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Blog by JoAnn Delaney, MSE BED

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn".
Alvin Toffler from Rethinking the Future.
As a lifelong learner, I am challenged to stay apprised of best practices and technology immersion to prepare students for success as 21 century learners. Come along with me on this journey of reflection, creative exploration, and social media collaboration using hashtags, MOOCS, and networking! My blog is the journey, a PLN...leading to teaching efficacy!

The image above is courtesy of Alec Couros licensed under a Creative Commons license. Photos from 
courosa Flickr photostream

Gaming, Coding & Makey Makey Enrichment

posted Aug 18, 2014, 3:22 PM by JoAnn Delaney   [ updated Aug 23, 2015, 3:20 PM ]

What an awesome way to spend a week of summer. Students, driven by their interest and passion to engage in Gaming, Coding, & Makey Makey signed up for Summer Enrichment Camp! This was a huge risk for me as I am far from an expert on gaming, coding & Makey Makey. I provided the week long class opportunity and quickly realized that the students owned the learning. My plan was to expose them to Minecraft, Scratch & Makey Makey. On the first day of class, I surveyed the students and found out that all students were playing Minecraft and we could learn much from each other. Many used scratch previously with varying levels of success. One student came to camp with his own Makey Makey kit and a plan for use. There was a wealth of experience in the room and purposeful engagement ensued! It was a collaborative journey throughout the week and I learned as much if not more than the students! These students are going into 4th, 5th, & 6th grade in the fall. I was amazed and impressed by the level to which these young people, driven by their passion, had caused them to dive deep into problem solving! They researched to learn more strategies, followed their favorite YouTubers to uncover more, and ultimately followed their own personal learning adventure problem solving using the web and social media. The following are snapshots and videos demonstrating our intense experience!




YouTube Video

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

Up, down, left, right arrows in graphite pencil on paper-Makey Makey allows the graphite on paper to become a game controller.

Beauty Within the SELFIE

posted Jul 29, 2014, 11:04 AM by JoAnn Delaney   [ updated Jul 29, 2014, 11:08 AM ]

Inspired by #Beauty Is... Campaign Dove's Selfie Video, Beauty Within the SELFIE I AM BEAUTIFUL was created to empower young girls self-concept in the school setting. This powerful experience with DAUGHTERS and MOTHERS/MENTORS was life changing!

Event coverage

We kicked off the event viewing a Powerful Music Video Photoshop... we discussed how we feel about beauty and pondered... What message are we sending to young girls about their beauty?

I asked for the Moms/Mentors to share their passion and to tell if they followed it or not. I asked for Moms/Mentors to share a bit of advice with their Daughter/Mentee.

YouTube Video

After viewing "The Selfie" we polled Moms/Mentors to see how many have taken Selfies... How many takes would it require
before being comfortable making Selfie's public-posting on social media? Were our Selfie's altered? What impact was society
having on how we define beauty?

YouTube Video

Facial Spa background music...

YouTube Video

Facial Spa stations were ready to go. Facial washes and scrubs, cleansing pads, Milk baths, and moisturizers were available. Milk baths were applied by Moms/Mentors on Daughter's faces and Daughters applied the facial on their Mom's/Mentor's faces. Orange slices were placed on the eyes and all were having a blast. As I observed and snapped memory photos, I saw smiles and heard laughter. It was an amazing site to see!


YouTube Video

Following the facials and SELFIES, each pair was given a large piece of construction paper. Together the Daughter and Mom/Mentor pair
defined what BEAUTY IS...

When each was completed they were placed on a large poster. Post-in notes were given to comment/provide positive feedback on other Daughter and Mom/Mentor Beauty Is posters.

Raw footage

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

The girls prior to the event, wrote letters to their Mom/Mentor, explaining the beauty they see in their Mom/Mentor.

During the Beauty Within the SELFIE event the girls shared the letters with them. The Moms/Mentors were very moved to say the least and a deeper bond formed at an emotional connected level.
All of the girls and Moms/Mentors came to the collaborative Beauty Is poster and shared out how they define what BEAUTY IS...

The even closed with a few of the girls singing "I AM BEAUTIFUL."

Girls sing "Beautiful"

Kid President's Message to MOMs!

YouTube Video

Administration support for the program.

It was a powerful experience for all those involved. This will be an annual event and I hope to impact one Daughter and Mom/Mentor at a time ;) Allowing them to find and celebrate their TRUE beauty!

Keystones Technology Innovators~STARS Summit~

posted Jul 21, 2014, 8:37 PM by JoAnn Delaney   [ updated Jul 23, 2014, 8:39 PM ]


Arrived and ready to begin a week of learning and engaging with the states top tech leaders! Keystones STARS — at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

My home for the next week...

Ready to tour campus...
Treated to a luau picnic dinner and sometime to collaborate with new friends!

Hall Davidson, our Keynote Speaker was fantastic!!! He demonstrated examples using Google Glass, Augmented Reality, 3D Printing and LEAP!
I even got to try out Google Glass and do a search! Very cool technology!

