Welcome to all Thinkfinity Community Group Owners!
We are excited to have you join us in this Members Only group where we can share ideas and gather feedback from you. Working together we can make the community a stronger resource and a better tool for educators nationwide.
We have three community hosts, Crystal, Marc, and Amy, whom you have seen around the community and communicated with as group owners. They will be starting discussions within this group, but please don't hesitate to start discussions of your own.
I'm always eager to hear what we can do better - so don't hesitate to be candid, or to reach out to me directly if you would like to have a conversation about any aspect of the site, although I hope we can have most discussions here so that all can participate. I look forward to reading your thoughts and ideas in the weeks to come.
Please take a moment and introduce yourself. Tell us the groups you own and maintain. Some of the groups may be private or secret groups and so inaccessible to others but nevertheless, you are all group owners and interested in how to make your groups better.
Jane Brown (community username: jbrown
Hello Fellow Group Owners,
I am a retired teacher after spending 35 years in the classroom, and now I work as a technology consultant. I own the group The specified item was not found.. I need to think of ways to promote that group more in the Community. At present, we only have 15 members.
I also am a co-owner of the The specified item was not found. group. I enjoy finding resources in the four STEM areas since they are an integral part of 21st century learning. I'd like to see more involvement in that group as well.
My background is in English, journalism, theatre arts, public speaking, and supervision at the secondary level. I also have worked as a technology specialist building school networks, maintaining computers, and training teachers to use educational software programs. I am certified as an MYP and IB instructor in computer engineering. I earned my MA degree in Curriculum and Instruction and served as the Advanced Communications and Networking Curriculum Planner for a new high school constructed in 2002 in Danville, VA.
Currently, I work as a Host for the Verizon Thinkfinity Community, facilitate online courses for the Virginia Department of Education, and teach computer workshops at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.
I look forward to collaborating with other group owners as we explore ways to make our groups more interactive.
Hello, I am Tammy Dewan and I am one of the Community hosts. I am co-owner of the following groups: Reaching English Language Learners (public), Parents & Families (public) and The specified item was not found.C (which is private).
I have been in education for 16 years from working in the classroom, managing grant funded projects at Arizona State University, teaching online courses for Grand Canyon University and training teachers on using Thinkfinity.
I have 4 children ages 12, 8, 3 and a new born. This helps me stay connected to what is going on in their classrooms. I am living in Australia now and have found it fascinating to learn about the school system over here. Many things are similar and many things are different. I can say that the teachers here are so nurturing and take time to bond with each student. Teachers call students “my darling” or “mate”. Also, all students must wear a sun hat, put on sunscreen and bring healthy food to school. Teachers are like a second parent looking after the students’ health and well-being as well as teaching them academic skills.
I am trying to promote Thinkfinity over here so hopefully we can start an Australian Group.
You know the saying "build it and they will come" from the movie, Field of Dreams. Not only will they come but you will have provided Australian Educators a place to gather and work together with a very knowledgeable Thinkfinity Trainer but yet branch out to the more global audience.
Your examples of the work being done by these educators, which you have strewn throughout the community discussions, shows me how valuable their expertise could be to the community members as a whole, Tammy.
Good Afternoon, Everyone,
My name is Kingston Raycraft/Blessing. I have been teaching for 42 years. I love online facilitation, and the best part is I love sharing lessons/projects. My teaching started in Calumet City, Illinois, where I taught for 27 years, and then I moved to Mesa, Arizona. I taught in Fountain Hills, Arizona for a few years, and I am now teaching a class of 7th and 8th grade computers at Cheyenne Traditional in Scottsdale, Arizona. I have taught K, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, grades and am an Intel Teach to the Future Master Teacher where I have taught adults to integrate technology into their curriculum. The Verizon Foundation gave me the opportunity to be one of their National Cadre Field Trainers, a position that I have a passion. I have a husband, Ken, two children, Traci and Timothy, four lovely grandchildren, and my two cats, Missy and Comet round out our family.
Looking forward to learning and sharing with this esteem group.
Hi, I am Jeanne Rogers and am the Community host for the Florida Thinkfinity Group. I am an educator with 38 years experience, 25 years in the classroom and 13 as a Technology Specialist. I am a state trainer for the Florida Center for Instructional Technology.
