Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Unicorn Crossing!

Lucy and I are the huge fans of Phoebe and Her Unicorn series.  It is originated from a daily web comic strip on GoComics by cartoonist Dana Simpson, but we discovered in a form of a book a few years about and it became our daughter -mother thing :-) We read it together aloud she reads Phoebe and I am Marigold :-)

It just happened  Last week that the newest book (#5) came out and  Lucy was rewarded at her school with the trip to Barnes and Noble and her choice of one book (yes, her school does that! ).  Can you guess what was her choice?

Lucy, me and Unicorn Crossing book

What a treat! It is funny, geeky, and perfect for a smart 9 year old girl, and her mom :-) I love my little girl and her enthusiasm for reading <3

I shared the picture and thank the author via Twitter, and she retweeted our post:

twitter clipping

Lucy was thrilled. It is good to know that person that writes "our book" is real and we can thank her. It makes a possibility to be an author some day more real too.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


I introduced OSMO to my girls last year.
I gave Lilian (then 5) the Osmo Tangram and observed how she will deal with the unknown product:

After a little help with reading some set up words on screen, she quickly became comfortable enough to teach her twin sister.
Then it was Lucy (8) and her friends time to crack the rules of Osmo Numbers and it too went very well. It took a team work and you can even hear Lili voice giving them advices:

One of my CTELE students volunteer in a tutoring center. She has a boy with ADHD and is behind in his reading abilities.  I gave her OSMO words to see if that will help with his attention... And it worked!  The boy was engaged and intrigued!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Jak myśl sprzed lat,
Jak wspomnień ślad
Wraca dziś Pamięć
o tych, których nie ma...
~Krzysztof Klenczon -Biały Krzyż

As the thought of years ago,
as the memories of the track
returns today the memory
of those that are not ...

All Saints' and All Souls Day in Poland

Polish cemetery
Polish cemetery at night with many candles

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Last word to my Summer students

Hi all,
You are done with the Educational Technology and Design course. Congratulations! It was not an easy task, and I am full of respect for you. Take a last look at your grades and comments. Few of you still have some unresolved issues, perhaps I overlooked something. Please make sure that everything is done soon. I need to submit grades tomorrow by 11 am.

Looking back
  • You had an opportunity to think about current technology trends, 21st century teaching and learning, visual, information, and media literacies.
  • You analyzed the audience and designed for them a unit of instructions based on the Iowa Core standards.
  • You created a website to host there a collaborative, inquiry oriented, multidisciplinary activity that provides students with the complex task and a guided internet search (WebQuest).
  • You put yourself in your students' shoes and walked trough an experience of creating the digital video from script, storyboard, peer revision, through the gathering or creating the digital resources, to editing the audio and video and publishing ready video to the world wide audience.
  • You grew your digital footprint by engaging in social media as a professional (Twitter, blog, Pinterest).
  • You are pretty much a pro in Google apps AND
  • You gained new colleagues! 

Quite an accomplishment in six  short weeks!

I would like you to remember four acronyms/phrases from the course that will add to your professional language and guide your future:

  1. TPACK - http://tpack.org/ Remember the TPACK model from the first lecture? The big Venn diagram that shows Technology, Pedagogy and Content knowledge should be always your guide when selecting methods, content and tools for your instructions. You need to aim for the sweet spot, which is an intersection of the three.
  2. 4Cs for 21st century http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/4csposter.pdf- Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity - everything in your class should somehow support the development of at least one of them. Otherwise it is just a bunch of busy work. 
  3. CARP - this one is related to how you design all the wonderful resources for your students, and also how you can teach them the principals of visual design to be educated creators. The acronym stands for Contrast, Alignment, Repetition and Proximity and it was explained in detail in our Visual literacy lecture. 
  4. Transformative Learning approach - http://www.uni.edu/coe/TransformativeLearning - This model was created by UNI professors and is quickly becoming a hit around the country. Look at the text in each petal of the transformative learning flower. Can you align it with what we did in this class? Can you envision your own class and teaching aligned with this model? Perhaps you can blog about it? 

You professional digital footprint and your PLN should grow beyond this course. You are the new generation of educators and you will teach kids to be ready to face the global culture, where the critical thinking, flexibility, ability to collaborate, create and think outside of box is a must. Do not let your students down.

Good luck to you and thank you for the class.

As an inspirational cherry on top I would like to leave you with this short but great talk by Rita Pierson, because it is true that Every Kid Needs a Champion:

Magda Galloway

Thursday, March 10, 2016

An Hour of Code

I finally got my hour of code certificate!

an hour of code certificate

I procrastinated it for a while, even though my own kids started to play with a coding some time ago. And guess what? It was super easy. I have no idea while I was demonizing it for so long.  I had to finally do it because I wanted my C-TELE (Creating Technology Enhanced Learning Environment) students to complete it as well.

Lucy's school uses code.org activities. At home she played with Cargo-Bot  last year but she got discouraged when it got more difficult.  Lilian went through The Code Studio activities for little kids and she loves The Foos
Vivian prefers Toca Builders, which is more in the flavor of a Mindcraft for preschoolers

Here are my awesome C-TELE students and their certificates <3 nbsp="" p="">

CTELE students with their certificates

Monday, February 15, 2016

Information Literacy - resources for a workshop

meme: one does not simply save cancer by pressing like button
meme by imgflip

Information literacy is more than possessing information. Information literacy is the ability "to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information." (ACRL, 2000)

Resources for the activities during the presentation:

PollEv.com/maggda or text keyword to 22333

Scrutinize the websites below. Can you find an argument to support or discredit the legitimacy of your website? How can you prove it? Can you see the purpose behind the website? Could you use it in your classroom?

Exhibit A: Save the Octopus!

Exhibit B: Vaccination Gateway to Drugs

Exhibit C: A Kid in Need

Exhibit D: MLK Homework

Exhibit E: Save a Buck

Exhibit F: Zombie Attack?

Exhibit G: Black People Love Us

You may use steps from the Internet Detective website the Detective Work section and Stephen Downe's Principles for Evaluating Websites  (resources below)

What kid of practical steps can you and your students take to critically evaluate information found on the Internet?
Big 6 and Super3  models of how people should solve an information strategies. Super 3 is a simplified model for the youngest students.  Here is a handout (developed by two educators, Michael B. Eisenberg and Robert E. Berkowitz)   http://big6.com/media/freestuff/Big6Handouts.pdf

Additional resources:

ISTE Standards for students connection:  Standard # 3:Research and Information Fluency:
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
ISTE  Standards for teachers connection:  2 d. Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning

Siemens and Downes theory of connectivism:
snopes.com -Reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation
truthorfiction.com - Get the truth about rumors, inspirational stories, virus warnings, hoaxes, scams, humorous tales, pleas for help, urban legends, prayer requests, calls to action, and other forwarded emails.
hoax-slayer.com - dedicated to" debunking email hoaxes, thwarting Internet scammers, combating spam, and educating web users about email and Internet security issues"
sourcewatch.org - collaborative resource for  documented information about the corporations, industries, and people trying to influence public policy and public opinion
domaintools.com - collection of domain name ownership records in the world (also look easywhois.com)
sweetsearch.com -  a research based multimedia tutorial that teaches effective web research skills to both educators and students

EDUCASE article  Information Literacy: A neglected Core Competency 
Dulcinea Media - A student friendly suit of search engines and web resources
Proclamation by president Barack Obama (2009) establishing October as National Information Literacy Awareness Month.
headstone: died from not forwarding that email to ten people

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Snicker of Magic and Twitter.

Check this out!
Lucy and I are reading a Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd for her Battle of the Books and the Reading Challenge. We both LOVE the book so much that I started following an author on Twitter.
Lucy and Magda reading book

I sent her a tweet with us reading and... Ms. Lloyd responded!   She thanked us and then tweeted that she loves our picture “times infinity”. She also reposted it with her memories added:

Clipping of tweet by Natalie Lloyd

Natalie Lloyd twitted: @maggda I love this picture times infinity

How Awesome is that !? Lucy was beyond happy.  We rarely think that authors of our favorite books may not only be still among us, but also happy to connect with their fans. How cool would it be if teachers in Lucy's classes connect with the other authors?

I also follow on Twitter 
J.K. Rowling - Author of the Harry Potter
John Green -Author of “The Fault in Our Stars”
Peter Reynolds the author and illustrator of famous "The Dot" and illustrator of Judy Moody series.
Mo Willems' Pigeon  feed
and many more
There are also good authors to follow on Facebook: Eric Carle, Shel Silverstein, Markus Zusak, Gillian Flynn and more.  
Remember, if the authors wish to remain private they would not have open public accounts on social media! Connect with them, and if you are teacher, connect your students with them.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

'There are no shocking pictures, only shocking reality' - Oliviero Toscani

Oliviero Toscani
Oliviero Toscani
Background Kissing Nun (1992) 
Challenging the principle of 
religious celibacy
Oliviero Toscani, is one of my favorite visual artists. This awesomely controversial Italian photographer that shaped the image of United Color of Benetton in the 80's and 90's,  keeps in awe the world with his creativity,  crude images, provocative messages, and bold fight for social change.  His art serves as fuel for debates and make people think.

I often use his images when introducing the principals of visual design (or CARP model) , when talking about diversity, visual literacy or  media influences on our self image.

His work has as many critics as praisers. Some say he has no right to use serious subjects to sell as trivial thing as clothes. Or that he is just an arrogant scandal seeker.  Other applauding his ability to be more than just an advertiser. You be the judge! Here is my pro list

√ He helped raise AIDS awareness . While advertising Benetton Toscani made a decision to show the reality of dying of AIDS.  The controversy around the image came form similarity to pieta paintings.  But despite the disputes related to sacrilegious message, the elephant in the room  an AIDS  problem was also addressed.

David Kirby dying of AIDS and his family.
David Kirby dying of AIDS and his family. 
Photo taken by Therese Frare in Ohio SU Hospital (1990) 

√ He spoke against war.  1991 campaign featured cemetery in France with rows of crosses and one star of David. The message was quite simple : When you die it does not matter who you are, what is your rank, social status,  nationality, or religion. In war the death is the only victor.  

War Cemetery - rows of crosses and one star of david
1991 "War Cemetery" Ad appeared in Italian media few days
before Gulf War and was immediately banned.

Uniform of dead Croat soldier Marinko Gagro killed in the Bosnian war
1994 Allegedly Uniform of dead Croat soldier
Marinko Gagro killed in the Bosnian war

√ He spoke against racism.  In 1984 the 'All Colors of the World' campaign he photographed multicultural group of young people wearing Benetton clothes. It was the first time when such a diverse group  appeared together in a positive light in an Italian advertising. 

Interestingly, all his race related campaigns sparked heated debates and were often accused of being racist. The breastfeeding ad according to critics does not show the racial harmony but rather suggest black servitude. Because of outrage of unspecified African -American organization  Benetton withdrawn the ad in United States. The rest of the world praised the concept and the art.

Black woman breast-feeding white baby i
1989 campaign for equality. Black woman breast-feeding white
baby is the most-awarded image in Benetton's advertising history

black and white kid on a potty
1990 The theme of multiculturalism
 appropriate for 'United Colors' 
was a main theme for almost 10 years

3 similar hearts labeled white, black, yellow
Hearts 1996. 
Critics called it the most racist.
They are actually pigs hearts.

√ He spoke against death penalty.  The 'We, On Death Row'  2000 campaign feature death-row inmates and the slogan 'Sentenced to Death'. It stirred so much controversy that Toscani had to leave Benetton after being their Creative Director for 18 years.

2000. The On Death Row campaign 
was the reason why he left Benetton

√ He fought for gay rights.   In 2005 he managed to piss of the Catholic groups (again!)  by putting homosexuals in rather shocking positions while advertising Ra-Re clothing brand.
The campaign came in a middle of 
 ongoing debate in Italy about gay rights.

√ Working for No-li-ta clothing company he took part in fight against anorexia. 

2007 French model/actress Isabelle Caro (1982 – 2010)
Suffered from severe anorexia nervosa 
With ad she became the face of anorexia fight

√ He took part in promoting tolerance and global love.  Recently in 2011 the Benetton foundation launched  the 'Unhate' campaign.  'A campaign to combat the culture of hate'. Which contrary to its message, evoke extremely strong reactions.
The ad showing doctored image of Pope Benedict XVI kissing a top Egyptian imam on the lips was withdrawn almost immediately after the Vatican denounced it as an "unacceptable" provocation.

2011 Storefront in Paris. German Chancellor Angela Merkel 
kissing French President Nicolas Sarkozy 
and Chinese President Hu Jintao kissing Barack Obama

2011. Pope Benedict XVI kissing 
an Egyptian imam Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb 
withdrawn after the Vatican denounced it as provocation.

What's next maestro? Oil dependency? Green Planet? Crazy parents agains vaccination? Crazy governments against birth control? Exploitation of illegal immigrants? Children trafficking? The distribution of wealth? There is so much shocking cruelty, stupidity, ignorance, shortsightedness, -isms in the world...

Or perhaps it's time to focus solely on positives ? I love the direction taken be the Benneton group and the UNHATE Foundation. I like the idea of focusing on the new generation.

The Toscani's  legacy is visible in every Benneton project.  The Raza Umana Italia  latest project by Oliviero Toscani Studio looks interesting but I am waiting for his next BIG international move!

Oh, and by the way, the Benetton advertisement did it's magic on me :-)  I really enjoy their classic clothing line for kids.

2011 - Vivi & Lili exploring  the cavities :-) ©


I started this post quite some time ago, but every time I thought that I am ready to finish it I had to stumbled upon yet another interesting piece of information or a new image! As usually, when you deal with fascinating subject, you found yourself few hours later with the nagging feeling that you need to learn more ;-)
Here are some of the better resources I used to educate myself on the subject:

  • http://toscani.com/
  • United Color of Benetton. Case Study (pdf)
  • Creative Review - Benetton Hits Middle Age 
  • The True Colors of Oliviero Toscani by Eric J. Lyman 
  • P. Rutherford, (2000) Endless propaganda: The Advertising of Public Goods; University of Toronto Press
  • O. Toscani (1997) Reklama uśmiechnięte ścierwo; Warszawa. Agencja Wydawnicza Delta (oryg. fr. La Pub est une charogne qui nous sourit (Reliure inconnue) 1995)
Ps. This is an updated repost. I originally created it in March 2012 but the subject keeps coming back :-) 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bucket list - revisited again

Time to revisit my bucket list. I revisited it in December 14, so I think it is time for some updates:-)

I was able to check a couple of items on my list , but not too much. I was able to fulfill my other big dream, that was not a part of my bucket list. We about to purchase a beautiful house with a large yard and a trampoline -which made my kiddos very happy :-)
The list is not in order. I think Tokyo, Havana, TED conference, and live long enough to spoil my grandkids are still my front-runners! 
  • Listen to a good music in Havana, Cuba  - with the plan of opening of the US Embassy in Cuba in July 2015 it just become more real! 
  • Experience Tokyo with Rob
  • Walk with Lucy on a Great Wall of China
  • Show kids Paris from the Eiffel tower
  • Eat Crabs in Main
  • Visit Alaska
  • See the Stonehenge in England
  • Eat again sourdough bread and seafood at San Francisco’s Fisherman's Wharf
  • Visit Olympic Peninsula
  • See the Presepolis in Iran
  • See the old city of Jerusalem
  • Visit New Orleans (We did that in 2012 on our 10th wedding anniversary! )
  • Take kids on an African safari
  • Visit Kremlin
  • See original Kiss by Klimt
  • See the Les Miserable  on Broadway
  • See Mama Mia on Broadway
  • Visit the Salvador Dali Museum is an art museum in St. Petersburg, Florida
  • See Blondie on stage
  • See Madonna in Concert
  • Attend Pitbull Concert (Rob gave me a ticket for Christmas! I went to see Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias on Feb 21, 2015! I went with my nieces Emily and Elyse. We had VIP tickets and had a blast dancing right next to the stage)
  • Become sustainable member of NPR and IPR - done
  • Become a Google certified Teacher
  • Become a Google Certified Education Trainer (as a teacher of EdTech&Design, I kind of am, but not certified)
  • Know at least a little about every marvel listed on the UNESCO's World Heritage list 
  • Finish Doctorate
  • Read all Terry Pratchets
  • Buy an  RV camper 
  • See the performance at Sydney Opera House http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/
  • Fly for a date with Rob to Hawaii
  • Visit Every Continent!
  • Visit Salvador Dali Museum in in Catalonia, Spain.
  • Send my girls to college
  • Learn to ski (started winter  2014-2015. We went a few times to Sundown and put together the ski sets for the whole family. It is a good start. We could not continue this past winter because we were planning to purchase the new home)
  • Learn to swim
  • Own a piano
  • Learn to play piano :-)
  • Ride on a horse in some scenic location
  • Participate in a carnival in Rio - I do not have to worry about ZIKA virus!
  • Have my brother visiting me in the US
  • Visit my brother in Ireland
  • To have my parents visiting me here again - My mom will come in May for 3 months and my dad will join us for a few weeks! 
  • Tour CNN -I did that partially past summer (2015)! We went to Atlanta and visit the CNN building built, but our destination point was to tour the set of The Walking Dead so we did not have time for the CNN tour
  • Be in a live audience during Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show (too late)
  • Be in a live audience during  Colbert Report (too late, but there is still a Late Show option)
  • Organize my attic - Ha! That got solved with the move to the new home. I finally opened the old trunk that I purchased with the house. It was full of  old linen and a sailor uniform.  I need to take it to The Grout museum- perhaps they will find it valuable to them. 
  • Attend TED conference
  • Put a little free library in front of my house
  • Spoil rotten my grandchildren  :-)