Collaborated in our passion cohorts--a passion for creating a connected global learning environment. We shared our ideas and reflected on obstacles, challenges, and aspirations.
Received an awesome SWAG bag and won some other gadgets. Another fantastic Keynote Speaker, Philip Vinogradov, shared his ingenious Gamification instructional model. Attended sessions on Google Apps & Chrome Apps/Extensions, Coding, and 3D printings. During the MakerBot session an iPhone holder using was created. Amazingly cool technology integration! 

Gamification engages students!
Consider what skills you need to play Angry Birds Star Wars...

Are you up for the challenge of utilizing gaming as an instructional model?
Printed 3d Wikispace
Future prosthetics advancements through a maker's eyes...innovation at work!

The evening was filled with Digital Playground fun-Created a movie using a green screen.

KTI2014 News

Another amazing day filled with inspiration. Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach was fantastic! Her slide show presentation can be accessed here.
The Connected Educator-Learning and Leading in the Digital Age
Resource links can be found here.
Connected Educator KTI2014 Wiki

Sheryl talked about the importance of building thick leadership density creating a community of leaders to solve the worlds problems.

Session 1, Sheryl challenged the concept of Appreciative Inquiry. Are we asking the right questions?

YouTube Video

Session 2, Learning is Social-Edmodo

Session 3, Connect two to, too! Use of the best new video conferencing tool- ZOOM
ZOOM sign-up
Carol Teitelman Global Video Conferencing resources

Tried ZOOM out...

Video conferenced with Angela Maiers
Angela Inspires Passion & Global Change

YouTube Video

Session 4, Skype in the Classroom
Skype resources

Day 4: LEAD


Design Thinkers

posted Feb 15, 2014, 10:05 PM by JoAnn Delaney   [ updated Feb 15, 2014, 10:24 PM ]

"Is chaos discouraged? It's about who comes up with the best ideas. Forget the way it used to be. Get ready for the deep dive, the secret weapon for innovation." Observation, tinkering, collaboration, communication, and research are part of the process my students do because they wonder and it's fun. It was IDEO's design process and my personal teacher toolbox that brought a Design Thinkers playground into my classroom.

6th grade middle school students in a public setting are being immersed in DESIGN THINKING through myriad of opportunities that happen in Room 14. I should not be amazed by the popularity of my high interest maker space. Students thrive on options for learning that require inquiry, constructed understanding, design thinking, I wonder questions, critical thinking, and deeper learning opportunities. Wide open exploration usually is done in addition to the classroom required learning. What I have found is that students can't wait to come to my room and tinker. It is full with students during flex, lunch and after school! Their choice, which is awesome!

To create interest, curiosity, and challenge student thinking, I ask them to bring in items that no longer work for our Tinker Zone. I provide the tools and eye protection. Students use tools to deconstruct the items trying to figure out how the system was put together and how it works. They love to do this and spend a great deal of their own time tackling the project and learning exponentially!

Makey Makey is a big hit for after school club time. Students couldn't wait to remove the wires, alligator clips and circuit board from the packaging to figure out how to setup the system. Their goal was to make a controller function up, down, left and right to play PacMan. Some students collaborated to figure out the wiring. Other team members created joysticks and PacMan disks in the maker station. Later, circuits were attempted and put to the test.

Another big hit during the day and after school too is Minecraft! Students collaborate to build a town similar to Hershey, where we live. It included the school and parking lot, amusement park and zoo. Some students extended design thinking into their Genius Hour passion projects.

Energy concepts are part of the curriculum and students were able to choose a project to go deep on. The students tackled real world learning uncovering alternative energy solutions. They shared their projects with peer scientists making their findings public.

Students explored flashlights and designed models showing how they work from the approach of a company selling their product to customers.

Some student teams opted to explore heat loss. They built K-Nex houses. Took energy readings in Fahrenheit using a digital laser gun. Students had to create their own temp scale based on the color in the thermal image. After insulating the house with materials they thought would be most efficient, readings were taken again. Thermal images were taken before and after evidencing temperature changes.

Student groups also decided to design wind cars powered by a floor fan.

A girl modified her car with a balloon to harness and control air release to move it.

This boy was genius. He used his mom's camping portable solar panel to design a solar powered vehicle. He made the body out of Styrofoam, K-Nex pieces as axles and the wheels are soda cans!

Painted improved design

Another option was to analyze home use of energy and design an alternative plan using little or no fossil fuels. The girls analyzed their home energy consumption and created a plan for reducing fossil fuel use. Here is their blueprint showing placement of solar panels in 3D.

Students use this info graphic to guide their thinking through a problem.
The students demonstrate and share everything they've learned from their process. Failures along the way are part of learning. When they stumble, they are encouraged to dig deep, seek out answers and forge on to innovation.

We use IDEO Deep Dive for outside of the box group process thinking and collaboration.