I created this group in May 2011 and have been making strides with membership. Now we need to focus on involvement and sharing of ideas and best practices.
I love Verizon Thinkfinity and whenever a teacher asks for a web related activity, I always start with VT!!
Hello! I am Lisa Storm Fink. I am one of the Project Managers for ReadWriteThink. I am located at NCTE in Urbana, IL. After teaching grades K-4 for almost 9 years, I moved fulltime to work on the ReadWriteThink site in 2004. I am also adjunct faculty at the University of Illinois where I work with preservice students. Most importantly, I am the mom of two fantastic girls - Kelsey and Kaitlyn. As a teacher and a mom, I know how education is in the development of kids, teens and adults.
Note: Lisa is one of the owners of the very popular Reading & Language Arts group.
I am the owner of the group The specified item was not found., a group that I started last fall in an attempt to unite Business teachers from Pennsylvania and across the country.
My aim is simple. I want to have a forum where teachers can share resources, best practices, and ways to promote the crucial subjects that we teach.
Thank you for inviting me to your group!
Penn-Trafford High School
My name is Marcia Torgrude. I am the owner of several groups including the South Dakota Thinkfinity group open to all educators in South Dakota, The specified item was not found. for K-5 math teachers and the math specialists in the state, and several private groups which are set up as online courses for teachers.
I have been an education technology specialist for a nonprofit organization called Technology and Innovation in Education (TIE) for 12 years and was a Thinkfinity cadre trainer for many years. I also taught high school math and computer courses for 14 years.
I continue to share Thinkfinity resources and the community with teachers in SD and the surrounding region. The community is a great way to bring teachers of common interests, ideas, and needs together. Many in SD have found value in the community and have set up their own groups to bring the members together in an online environment - even teachers and their students.
It would be wonderful to learn from all of you ways to bring more people into the groups and keep it growing.
My name is Karen Horn and this is a great idea to get the Group Owners together so we can collaborate on how to generate more interaction and feedback from persons interested in our specific groups. Thanks, Jane... super concept!
I am a part-owner of the The specified item was not found. group and strongly urge every one of you to help us get this crucial idea of more Science, Technology, Engineering and Math into the everyday thoughts of our teachers and students. We do have some good starting points already posted on our site, but would certainly love to have additional materials. We are pitching this group with the idea that the need to get more students interested in one of these four disciplines as career choices is good for our economy and educational development. Personally, I believe that we have a myriad of students who would be interested in becoming an engineer or an actuarial scientist if they knew the opportunities that were there for them. Let's dig up what we can find and build on the idea.
My personal information is that I was in the public school classroom for 35 years in several states with a concentrated interest in government and economics. But my background has not been limited to that as many of you who have moved frequently can identify with. When one moves across state lines, the demands for employment change and so does the focus. I have been a Cadre Trainer for Verizon Thinkfinity for many years and this experience is one of the highlights of my life. I am a firm believer that Thinkfinity can make good teachers great! In addition to my special jobs with Verizon through the years, I am an adjunct economics professor at Collin College. Staying in the classroom on a regular basis has provided me with continued insights when working with teachers on technology integration.
As we become acquainted, let's keep the discussion moving so that we can improve our daily tasks in education. I would love to hear your thoughts on helping us to promote STEM.
Hello! I'm an education specialist at the National Museum of American History, where I am part of the team behind Smithsonian's History Explorer. Along with my colleagues Carrie, Jenny, and Matt, I work on History Explorers, which is designed as a discussion space for history educators and a way for members to share resources related to history education, and Let's Do History, a group we developed as a discussion space for participants in the Museum's new national outreach program for social studies teachers. I am also involved in the The specified item was not found. group, which was originally created to continue conversations about teaching September 11 that were sparked by an online conference held by the Museum and the 9/11 memorial sites in August 2011. Our team is eager to find new ways to encourage dialogue in these groups and make them great resources for educators, so I look forward to learning from all of you!
National Museum of American History
Hello! I'm Mark. (Everybody say "Hi Mark!)
I work at the West Virginia Department of Education as the Thinkfinity lead and was a Thinkfinity National Cadre for many years. My passion is education reform and "disrupting the classroom". I'm also an Intel Senior Trainer and lead on the SAS Curriculum Pathways Project as well as one of the local "go to" guys for Microsoft and Google applications. Hobbies include scuba, sky diving, boating, competitive bee keeping and animated sycronized swimming. (I just put that in to see if anyone was really reading this).
