Colette Cassinelli's visionary use of information literacy and educational technology


NCCE 2015 Technology Educator of the Year

NCCE 2015 Technology Educator of the Year

At the #NCCE2015 conference I was surprised and honored to be selected as the NCCE 2015 Technology Educator of the Year.  I have been attending or presenting at the NCCE conference for over 15 years and am thrilled to be part of this organization.  I have […]

Library of Congress lesson plan:  Childhood Poverty

Library of Congress lesson plan: Childhood Poverty

  Last week I attended a two-day Primary Source workshop from the Library of Congress sponsored by NCCE.  During the course of the workshop we looked through all the fabulous resources gathered by the Library of Congress.  There is so much information its a bit […]

NCCE 2011 is in Portland, yeah baby!

NCCE 2011 is in Portland, yeah baby!

I’m so thrilled when NCCE 2011 comes to Portland because that means I get to sleep in my own bed and show my PLN buddies the beautiful city.  Early bird registration ends January 31st so get your registration in ASAP.

Here are my plans:

Wednesday 3/2/11 Attend the Teacher Librarian Summit II with Mike Eisenberg.

Thursday I will be giving a workshop in the afternoon:  Integrating Google Tools 4 Teachers.

Friday:  I will attend the concurrent sessions.

Building at PLN at NCCE

Building at PLN at NCCE

I got home last night from the Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE) conference in Seattle.  I’ve attended this conference off and on for many years and have presented sessions the last two.  I was really looking forward to meeting more of my NW friends […]

NCCE 2010

NCCE 2010

If you are attending the Northwest Council of Computer Education (NCCE)  conference in Seattle this week – please introduce yourself or Twitter using the hastag #NCCE10 so I can find you.  Or better yet –  stop by my presentations and say HI! Wednesday 3/3/10:   […]

What is a PLN and why do I need one?

What is a PLN and why do I need one?

Martha Thornburgh and I are presenting “What is a PLN and why do I need one” at the upcoming NCCE 2010 conference in Seattle.  We are fleshing out some of our ideas for our session so I thought I would blog some of our ideas.

A PLN is a Personal Learning Network.  A PLN is a reciprocal network that you create to learn from, connect with, gather information or resources, create with and finally share what you have learned.  A PLN can occur in your school, face-to-face, online, at conferences or through reading, reflecting and sharing.

The benefits of having a PLN?

Teaching can be a very isolating profession.  Having a PLN allows you to connect and share with other educators in your subject area.  Think of the Verizon network commercials … your network is always there support you, answering questions, inspiring you and encouraging your own learning.

It can take time to build up an active PLN – so don’t get discouraged.  It takes time to build community – but once its established – you can benefit from the sharing.

Our session plan is explain how to develop a PLN and then share various tools that can make that happen.  We are planning to share Twitter, Blogs, Social Networks, Webinars, and Collaborative Projects.  Here’s some notes about our first tool:  Microblogging (stay tuned for more posts).

Microblogging: Twitter/Plurk

“Twitter is the water cooler of the Internet”
~Neil Chambers


Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages.  People write short updates, often called “tweets”  of 140 characters or fewer.  These messages are posted to your profile or your blog, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search.

Plurk is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send updates (otherwise known as plurks) through short messages or links, which can be up to 140 text characters in length.


  • Be active.
  • Find other educators in your subject area to follow by following  the followers of edtech leaders or use Educator listings, such as (and skip the celebrities!)
  • Response to tweets using @username or use a #hashtag for specific topics
  • Use ReTweet (RT) to repost your favorite tweets.
  • Use third party tools to manage Twitter
    • Tweetdeck – A desktop application that organizes your tweets into groups, lists, or by #hastag.
    • Twubs- Twitter groups built around #hashtags


  • You can get immediate response to your questions or requests for help.
  • There is an active educator community online who love to share resources and ideas.
  • The RT feature furthers the sharing of ideas & resources that users find valuable or insightful
  • Has great search
  • Plurk keeps threaded conversations


  • Hard to use effectively when you don’t have many followers
  • You miss tweets when you aren’t online.
  • Addicting:  Can be distracting to tweet when you should be doing other computer work
  • A lot of companies are now using Twitter for gimmicky contests or spamming their followers.


  • Dennis Grice posted a Google form to Twitter and Plurk asking his PLN to answer the question “What did you have for breakfast” after reading “George Washington’s Breakfast” with his 3rd graders.  He received responses from all over the world and posted the results in a Google Map.  More info …
  • Every Tuesday, a group of educators hold #edchat on Twitter and discuss the topic for the week.


We know this isn’t an all inclusive review of Twitter and a PLN – but would love your thoughts, ideas or examples of best practices.

