Creative Commons Resources – Elementary

Resource:  Free Reading – A free reading intervention site that I was able to reach through Curriki.  Free Reading has many lessons on phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and writing. There are also links to free printable literacy resources, literature links and videos.

Use:  I would use this for elementary reading/language arts. There are many specific lessons. One example would be to explain the author’s purpose in a reading selection.

NETS*S: 3 & 4

Free Reading


Resource:  Meet Me At The Corner, Virtual Fieldtrips for Kids – This was another site that I linked to from Curriki. This sight has dozens of educational video fieldtrips on everything from playing chess to the art of Falconry. It also includes follow-up questions which could be completed individually or in groups. There are also video book reviews.

Use:  I would use these videos for science, social studies, language arts, music, and cultural studies. This site shows kids how to video a book review and they can upload it to the site.

NETS*S:  1 & 2

Meet Me At The Corner Virtual Fieldtrips and Book Reviews


Resource:  Interactive Math Dictionary – This site was accessed through Curriki. It has definitions and interactive visuals for many math terms from line segment to order of operations to hypotenuse. There are also printable math charts as well.

Use:  I think this site would be useful to introduce a new math topic to the whole class or as a quick review. It would also be a good resource if I was doing a math journal with my class.

NETS*S:  4

Interactive Math Dictionary/Charts


Resource:  Spin Xpress – A site where you can create video through collaboration or search for creative commons media.

Use:  I think this site would be useful to search for overview videos for topics or quick review. I think you could find videos in just about any subject. A quick search revealed to me that I could find photos of national memorials, or a music video on cell biology by Untamed Science.

NETS*S:  1 &2

Spin Xpress

Resource:  My Science Box – a site with a creative commons attribution, non-commercial 2.5 license. This site has hands-on, K-12, classroom-tested science lesson plans developed by a former middle school teacher and contributed by others. The author is currently an assistant professor at Cal. State – Chico. The content is organized by grade level, concepts, and type of activity.

Use:  I would use the Terraqua Columns mini-ecosystem activity to help students make and record observations on soil and water quality. This could be recorded using technology. I would also use the Food Chain activity with printable food chain cards.

NETS*S:  4

My Science Box

Resource:  Wikimedia Commons – a database of freely usable media files. Includes a picture of the day, media of the day, and today in images section.

Use:  I would use the Pacific Northwest landforms gallery to have students select and research a landform of their choice. I would also use the media of the day feature at the beginning of the school day or as a science opener. I also would use this site to have students find images for state research projects.

NETS*S:  1, 2, 3

Wikimedia Commons


Resource:  Storybird – this is a site where you can use artist’s pictures to illustrate your stories. You can also collaborate on stories with family or friends. Artists can contribute pictures. You can read other’s stories. The stories are categorized from preschool to adult and by theme.

Use:  I would use this site to have small groups collaborate on writing a story and then share it with the class. I would either allow them to pick a theme or coordinate a theme with a broader classroom study such as animals.

NETS*S:  1,2



Resource: RESCu – This site was developed in the Rice University Elementary Science Lab. It is divided by Earth/Space Science, Physical Science, and Life Science. It is also organized by grade level from K-5.

Use:  I would use this site for supplementing elementary science units. For example, they have an excellent unit on weather, including how to make a windsock, literacy connections to this topic and a writing prompt. There is also an interactive review game.

NETS*S:  1,3



Resource:  ck-12 – Non-profit foundation creating STEM content lessons in multi-modalities.

Use:  There are many math lessons that I would use from this site depending on the grade level I was teaching. Under the primary math lessons, each lesson includes problems to read, related vocabulary, guided practice, independent practice and interactive practice. Sometimes there is a video to review the concept. I would use the whole number addition, subtraction, multiplication and mental math activities.



Resource:  You Tube

Use:  Enter my topic or subject and select the filter of creative commons. I would use this for introducing or reviewing math, science, language arts, and social studies topics. Some examples might be text structure: chronological order , non-fiction text features , addition , our community.

