, memory and storage to the tech team at our school to advise me on, and I went with the “whatever you think is best” approach for decisions. (I think I would still take that approach as the knowledge and expertise in that department is immense, and I now have just the minimal amount of knowledge to get myself in trouble.)

Where I think I have not invested enough energy for my own learning is programing, but I do feel proud that I have been an active supporter of a teacher who does know what he is doing in my old middle school. When we revised our course offerings in 2010, we had a “multi-media” course, where Glenn (the teacher) had the foresight to put a substantial unit on Scratch programming into it. I didn’t fully appreciate it, but kids were captivated and engaged in the work. When Glenn took on the development of the robotics course for 7th graders, I started to see the programming connections, the use of blocks of code, and the importance of getting kids to see how to combine chunks of code to execute an action. I am in even more awe of Glenn and the kids for accomplishing what they do after 3 years of the robotics course and now a club being up, running and very active. What has been so interesting to see is the reaction of other teachers to our robotics class, club and the programming unit in the multi-media class. They are mildly amused, but I don’t think, reflecting back on their reactions, they realize how important this skill and understanding for the kids is. Even if they never do anything more advanced than what they experience in middle school, they will have an understanding and appreciation of how code causes action … a whole lot more than I have understood up until recently. Many of the adult reactions took the approach that if we teach kids code, we will not be teaching them the importance of social skills, caring for one another, appreciation of the arts, etc. Thinking seems a tad black and white.

Today’s time, playing with Scratch and MakeyMakey was fabulous. I completely missed the boat when I was using MakeyMakey with my study hall kids this year (I admit – primarily to entertain them), and did not tap into any of the programming side of it. Kids figured out how to complete the circuits quickly, and then just found ready made programs on the MakeyMakey site, rather than me pushing them to use Scratch to create their own. Oh, for a do-over!


Demo Table Post

Hi Meagan, here’s a “cleaned up” version of your table that has borders. Note that you may need to click on the title of this post (Demo Table Post) to see it in action:

Standard 2008 2015 Draft
1 An education leader promotes the success of every student by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by all stakeholders. Education leaders build a shared vision of student academic success and well-being.

I built it using the following HTML code. Note that I also needed to add in a few CSS rules (edit this page and find the “Custom CSS” block below the editing window to see these rules). The issue you were having on your 1st table had to do with the fact that may of the “older” HTML properties are ignored by newer browsers. In fact, all of the formatting options that were common back in the late 90’s / early 00’s have been replaced with CSS rules. Come see me after class and I can give you a “crash course” on CSS – it’s not that hard and it is incredibly powerful!

<table style="width: 100%;"><colgroup> <col style="background-color: skyblue; width: 10%;" span="1" /> <col style="background-color: beige; width: 45%;" span="2" /> </colgroup>
<th>2015 Draft</th>
<td>An education leader promotes the success of every student by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by all stakeholders.</td>
<td>Education leaders build a shared vision of student academic success and well-being.</td>

CSS Rules:

table {
    border-collapse: collapse;
table, th, td { 
    border: 1px solid black; 

A great resource for understanding HTML and CSS for users

This website will save my life … okay, an exaggeration, perhaps. This may let me avoid the world of plugins, and moving to a .org site, although I don’t know if that is good or bad.

WW3 Schools … I think it is somehow linked to WordPress. It has a cool feature that lets you play with code and see the effect in real time. I used it to build this table when trying to study (read “procrastinate”) for the comps by organizing the 2008 ISLLC standards and compare them with the 2015 draft version.

But what I don’t understand is why the boarders won’t show up on the published version. And I’m not sure why there are these “class” codes in there. I’m wondering if it is because I copied the text from a pdf I got online? Maybe? And the exact same code ends up with a different looking table, when published on my personal blog. Not sure what is happening.

ISLLC Comparison Chart

Standard 2008 2015 Draft

An education leader promotes the success of every student by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by all stakeholders.

Education leaders build a shared vision of student academic success and well-being.

2 An education leader promotes the success of every student by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.

Education leaders champion and support instruction and assessment that maximizes student learning and achievement.


An education leader promotes the success of every student by ensuring management of the organization, operation, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.

Education leaders manage and develop staff members’ professional skills and practices in order to drive student learning and achievement.


An education leader promotes the success of every student by collaborating with faculty and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.

Education leaders cultivate a caring and inclusive school community dedicated to student learning, academic success and personal well-being of every student.


