December 9

Are you online yet?

My presentation will demonstrate how to use a variety of tools for teachers to help engage students and for the students to produce creative work. We will examine the uses of:

1.      Google Docs for collaboration, Google Forms to gather information

2. for ePortfolios and easy websites

3. for avatars, presentations and prior knowledge assessment

4. for student blogs

5. for an assignment blog

6. for a class blog

7. for photomovies

8.      Audacity for podcasts

9. for how to videos

10. for updates

11. to create on online classroom

12. to gather ideas and other online tools

November 22

I love playing in the techie digital sandbox

Yesterday I created another teaser video for my K12 Online Conference.


I Don’t Know


I love creating photomovies and Animoto allows me to combine photos and video clips.  I am ADDICTED to creating photomovies. (A feeling that I want for all of my students – to love creating and sharing work.)

@AngelaMaiers delivered the #K12Online 2011 preconference keynote, The Sandbox Manifesto, yesterday and it was inspirational.  She had two basic messages for us:


  1. Don’t be afraid to play – play can lead to brilliance

I guess I created another video because …. I could.

I could play in the digital storytelling, photomovie making sandbox, so I did.  I like playing in the Web 2.0 techie sandbox and I want as many people as possible to play in there as well.  That is the joy of this year’s K12 Online Conference Theme: Purposeful Play.  PLAYING and teaching our students and colleagues to play with a purpose.  I have been playing in the Web 2.0 Sandbox for several years and I want everyone to know how fun it can be.

I often say that the computer allows me to be the artist that I was meant to be. I don’t sing, I dance fairly well but on the computer.. I feel like a true creative spirit.  I feel AWESOME. I feel empowered to change the world by tweeting, blogging, wikiing, creating photomovies, taking and sharing pictures, making websites, etc.

I feel that I MATTER. @AngelaMaiers‘s message of #YouMatter is a powerful one that we all need to feel and embrace.  We do matter and we need to remember it and act like it.

November 22

Another teaser vid for #K12 Online Conference

I hope that you can tune in for my presentation in the ‘Sandbox Play’ thread of the K12 Online Conference.  This thread of presentations becomes available 12/5. Presentations in this strand will be appropriate for beginners new to the use of technology in the classroom. My presentation quickly looks at Google Docs,,,,,,, Audacity,,, and as resources to help you create, produce and publish. I had an ambitious agenda, I know.

The blog that houses the videotaped presentations will also contain valuable links and resources.  PLEASE check out my other resources and posts because 15 minutes is not enough time for us to play in the techie sandbox. 

Can you come and play?


I want you read my posts, view my presentation slides and watch my video tips and then create accounts of your own and PLAY, PLAY and then PLAY some more.


November 20

K12 Online Conference teaser

I am going to embed my PhotoPeach teaser
Tools to help you create, produce and publish on PhotoPeach


Tools to help you create, produce and publish on PhotoPeach

November 19

World of Wikis

PBworks presentation from VR Burton
Description: This workshop will discuss the ins and outs of using wikis in classrooms.
Audience: All School Teachers
This presentation has been delivered (in part) to West Jeff teachers.
Wondering about wikis?
This presentation will give some of the ins and outs of creating your own online space using wikis.

Advantages of using wikis in the classroom

  • With an online workspace, students are engaged outside the classroom, parents remain involved, and school resources are always accessible.

Fostering classroom collaboration with wikis – What can you do with a classroom wiki?

  • Class Resources – Publish class notes, PowerPoint lectures, schedules and policies; show off examples of great student work
  • Group Projects – Build collaborative pages, start discussions and encourage comments
  • Parent Outreach – Keep parents involved. Post assignments, key dates and volunteer lists. All available at home, from work, or anywhere
  • Student Portfolios – Give students their own page to post content, upload homework, and share their work.
  • Expand Horizons Globally – Share and interact with other classrooms or groups, across town or around the world.
November 12

LaCUE 2011

Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators

the 27th Annual Conference

November 28-30, 2011

at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside


Conference 2011 Schedule

Monday, November 28

  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pre-conference Registration ONLY
  • 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Pre-conference Sessions
  • 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Conference Registration
  • 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Opening Social in Exhibit Area