Reflecting about my own learning

Reflecting about my own learning

Last Saturday during a two hour drive,  my husband and I had a great discussion about learning, failure and success.  We were discussing people’s attitude towards problems in your work environment and failure in general.  Some folks are crushed by failure, beat themselves up, or […]

NCCE:  Google Apps for Education

NCCE: Google Apps for Education

Thanks to Jeff Utecht who Ustreamed my Google Apps vs. Google Tools presentation at NCCE.  I’m kicking myself for not saving the chat but appreciate all who attended and participated online. NCCE twitter group Webcam chat at Ustream

NCCE08 – Eric Langhorst

NCCE08 – Eric Langhorst

history.jpgSpeaking of History – Eric Langhorst
South Valley Junior High

Here are some of my notes from Eric’s presentation: Microsoft and Web 2.0 tools


  • A Whole New Mind – Daniel Pink
  • The World is Flat – Thomas Friedman

Students are different. Information is everywhere – understanding how to use it is critical. Learning can take place anyplace anytime. We have the ability to reach students with multiple learning styles; Reaching higher order thinking skills, creative

Eric has created a network with other educators around the world with his podcast. He records his podcasts with Audacity (cross platform audio recording). Here are some of the things he has podcasting:

  • Interviews with authors
  • Lessons plans from classroom
  • Break up letter lesson – Declaration of Independence
  • Museum visits
  • Interview curator
  • Student projects
  • Comments on Ed tech topics
  • Reflections on teaching
  • Review of online resources

Other Ideas:

  • StudyCasts – Record audio interview for upcoming test
  • Post MP3 file on Internet
  • Students listen at home on Internet, MP3 player or CD
  • Record test for students who have modifications for taking tests
  • Books have been read and recorded (with permission)
  • Record young student reading for fluency
  • Currently part of pilot using Microsoft’s Zune MP3 player
  • Transfer pictures and audio with wireless connections – StudyCasts, presentation notes
  • Students are conducting family history interviews – give copies for family and local museum
  • AT&T grant to create historical information about Liberty using Guide by cell technology
  • Students will narrate museum artifact information


  • Keep content for student simple – no background music
  • Allow students to use this tool for other projects
  • Use USB microphone – $20-30
  • Create a folder of medial elements in advance for your students to use
  • Good source of images from Flickr
  • Keep projects short

Allow students to become producers of the content they use not just consumers.

  • Microsoft PhotoStory3 – create video from still pictures
  • Microsoft MovieMaker2 – create video from video

More Ideas

  • Do a family videos first – interviews of how parent’s met
  • Boston Massacre LIVE! Newscast (imagine CNN was there and do a broadcast from Colonial and English perspective. Interview: Colonists, King, Paul Revere) then that leads to discussion of the historical perspective and power of media POV. Citizen media – record with cell phone.
  • Create a 30 second TV ad for historical election – 1860 Lincoln Election
  • Create a TV commercial supports either the Federalist of Anti-Federalist in the ratification of the Constitution
  • Liberty Minutes – 3-5 videos on local historical topics – show to local historical society

WEB 2.0 ideas:


  • Book Blog Project – 350 copies of book – student and parent’s blog with home school students in CA & Author participates in project
  • Donner Party Debate – record class debate. Send experts MP3 of debate and they respond with comments; Email questions to experts – teacher sends 10 questions from class
  • Online assessment – Quia and quiz star (Immediate data and feedback) Include a pretest of the next information after the chapter test
Learning at NCCE08

Learning at NCCE08

It’s great to see the good people of Seattle have so much wisdom to share with tech-loving educators this year. I have already been to several excellent sessions: Karen Fasimpaur – Free Content + Open Tools + Massive Collaboration = Learning For All   Karen […]

Join me at NCCE

Join me at NCCE

Engaging Students with Authentic Technology Projects – Colette Cassinelli Computer Teacher, Valley Catholic School Thursday, February 28, 2008, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Do you want to learn how to redesign your curriculum to include 21st century skills? Come learn how a HS teacher utilizes […]

Upcoming presentations at conferences

Upcoming presentations at conferences

I will be presenting the same workshop at two conferences next year. My topic is “Engaging Students with Authentic Technology Projects.”

Embrace 21st century strategies to create an instructional learning environment that moves away from teaching isolated computer skills towards an integrated thematic approach. Come lean how you can combine everyday productivity tools with Web 2.0 to support curriculum integration and collaboration.

coffe-cup.pngI will first hold a hands-on workshop at Instructional Technology Strategies Conference (ITSC) sponsored by OETC next February 17-19 in Portland, Oregon. My program description is at .

The following week I will present the same information at the Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE) in Seattle, Washington on Thursday, February 28th.

I am looking forward to hearing Wesley Fryer speak at the conference.  Patrick Crispin (Pepperdine Alum!) is also an entertaining and informative speaker.  Visit the NCCE website for more information about conference speakers.

Please send me a note if you will be attending either conference.  See ya there.