NETS*S: 1, 2

You Tube

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Primary Sources

Ten Public Domain Resources

Wesson describes primary sources as “the raw materials of history—original documents and objects which were created at the time under study” ( Wesson, 2011).  “Primary Sources are original textual (e.g., letter, diaries, speeches) and nontextual sources (e.g., photographs, drawings) of information that are available to learn more about a time period, person, or particular event. (Morgan & Rasinski, 2012).

  • Primary Sources at Yale: Links and search tools for all Yale libraries and museums containing  many primary sources including  music, art, sound recordings, oral histories, maps, realia, and visual materials. I would use this for accessing pictures and audio recordings especially related to science themes (tree frogs, rocks, etc.), and history.

         NETS*S 3

  • Library of Congress: Contains a teacher’s guide to using primary sources as well as links to primary sources by popular themes, by state, by topic, and by source set. I would use this site to find primary sources in history, art, science and maps.

         NETS*S 3 & NETS*T 2, 3

  • The National Archives: Teacher resources for getting started with primary sources. This site contains many images, graphs, charts, maps, audio, and video of American History. I would use this to supplement historical study and give background to national holidays and events.

         NETS*S 3 & NETS*T 2, 3

  • National Geographic: Links to collections of photographs for science, social studies, and geography. I would use this in the classroom for many inquiries which might include weather studies, animal studies, and landform studies.

         NETS*S 3

  • Smithsonian: A vast collection of images, sound files, works of art, and specimens. I would use these to study classic works of art, science topics, culture and history with students.

         NETS*S 3

  • Digital History: A timeline presentation of links to historical documents, court cases, newspaper articles and obituaries. There are also links to other sites with primary sources. I would use this site for social studies lessons and searching for poetry documents.

         NETS*S 3

  • Astronomy Picture of the Day: Pictures from June of 1995 to the present with a different picture each day. I would use these pictures when studying the solar system, constellations, astronauts, nebulae, galaxies etc.

         NETS*S 3

  • Repositories of Primary Sources: A listing of many websites by continent, country, and state which gives links to artifacts, and photographs from many museums, colleges, universities, and other collections. I would use this to look up artifacts that would be relevant to state and cultural studies.

         NETS*S 3

  • American Rhetoric’s Top 100 Speeches:  This site has a collection of the most important speeches from American history and original recordings of some speeches. I would use this to access famous speeches to supplement the social studies curriculum. Many of the speeches could be used during relevant units, and some could be used prior to holidays.  For example, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech could be shown prior to the holiday. I would give students a graphic organizer to key them into certain aspects of the speech to listen for/look for.

         NETS*S 3

  • Eduplace: This site has links to collections of primary sources divided into U.S. History and World History. I would use this to supplement the social studies curriculum.  There are links to information about American presidents, the South, American art, the Civil War, Egyptian artifacts, paleolithic French caves and medieval poetry to mention a few.

         NETS*S 3

Morgan, D. & Rasinski, T. (2012) The Power and Potential of Primary Sources. The Reading Teacher. 65 (8), pp. 584-594.

Wesson, S. (2011) What Makes a Primary Source a Primary Source? [Blog] Retrieved from .

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Copyright and Creative Commons

Copyright protects original works such as audiovisual, literary, musical, graphic, and dramatic pieces from being reproduced and publicly displayed without the creator’s permission. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act, is the concept of Fair Use.  Fair Use means that educators can use materials without payment or permission. They should however, site their sources. Creative works must be legitimately acquired. Consumables have to be used as they were intended. They must be consumed and not copied, so as to preserve the integrity of the business which produced them.

