Immersion: A behind-the-scenes look at a tool that maps your life based on every email you’ve ever sent

Does the date of your email mean anything? According to a tool called Immersion, it does! I tested it out and it was quite interesting. In the past 7.6 months, I have sent 5,569 emails to 103 collaborators. Oh my! Test it out yourself. What can you gather from your metadata?

TED Blog

Your email inbox almost always looks the same. The content may change, but it’s still a chronological list — a narrow, time-based organization of correspondence, deeply set in the present. But a team from the MIT Media lab has created a new way for you to see your email, as an intimate and elegant visualization of your life organized around people.

Tracing the to, from, cc, and timestamp information on every email you’ve ever sent, a new tool called Immersion crafts a complex web of our lives and relationships. The program represents contacts as circles, and the sizes of the circles vary according to how many emails you’ve exchanged with each person. It charts your interactions with friends, family and coworkers for as far back as you’ve had your email address, and it automatically groups your contacts into social circles based on who is included on a thread. You can…

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CNN names its top 10 thinkers of 2013, and 7 of them have given TED Talks

Do you enjoy TED talks? I do…and my son watches them almost every day. They are intriguing, inspirational, creative, interesting. It is no surprise to me that 7 of the top 10 thinkers of 2013 have given TED talks. Enjoy the following article!

TED Blog

CNN-10How do you pick the 10 thinkers in the world whose ideas are making the biggest ripples? It’s a task sort of akin to asking: which are the 10 most beautiful flowers in a meadow? Luckily, we don’t have to answer this intimidating question. Because CNN is all over it.

Today, CNN Tech published “The CNN 10: Thinkers,” a look at the 10 science and technology “visionaries whose ideas are shaping our future.” And since seven of the people on the list have given TED Talks, boiling down their very big ideas into 18 riveting minutes, we thought we’d share those talks below.

[ted_talkteaser id=1402]
Regina Dugan: From mach-20 glider to hummingbird drone
Today, Regina Dugan is the head of special projects at Google-owned Motorola Mobility working on cool initiatives, like an electronic tattoo that can be used to identify a user instead of a password. But when she…

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What Could You Do with $100?

JD Hancock / Foter / CC BY

What could you do with $100? $35?  I will warn you before you read any further – this is not my normal technology post. If you want to stop here, that’s fine! I am also going to ask you for money. I know, you thought I was giving it away…right? Nope. The reason I am changing my post for today is because not only is it Global Awareness Week at our university, but I feel so strongly about taking care of the poor and needy in our world.

We have 4 sponsor children through World Vision. I have visited 2 of them in Ethiopia. I was like many of you. I wondered…

  • Do those kids really exist?
  • Do they REALLY get my letters?
  • Where does my sponsorship money go?

I was very skeptical and had many questions. So I went and visited the World Vision headquarters in Ethiopia. I traveled to the homes of 2 of my sponsor children and it changed my life. Yes – they exist. Yes – they DO get my letters! My sponsorship money goes to healthcare, clean water, education, training for the parents, and so much more than I could imagine. My little girl, Maritha, was definitely poor. Her family lives in a hut that is falling to the side. As a newly sponsored child, her stomach protruded from starvation and worms were growing in her intestines due to gathering water from the local creek. My heart broke. Can you imagine – she was scared of me. She had never seen a white person and I am sure I looked like a sick ghost walking toward her. I found out that I could send money directly to the needs of her family. So upon arriving back to the US, I sent her family $100. The World Vision staff took the money, traveled to her home, and found out the needs of the family. Together they purchased a goat and an ox – highly prized possessions to a struggling family. (Food and farming!) She also received a new dress and shoes. Now, because of my support, she receives medical care and attends school. A new well has been built in her area and she receives clean water.

Last night I received a picture from another sponsor child of mine, Fany. She lives in Congo. I also sent her $100. I received a picture of what World Vision and the family together purchased. I WISH I could post the picture for you, but because of privacy, I won’t. Let me tell you– the look on their faces was pure joy!! Fany’s smile, and the smile of her mom, couldn’t have been any bigger as she stood next to her new mattress in her new school uniform and shoes, The family also purchased shoes for the mom, 2 chairs, 4 notebooks for school, and a shirt for dad. Her hut was in the background and I am sure that sleeping on the mattress will be a wonderful addition to their home! Can you imagine sleeping on the ground all your life and finally receiving a mattress as a gift?

My $35 a month is not a large expense for me. It’s a dinner out ~ and we tend to eat out every Friday night. But to a sponsor child, it means health, clean water, education, and vocational training for the parents. It means the building of a school and medical center – out in the middle of no where. It means farming equipment. It means so much more.

Please consider sponsoring a child. It will change a life! Click HERE –>

6 Plagiarism Advice Webinars for You!

giulia.forsythe / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

We all want students to have integrity and submit class work with honesty. Yet, plagiarism exists. I found a site with some great resources for you! released a set of 6 on-demand webinars.