An education leader promotes the success of every student by acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner.

Education leaders effectively coordinate resources, time, structures and roles to build the instructional capacity of teachers and other staff.


An education leader promotes the success of every student by understanding, responding to, and influencing the political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.

Education leaders engage families and the outside community to promote and support student success.


Education leaders administer and manage operations efficiently and effectively.


Reflection – Day 4

Random thoughts and discoveries in no particular order …

      • I’ve had my Mac for five years now … I liken the experience to owning a 2010 Saub or Audi, but I’m driving it like a 1986 Chrysler K car … using only the basic features and not taking advantage of the bells and whistles. This class is allowing me to appreciate the sweet side of my Mac such as Quicktime and Keychain.
      • the Aurasma App for iOS and Aurasma Studio accounts for the desk/lap top accounts don’t sync, even if they have the same login user and password. Weird, but good to know so you don’t start a mobile device based project and then try to edit an AR project on the desktop – you can’t. Read more at this good blog by a teacher who uses AR in her kindergarten.
    • But I did create an AR birthday card for my mom, with the trigger being the front of a Canadian passport, since I didn’t have any other “standard” images at hand, which would also be available for my family to set up. Reading the blog above, I realized, stylized large font on a computer screen also makes a good trigger, so I could have made a birthday card graphic trigger and sent it as a link. (And as an aside, I am feeling mighty proud of figuring out how to make this embedded YouTube video “float” to the left of this text. Searching, copying, pasting, tweaking and using my best guess method to write code to the rescue.  I totally guessed as to what the code to indent the video on the left would be so it lined up with the other bullets).
    • Am feeling a bit of a love-hate thing with Apple at the moment, as I realize my “old” hardware (iPhone 4S) makes new tricks impossible. More in my response on Craig’s post about making QuickTime movies.
    • Learned so many cool things from my classmates yesterday in their presentations. From Eric’s I am keen to try the Meograph. From Julia’s, I’ve already downloaded Pic Collage and will give it a wing this afternoon in the musuem, from Brittany’s presentation, I’m going to pass on the comic strip creator to my colleagues, since middle school kids LOVE graphic novels … now they can create their own. From Sura’s presentation I want to explore GoNoodle and what might be out there for MS kids and couch-potato adults who can sit for hours at a time on their computer (yes, that’s me). And the Equil Smartpen presented by Rob, has me determined to figure out how I can use it both personally and professionally. I’m convinced that there would be a cool way to incorporate it into the Readers and Writers Notebooks that are key in the language arts workshop model.
    • Tomorrow’s project (after the exam) – figure out the smartpen and get ifthisthenthat going with Feedly and Pocket.
    • Thinking about the final project and how to make it helpful in my next “phase”. Thinking about productivity and organization, thinking about health – both my mom’s and mine, thinking about tech opportunities and limitations as I try to help my friend do PD in a rural school in Nepal, thinking about working with adults and kids who are on the margins both socially and economically when I move back home and how tech might help me and them. Choices, choices.

Reflection Day 3

My brain is hurting, but in a good way. More wonderful tools presented before the break, and I am just so thankful you have them referenced on the class website, Craig. Thank you … I’ll be coming back for weeks/months to come.

htmltextLargely, I’ve been “playing” this afternoon,, which I now believe to be a sickly sweet euphemism for learning by trial and error. But it is how I learn best, so all is good. Trial and error mostly related to html coding, what to teach and getting it to “work” in my own webpage. I had a bizarre experience, which I will talk through tomorrow … I could “embed” video from YouTube this morning at school to WordPress, but could not do it when I came home, prompting a bit of research and discovery that WP does not allow it. (But it allowed me this morning …. <frustration> ….</frustration>.

My three mini-lessons for tomorrow will hopefully prove useful to others … the Pinterest and TweetDeck appealing to the PD side in people and html widget creation appealing to the inner geek. I’m unsure why I couldn’t find the ready-made widget for embedding the latest Tweets into the blog, as I have done on my personal WP site. For follow up tomorrow.