Tuesday, November 29

  • 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Conference Registration
  • 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
  • 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Opening Session: Business Meeting, Presentation of Awards & Keynote Speaker
  • 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Exhibits Open
  • 10:30 a.m. – 5:20 p.m. Conference Sessions (50 minute sessions)
  • 10:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. Hands-on Labs (90 minute sessions)
  • 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Wine & Cheese Reception in Exhibit Hall

Wednesday, November 30

  • 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Conference Registration
  • 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
  • 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Exhibits Open
  • 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Hands-on Labs (90 minute sessions)
  • 8:00 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. Conference Sessions (50 minute sessions)
  • 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Closing/Door Prizes Awarded

**Be sure to plan to come and see me!!

Session Title: “Using for ePortfolios”

  • Date Scheduled:  Tuesday, November 29, 2011 ~ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Room:  Assembly Court Hallway
  • Size of room: Poster participants
  • Type of Session: Poster

Session Title: “Are You Online Yet?”

  • Date Scheduled:  Wednesday, November 30, 2011 ~ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
  • Room:  Oak Alley
  • Size of room: 100 participants
  • Type of Session: Hands-On


September 15

Implementing Literacy Strategies across the curriculum


I delivered this presentation to my staff to promote literacy across the curriculum.

This workshop and presentation showed the staff at my high school how to effectively implement literacy strategies into their curriculum.


Literacy strategies for PLC meeting from VR Burton
July 19

10 tools that I could not live without

I made this presentation at edCamp Louisiana. I talked about the following topics:
Jing and Screenr
Google apps/services
Wikis – PbWorks
Discovery Education
Blogs – EduBlogs and WordPress
Learning Platforms: Edmodo, Collaborize Classrooms, Nings, etc. 

March 21

EdCamp Louisiana 2011

I am excited to report that EdCamp Louisiana 2011 is underway.   mini edcampEdCamp is an UnConference built around the wishes of its attendees.  The sessions will be catered to what the audience wants to see and hear.  The presenters will be Professional Educators who are knowledgeable about a topic or willing to experiment and learn about the unknown.

So far at team EdCamp Louisiana

  • We have a date: July 9, 2011
  • We have a venue: University of New Orleans
  • We have an evergrowing list of attendees and presenters.
  • We are creating flyers for advertising purposes.
  • We will soon have a website up and running as well as a Paypal Account to handle donations and sponsorships.

Read this blog post by M.E. Steele-Pierce, Unconference: Revolutionary professional learning for more information about the UnConference concept.  Dr. Steele-Pierce is Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning at West Clermont Schools in Ohio.  Her post defines the concept of EdCamp, the unconference, and its value as a way to disseminate needed (and wanted) information. 

“Allowing our teacher experts to teach one another”

And yes, the Valerie Burton that she refers to as being enthusiastic about the upcoming EdCamp Louisiana is yours truly. 

 I can’t wait for EdCamp Louisiana.  I can see it now… UNO’s campus will be loaded with 250 Professional Educators eager to share and eager to learn about what is going on in our classes. 

They are discussing

  • what is working and what isn’t working. 
  • ways to collaborate
  • ways to integrate technology into classrooms
  • ways to revamp boring units with project based learning activities
  • a Birds of a Feather style working lunch
  • followed by more collaborating and creating

We will not have the attendants sign up for sessions that they really do not want to take just to waste time until they can go to the sessions that they do want.  The goal of the UnConference is to build the agenda around what the participants are interested in learning about.  The UnConference is a series of ‘make and take,’ ‘share, reflect and plan,’ and ‘collaborate’ sessions.  

If you do not leave with new ideas, activities, plans, and friends we have not done our jobs properly.

Thanks to all of those people who helped us make the concept of an UnConference in Louisiana a practical way to provide learning opportunities to our Professional Educators.

I have created an event on Eventbrite.  Eventbrite allows you to create an online flyer, a widget and e-ticket for your event.  They have many different types of widgets available and you can customize the colors of your  flyer.

Here is my ticket.

My ticket for EdCamp Louisiana


 Click here to register for EdCamp Louisiana.  The UnConference is the PD of the future.  It allows teachers to create and deliver Professional Development Sessions that are of interest to them.  It is teacher driven and directed.

P.S. For those of you who have registered,

you really don’t need to bring the ticket.Do_not_print_your_ticket






Hashtag #EdCampLA

 EdCamp Louisiana Organizers



Valerie Burton, M. Ed., High School English Teacher, Jefferson Parish School System

Paula L. Naugle, 4th Grade Teacher, Jefferson Parish Public School System

Tiffany Whitehead, Teacher-Librarian, Central Community School District
Carl Gaines Jr., Computer Science Teacher, Chalmette High School/AP Social Studies Instructor, Louisiana Virtual School
Brian Mull, Director of Innovation, November Learning



December 3

Computers, Thirty-Three 9th Graders and a 96 Minute Block; Whatsoever Shall We Do?

I am presenting at LACUE 2010.

My session will give you a bird’s eye view into my Freshman English class and how I utilize technology daily.

In this session, we will create a blog post, post to a WallWisher, create a digital story, play an online game and use Google forms.



Computers, 33 students and 90 minutes from VR Burton
July 9

10 tools that helped to save my life and my class

Last summer I took part in PBWork’s Summer Camp and learned lots of resources, tools and tips to use in my class. That was also the summer of my 1st Tweet. I say my first tweet because my PLN did not blossom and bloom until I began tweeting and re-tweeting. My introduction came from @PLNaugle. She told me that once I started Tweeting that I would enjoy it. I didn’t know what she was talking about at the time. Boy did she know what she was talking about. One year later I have almost made 2500 Tweets, I have 957 followers and I am following 616 people. My family and friends laugh but I take Tweeting seriously. It is a way to share resources.


What I didn’t realize was that during the PBWorks Summer Camp my need for a PLN was developed. During camp, I learned about dozens of tech tools and part of the work in the summer camp is to not just learn about tech tools, but to use what you have learned. Commenting and Sharing were a major part of the camp as well. This combination of learning, utilizing that knowledge, commenting and sharing became a way for me to receive Professional Development that I wanted to take part in.

Twitter helped me to achieve this on a daily basis. I feel as though daily, I learn something and then I teach it to someone else. It is a wonderful feeling to share things with people who are actually willing to listen. Most of what I use in class on a daily basis I got from a Tweet or ReTweet.

As I reflect about what worked in my classroom and what didn’t work, I have found that there are some things that I could not teach without. Here is a list of my top ten tools (list is no special order):

Top_101. Jing. I could not do my job without it. I use Jing to create Lesson Vodcasts or How To Videos. The kids always groan when they hear my voice. I love it. They can’t get used to watching a video with my voice coming through the speakers. Jing videos can be embedded or retrieved with a click of a link. Jing Pro is $14.95 per year and allows you more freedom.

2. PhotoPeach. We have created so many digital stories (some good and some not so good) using this site. For less than$40.00 a year you can make account permanent and upload your own music and you can download it.

3. Twitterrrr. I Tweet for my students although not many of them followed regularly. Next year I intend to use HootCourse to help us keep track of assignments and due dates. I have also registered for Cover It Live as a means to keep track of our ongoing Twitter conversations. I also Tweet for my PLN.

4. Google. I use Google for everything: email, Google docs, Google sites, Google reader and Google Google. Google has become my life line.

5. Glogster Allows us to create interactive posters and embed them onto blogs and wikis. I have used Glogs as Interactive Posters with links to guide people to certain sites. My class created Glogs about Louisiana.

6. Wallwisher Wallwishers I use for sharing information, gathering ideas and thoughts and displaying examples. WallWishers have taken the post it note to the next level.

7. Edublogs I use Edublogs for my personal blog and for my student and class blogs. Edublogs allows for easy commenting, embedding and wonderful blog tips delivered on a regular basis.

8. Ning Before price increase, Ning was my main Learning Platform. I used my Ning to connect my students in their first blogging, commenting and academic social networking experience. I am looking for replacements.

9. PBWorks. I use PBWorks to house my materials, to show off student work or to embed Google Forms. Wikis allow you to post and keep available assignments and videos that the student can access whenever needed. Wikis allow students to collaborate and create pages with each other.

10. Wordle. I love wordles and use them for almost everything: lists, blog headers or character tributes. It is another way to create a visual representation of something.

I could easily continue this list but these are some of the ones that I couldn’t live without.