YouTube Video

Design Thinking for Educators


It is powerful when all group member brainstorming is accepted, genius is the post-it IDEA wall and equality in groups allows for leaders to rise as expertise is needed. Each role result is brought back and shared for collaboration focusing back on the problem at hand. Interviewing people who use a product results in fascinating information gleaned. So many aspects of the process fosters genuine creativity, innovation and ultimately Design Thinking!

Isn't time we make Design Thinking a daily occurrence in the lives of students readying them with skills to solve the problems of the 21st century?

Teacher's Passion

posted Feb 13, 2014, 4:12 PM by JoAnn Delaney   [ updated Feb 14, 2014, 10:48 AM ]

I matter! 2 simple words that I was inspired to have my students chant from their heart after hearing Angela Maiers!

I matter! 2 simple words I wanted my students to feel as they lived their passion during Genius Hour.

I matter! 2 simple words that students beamed as they changed the world in their own special way.

Today, as I "Think Outside The Storm," the teacher is called on to share her passion.

My passion is having a profound world changing impact on every student! As I feverishly posted Vine videos and posts showing the enormous power children hold to change the world, I found myself driven with excitement!

As a result of providing my students with the gift of Genius Hour, they tapped their passions and created beautiful change.

This change opened our hearts to the world, sometimes bringing great joy and other moments heart-breaking hurt.

Students' bravery is remarkable. Sully resiliently faced bullying and turned to bullied children to befriend them, "Speaking Life." Kamrin rallied her friends and neighbors to collect items sent to Gambia, Africa! Dani, Emma and Jaelissa use their amazing voices to sing "Beautiful," encouraging girls to find their beauty within. Charlotte loves animals so much that she collected and delivered needed items to the Humane Society. Makenzie created crayon dripped art for a hospitalized child and shared the message that anything is possible; believe in yourself! Alexa emotionally moved by a family member's breast cancer, raised money to end the disease. Rachel made bracelets and delivered them to sick children at the hospital. Ainsley created homemade cards and gift baskets to deliver to the elderly. My students' passionate gifts abound! I am humbled by their genius.

As a passionate educator my enthusiasm created possibility. These student actions began with an I wonder question, genuine interest and/or deep passion. The change of one affects many leading to powerful world change.

I believe that the smartest person in the world is the world! It starts with 1 passionate person and grows exponentially to world compassion.

I matter! I am genius! I am genius and the world needs my contribution!

We matter! We are genius! We are genius and together can change the world with our contributions!

Going back to the original questions that led to this blog post, What’s your passion, and what drives it? What’s your heartbreak? How will you use your genius to change the world?

I ask you, have I used my genius to change the world?

YouTube Video

Genius Hour main site:
Genius Hour - Passion Projects

Vine videos:
I Am Beautiful
I Am Resilient
I Speak Life
I Helped Gambia, Africa
I Donated To The Humane Society
I Believe In Myself
I Will End Breast Cancer
I Care About Sick Children
I Visit The Elderly

DoMoreEdu Blog:

Twitter @jdelaneyJoAnn

Deeper Learning MOOC (DLMOOC)

6th Graders Are GENIUS And The World Needs Their Contribution-2013 Passion Projects

posted Dec 4, 2013, 2:54 PM by JoAnn Delaney   [ updated Mar 24, 2014, 11:24 AM ]

It all started with a Pep Talk... And 95 sixth grade students!

Kid President

Brainstorming Session- What Am I Passionate About?

The students are called to action, to share their Genius with the world!

Powerful Change Agents..

Speak Life

Speak Life by Sullivan

...94 more PASSION PROJECTS will be shared 12/12/13

Click to view Passion Projects!

Genius Hour with Erin Klein.m4v

1/24/14 Erin Klein interviews Mrs. Delaney & Sullivan talking about the Passion Project Process...

2nd round of Passion projects!

I AM empowered to take action and change the world!!!

Obvious to YOU, AMAZING to Others!

I Matter! I am Genius! I am Genius and the World NEEDS my Contribution!

I Matter. I am Genius. I am Genius and the World NEEDS my Contribution!

Choose 2 Matter!

Join the Movement-- #Choose2Matter

Click to view Passion Projects!


posted Sep 14, 2013, 1:38 PM by JoAnn Delaney   [ updated Feb 9, 2014, 1:54 PM ]

I am a NASA Social citizen journalist!

LAUNCH DAY! 9/18, 10:50 a.m. -->10:58 a.m.
     Antares Launch day! As I pulled up to the gate at  the NASA Visitor's Center, I immediately observed a controlled area. We
were told where to park. NASA dogs were working securing buses and  checking people as well as their belongings. Once cleared, all media boarded buses, and were transported to the media viewing area 2 miles from The Antares launch pad. There were tents and stands awaiting the media flurry of picture/videotaping and writing. The air was filled with excitement as everyone moved to claim their vantage point. I moved out onto the field and setup my chair, my Macbook Pro, readied my Ipad & Iphone, had a towel to toss over my head to block out light on the computer screen allowing my up to the minute Tweets!  As soon as I opened Twitter, I noticed I had a direct message from my friend, John Gardi, The Tinker. He shared a link with me (SpaceFlightNow)
This allowed me to Tweet real time technical launch updates. My heart was racing as the launch neared. Within 45 minutes of launch officials were working to clear residents from within their homes considered in the danger zone. As they monitor data they look at conditions that could cause windows to blow out due to the blast zone. Once all was clear and safe to proceed the green code was given. This changed the launch time from 10:50 a.m. to 10:58. 