  • A Quick Guide to Referencing
  • Identifying Plagiarism
  • Case Processing
  • Reducing Plagiarism through Assessment Design
  • Using Electronic Sources
  • Why Do Students Plagiarize?

The resources tab will bring you to downloads of useful articles including Fighting Dishonesty with Turnitin.

Other web sites that you may enjoy regarding plagiarism: – learn more about plagiarism and how to cite sources, or check for plagiarism

The Plagiarism Checker – copy and paste text into the box to check – check for plagiarism plus handouts


Are You Connected?

#bestfriends #motherdaughter #priceless

Best Friends

Are you connected? My daughter, Lauren, is my best friend. In fact, I am pretty sure we share the same brain. More times than not, I will pick up my phone to text her and she will be doing the same – at the same time – almost any time of day! It’s a little freaky!  We love to have a good cup of coffee and sit around and “chat”. She is uplifting, encouraging, and all-around-awesome. She helps me see things in new ways, and reminds me to lean on Jesus when tough times come around.

I am in the middle of reading a book by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age.  It has caused me to think about the instructors that I know (including myself) and whether we are truly connected. So many teachers I know are fascinated with the four walls of their classroom. I say fascinated because they enjoy their four walls and prefer to stay inside rather than venturing out.  Yet we know that growth is difficult if one is confined inside the four walls of a room.

Our family still eats dinner together – around a table. (smile). We visit, chat, and eat. We learn about each others’ day. We learn from each other. We help each other. Instructors learn about new ideas when they can sit around and chat with each other about best practices. Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach (2012) calls this meaning collaboration and authentic collegiality. We have at our fingertips an entire world of information from the best educators…we just need to search for it and share.

One thing I would like to see happen on our campus is increased collaboration. “Collaboration occurs when we approach goals as connected learners, relying on each other’s skills, knowledge, talents, and readiness to share” (Nussbaum-Beach, 2012). I can’t learn from you if you do not share and join in on the collaboration – and so forth. It takes all of us, joining together, working together, sharing, engaging, and enriching each others’ lives. When you step outside of the 4 walls and join together, you and I will both learn and grow.

Part of stepping out of your 4 walls can be done right from home! Get connected with others via Twitter or organizations such as CEM – Connected Educators. Again, there are excellent resources out there to help you improve your own practice. And – others will enjoy learning from you as well!

I would love to connect and collaborate with you. Please take 5 min. or so and share your thoughts. How would you increase collaboration? The results will be visible to all responders – so check back for new results!

Education Conference and Getting Connected!


This past weekend I was blessed to be able to share at the Education Conference 2013 held at William Jessup University. There were about 24 speakers plus the keynote, Kelly Graham. I spoke on “Engaging Students in the 21st Century” and as I prepared for the conference my thought was…yikes! What a big topic! I wondered why I hadn’t narrowed it down more or focused on one or two things. But, the reflection time gave me great opportunity for researching student engagement. I found that students are engaged when there is novelty, when something is measured and reported, real-world issues are applied, or there are procedures in place! Overall, we know that students must be engaged before they can apply higher order thinking skills. If they are not engaged, they will find something else to do!

I shared digital and non-digital ways to engage learners:

Pair share

Quick write

Use a clapping sequence

Teach your neighbor

Use a fairness cup (stick pick)

Use the element of surprise or humor

Create themes and have students create lapbooks, flipbooks, or minibooks

Allow students to choose their assignment (blog, journal, act it out, video, create a poster or glogster, create a cartoon or claymation, etc.)

Use a fun app to introduce a topic such as Toontastic, Puppet Pals, ShowMe, Yakit, or Tellagami

Create a poll with Poll Everywhere

Engage students with Infuse Learning or Socrative

Organize web content with Blendspace


Nearpod the content and mix with a quiz

Create a Doceri

I used Presentain  to create a mini version of the session and emailed it to all the attendees at the end of the session. I found Presentain to be so easy to use! Load your PowerPoint to the Presentain web site, then give the presentation using your iPhone/smartphone. The software records the voice and the PowerPoint presentation.

Here is a view of the Presentain: CLICK HERE

Finally, I want to put a plug in for Connected Educator Month! The fact that you are reading this blog shows that you like to connect and learn from others. I do, too! There are activities to connect with other educators for every day in October. CEM also provided an excellent tool located here. Today’s topic is about blogging!

44 Tips for Surviving Your First Year of College

I have many freshman in my teacher education course. At William Jessup University, freshman take a seminar to help them learn how to have a successful first year. I found this great infographic created by VisualApogee . I smiled as I read through it because I could relate the tips given – remembering way back to my own freshman experience.  I hope you enjoy the graphic as much as I do! The only thing I would add is sleep.  Go to bed at a reasonable hour. There are many articles relating to the importance of sleep and studying. Two of my favorite are found HERE and HERE.

44 Tips for Surviving Your First Year of College - Learned The Hard Way

by VisualApogee.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.