Resume using infographics

I have been using a Word document for my resume. It is fairly bog standard, with the only colour being my photo. It actually covers two pages but the second one is even less interesting!

Sarah Browne CV 01.2015

I spent a lot of time exploring different types of infographic resumes and was impressed by all the different features, colour and graphics. They were certainly eye catching!

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 15.39.00                                                     Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 15.39.13

But I began to realise that most people with these colourful, interesting resumes were either in the technology or graphic design business.

What would be appropriate for someone in education? Someone looking for an elementary teacher post? 

Looking at TES and other similar sites it seems that most teachers are still using Word or Pages and that the general feeling is that education, particularly elementary is still very conservative. I then started to look at what previous Cohorts have done with this assignment. Many of them seemed to have the same feelings as me; that you need to find the fine line between safe and stand out.

So here is my new look resume.

It has colour; possibly too much. I have tried to include some different design features such as for interests and the colour blocks. I have deliberately used mainly muted colours so it isn’t too garish. I wanted to include at least one chart so I chose one for teacher experience. I have tried to keep the font uniform and taken care over the formatting. I used Piktochart and Google Drawing.

Sarah resume

Here is the link in Google Photos Resume 2017

My thoughts one the new resume:

  • It’s colourful, possibly still too much.
  • It has all the main information I want on it.
  • It still seems too crowded
  • Should I have used bullet points for all the lists?

Will I use it?

Probably not as it stands. It still certainly needs more work (when I have more time!) and I would like to get some feedback from recruiters so will definitely ask my Admin what they think. If I was to use it I would probably buy the upgrade for Piktochart so that I can access more features.

Feedback very welcome!!



Infographics and Exhibition

We are now in the Exhibition process, a busy time of the year. This means that I want to make sure that anything I use in class is useful for Exhibition but doesn’t involve too much new learning as the students already have a big workload. I am limited to apps that are free and that are compatible with Chromebooks. I have used infographics before, mainly Google ones such as Google Sheets and Lucidchart. For our place value unit we used Google MyMaps. The students planned and budgeted for a trip and plotted it on a map of the World. They could include pictures/ videos of where they were visiting and add data to each place.Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 15.59.19

Lucidchart is a Google App that you can use to create flowcharts. It is a good way of the students showing their understanding of the Exhibition process or of the different parts of their issue. This example here is a student showing her understanding of her Function concept question.

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 16.07.20

This one is a student’s understanding of the Exhibition process.

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 13.00.19

I will be introducing Piktochart to the students over the next few weeks. During the process they can use some of the infographics  to share their data after they have collected it, as an alternative to Google Sheets. We will explore some of the charts as it offers some interesting alternatives. They can embed it into their electronic presentation. Unfortunately I have found that it is difficult to print most of the infographics so for their display boards we will look at creating a poster using Piktochart as these can be printed. I have had a go at creating a chart from a former student’s Exhibition.
Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 16.33.19

This includes different elements of the Exhibition Process; passion, issue, concept questions, action etc. The students can create their own posters using any of the tools that we have used. I am sure that given some time to explore Piktochart and Lucidchart they will be a lot more adventurous than I have been!

It’s all in the way that you tell it!

I have to admit this week’s assignment made me feel a little panicky as I have very little knowledge of digital story telling and have never really addressed it with my students. After reading some of the articles and websites about digital story telling I now feel that I have a better understanding of what it is and some ideas of how I can use it in my classroom. Of course I have used some aspects of digital storytelling but only on a simple level; images and story or music with the images and story.

Especially helpful were fellow Coetailers Michelle Beard  and Dan who led me towards some wonderful resources. I also enjoyed watching the different stories Michelle has told about her sons and the different techniques she has used.

So where do I start?

What is a digital story?

It is a story that combines a story of any kind with digital content, such as images, video and sound. It is a continuation of the oral tradition of storytelling that has been around for thousands of years; communicating thoughts, ideas and traditions. Most importantly in my opinion is that it needs to connect somehow to peoples experiences.


What does a digital story need?

  • It should combine narrative with digital content.
  • It needs to have some kind of emotional pull
  • It needs to think about the audience’s perspective
  • It needs to have a purpose
  • Where possible it should be a positive voice.
  • Critical thinking as the writer has to carefully think about how to combine the audio and visual techniques to get their message across.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY it needs a story!!

Possible resources to use

  • Storybird– a good resource for reading and writing stories with images
  • Pixton– a comic strip resource
  • Screencastify- using Google Slides with video and sound or images.
  • Powtoon– animation
  • iMovie- video, images, sound

The choices seem endless but some of the tools are quite expensive so I feel it is best to look for ones that have a free or lite version such as Storybird and Screencastify. I also am limited to tools that can be used with Chrome books as those are the computers my students mainly have access to.

How will I use digital storytelling in my classroom?

We have just recently had a visiting author Marc Levitt at our school. He has been talking to the students about writing stories and shared his website on Third Culture Kids with my Grade 5’s. We have already begun by looking at some of the stories that other students have shared on the website. His technique is to get the students to tell their stories orally first and to ‘interview’ the student by getting them to really think about how they felt when they had that experience. What could they see? Where were they exactly? What sounds could they hear? How did it make them feel? A great way of connecting to their experiences.

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 13.22.18

So we have started to explore their own stories orally and our next step will be to create a story map. A story map helps the students to see that there can be ups and downs in a story. The story has to emotionally grab the viewer. I will then get them to work on the story script. I particularly liked Jason Ohler’s idea about using a story table.

Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 12.24.38

I think then I will get them to use Screencastify to tell their stories digitally. I will share Michelle’s example with them.

Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 12.20.50

Looking through the work that my students have been doing I can see the opportunities for them to use digital storytelling as a way of communicating their ideas and stories. After Exhibition we do our How We Express Ourselves unit and we treat this almost like a mini exhibition where they can choose any aspect of the transdisciplinary theme. This looks like a great opportunity to develop the idea of digital storytelling further and maybe branch out into some other ways such as through video and maybe looking at some mash ups to give more inspiration.



Presentation simplification

It is that time of year again. PYP Exhibition began this week. The next 7 weeks will have many ups and downs both for the students and myself but it will all be worth it when we get to X-Day on April 13th and the students will be able to share their learning and efforts with the whole school community. The Exhibition really involves the whole community as we all have to be there to support the students. The teachers that work with them in different subject areas, the mentors and the many members of staff who are willing to be interviewed and surveyed as the students carry out their research.

We have begun this year by getting the students to put themselves on the Fullan Learning Curve.

Fullan's Learning Curve

This shows their feelings about the Exhibition and as they can move their post-it at any time during the process we will be able to see how they are feeling at different times.

Another important group are the parents as they have to support the children with their work as well as their emotional ups and downs. So we always have a meeting with the parents in the first week of Exhibition. At this meeting we try to cover different aspects of the Exhibition, the parents role etc.

I decided to look at the presentation that we have used for the Parents in the Exhibition meeting. We have used this presentation for 2 or 3 years and just tweaked it a little each year.

As you can see there is a LOT of information in this presentation. There are also lots of photos and images that make the presentation very BUSY!

I decided to try and simplify the presentation by:

  • Taking out a lot of the text. From my reading I learned that the audience don’t really need a lot of text. They should be able to read everything from a distance, thus making it easier to listen to the presenter and the details can be given in a handout. On some pages of this presentation, such as the Process page and the assessment page we have writing that it is almost impossible to see. So instead of straining to read this tiny print the parents can listen to what we have to say.
  • Only including images that were completely relevant to the presentation and that helped to get the message across to the audience.
  • To try and incorporate CRAP into my presentation.

Here is the new presentation. I think there is a big improvement and it is a lot more accessible to the parents.

Unfortunately despite all my efforts to have a clean, simple presentation for the parents to enjoy there was one aspect I had not considered: what would happen if on the day the power wasn’t working. So unfortunately on the day we had to present without an actual presentation and so you are the first people to actually see it! Oh well, there’s always next year.


Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 12.34.50

A strong image can convey a powerful message

My students were presenting their personal inquiry projects that had been inspired by the reading of Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin. They had identified themes and ideas inspired by the book and were inquiring into them; Young Pioneers, Stalin, KGB, propaganda etc.

One of the students was sharing her findings about propaganda posters and I realised that the designers of those really had a good understanding of media literacy. This poster is telling people to reject and stamp out drunkenness, laziness etc


There is good use of CRAP, the rule of thirds has been used and this is definitely an example of a picture being more powerful than words.

This gave me the idea of asking the students to find a picture that represented for them the issue that they were inquiring into for their summative assessment. The Central Idea is:

Government systems and decisions can promote or deny equal opportunities and social justice. 

The students have been asked to identify an issue that a government is dealing with and to find out about the issue and the different perspectives on it.

I asked them to look at the following questions and think about  their chosen image in the context of these questions.

1. Who is the producer/storyteller of the message?

2. What is their purpose/motive/agenda?
(to inform, to persuade, to educate, to call to action, to entertain, to shock)

3. Who is the intended (primary) target audience?

4. What does the message say? How does it say it?

This activity was great for my students as it got them to really think about the importance of the image and the message that they are trying to convey. They have a tendency to ‘litter’ their presentations with pictures and this got them to think to think about that and whether just one image may have more impact. It also helped them to clarify their understanding of the issue that they are inquiring into at the beginning of the process.






Speak up! It’s not all about reading and writing.

At the beginning of this week I eagerly read the different articles on how to design better with CRAP and how to make more work visually more interesting and eye catching and decided that I would spend time at the weekend making my Blog look more interesting and using some of the skills I had learned. Great plan! Except I hadn’t counted on not being able to access the internet for most of the weekend. So back to the drawing board- almost literally!
I had also been reading about oracy and School 21 in London and had found myself really getting interested in what they had to say.
George Lucas said:
We live and work in a visually sophisticated world, so we must be sophisticated in using all the forms of communication, not just the written word.

In my school, and in most elementary schools I believe, the big focus is always on reading and writing.  We have speaking and listening learning outcomes but they never seem to be a priority when it comes to planning.  I always pride myself on the discussions that I have in class with my students and love that in my school there is time for us to discuss issues and express our feelings. But I do feel especially after reading about the work that are doing in School 21 that there is a lot more that I could be doing.

I loved the way that such a focus was put on the organisation, content and delivery of what the students had to say and how much was done to guide them.

One of the teachers at the school said “It’s getting the children to think about their conversations meta-cognitively that leads to their success.”

In the video we saw how the students are given sentence starters ( something we use a lot in writing to support) and a lot of guidance on different group structures, how to listen and respond and vocabulary that they can use to take the thinking further. Through their talk they are being made to reason and to think more about their reasoning.


This school has been working with Cambridge University on developing oracy.  Professor of Education, Neil Mercer talks about the importance of teaching speaking and listening for the sake of social equality. If our students are taught how to speak and listen well, so that they can communicate at the highest levels, they will achieve more in the future. Interthinking is increased when people talk and collaborate. Future employers will look favourably on those that can communicate effectively in different ways.

I am inspired by this school to try and introduce some of their ideas into my teaching. We are currently doing a unit on governments, social justice and equal opportunities and I’m sure you can imagine that there have been some very interesting discussions, considering current events in the World. One of the activities that School 21 use is Talking Points, where the students discuss a statement such as “Governments are responsible for their citizens welfare” This is exactly what we have done in class but I love the ideas for supporting the conversation.

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 10.22.11

Picture from:


I decided to make some changes to the original blog which was very simple and not very inspiring to look at.

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 10.08.27Then

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 13.11.48



This is what I had. A rather uninspiring picture with the title of the blog not a great contrast. No proper menu and no widgets.

I have now chosen a different theme- Oxygen and have tried to customise it so that it is more interesting to look at and easier to navigate. I now have a menu and widgets that have the most recent posts and comments listed. Everything is categorised correctly, so it should be easier to use. The colours are fairly contrasting and I chose them because they represent Ukraine, which is an important part of my life right now. I chose this theme because I liked having a picture featured with the blog post on it. Hopefully it will convey something of what the blog post is about.