West Virginia Department of Education
Note: Mark hosts many communities within the system including West Virginia Thinkfinity. He is an advocate for Thinkfinity and the community. To learn more about Mark, check out his featured member interview. You could be next!
Verizon Thinkfinity Community Host
Hi there! My name is Julia Legg and I work at the West Virginia Department of Education. My main role is the State E-rate Coordinator, but I also work with the state Library Media Specialists. I have a group that includes them in order to faciliate a professional learning community. I try to get participation as much as possible by posing questions asking them to share what they are doing in their school/library. I'd love some great ideas about increasing participation. We have a Listserv, but neither have been a resource that many are willing to step out and put themselves out there--either because they are afraid to speak up or are just too busy to respond. I did promote that the great thing about the Thinkfinity Community was that they don't have to remember to login--it generates emails (if they choose) reminding them to update their status or if someone posts a comment within the group. I would like to take both the listserv and the community group away from me being the "Sage on the Stage" where they "sit and get" to them taking a more active participatory role. I'm hoping this group will bring some ideas to the table!
Thank you for the invitation!!
Julia Benincosa Legg
Note: Julia has two excellent groups in The Thinkfinity Community. Both are Open groups so you are certainly free to take a look and perhaps as we continue the interactions in this group you will have ideas to share with Julia. She is experiencing the same issues that many of us are having... getting interactive participation from the wonderful members who come and join, keeping materials and discussions current and interesting, and simply drawing in new members.
Her groups are:
WV School Library Media Specialists, specialized for West Virginia LMS
Library Media Information Literacy Educational Technology Visionaries, a group for all Library Media Specialists who are true visionaries in the schools.
I have been an educator for 35 years. I spent the first 24 as a high school classroom teacher. Over the years I taught Math, English and German. For several years I was a Student Council sponsor and served as the Summer Workshop Director for the Arkansas Association of Student Councils.
Over the last 11 years I have been a Technology Integration Specialist for Fort Smith Public Schools in Fort Smith, AR.
I love my job and don't plan to retire any time soon.
Note: Summer Workshop time is coming up and it looks like George may use groups for gathering his materials. Some of you will likely be interested in how to best set up a group to use in a Workshop, rather it is on Thinkfinity Resources or a more general educational topic like 21st Century Learning. What are the basics? What widgets will benefit such a group? I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on enhancing George's use of The Thinkfinity Community.
My name is Hilve Firek, and I'm a faculty member in the ed dept at Virginia Wesleyan College.
Thanks for this group!
Note: Hilve's group The specified item was not found. is a Members Only group which means membership is open and non-members can view content, but must join to participate.
We are looking forward to seeing more Higher Education groups formed this year and with a variety of purposes in mind. Membership only is a great way to keep participating members to a specific group of students but still allow the general membership to view discussions. Wonder if some of these groups can identify with other groups and interact with each other?
Looking forward to seeing what discussions you all start in this group and what ideas everyone might have to share.
Hi! My name is Kathy Scarpato and I am a Master Teacher of Training for the PA Virtual Charter School. I am very excited to get an invite for this group as I feel I have not been able to give too much time to Thinkfinity and now I can get back in! PA is at the end of our standardardized testing season so life can get back to a semi normal pace.
I have completed a few of Thinkfinity courses and believe that a community like this one will open up more conversation and networking that will enhance our instructional strategies and theories!
Note: Kathy is a member of many of our Content Partner groups, a great way to get a feel for how to set up a group. That will give you the "i wants" and this group will give you the "how tos." :-) Kathy owns a training group it looks like, The specified item was not found. and one that has been in her mind but isn't flushed out. Enjoy this group. There is a lot of expertise being shared here.
Hello Everyone! My name is Rachel and I am the physics teacher and science fair coordinator at iPoly High School; a project-based school located on the Cal Poly Pomona University campus in California.