(1432 GMT (10:32 a.m. EDT)
The Wallops Range is now green after officials evacuated four homes near the Antares launch pad. This was to avoid a safety issue due to a concern the blast from the launch could damage public buildings.)

At 10:45 a.m., I had my Ipad in hand and began a live launch Skype with the students back at my school...Hershey Middle School. It was very cool sharing this experience with students! They were over the moon about viewing the launch! With my Ipad in one hand and my camera in video mode in my other hand, technology would document the event the world was watching together! We counted down...5, 4, 3, 2, 1--ignition!!!  Antares rumbled and with a slow, powerful, steady ascent she was on her way as she accelerated near the speed of sound! My students commented as I raised the Ipad upward towards the sun that it looked like the rocket went into the sun! Soon all that was visible was the trail left behind. Speakers blasted updates of the rocket's performance as we listened intently since Antares was now out of sight! We cheered as we heard...

1506 GMT (11:06 a.m. EDT)
Antares is in orbit! The Castor 30A upper stage motor shut down on time and has reached orbit. Deployment of the 9,000-pound Cygnus cargo craft occurs at about T+plus 10 minutes.

Antares continued and at 11:08 Cygnus separation occurred! She would reach the ISS early Sunday morning. It is a great day for NASA and Orbital! It is a great day for the future of space exploration!

NASA Safety Check Complete...
Boarded Buses and arrived at Media Launch Site...
Skyped with HMS students during Launch!

Successful Antares Launch! NASA Space Flight Program has a lot to celebrate!
Antares 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Ignition!

NASA TV Launch Coverage!

Post Launch Press Conference

Antares Launch a Success!

PRE-LAUNCH DAY! 9/17, NASA Wallops Visitor Center & NASA Flight Facility

8:00 a.m. arrived at NASA Wallops Visitor Center
Checked in. Badged and toured Visitor Center.
     Day 1 of 2 begins as I become a NASA Social-citizen journalist. I arrived at the NASA Wallops Visitor's Center. It is a small place filled with space exploration history and NASA TV live broadcasting. After looking around at the exhibits, I stopped in the gift shop and purchased a commemorative Antares t-shirt to proudly wear commemorating this once in a lifetime experience. Upon showing my credentials I received my press pass and a swag bag filled with a plethora of informational cards, posters, and even an Antares model -that I heard was meant for VIP's and we were fortunate to receive! We soon were brought into the auditorium where we met our NASA Deputy Social Media Manager, Jason Townsend. He apprised us of the day's agenda and we participated in a meet and greet session. Soon we boarded the bus and were on our way to the NASA Flight Facility to view Antares positioned and ready on her launch pad! We were filled with anticipation and excitement as we grasped our mobile devices and camera equipment! 

NASA Flight Facility- Antares Launch Pad & Horizontal Integration Facility

NASA Social Antares Citizen journalists 2013

Antares Launch Pad:
     When we arrived at the Antares launch pad viewing area, we were met by experts that shared rocket specifics and mission information. As you can see in the group photo above and Antares seen behind us, this was the closest we were allowed to get to the live rocket for safety reasons, 800 feet away, due to it being fueled with hydrazine. Dale K. Nash, Executive Director, Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, talked about use of balloon data and how it can show if there is a clear path for the launch to proceed. He explained that it needs to be clear below 6,000 feet and a 25% cloud layer. Another expert Mike Laidley, Orbital's Program Director for Antares, explained the mission. It is a combined effort by public (NASA) and private (Orbital) efforts and money. This very large unmanned rocket is carrying the largest amount of cargo to date to the ISS (International Space Station), 1500 lbs./700 kg. which includes replenishment supplies, care packages for the astronauts/cosmonauts, and even student projects. Once the rocket launches it reaches speeds of 10,000 mph and will take approximately 4 days to reach the ISS. Upon arrival, a robotic arm will be used to grabble it. Following a series of tests and sealing it will be opened and the cargo removed.  The empty spacecraft will be filled with ISS trash. When released, most will burn up and It was stated that less than 25% will reenter our atmosphere and fall into the South Pacific Ocean. 