In a primary classroom, I would have to make sure that I had enough consumable workbooks for each student. This might include language arts, math or handwriting workbooks.  In the classroom, I would also make sure that students were aware of the authors/creators of all original works. The concepts of copyright and fair use relate to NETS*T 4A. Teachers advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources. It also applies to NETS*S 5A. Students advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

I also would be looking at NETS*S 1B. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression. In particular, I would consider this in a classroom when using mentor texts. Say for example I was using a literature text to show a structure that I wanted students to practice when writing their own texts.  I would want to emphasize and require that they are practicing the structure, but creating their own story, or non-fiction piece.

The CONFU multimedia guidelines (1996) give students and educators some idea of how much of an original work that they can use for teaching and learning.  No pirated materials can be used. There are specific guidelines for videos, music, poems, text, graphic, illustrations, photos, digital software and other original works. So for example, if I were presenting the poems of Eloise Greenfield, I would want to limit it to three of her poems, or I could give examples of poems by five different authors.( NETS*T 4 – Promote and Model Digital Citizenship, NETS*S 5A-Safe, Legal, Responsible Use).

Creative Commons gives the owners of creative works a choice of how much and in what way they want to share their work. I thought the You Tube Copyright School video would be a good one to share with students.

It is a light-hearted cartoon of a serious topic. I think it would get students attention because kids are so used to animation. It is also an effective video because it gives specific examples of things to avoid. In my classroom, I might take this further by writing some example scenarios on a piece of paper distributed to different groups. I would then have them complete each one as a carousel graffiti activity. Each group would write down their thoughts, pass it to the next group, and then I would do a group share at the end.

I like the analogy that was made in the Creative Commons video likening it to a park. The question was asked, “Are you willing to share your content, work, and creations with others?” When we go to a park, do we share the picnic tables? Do we share the ever-present elements of nature? Yes! NETS*T 3B – Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation. We also bring our own creative remix to our picnic experience by bringing that special table cloth, music, or family recipe. Students have a common culture in the classroom, which helps them bond.  They also bring their unique ideas to projects. In the classroom, I would have students create book trailers using animoto. I would probably start this in groups and later have them do this individually. NETS*S 1 – Creativity and Innovation and NETS*S 2 – Communication and Collaboration.

Dr. Lessig’s videos would be great to share with colleagues.

Sometimes teachers go to the extremes that mirror the copyright battle. Some will share anything, others nothing. What stood out for me is the thought he shared that “this is how our kids speak.” In the classroom, elementary students might identify trash as a problem around the school. They might want to plan a way to figure out how much trash there is and what types. They might want to conduct a survey on why trash doesn’t get disposed of properly. They might want to interview staff and new students for their perspectives or possible solutions.  NETS*S 4 A-D Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving, and Decision Making. Another classroom activity that I would do with students would be to identify, plan, and share ways to increase knowledge of other cultures in the classroom. What nationalities are represented? What traditions do we carry out? What kinds of food do we bring for lunch?

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Digital Citizenship

The panel discussion on digital citizenship hosted by Frank Gallagher with input from Mike Ribble, Anne Collier, Chuck Saylors and Linda Burch. Frank, Anne and Linda all felt that empowering students was equally important to protecting them. The modern focus should be less on fear tactics and more on positive attitudes and behaviors. Chuck Saylors, the National PTA President focused on involving parents and the community. Three broad areas mentioned by Frank Gallagher, Cable in the Classroom Director, were 1) Internet Safety, 2) Digital Literacy, and 3) Digital Ethics. Anne Collier, Net Family News CEO, calls for digital citizenship to encompass four principles which include that it, 1) be uncomplicated, 2) have student involvement, 3) be empowering and collaborative, and 4) teach kindness and defense of others. Mike Ribble, author of Raising a Digital Child , and employed with a Kansas school district, hears the concern of teachers with fitting in a curriculum of digital citizenship. He feels that it should start as young as kindergarten. Linda Burch, with Common Sense Media discussed her organization’s  free, on-line curriculum for digital citizenship. She promoted a balanced approach using an authentic, universal curriculum. I would want to look up this curriculum for whatever grade level I am teaching and make sure that I am incorporating these learning goals into my teaching.

