Have just spent several hours marking essays written by my lit students about a Romantic poet of their choice.  It was a pretty tedious session because (despite the notes and guidance I had given them) clearly most of them had just gone straight to Google and typed in romantic poets.

Looking to distract myself with some other task, I finally went to my edmodo home page and decided to tackle my overdue assignment. The task was about exploring different kinds of search engines with the same search terms and reflecting on them.

So naturally I typed Romantic poets into google and this of course lead me straight to wikipedia which provided a very dry and dense overview of the era.   (see screen shot below!)

Then I tried the search engine called instaGrok and I was thrilled to see a much more engaging and interactive page come straight up. It has graphic organizers, key facts on the side and options for students to immediately start making notes from what they read.  (See screen shot).

I’m sorry I didn’t explore any other sites because I have to finish marking these essays!

Screen shot of Search through Google:


Screen shot of search through instaGrok:


  • I have been teaching English to high school students for 20 years and I love it, but I need some Inspiration. I think I can use my English teaching experience and  skills to become a 21st century educator –  teacher who sees the sharing of Information as Inspirational and Innovative.  That’s why it’s all about I!
  • I am very fortunate in that my Principal has allowed me to join the i centre staff at my school for .6 of my full time load.  So I still get to teach English for .4 of each day.  I think  this is a perfect way to enter into a new field of education.
  • I have only recently grasped the concept of web 2 tools and how they allow students to create and collaborate rather than just push back things that they have been fed from the internet.  I have begun using tools such as scoopit and animoto but am really just a novice.
  • Since making the move into this new area of education I have  been amazed at the amount of support and inspiration I can get from like-minded people of the digital community. This on-line course is a perfect example, but I have also begun to use tools such as collaborize, google scholar and scoop it.
  • My goal for this course is to become comfortable with web 2 tools and personal learning networks so that my students understand that every time they go on-line they are not just readers but writers too.  And what they write can be worthy of publishing.

I love language in all its forms and I love helping my students to become better people through reading, writing and talking about books, but marking essays is getting me down.  I need a change.