Engaging with a Broader Community

On Monday night, I participated in #COLchat, a twitter edchat based in Michigan. I heard about it through Kelly, who RT’d their chat reminder.

Screen Shot 2019-02-11 at 5.02.19 PM

I was initially really nervous because I kept thinking about how it might be too fast-paced for me, but it was all for nothing; the chat was actually monitored by two people instead of one — Frank Bellomo and Walter Kozlowski — which made it easier to follow along. They would alternate between posting questions, and take their time; they also answered each others’ questions which helped all the other participants get to know them better, as well! I made lots of new connections and found new people to follow.

Using Tweetdeck was really advantageous because it made it so easy to keep track of tweets. I created five columns:

This format worked for me because I could keep track of all the tweets in the chat, the tweets that the moderators and I were sending out, and any replies or conversations that I was a part of.

The main theme of the chat was the information we (and our students) input. This lead to some interesting and informative conversations. Screenshotted below are some of the interactions I really enjoyed; some of the answers to Q6 of the chat (including @fbellomoB’s own) and some responses to Q2. It was great to have other members of the #edtc300 community be a part of this chat as well, as we really got to interact with one another.




“The Three P’s” of Hand-Lettering

Caroline Winegeart over at Hand-Lettering for Beginners has proven to be a great source of information on my journey, and she is super organized! I stumbled across her blog and was excited to see that she had a post on getting started where she mentioned “The Three P’s” of hand-lettering. These are:

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Process
  3. Practice

What she means by this is, first of all, you must pay attention to fonts and writing around you. There is no one set font that must be used for hand-lettering; it’s about your own unique style. However, a lot of hand-lettering is inspired by the larger community, and it’s a good idea to become familiar with different styles.

Secondly, take your time. This is not a skill that can be learned overnight. It’s okay to make mistakes, and try things differently!

Lastly, as with most skills, practice makes perfect. It’s a good idea to try out different styles and practice with different tools and methods.

To start off, I am using a few different writing tools. These include Zebra MildlinersPaperMate Flair pens, and double-ended markers from Buffalo. I’m using this Piccadilly sketchbook to practice in; the paper is really good for practicing using different mediums.


One of the tips I’ve learned from Hand-Lettering for Beginners is trying to make the downstrokes thicker, which can be done by either using more pressure, or by thickening the downstrokes after writing out the words. To start this journey, I decided to try my hand at writing out the concept I’m trying to instill in my brain: The Three P’s! I wrote out the title with a black marker, and then thickened the downstrokes using a purple marker for contrast. For the actual points, I tried to use the purple marker only, and I tried putting more pressure on the downstrokes. I don’t really see too much of a difference, but that could be because of the marker I used. I think I much prefer the “thicken-after-drawing” method. Something I would want to focus on for the future is making sure my thickening is even throughout so that the letters look more uniform.


I’d love any comments, feedback, or suggestions! Thanks for reading.

Feedly-ing Me Amazing Content!

screen shot 2019-01-30 at 3.10.55 pm

I honestly cannot believe that I have never used Feedly before. I didn’t even know it existed until last week, but now that I do, there’s no going back! It is such an easy website/app to use, and it seamlessly organizes content to suit my needs. I am just trying out the free version for now but I’m seriously considering upgrading in the future because the searchable hashtags make it so that I can literally sort these websites and articles based on any of my interests, not just career-related ones.

For instance, the three feeds I chose to create are #Education, #EdTech, and #Poetry. The first two are feeds that can help me better my practice as a teacher, and the last is one that can aid my creativity. It actually also allows for access to content that, as an ELA teacher, I can save and use in poetry units in the future; I really want to break out of the cycle of using just the “classics”, as great as some of them are.

When choosing which websites to add to my feeds, I actually utilized my twitter account. I chose a lot of the websites that I follow on twitter already, because I know that I find their content interesting. I also used the “preview” feature to browse through recent articles on those sites, to see if they appealed to me. Also, I realized the importance of keeping an eye on the “articles per week” and “relevance” bars at the bottom of each accounts blurb. For instance, I saw a website that seemed interesting because of its tagline: “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking”.

