Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Speaking at #DigCitSummitUK

I can now add international speaker (at the age of nine) to my list of accomplishments.  This weekend, I was the youngest student speaker at #DigCitSummitUK.  I co-presented with my mom and we spoke about digital access. 

Here's our presentation and thanks to Joanne Sweeney-Burke we have a video of our session too: 

Although I have technology available at my school, I do not have access to learn the way I do with my mom at home.  I think digital access is really important because when I was in the first grade, I was assigned a rainforest animal project.  The packet had a list of rainforest animals to pick from and the instructions included a fill-in-the-blank page about the animal and directions on how to draw the animal's habitat.

When I got home from school that day, I said, “I don’t want to research an animal on this list.” Instead, I asked, “Can I blog about it and can you tweet it out?” My blog post asked readers to send facts about rainforest animals that they would want to research.  I received a lot of comments and suggestions and I must have researched over 20 different animals.  It was so exciting to learn about so many rainforest animals that I never knew existed before my blog post.  I learned about the cloudrunner, also known as the cloud rat and the Okapi, Hyacinth Macaw, Jambu Fruit Dove, Aye-Aye and many more animals through comments on my blog and tweets back to my mom. 

After researching all of the animals, I put them into categories like my top 10, top 5, top 2, and then I knew the animal I wanted to research for the project.  When my mom tweeted out my blog post, @digiforest from Manu, Peru responded and they suggested I research the binturong.  I would never have known about the binturong without digital access at home. 

The binturong lives in Southeast Asia and is also called a bearcat. His tail is like an extra hand which is called a prehensile tail. The binturong smells likes buttered popcorn and spends most of their time in trees. They help play an important role in the rainforest by spreading the fig seeds they eat when they poop. 

I wish the other students in my class could have blogged as part of this project, but we don’t have access at school.  I am now in the third grade and I still only get to learn with the world when I’m home.  I want to make sure that students everywhere have access both at school and home. 

Just recently, I asked for a Twitter handle.  My mom said I was too young since the age requirement is 13, so I asked if we could start a mother/son account.  Our account is @CurranCentral and my mom wrote this post for FOSI, Like Mother Like Son: Modeling Digital Citizenship which highlights how we are learning about being safe, ethical and savvy together.  This is how all students should learn and we need more adults in our lives to learn with us.

I've watched my mom moderate the #digcit chat lots of times and when William Jenkins started the #DigCitSummitUK thunderclap, I was a part of it.  Since then, I’ve guest moderated two chats on Twitter (#digcit and #NYEDChat) and I think it is a great way to bring student voice into the conversation.  If you want me to moderate any future chats, let me know.

The best part of #DigCitSummitUK was meeting so many people and live tweeting the different sessions.  One of my favorite parts was seeing Timmy Sullivan represent Rosetta Stone. I take Spanish at school and hope to be able to present at #DigCitSummitSpain with Timmy and Maria Zabala. I like learning with the world and I want all students to have the same experiences I have at both school and home.  As we said at our presentation:

Saturday, December 12, 2015


This past October, I attended the first national #digcitsummit. One of the best parts of the Summit was going to see student speaker Timmy Sullivan's session.  I also got to join my mom on stage and was part of the closing remarks.

During the last few weeks, I've been busy helping my mom get ready for the #DigCitSummitUK. It's the first international #digcitsummit! I've joined my mom for a Skype with William Jenkins, created a new Twitter account @CurranCentral and participated in the #DigCitSummitUK thunderclap.

Please join me on Wednesday as I co-moderate the #digcit chat at 7:00pm eastern standard time. We will be chatting about digital access for all students everywhere and I hope you will join us. We are looking for more #stuvoice!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Animals in the Rainforest

For the end of the school year we are researching rainforest animals.

I asked my friend and author, Jerry Pallotta and he said I should research the cloudrunner.
The cloudrunner is also called a cloud rat and can be found in Panay, an island in the Philippines. They live in the treetops and eat fruit and leaves.  

Jerry also told me I should research leaf cutter ants which made me think about his Who Would Win books. I think Jerry should write his next book on Leaf Cutter vs. Army Ants or Bullet Ants.  
Leaf Cutter Ants Vs.
Army Ants Vs.
Bullet Ants
 Who do you think would win?

Here are the questions I need to answer for my project:
  1. What is the name of your rainforest animal?
  2. What does your animal look like?
  3. What type of body covering does your animal have?
  4. Which rainforest layer is your animal's home - forest floor, understory, canopy, or emergent layer?
  5. How does your animal move?
  6. What does your animal like to eat?
  7. Name some of your animal's enemies.
  8. List 5 interesting facts you have learned about your rainforest animal.
  9. Draw a picture of your rainforest animal in its natural habitat.
  10. Draw a chart that shows the food chain of this animal.  Remember to include plants, water, prey, etc.
Which animal should I research? What is your favorite rainforest animal and why? Share pictures and links too!

Here's my first Glossi:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Around the World With Sharks

Reading Fly Guy Presents Sharks to Nutmeg, a therapy dog, November 2013.
I am reading Fly Guy Presents Sharks by Tedd Arnold.  I got to read this book to Nutmeg, a therapy dog who came to our school for a poetry event.  Some fun facts about sharks is that they are fish. There are over 400 different types of sharks in the world and they all have amazing abilities.  They live in bodies of water all over the world - even in lakes and rivers!  I have never seen a shark in the ocean or a lake or a river before - have you?  I've only seen sharks at the aquarium.  I go to Cape Cod in the summer and Shark Week is in August.  The town of Chatham has lots of shark sightings (lots of great white sharks) during the summer because of the seals.  We do not going swimming in Chatham in August!

Some more fun facts: A shark's skeleton is made of cartilage. Sharks don't have any bones.  I have a shark tooth necklace because shark teeth fall out all the time and they grow new teeth.  They also have many rows of teeth, but only the front row is used for eating.  Sharks use their sharp teeth to rip its prey and they swallow it without even chewing!  

Not all sharks eat meat. The whale shark is the largest shark in the world. It eats a small plant called plankton and other tiny plants. I learned that most sharks have rough skin made of denticles.  It feels hard and sharp. Denticles protect sharks from harm.  Nurse sharks have smoother skin than most sharks and it feels like sandpaper.  My favorite shark is the tiger shark and he is the most aggressive along with the bull shark and great white shark.

Did you know that the goblin shark is pink?  I hope someone has seen a goblin shark before, so you can tell me more about them.  Please tell me where you live and fun facts about sharks that live near you.  I'm going to map all the shark facts on a world map.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Where in the world are you?

This weekend I helped my mom blog, The Tweet Heard Around the World. We got comments from lots of different countries. We got all 50 states and Texas and California both had the most comments with 12 responses each. Canada had the most comments of all with 22 responses. We heard from England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Holland, Dubai, Italy, France, South Africa, Singapore, Finland, Indonesia, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Istanbul, Albania, New Zealand, Guinea, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Romania, China, Germany, Denmark and Russia. It was so much fun to find all these places on a world map.

Please let me know where you are from and a fun fact about your location. We will find you on our map.

*Here's a link to my guest post on Angela Maiers' blog: Around the World With Curran. My mom got to meet Angela at #ISTE14 and here's her message to me: