Stealing or Borrowing?

Before the winter break my digital literacy learned about copyright laws. We mostly learned about Creative Commons and the licenses that they offer. I made an Adobe Voice explaining the how to use and get a Creative Commons license. Then when we came back from the break my teacher told us about a real life example where copyright laws were broken.

Richard Byrne 

Richard Byrne wrote an posted an article he wrote on his blog on January 2 about how to make a jeopardy game using Google Spreadsheets. Byrne is a full-time blogger and runs a very popular blog, Free Technology for Teachers. Byrne puts a lot of hard work into his blog posts.

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 Beth Stills

Beth Still wrote about the incident where the blog, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, stole Richard Byrne’s blog post. The blog Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has the disclaimer saying that, “Some of the materials that are published in this blog are not our own property like for example some guides, posters and infographics. Again, all of these resources are properly referenced so that our readers can trace back their original creators. If you are the owner of a resource featured in this blog and you decide, for a reason or another, that you do not want it to be featured here anymore or  you want us to change the link to the credited source or even take it down completely from the site, please report it to us and your request will be met in less than 24 hours”.This is not the case because the site does not give credit, nor will it take down an article they stole if the author requests it.


The twitter user, @medkh9 , knows that some bloggers don’t want him to take their work, but he does it anyway. This is not right and I personally he should be punished.



First of all, I think it is never okay to steal someone else’s work without their permission. That person put their time, and hard work into whatever they created and it is not fair to them to take that without their permission. I also really liked Beth Still’s article on her opinion of the disagreement because I thought her point of view was very interesting and informative. Learning about real-life examples of people being hurt by people not following copyright laws really made me understand why these laws and licenses are so important.


Hour of Code: A New Way of Understanding Computers.

This week my class and I participated in the Hour of Code. I participated in it last year and I was really looking forward to coding again. My teacher made a really helpful digital flyer that had many great links to coding websites.


The Different Coding Tutorials. 

For the class assignment, we had to complete at least four coding tutorials. The first tutorial I did I think was the easiest. I first did Coding Monkey, where you had to guide the monkey to the bananas using code. The site gave you mostly all of the step so all you had to do was type in a small command. It was a great site for beginner coders, but I wanted more of a challenge. Next, I made a Scratch greeting card using drag and drop. I was already familiar with the drag and drop technique, so I didn’t feel as if it was that hard, but I was able to help my classmates. Scratch lets you be creative so it made coding fun for those who maybe don’t like to code. The third tutorial I did was by far the hardest. I did a tutorial by Khan Academy, where you had to make a sun grow bigger using code. Khan Academy uses real code and doesn’t give very many hints. I used Khan Academy last year and really liked it. The last tutorial I did was LightBot, where you used simple commands to guide the robot to the blue squares so he could light them up. LightBot was another program that was really simple, and was a more beginner coding website.

Coding on Different Devices. 

This week I only coded on a desktop computer, but some of my classmates used a Chromebook, or their IPad. I like using desktop computers because I am most familiar with them I think they are easier to use than the other choices. Some of the program’s don’t work on the IPad and I think using a mouse pad makes using a Chromebook more difficult.


Coding After the Hour of Code. 

After doing my second year of Hour of Code, I am really interested in learning more about coding. I really like to code and I want to continue coding even after the Hour of Code ends. I wish that some of my other teachers had done the Hour of Code so more students can learn how to code.

Advice for Next Year’s Hour of Code Students.

For the students who will be completing the Hour of Code next year, I think they should not be frustrated if they don’t get it at first because at first it is difficult, but when you get it it becomes really run. I would definitely recommend using Khan Academy to learn how to code because they have great videos and step by step instructions on how to code, then they have challenges that you can do. If you are a beginner coder I would recommend Coding Monkey because it is a really simple way to ease your way into the coding world.


I loved doing this Hour of Code week and can’t wait to do it again next year. I hope that I will have the chance to continue coding even though it won’t be the Hour of Code for another 364 days!

Cyber-bullying, Oncoming, or Outgoing?

I found last weeks blog posts really interesting and it opened my eyes to the world of cyber-bullying. I have never experienced cyber-bullying nor do I know anyone who has been a victim of cyber-bullying, but I do know it is an awful thing, so I wanted to look more into it to learn more. First, I really wanted to see if cyber-bullying is prominent and if it was becoming more relevant, or a thing of the past.


I found this really great article that has statistics of cyber-bullying in 2014. It said that 25% of teenagers report that they have experienced repeated bullying via their cell phones or the internet. The article also stated that 52% of young people report being cyber-bullied. To me, that shows that cyber-bullying is starting more in younger people and it will just continue as they get older. If cyber-bullying is starting younger, than I think it is becoming more relevant.

Real Stories:

I found another helpful article that had multiple stories of cyber-bullying. I hate to read stories like that, but I can’t help but read them because it is so surprising to me that children can be so cruel. I can almost not believe that kids my age can be mean to a classmate over something that they can’t control.


I really hope that the amount cyber-bullying goes down, but as I see it right now, and especially with the advancing technology, I don’t see that happening in the very near future. What are your thoughts?

Social Media: Helpful or Hurtful?

My first experience with a Twitter chat was better than I could have ever imagined. The chat was in reply to a video my class watched that was about a principal that tried to ban social media in his middle school. The video was from a couple of years ago, but pretty much all of the issues he was facing are still prevalent. The questions that were asked in the chat really made me think about if social media was more hurtful than helpful.


1. Should middle school students be allowed to use social networking sites?

I believe that middle school students shouldn’t be allowed to be on social networking sites because I don’t think it is necessary unless they are connecting with a teacher, but at the middle school level that is unlikely. Being on social media just promotes kids to be bullied at an early age and since younger kids are less responsible they are less likely to realize the consequences of posting something online. When I was in middle school, I rarely used social media and I don’t feel as if my middle school experience was worse than anybody else’s because I didn’t use social media.

2. How can schools and parents help students use social media responsibly?

Schools and parents could monitor their children on social media, but I think the most effective way to teach kids to be responsible online would be to first teach the adults how to use social media in a positive way so that they can be good role models for their children. Also, I think when users start to realize all of the positive uses for social media, they will also realize that the negative uses will start to disappear.

3. What can you do as a high school student to be a digital role model to middle school students? 

As a high school student, I can use social media in a positive way to show other students that social media can be fun and educational at the same time. Specifically, I can post things on Twitter, that I find interesting or funny, that are also appropriate. Also, I can connect with teachers on a professional level.

4. How can students use social networking for educational purposes?

Students can connect with teachers and other educators using a Twitter chat like I did. Students can also find out more information about a subject area by connecting with experts.

5. Which is important, the social or the networking side of social networking and why?

I believe the networking side of social media is more important because you can connect with more people who can help you achieve your goals. Although the social side is more fun, the networking side can help open doors for your future career. The networking side is becoming more of a natural fabric of our society.

6. What advice would you give to an administrator that is thinking of opening social media at their school?

I would suggest that the administrator teach their school how to appropriately and responsibly use social media. I would also suggest that the administrator put some sort of restrictions on the social media use. For example, at my school we were each given emails, but we can only email other people within the school district. Also, on our school mandated IPads there are restrictions on internet use, and app downloads.


My first experience with a Twitter chat was a success, and I am excited to do another. The biggest challenge I had while doing this Twitter chat was making my responses only 140 characters. The greatest lesson I learned from this was that I can use Twitter in a positive way. In my opinion, as long as you use it correctly, social media is definitely helpful.

App Smashing: The New Way to Create.

App Smashing by definition is “The process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a final task or project“, but I think it is much more than that. To me, App Smashing is a whole new, exciting way to express your thoughts and a great way to be creative. This week my digital literacy class made a PSA (public service announcement) about being a digital citizen, and App Smashing helped us bring that idea to life. To begin with, we used Google Drive to collaboratively make our digital citizenship rap. Once we had the rap, we all made avatars of ourselves using the app, FaceQ.

Made with FaceQ

Made with FaceQ


Then, to make our avatars talk, we put our FaceQ’s into an app called ChatterPix. To put our rap together, our teacher used iMovie to put all of the FaceQ’s together. For the end of the iMovie, we made a PicStich of our avatar and our face. Then using Google Slides, we put our FaceQ’s into a slide and printed them out. With the printed FaceQ’s, we made Aurasmas and put them on the Help Desk window.



Using the App Smashing technique was eye-opening. I loved how you could bring the avatars that you made to life. I wouldn’t call myself a creative person, but using this technology really helps me be more creative, and make my work more visually appealing. As much as I loved this project, there were some challenges. One challenge was that with the ChatterPix, there was a 30-second limit. The way to fix this was to use another app! iMovie allowed us to put all of our ChatterPix together to make a two-minute video.  The use of multiple apps was so helpful in creating a interesting way to spread the idea of digital citizenship because while we were doing this project we were digital citizens! When we used Google drive, everybody was nice to each other and did not make rude comments and were respectful. I feel as though this is an awesome way to create and will definitely use this in the future.

Outside Sources:

While looking for inspiration for this post, I stumbled across a very helpful article on App-Smashing. The article, “Why App Smash?”, gave me really great ideas on apps to smash together to make my schoolwork come to life.

Why App Smash?

Why App Smash?


How to Balance My Life.

Life Through the Eyes of a Teenager

Image Credit: Rocky River Bird's Eye View Image Credit: Rocky River Bird’s Eye View

I have many priorities, from academics, to athletics, to my family, and my social life. I always put family first. I love my family and I try to spend the most time I can with them, when I am not overloaded with homework and sports. I take academics and athletics both very seriously,  but I think my grades are more important. My friends are also important to me, but hanging out with them isn’t my first priority.  Playing three sports, I don’t always have the most free time to hang out with friends and family during the week days because of the amount of homework I have. When I get out of school, I usually start my homework immediately. Then, I go to practice, knowing that I got some of my homework done, and it makes me feel good. As soon as I…

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Ebola: To Worry or Not to Worry.

People are reacting to Ebola in many different ways. Some people think it is going to take over the world. Other people think it isn’t even real. Then there are the few people who think Ebola was created by the government. It seems to me that most people don’t realize that Ebola has been around since 1976 and has killed thousands of people in Africa. The only way you can get Ebola is if exchange bodily fluids with an infected person, so it is highly unlikely you can get it especially in the United States. Even though Ebola


isn’t a serious threat in the United States, it is not something to joke about. This Ebola outbreak in Africa is the most complex and largest. It has had the most cases and the most deaths in Ebola history. There has been a couple of cases in the United State, but experts have quarantined the patients to reduce the human- to- human contact and it should not spread. Unless Ebola mutates it will not become an epidemic. The conclusion is that unless you are an Ebola doctor or work with the doctor, then you have no reason to worry.

BHS Girls JV Soccer.

The BHS girls JV soccer team had another great game yesterday. The team, led by captains Allison Murphy and Bella Gaudio, played  against Arlington at 3:45. The game started off rough with a couple of shots on goalie, Marissa Nicoloro, right off the bat, but then slowly began to get better. One of the team’s best players, Kerri Urquhart, played for the varsity team so the JV team was at a disadvantage. After the first half the score was 0-0 and both teams came back in the second have ready to win. Around the 8 minute mark there was a penalty just outside of Arlington’s 18 yard box. Emma Ventura shot a beautiful ball that went just over the goalies head to score the first and only goal of the game.

My Life at 25.

In ten years I would be 25 years old and being 25 is very different from being 15. When you’re 15 everything is planned for you and you don’t have to make any big decisions for yourself. You have to wake up, go to school, go to whatever after school activity you are involved in, then you come home and do your homework. When you are 25, you have to make the decisions for yourself. I would probably be out of

Image Credit: Soul Seeds

Image Credit: Soul Seeds

college, and  I would hopefully have a job. I have no idea what college or what major I want to go to, but I would like to work with technology. I would like to live in the Burlington area, because I know the area and I love the weather here. I can’t wait to see what happens in the future, but I still want to live in the present.

A Balancing Act: How to Balance Sports and School.

As a freshman at Burlington High School, who is taking all honors classes and is playing on three teams this season, I would say I’m an expert at finding time to do my school work and still get to all of my practices and games. First things first, you have to be willing to put in the hard work in order to succeed. This includes staying up late at night, waking up early, and having no free time. On weekdays I wake up at 6:30 to get ready for school and leave my house by 7:00.

Image Credit: Wa-Hi Journal

Image Credit: Wa-Hi Journal

After school, I go straight to to soccer practice and get home at about 4:30. Then between 4:30 and 6:00 I have dinner, do my homework, and get ready for my hockey practice. I leave for practice around 6:00 and get home at around 8:45. When I get home I finish my homework, have a snack, and take a shower at about 10:00. After I take a shower I go to bed at about 10:30. You also have to be good at prioritizing. You have to be able to figure out what to do first so you can finish your homework quickly. The key ingredient in balancing school and sports is simply wanting to have the best of both worlds.