The panel participants had more in-depth insights which included that educators model that technology is part of life and not necessarily a sideline, that we need to think globally about digital citizenship and be aware of what other countries, such as Egypt, Finland, and the Netherlands are doing in this area. Digital Citizenship should be taught in small segments and continually updated. It could include peer mentors, and parent technology advisors. In the classroom, it is important to be modeling technology daily and in a spirit of problem-solving if problems arise.

I feel that the panel addressed very well NETS*S 5a-d, and the work that they are doing to establish some common goals for schools in the area of digital citizenship. They did not address directly issues of negative experiences on-line. The district in which I work has all technology standards as power standards. They were adopted in 2008, and mirror the NET*S. They are published on the district website.

Mohammed Bani Oraba’s video on the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship offer a straight-forward definition, and jazzy music, but the topics are very general. There are no specific activities listed. Some of the visuals are repeated and all are general and somewhat vague. I don’t mean to be harsh. I think this video, with the music alone, could be a great opener for the topic, but would need additional support materials added to clarify the nine elements which include: 1) Digital Access, 20 Digital Commerce, 3) Electronic Exchange of Information, 4) Knowing When and How to use Technology, 5) Digital Etiquette, 6) Digital Law, & 7) Rights and Responsibilities, 8) Health and Wellness ,and 9) Digital Security. Also, elements six and seven seem very similar. In the classroom, if I used this video, I would ask students to break into small groups and expand on each of these ideas and then share with the larger group.

Dr. Tony Wagner’s seven critical skills for students could all be extended to specifically address digital citizenship. They correlate nicely with the ISTE NETS*S.

1) Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving – engaging these future employees in       continuous improvement of their product or services. This fits with the innovation mentioned in NETS*S 1. In the classroom, I would ask students to revisit some of their work and try to expand on some of their ideas.

2) Collaboration across global networks and leading by influence, and understanding and respecting differences.( NETS*S 2 & 5 ) In the classroom, I think it is important to encourage students to hear from everyone on their opinion, to practice respectful ways of negotiating with peers and keeping their presentations simple, clear and concise.

3) Agility & Adaptability to learn new skills.( NETS*S 1-6) How about having students keep a technology log and recording ways that they are using technology and new skills they are trying out.

4) Initiative and Entrepreneurship. NETS*S 1-6, especially #1 In the classroom, I might encourage my students to look at our school community and take the initiative to problem-solve solutions for the school.  Older students could come up with ideas and then convey these to younger students.

 5) Effective Oral and Written Communication. NETS*S 2 & 3 In the classroom, I would give young students non-threatening opportunities to practice oral communication and written communication. They could do a PQP, Praise, Question, Polish session with their peers.

6) Accessing & Analyzing Information. NETS*S 3 & 4 In the classroom, I would want to have students gather information from several sources and compare on whatever topic they were researching.

 7) Curiosity and Imagination. NETS*S 1,3,4 I read a very good book last term on keeping wonder alive in students. It talked about having systems in place for encouraging daily wonder. A place to share wonders, which could be done digitally, and a place for peers to give advice on what they know about these wonders.

Dr. Wagner discusses how innovation should be moving our economy forward, not just consumer purchasing. I believe that a conflict arises when you look at these important skills and try to think of how as teachers you will fit them all in. We currently place a lot of value on testing. I don’t believe that testing can measure most of these skills. They have to be demonstrated in the classroom and mostly in groups. To motivate this new generation of students we need to tap into their interests and their need for self-expression. I can relate this all the way from the primary students I work with to the highschoolers I live with!

Stephen Balkam’s video on digital citizenship echoes what the above mentioned panelists were emphasizing, which is a balance of safety and empowerment. My highschool senior is blogging in her hoped for career field and has already connected with like-minded students on-line. My sophomore has a weekly vlog. They have been empowered to make connections to what they are interested in. In the classroom, I think it is important for students to have access to digital resources which will empower them to explore what they are interested in so that they may feel like experts.