My classes consist of 12th grade students who learn in a project based learning environment. Consequentially, I teach not only my content area, but also a course called House in which students explore a topic of their choice and conduct a 6-8 month reaeasrch project on it. There are certian requirments each student must complete within the project (such as perform a topic specific science fair project, gathering 60 articles of resarch, conduct several professional interviews, perform 50 hours of service learning, complete 60 hours of an independent project, etc...). I love the synthesis student have between learning physics and applying it to their research topics.
The senior teachers (12th grade) implemented science fair a few years ago. Our system includes the participation of guest judges that hail from a variety of professional backgrounds; we increased the number of judges our second year by 24%, and anticipate increased levels of participation next year. As the science fair is part of our 12th grade integrated curriculum (English, Math, Social Science and Science all work together to teach the process of science), judge scores are used as a recommendation to 12th grade teachers to determine the student's overall grade. The overall winners of the iPoly Science Fair are awarded the rank of finalist meaning they are eligible to represent iPoly at the Los Angeles County Science Fair. All of our finalists have received recognition, honorable mention or numerical ranking.
Teachers at iPoly are determined to promote science across disciplines, and inspire a new generation of scientifically literate, technologically capable members of the community.
Note: Rachel has started two STEM-related groups, The specified item was not found. and The specified item was not found., both are groups that members asked for and will embrace.
My name is Mark Silviotti. I am an Educational Technology Facilitator at John F. Kennedy Magnet school in Port Chester, New York. JFK Magnet School is a Thinkfinity Model school.
I have been lucky enough to work with an amazing staff at JFK that has made the integration of Thinkfinity and all of its resources seamless. Also, JFK has been closely tied, but not limited to, the great people at ReadWriteThink which includes Bridget Hilferty and Lisa Fink, Wonderopolis which includes Heike Imler, and EDSITEment which includes Carol Peters and Luisanna Willis.
I have only been on the job since mid October, however I have learned a great deal, not only about Thinkfinity and the Community, but how it can change an entire school by bringing amazing resources, interactives, and people to its front door.
I have great respect for everyone involved in the community for all the reasons listed above. I would like to thank Thinkfinity for helping me open my eyes to this amazing opportunity. Nice to meet everybody!
Hello to Everyone,
I am Cheryl Sheridan and I am the owner of the Knox County Schools/Tennessee group page. I am a technology trainer for Knox County Schools. Jill Lane and I do all the Thinkfinity training here in Knox County. I love training it and seeing teachers grab on and go. My problem is I do not have the time to keep the page up as I should and I forget to have people join the group page. I am looking forward to reading what you all have to say about how to manage the page better.
My name is Lauren McCarthy and I'm the Communications Manager at LIFT (Literacy Instruction for Texas). We are a nonprofit located in Dallas, Texas, and our mission is to raise the adult literacy rate in Texas. We teach people to read through adult literacy, GED preparation, English as a Second Language and family literacy programs. We serve thousands each year through the dedication of over 300 volunteer teachers. The need for adult basic education in Dallas-Ft. Worth is immense - 21% of Dallas County adults are illiterate. Most of our adult learners have undiagnosed learning differences, and some are recovering from a stroke or other illness. It does not matter why they cannot read, is is our job to teach them to read, write, speak and understand the English language.
Verizon is a strong supporter of our organization and we are so grateful to have Thinkfinity as a training tool, online community, and resource center for our volunteer teachers. I look forward to learning about the tools on Thinkfinity that can help our volunteers teach adults to read.
I am a librarian who has worked with local schools since 2006. I received my MLIS at Kent State University specializing in youth services and also spent several years prior working with microfilm, serials and reference at the Main Library in Cleveland.
I am most interested in helping students align their talents with the many cultural opportunities in Northeast Ohio--and to build an appreciation for our diverse cultural heritage. I am also very interested in finding ways to maximize social media to bring accountability and efficiency to education and local government. Please see my profile here:
I would like to see Thinkfinity promoted through the library catalog as a resource sharing option (like FB, Twitter)--I am encouraged that bibliocommons offers this option and I am intrigued by the possibilities. Cleveland Public Library is going to a cloud computing option in May. So, there are many exciting ways to help educators and students organize and share content.
I am the owner of 3 groups in Minnesota:
My Thinkfinity work is part of my job as an Education Technology Consultant at TIES in Minnesota. We do professional development related to education technology, including Thinkfinity.
Thanks for the invitation to participante.