One of the things I have thought a lot about in my time as a tech-positive-trying-to-walk-the-talk administrator is the time I spend making videos, updating my blog, designing spreadsheets and pivot tables, doing mail merges for certificates, and the list goes on … but that is all time I am not in classrooms and hanging out with kids and teachers, just getting to know them. I love the creative and product oriented side of creating media, and crunching data so that it leads to some ah-has, but I wonder if it the best use of my time. I felt a huge weight off my shoulders when I let go of being the “go-to” person for our student management system as far as getting learning goals input into it, and helping teachers with their grade books and then producing report cards. I loved the challenge of getting the system to do something it was not designed to do, but I always felt there were others who were better suited to tackle the challenge if they had the time and felt an urgency to do so.

Time … it all comes down to time and priorities.

Adding Widgets in the Text Field of Your Side Bar

This one took me a while to figure out … but if I can do it, so can you. A better title might be “The Art of Stealing Code and Modifying It to Suit Your Own Purposes”. Yah?

Craig showed us the “visual” and the “text” side of the WordPress site builder. We do our work in the visual side, using macros made available by the software company in a format that looks close to the publication version, it gets translated into html on the text side, and then into the “prettier” published version when you visit the website as an outsider. Over the years, I figured out that many of the software we use can have more customized output when we publish if we modify the code or enter our own simple code. I found this in SurveyMonkey, Moodle, Atlas and WordPress.

But how do you figure out how to modify pre-existing code?

  • trial and error … you can’t break it. ex, I wanted my embeded YouTube Video to be smaller. So, I went into the Text side, figured out that frame width and height must be the code determining the size, so changed the numbers, trying to keep the aspect ratio in tact. It worked!
  • view the source code of something you want your product to look like and copy/paste the bits that look relevant
  • find an html translator or code cheat sheet or a kind soul who has posted a bunch of code for you to copy and paste to do a certain function

My basic understanding of html coding: all html code starts with <dosomething> has the text or link in the middle and ends with </dosomething>

    • The <> says it is code, the “dosomething” is the instruction and when you put / infront of the instruction, it tells the html decoder that this is the end of the section to which it should apply the instruction
    • so <b> is the instruction for bold and you would code it by <b>hey, read this bit</b> and then it would look like hey, read this bit
    • You can string together html code and it will look for the “pair” of instructions doing what ever it is supposed to do to the content inside the bookends except any bits found in the < > symbols so if you want part of your text bolded and part underlined you could code it as <b><u>This will be the bold and underlined bit</b> while this part just has the pleasure of being underlined</u> and it would look like this This will be the bold and underlined bit while this part just has the pleasure of being underlined
    • You might think I cheated, and just used the macro buttons above. I did, but just to prove that this could be useful, here is the code for somethings not found in the buttons above:

Don’t you want your text to be able to be viewed really small?  Or to be able to write superscript or subscript ? OK, maybe not. But tables can be handy.

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Table Cell Table Cell Table Cell
Table Cell Table Cell Table Cell
Table Cell Table Cell Table Cell

From the WordPress Support Page

HTML Tags allows the following HTML code in your posts, pages, and widgets:

address, a, abbr, acronym, area, article, aside, b, big, blockquote, br, caption, cite, class, code, col, del, details, dd, div, dl, dt, em, figure, figcaption, footer, font, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, header, hgroup, hr, i, img, ins, kbd, li, map, ol, p, pre, q, s, section, small, span, strike, strong, sub, summary, sup, table, tbody, td, tfoot, th, thead, tr, tt, u, ul, var

Check out W3 Schools for more information about what each of these HTML codes are used for.

If you are familiar with HTML, you’ll notice that codes such as embed, frame, iframe, form, input, object, textarea and others are missing from the above list. Those codes are not allowed on for security reasons.

But the bit I really wanted to get to … linking your WordPress site using the text widget in the side bar.

1) From the Dashboard, under Appearance, open the Widgets and drag a Text field into the side bar menu.


Title the Text Field and copy paste the html code below into the text box, modifying it to link to your social media pages.


<div><a href=”yourtwitterURL“><img title=”Twitter” src=”” alt=”Twitter” width=”35″ height=”35″ /></a><a href=”yourpinterestURL“><img title=”Pinterest” src=”//” alt=”Pinterest” width=”35″ height=”35″ /></a> <a href=”yourfacebookURL“><img title=”Facebook” src=”” alt=”Facebook” width=”35″ height=”35″ /></a> <a href=”mailto:youremailaddress“><img title=”Email” src=”” alt=”Email” width=”35″ height=”35″ /></a><a href=”//yourblogURL/feed”><img title=”RSS” src=”” alt=”RSS” width=”35″ height=”35″ /></a></div>