I was immediately drawn to this, but upon further investigation, I realized that the last post on this website was 11 months ago! Now, I don’t think it’s ideal to include this website in my Feedly, as I want it to be current. However, I ended up bookmarking this website anyway because some of the articles on there are well-written and I definitely want to read more. That’s another perk of Feedly — the ability to discover new blogs, news sources, and educators that are using technology to share resources and tips with their fellow teachers.

screen shot 2019-01-30 at 1.33.05 pm

Learning Project: Hand-Lettering

For my learning project, I’ve decided to try my hand (ha!) at modern calligraphy. This is sometimes called hand-lettering or brush-lettering. I was intrigued by this because I started bullet journaling last year and I want to make mine look a little more fancy.

To do this, I will mostly be using instagram and youtube — the bullet journaling and hand-lettering communities are very active on these platforms, and there are countless videos to choose from.

As well, I discovered a website called Skillshare, which offers free (and paid) only classes and tutorials on just about anything. I found a few different hand-lettering teachers on there that I will look into.

Here are a few of them:

















Hey, EDTC 300 Fam!

I’m Zunaira, and this is the last semester of my degree! That fact is something that still feels so surreal to me; these four years have flown by extremely quickly. I am an English major and an Inclusive Ed minor, and I’m looking forward to passing on my passion for both when I start teaching.

I’m so excited to learn more about technology as an educator. When it comes to technology in general, I’m familiar with sites/apps such as Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, Goodreads, and most of the Google workspace apps.

Some of these, such as Twitter and Instagram, I’m more used to as social platforms rather than professional ones, so I’m excited to see how I can implement them in my career. I know there are huge teacher communities on both!

I was able to use Google apps (such as Docs, Slides, Classroom, etc) during my internship and I found that my students and I both loved them. They made handing things in and marking super fast and convenient. Also, the quiz feature was great for formative assessment and exit slips! If anyone has questions about Google apps, feel free to ask me and I’ll help as best as I can.

I also love Goodreads — it’s like a social network for book lovers. I work at Chapters, I’m an English (preservice) teacher, and so, of course, I love books. Goodreads is the best because you can track not only how many books you read throughout the year, but your progress for each book as well. I introduced this app to my students during internship and they ended up using it to track their reading progress for their novel studies. It’s a small little thing but they loved it, and best of all, it made them want to read! I highly recommend looking into it.

When it comes to blogging, I’m looking forward to learning more because I have started a number of times and end up feeling overwhelmed. I run a “bookstagram” where I review and recommend books, and last year I started a blog to go with it. I ended up feeling like a blog was a lot more to keep up with and it didn’t get very far. Hopefully, this class can help me learn how to blog efficiently without feeling stressed about a time commitment or a “quota” to fill, and to instead see it as something to enjoy. I think there is so much potential for blogging to help connect to like-minded people, whether it is related to a passion or to professional development. Also, I’ve learned that the blogging platform is the most important thing and that it’s vital to use one that’s best for you. I personally love WordPress, and some others that I’ve tried and tested include Wix and Weebly. WordPress seems to be the easiest to use, to me anyway.

Some of the things I love include:

  • reading (you can check out my “bookstagram” here)
  • writing poetry
  • coffee
  • listening to (and discovering new) music
  • watching Marvel movies
  • reading Marvel comics
  • buying Marvel merch
  • …okay I just really love Marvel
I love anything Spider-Man related! Fun fact: I designed that Venom shirt myself and got it printed. A fun project that I took on back over the summer.
  • spending time with my family (especially my 5yo brother)
  • finding new cafes to study/read at
  • the great outdoors
  • scented candles
  • my two kitties (they have their own instagram too!)
Lilly and Enzo!

Feel free to connect with me! Follow this blog, and you can find me on twitter here.