800 Feet from Antares!

Horizontal Integration Facility:
     Next stop on the tour was the Horizontal Integration Facility. We were told to leave all mobile devices on the bus, we were however allowed to bring cameras and take video. This enormous building houses all of the rocket parts awaiting integration or assembly of the rocket horizontally. Once put together or integrated the rocket is transported to the launch pad and placed vertically readying for launch. We were brought to each part of the rocket's system and an expert explained in detail its role and technical importance. My brain could barely wrap around all of the information shared. It was fascinating. A highlight I found especially interesting is that some areas on the rocket have explosives  which are for safety reasons. If for any reason at any time the mission would need to be aborted mission control could flip a switch and blow the rocket up! Mission control as the rocket is monitored, has the ability to control its every move by pushing thrusters--buttons.
                                                                              Stage 1.                                                                  Stage 2
                                                              Wide shot of stage 1 and Stage 2.                                             Engine
                                 Ring laying in between stages is what is coated with explosives

Carl E. Walz, Astronaut shares story about his time on ISS.

Carl lived on ISS

Pre-Launch Press Conference:

NASA Antares Pre-Launch Press Conference

View video at 54:44 to see the question I had an opportunity to ask Alan Lindenmoyer--inspires young people...his passion is contagious!
     NASA Social Media privileges were a rush. Each day, pre-launch and post-launch there was a live press conference televised on NASA Television. The NASA & Orbital project leaders shared their critical information and slides and or videos. This was followed by a question and answer period, also televised, for the media . The traditional media asked questions first. I was seated an arms length away from a Reuters representative. Twitter followers also had a couple of questions answered, and NASA Social Media, which is what I represented, had their 15 minutes of fame! I was 1 of 3 who were selected to introduce myself and ask a question of the esteemed panel. I asked, We have lots of students following on social media, as the program moves forward, my question is-What is your message to young people? Alan Lindenmoyer fielded the question and his message was quite inspirational! He stated, "My message to young people is, I hope it is as inspiring as it is now as it was to me when I was young because watching these amazing achievements certainly captured my interest and I hope what you are seeing today is something that will stick with you and encourage you to keep studying, working on your math and science and all the skills necessary to keep the space station-program going -it is really an amazing field!"

Antares Rocket Launch date changed to Wed., Sept. 18th!
 NASA Update!!!      

The following was shared with me...
Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., has confirmed it will postpone by at least 24 hours the launch of its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft on a demonstration mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. The new launch window is targeted forWednesday, Sept. 18 between10:50 to 11:05 a.m. EDT from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at Wallops. Rendezvous with the space station remains scheduled forSunday, Sept. 22.
The postponement is due to a combination of Friday’s poor weather, which delayed roll-out of Antares to the launch pad, and a technical issue identified during a combined systems test held Friday night Involving communications between ground equipment and the rocket’s flight computer. The problem has been identified and corrected. The teams are working to understand why the problem occurred.
For the latest information about the launch and mission, and updated briefing and NASA Television coverage times, visit:

Three C's: Creating Collaborative Culture

posted Sep 8, 2013, 12:55 PM by JoAnn Delaney   [ updated Feb 9, 2014, 1:51 PM ]

     Creating Collaborative Culture is the key to a successful, productive year! Defining culture is more global than you might think. What I'm proposing is creating 3 critical cultures: collaborative classroom culture, collaborative parent culture, and collaborative collegial culture!

                                                                         Welcome Letter                                                       Ice Cream Social

                                                                   Padlet-summer highlights                            Get-to-know each TEAM member Hershey Kiss puzzle

     Collaborative classroom culture starts with the students! Even before the first day of school arrives, relationships begin to form early when a plethora of opportunities are presented. Some of the initial contact begins with supportive school events and the other imperative piece is teacher/team contact. Our school hosts many transition opportunities as students ready themselves for a new school year which include tours led by student body leaders, and even an Ice Cream Social which allows students and parents to meet the teachers! Team teacher's mail out welcome letters telling students what is needed for their classes as they begin their annual school shopping! When students arrive on day 1, in my room, they are greeted at the door and they quickly realize school is going to be fun today! Soon they are chanting, "Happy New Year," and are excited for a great school year!

Happy New 'School' Year! 1, 2, 3...

Happy New "School" Year! Balloon pop with secret message which requires action by students!

     The first week of school is filled with get to know you activities that required students to interact, communicate, collaborate, and problem solve with a partner, in a table group, as a classroom, and as a team! The room is welcoming and active! Students are engaged and hooked immediately. They are challenged with an ambitious project in science class. Students are communicating with me outside of school too through Edmodo seeking feedback as they work on their project during self-directed efforts. All of what I am sharing with you was done in a mere 8 days which sums up the first 2 weeks of school. The students feel connected and cannot wait for the next school day-this is the power of culture I refer to!

     Classroom pets arrive and a scientific study begins. The Great Grow Along-Nutrition study! Students love the 2 sister albino rats and are immediately loving and taking care of them. Students vote on names for the rats. They record mass and tail length measurements daily as they observe the growth impact from Rat 1 receiving sugar water and Rat 2 receiving whole milk. Handling procedures are modeled and utilized. Feeding and cleaning is done weekly. And of course, play and exercise time is a student favorite as you can see below.