The Pew Internet Report on Teens and Social Networking reflects that most experiences on-line are positive. Most kids do experience or observe some negative attitudes which can involve swearing, rudeness, meanness, and fake behavior to mention a few. Teens know that they should act respectfully on-line, but some feel that they can act with more boldness on-line. Girls between 12-13 seem particularly vulnerable to unkind behavior online. Most teens know to ignore mean behavior and break the cycle of verbal on-line attacks. In the classroom, I would have a discussion or activity in which students could look at a scenario and determine whether the interaction was being done in a respectful way or in a way that might be interpreted as bullying.

Digital Citizenship must start in kindergarten, progress in small, continuously updated segments, be empowering and consider the needs of the future generation of workers.

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Security and Privacy on the Internet

I found the TED video featuring Eli Pariser to be fascinating. This was total news to me that this algorithmic filtering, which places us in a filter bubble goes on. I was aware that Facebook places certain items on my page that are linked to what I have searched, but I didn’t realize the pervasiveness of this practice. I didn’t think about the fact that seeing certain things which interest me, might be keeping me from viewing other things that are out there. When I googled this, there was a link to another search engine called Duck, Duck, Go, which claims not to filter. They actually have a link to Mr. Pariser’s lecture. I am wondering if anyone has used this and what they think.

Most of the time that I am on the internet, I am using Google, Facebook or Yahoo, and therefore I am at the mercy of their filters. I think that most of us would like to think that we are complex people, and that our brain schema could not possibly be anticipated so fast. How can I critically read the word, and the world and encourage my students to do so (NETS*S 3B, 4D), when Google, Yahoo, Facebook and others are already critically filtering out what I will be able to see. I think it would be important to make students aware that if they were doing the same search they might come up with different results. I agree with Eli that we need to see other points of view. Some of the videos we watched this week, I didn’t agree with. After watching them, my opinion was not changed on the topic. However, I highly value the chance to see what opinions are out there. It gives me a chance to touch base with the whole of the human race. It makes me aware of how others might view certain topics. I think this makes me and students as well, more valuable to the democratic process and in our place as informed, global citizens.

Filtering feels like an invasion of my privacy, but I can’t only blame Facebook. I feel that there are so many mixed messages with social media. Be confident, put yourself out there, market yourself, but as Lori Andrews informed us don’t hold a glass of wine. If I were working with older students, I would want to caution them about what they are putting on social media sites. It would be a fun experiment to show some random pictures to students and have them interpret them and then see how closely their interpretation matches what is really happening in the picture. I think it is sad that employers use these types of assumptions to narrow applicants before interviewing. However, it is reality.

Hasan Elahi gave another attention-grabbing example of privacy being invaded for the supposed keeping of security. I can only imagine how that feels to be interrogated at length. The most I have ever been subjected to was a random luggage search. I am assuming that because of his name and travels that he was profiled. I found his artistic documentation of things he ate, and places that he went to be of high entertainment value. It is like an on-line diary of his life with visuals. He turned a stressful situation into something of artistic value. Great example of NETS*S 1b. Creating original works as a means of personal or group expression. I think this was an unfortunate experience for him and needlessly drawn out, but I will take the benefits of having the FBI over not having them. I think they may have helped as many as they have inconvenienced. As Bruce Schneier says, it is a trade-off. It may be a false one, but I will take it.

If I worked with older students, I might show them this video and discuss the way that he turned this situation into something positive and artistic, instead of being bitter. I might ask the students how they could use this type of pictorial diary to document something in their life. I think this video could also lead into an important discussion of not making assumptions about people based on race, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, social economic status, and physical appearance.