My name is Erica Boling. I'm an Associate Professor of Literacy Education at Rutgers University in New Jersey. My research looks at the role of technology in education. I just recently completed a grant that was funded by the Verizon Foundation to create 3 online courses that educate teachers on the uses of technology in K-12 classrooms. We are integrating Thinkfinity into these courses, and we also have a Thinkfinity community that was created for each class.
Here is more information about the project...
Here is a link to more information about our new program...
I have numerous groups currently being run by the instructors of these courses. In addition, I have course instructor group sites where we share all of the latest resources, syllabi, ideas, etc. for our teaching. Here is one of the few public sites that I run...
Glad to be here and sorry for the late intro! I've been traveling a lot for conferences and work, including international travel. In addition, we are in the final week of classes, so things have been pretty crazy.
Your programs are very interesting and so important for pre-service teachers. I have just completed my 3rd semester adjunct teaching for Northern Michigan University ED Tech class. I believe this is an area that is sorely overlooked in the pre-service program. I am very excited to pass along your information to our department head and fellow Ed Tech teachers.
I'm am a new librarian at Lyle Creek Elementary School (K-6) located in Conover, NC and I am currently the owner of a private group for staff members. This is my 2nd year in the position as I finish my MLS at East Carolina University. We have just begun the process of using Thinkfinity and are excited to learn how to integrate, organize, and share content.
Thanks for the invitation to join.
I am posting the intro very late, but now have some time to catch up from this Spring activities. After 10 yrs, I am in my last week as Technology Integration Supervisor for the largest school district in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Marquette Area Public Schools. I have also been adjunct for Northern Michigan University Education Technology classes these past three semesters. Previously I was the building technology coordinator for a K- 6 charter school in Lansing, MI for 3 yrs. Previous to that I was a curriculum specialist for a Computer Managed Software company for 7 yrs, also in Lansing, MI. My classroom experiences go back to the 70's in Michigan K-12, Adult and GED ed in NY City and Detroit.I have a Master of Ed (Wayne State U) and MLIS (U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee - online).
In the process of retiring from all the hands-on, I reflect on how far and how fast educational resources and tools have changed, but are just barely trailing the changes experienced globally in most other arenas. I see technology skills and creativity as crucial to students and teachers today to be able to comfortably and successfully meet these new and ever changing challenges.
Just reading over these intro messages, I am excited with the opportunities to learn and share with you all.
Note: Fran owns the group, Technology for Teachers @ MAPS, which is an Open and other groups which are private. I hope we hear more from her on how to engage pre-service teachers in the community. There are so many blue-ribbon Thinkfinity resources available to these teachers, not to mention the possibility of mentors to guide them.
BTW, join the New Teachers Making The Grade and help Lynne get new teachers engaged in that group and the community. Lynne is looking for mentors to match with new teacher needs, a nice way to "pay it forward."
Hello! I am new to the community, work for ISTE (www.iste.org), and excited to be here. I have a group I will be working with in the community and am wondering if anyone has info about adding a calendar to a group. I look forward to meeting new people in the community!
Happy to have you join this group, Linda. This is exactly the place to ask questions and share ideas. You have already raised a good question. We have only researched using a calendar on one occasion and that was to embed a Google Calendar into a community. It worked only in the middle (large column) and is certainly something we can explore further if you have an interest.
I am Rick Yocke, a Regional Teacher Educator at WVU Tech in the Department of Career Technical Education. Our department mission is to serve the CTE instructors of WV with their certification needs and also to provide degree opportunities for those teachers.
Our department has used Thinkfinity to facilitate courses and to provide the sharing of information among the staff.
My career started in Norway, SC as a Health and PE teacher in 1975.
My name is Mark Moore and I work down the street at the State Capitol for the WV Department of Education. I'm the local Thinkfinity and Community contact for the State. Please let me know if I can help in any way. I can provide PD to you and your folks free of charge. You can contact me here or at email@example.com
Welcome to the group!!
I'm Heather Chirtea, the group owner of Digital Wish. We have tons of free technology resources for educators and I want to share those with Thinkfinity members. I look forward to enhancing this blog to include all the great programs, research, and thought leadership articles that we publish on Tech in Ed!
All the best,
...30,297 Classroom technology wishes granted!