Great Grow Along

     Students are immersed in a screencast science project called, "Science Is All Around Our Town!" This appsmashing adventure requires an enormous amount of peer interaction to learn the apps being used. Students are using netbooks as well as their own devices should they choose to. In large group, problem solving happens each step of the way. Teacher helping students, students helping teacher, students helping move the group forward creating accounts, using apps, and combining the individual project parts together to make a presentation demonstrating learning about science around our town, the "Sweetest place on Earth" the community of Hershey, PA! 

Educreations Screencast by Ethan C

     Apps & URLs used by students include a science picture taken with digital device,, Edmodo, Google Docs, Chirp, I-Nigma, Google Earth & Maps, and Educreations. Later screencast links will be layARed into our town map for the world to learn from my students about Science All Around Town!

Science Around Town 1

Science Around Town 2

Science Around Town Appsmashing 3

K12Online2013 Conference-TEASER VIDEO

YouTube Video

K12Online2013 Presentation-Outside Learning Strand

YouTube Video

K12Online2013 Conference Presentation-Outside Learning Strand

EduSlam Interview

     Collaborative parent culture is essential to provide students with the greatest amount of support. When parents and teachers work together, students are sure to have success. To facilitate communication immediately, A week before the first day of school, I sent out a Google Survey requesting contact information, shared an invitation to my class science Facebook page, and asked parents to tell me something they would like me to know about their child. Parents are encouraged to get teacher text messages using Remind 101 to improve communication. These tools have made my teaching transparent and allow parents to see what is happening from the daily Facebook posts and pictures. Parents have been very open to using these resources as well as email and have shared openly about who their child is and what their child needs. This feedback has helped me to get to know individual students more quickly and is helpful for me to better provide what each student needs. Transparent communication grows the culture with parents efficiently from day one.

Parent Communication....

     Collaborative collegial culture begins prior to even the first inservice day. Our district is supportive of professional learning communities and provide time for the meeting of two groups: Team (core teachers, support teachers, & guidance) meet to discuss team students which is comprised of approximately 100 students. Instructional needs are discussed. When data is available it is used to drive strategic planning. This is also a time for parent meetings as necessary. PLC (grade level department teachers ie: 3 6th grade science teachers) meet to examine teaching styles, analyze assessment data and student learning, as well as critique facilitation of concepts. My PLC even videotape ourselves. We collaboratively view our teaching and seek critical feedback. The collaborative collegial culture puts students first and is all about student learning. Our staff is part of a larger school community that we model paying it forward and empathy from the top down. We do many school wide projects with our students. On the first inservice day our staff prepared 10,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now! We have a Turkey Trot at Thanksgiving where we run/walk 2 miles to promote healthy living, includes a food drive for our local food bank and culminates with a pep rally. We also hold a MiniTHON 4 Diamonds Cancer Dance-A-thon in conjunction with our high school. We value community and it is part of our COCOA principle: Community, Opportunity, Citizenship, Ownership & Academics! (!

Stop Hunger Now!

Annual Turkey Trot & Hershey Food Bank Can Drive

Hershey Middle School MiniThon 4 Diamonds event


posted Aug 18, 2013, 9:24 PM by JoAnn Delaney

Do you have what it takes to make the Next Generation #EduPitCrew?

Pic courtesy of Fox News/Holly Cain

     Sundays are synonymous for many with watching their favorite sports on the big screen; living vicariously through seasonal change with NHL, NFL, MLB, MBA, and what led me to write this blog-NASCAR! While viewing NASCAR Countdown, the video shows a "Next Generation Tryout" system that Hendrick Racing uses for recruiting pit crew members to their elite organization. I was engrossed as I viewed the intensity each player exuded focusing on a personal best performance striving to make the team. In that moment I realized that there is a huge take away that can be applied to what is happening in education. The point being that each member contributes to a team and brings a unique drive, passion, work ethic, life developed skill, experience, grit, determination, perseverance, and a need to work together towards a common goal. Individuals bring strengths and weaknesses that need to be equalized to avoid being lapped on the proverbial track. The goal in NASCAR obviously is to win races, and the pit crew team's performance, in a split second, can mean the difference of getting the win or falling back in the field. The members that make up the pit crew are critical to the team's outcome. The pit crew is critical to the organization which is dynamic; and includes owner, driver, manager, body crew, engine crew/engineers, crew chief, and pit crew. The organization's performance is constantly critiqued by sponsors and fans. Much like an educational organization which is complex and multifaceted. The EduPitCrew includes superintendents, principals, guidance, departments, grade levels, teachers and support staff. The schools are consistently critiqued by community members, parents, and students. A fine tuned team that works in sync creates a powerful synergy that pulls ahead of the rest on the track. When the team works as a cohesive group where by the sum of its parts is the ability of the group, it will outperform even its best individual member every time. If educators embrace this system the organization will increase horsepower and sling shot to success!

photos courtesy of &

     Educators, Start Your Semi-Conductors!

     So what does a winning EduPitCrew look like? The system should consider following the MAGNAFLUX process. So let's detail the process. Magnaflux is the examining of systemic parts, consideration of elements in suspension (effectiveness of communication), connecting fluid factors (effectiveness of collaborative teamwork), checking for cracks and other defects using a solution. Active engagement in Magnaflux by all constituents are required for winning performance. The systemic goal must be looked at through a 21st Century lens to ready students to use critical thinking & problem solving, creativity & innovation, communication & collaboration, as well as information, media & technology skills. It is much like manufacturing a race car, educational leaders must look at the system from the inside out; from the engine to the paint scheme.

     In a Jan. 2012 article, "Inside NASCAR: 'Fuel Injection a Really Big Step' stated that NASCAR has used the same carburetor for the past 40 years. "The technology's moved on. It's time to move on." -Harold Comstock. The sport says goodbye to the carburetor and welcomes EFI (electronic fuel injection). He continues, "In many ways, the engine will be more efficient because we can give exactly the right amount of fuel to each cylinder that it needs." Pit row is open, the educational system needs to lead a lap. When leaving the pit box, the message needs to start with the drivers (the individuals). The race day strategy must consider the course but not allow it to over power the goal. The goal is for the driver to be a life-long committed learner, driven by interest and a passion to learn as much as possible. Educators need to take a self-directed learning path to hone their skills. Educators that are encouraged by the organization to take risks and are supported through the entire process model innovation and creation which impacts their colleagues and students in new ways which lead to systemic efficacy. 

     As we approach corner one on the track, let's take a look at suspension. Suspension is being used in the context of postponing judgement. Idea exchange and honest feedback is disseminated. At times this proves to be an uncomfortable ride. Critical feedback is necessary at all organizational levels. Discourse needs to happen in clear, unemotional ways. I suggest that critical feedback be accepted as input. Input comes in and the driver analyzes the feedback and chooses whether it can improve the performance, thought, idea, project, prototype, model, creation, etc. Critical feedback is necessary to generate change and growth. As stated in my previous blog, "The smartest person in the world, is the world When we are open to input we have the world's thinkers available to help to move the idea/project/goal forward. 

     The drivers pull ahead to corner two, fluid factors are at work as team members draft for position. Organizational leaders need to guide the team down the social media chute. Educators must be shown the Magnitude of Twitter Social media is an untapped resource that provides educators with intense horse power. Collaboration with other online educators revved my engine. I was exposed to an enormous amount of educational practices during qualifying. My starting position input was used to better my personal teaching practice and the result is a direct benefit to the students I am entrusted with and opens communication with parents. A great amount of self-directed work was completed. Feedback and reflections furthered adjustments. Failures will happen and the experience and input will be used to learn and adjust. When educators tap into the passion that drove them to become educators in the first place, do the self-directed work, collaborate with others utilizing all means of resources (face to face, conferences, social media, podcasts, webinars, free online learning as well as college classes) and are open to receive the critical feedback as input to reflect and rethink their thinking--it gives the driver an advantage on the track when the restart is signaled.

     Soon the drivers bank corner three, it's time to check for cracks and other defects in the system before getting to the black and white checkered flag at the finish line. This is a shared responsibility by the EduPitCrew and should be a transparent process. Each team needs to gauge effectively their role in the system. Using the Potential Hazard scale example found in the Magnitude of Twitter post, the model can be a starting place for determining the levels of connectivity and the effectiveness of the system. Aerodynamics are good, members use their talents collectively to move the organization at great speeds across the finish line for a win. The win today is celebrated and can be learned from in preparation for the next track-the next race-(the next school year-the next student) that your EduCrewPit will have an impact on. Using the Magnaflux process, you can be sure that the sponsors and fans (the community members, parents and students) are in the stands cheering you on!

Magnitude of Twitter

posted Aug 16, 2013, 2:26 PM by JoAnn Delaney   [ updated Aug 16, 2013, 10:32 PM ]

     New to Twitter as of July, I have experienced the sheer 'Magnitude' of Twitter as a professional learning community. I started blogging and documenting my journey for DoMoreEdu. This evolution led me to write my recent post for #LeadershipDay13, HyperThink." In HyperThink, I proposed that the smartest person in the world is the world! I discussed that this is a time of exponential change, we can no longer keep our ideas and voice to ourselves. We must engage in critical thinking and collaborate with others to not only dream the future but design the future. 

     Yesterday, I had the pleasure to twitterating (deep meta-cognition discourse) with Grant Lichtman. This opportunity arose when he commented on my blog post, HyperThink. After commending me for my great quote, The smartest person in the world is the world! He shared a tweet, "Learning ecosystem=evolution of the cognitosphere. Connectivity, synergy, symbiosis measures of system health." As a connected learner, I was immediately intrigued and responded with, people don't realize the magnitude behind it! He quipped, "As a former geologist: 11 on the Richter scale puts a crack around the whole globe." Loving science and tapping into my passion and drive I responded with 10+ magnitude on the ECOSYSTEM Richter scale! Blam! He countered with, "Hmm, maybe should develop equivalent of Richter Scale for school innovation, from quiet rumble to global split!" With jubilation, I stated, let's do it! 'Collaboration' at it's best! 
     You see, my journey on Twitter has provided myriad of personal experiences with many educational leaders and passionate Tweeps striving to learn from each other. Constructing my own learning from the experiences I've recently absorbed have led me to observe that everyone has a voice, are being called to take risks and challenged to use our voice as change agents. The sheer power and 'Magnitude' of Twitter, has catastrophic future events should we not use our voice. As a world uniting on the Twitter #Hyperloop (future idea design transportation collaboration system) to solve the world's needs it is and could remain an untapped resource should we not take board the pneumatic hovercraft known as the Internet/social media.

     As change agents, we need to take on the challenge to have our voice heard. This means active engagement with the Twit Hyperloop transformational highway. We need to let our interests, experiences, talents, passion propel us forward and use our voice to converse, stimulate critical thinking in others. We need to provide critical feedback. We need to push the boundaries of thinking when we conversate. Yes Tweeps, it is important to praise when you are moved by an original thought and challenge others metacognition when you connect. When we engage with others the potential is exponential.

     Mr. Lichtman's next Tweet setup the collaborative challenge. If I were to have clicked on the Twitter star, identifying I liked his thought and then scrolled to the next tweet in my feed, he may have never considered the lens of 'Magnitude.' I believe, it was the pushing of his thinking by my comment that was the inertia leading to his blog post, "Innovation: Are we overlooking the "Magnitude" with focus on frequency?" 
Several great thinkers last evening engaged in our phenomenal discourse on the topic, Holly Chesser, Angel W. Kytle, Kami Thordarson, and Bo Adams added to the Hyperloop-sphere of critical conversation. Ideas like "Madonna Curve" and "Logarithmic" were explored. Great ideas evolved and opened up varied thought generation on the concept of scale to measure school innovation.

     There was canter (friendly exchange of critical remarks) back and forth further between Mr. Lichtner and I, exploring the possibilities of developing an equivalent Richter Scale for school innovation. Delaney: We don't want to crack it but hover on the edge using mega risk! Lichtman: "Depends on what "it" is that might crack. Can argue that is exactly what we want , or that crack is inevitable." Delaney: Great advances have both failures and success-grit, determination, perseverance to hold on for ?! Lichtman: "It's next tool for school innovation self-assessment: what does your innovation scale look like? Love it!" 

     At that point I told Mr. Lichtman that I would work on it and get back to him and that's exactly what I did. By the way, still at this point I had no idea that he was a reknowned change agent and TEDxTalks speaker until I perused his feed as I pondered the problem of what my scale would look like. The powerful video allowed me to collaborate with his ideas. I took notes. I analyzed his "Ecosystem and Industrial Scales." I examined his ideas about the "Global Ecosystem." Many of the ideas blended with my thinking about the smartest person in the world is the world. For this reason the magnetic force of attraction to each others ideas could not be avoided. I imagined the impact of his construct on "Anchors, Dams and Silos." My creative energy was synthesizing. I created my own schema for what I call, Complexification Scale: Potential Hazards for Connected Learning and enthusiastically shared it!

Lichtner's natural Ecosystem concept (taken from TedxTalks with G.Lichtman)

Lichtner's Industrial concept (taken from TedxTalks with G.Lichtman)

IAA SETI Potential Hazard Scale sparked my innovation.

My work:

Potential Hazards for Connected Learning

The smartest person in the world is the world!

Complexification Scale

10    Extinction        Ideas are nonexistent

9      Endangered     Isolation of thought and fear of extinction

8     Polluted           Ideas, design, creation are stagnant

7-6   Erosion           Original thought not supported/encouraged when shared            Erosion***CRITICAL Hazard in Road! (Turning

5     Organic           Alive using collaborative skills and capable of decay                 point at which someone's idea is inert or moves

4-3   Variable           Rooted in solid communication; some shoots embedding          pneumatically to global destination on Hyperloop.

2-1   Global             Connected learners collaborating and creating worldwide

     The Complexification Potential Hazards Scale for Global Connected Learning, was sparked by the Twitter interaction with Mr. Lichtman. Through collaborative discourse while traveling the Twitter Hyperloop (Transformational Connected Learners Highway), we moved IDEATION at light speed! We challenged each other to make an impact on the world. As a Global Learning Network (GLN), we must be the change conductors. We can do this by being self-directed learners who take risks to voice our ideas. Using social media as the tool, as change conductors, we do not have to become inert when our ideas are not embraced by another. Power forward and know that you are connected to a world with a plethora of potential waiting to be the catalyst to move your ideation forward on the Complexification Scale. I call on you to be the actuator, use pneumatic potential to voice your message and arrive at your destination having great WORLD impact when you trust the 'Magnitude' of Twitter! 

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