The story of the couple who had been burglarized after posting a Facebook status update would be a great example for a secondary class. I would show this to students and caution them about updating Facebook status or other social media status with detailed information. I could definitely see this as being part of a health class. It might be fun to pass out some made up status updates and ask students to interpret what type of information they could gather from these updates if they were a criminal. It would connect with NETS*S 5a. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

I found the BlackBerry Messenger article interesting. It is amazing that the encrypted nature of the free messaging on the pay-as-you-go phone protected the rioters while they were looting various neighborhoods near London. I would use this information to lead a discussion with older students about ethics and how we should not use information to take advantage of a situation.

The internet has opened up a world of possibilities for communication, collaboration and expression. We have to balance our needs for privacy and security. As we read in the above examples, the internet can hurt innocent people and help guilty people. We must think critically about how we expose ourselves on this and other media and educate our students on this as well.

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NETS Response

The NETS standards were developed by the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) because of the requested need for guidance in determining what goals and objectives teachers and students needed to meet, in the ever-changing world of technology. The NETS-S outlines six headings including:

  1.  Creativity and Innovation              
  2.  Communication and Collaboration
  3.  Research and Information Fluency
  4.  Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  5.  Digital Citizenship
  6.  Technology Operations and Concepts     

Within each heading is a broad goal and four more specific sub-goals or objectives. In addition there are profiles, which give examples of activities to meet these broad headings within grade level ranges of PK-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

The NETS-T  has five broad headings, which are:

  1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
  2. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
  3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning
  4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
  5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

Within each heading is a stated goal and four objectives or sub-goals. 

Within the NETS-S Implementation Wiki, I found some kid-friendly terms for the    NETS-S standards. I am in an elementary setting, so these reminded me of  anchor charts, which could be put up in the classroom to show examples of how these standards were being met.

Most, if not all of the scholars we reviewed this week including, Sir Ken Robinson, Ginny Grenham, Howard Rheingold, Yonchai Benkler, Stefana Broadbent, and Arthur Goldstruck talk about creativity, which is a common goal of technology for teachers and students. Sir Robinson cautions us to keep the arts alive in our curriculum. Ginny Grenham discusses the creative ways that healthcare consumers are informing themselves about preventative care, fitness and health, and healthcare products. Howard Rheingold discusses his creative efforts at collaborative teaching with his students. Yochai Benkler discusses how our creative efforts towards communication, computation, wisdom and experience have gone from the moneyed hands of a few communication giants to the hands of the population at large who are now connected and can form a common space peer production of the afore-mentioned core economic activities. Stefana Broadbent shares how the modern worker communicates with friends and family in creative ways. I found her lecture interesting as I often fall into the old pattern of being disconnected while at work with regards to family and friends, although I see others around me who are texting and making personal calls. The workplace is definitely changing. Arthur Goldstruck discusses how communicating via the internet is becoming not just about social networking, but a way of living.

The internet has increased our collective action as a democracy. Anyone who is connected can now access information on political, economic, cultural, and social causes. They can also have input into these causes. The internet has increased our literacy around the world . Instead of being isolated at work, and at home, we are connected to friends, family, and colleagues.

Within the elementary setting in which I work, I have mainly seen a change with the introduction of using the internet to show video content in classrooms, the use of interactive internet teaching tools, such as those on, the use of ipad applications, and the increased use of the internet for research by students. We use keynote as a visual motivator for special education students. We also use visual timer apps, and data tracking apps. There is a need for more funding and training to enable all staff to use these wonderful tools. I found the NETS-S profiles to be particularly important and helpful in identifying key activities to meet standards. I can see how these would harmonize well with CCSS.

I found the NETS-S to be more specific than the NETS-T. I am anxious to poke around the site more to see what additional resources are available to teachers for implementing these standards. They provide an important framework for applying the use of the internet to classroom activities.

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Sir Ken Robinson and Changing Paradigms

Sir Ken Robinson is an inspiring and engaging speaker. The animated version of this lecture or part of it, I believe is also worthwhile. I applaud his advocacy for the arts in education. There are too many school districts in which arts have become marginalized or discontinued due to budget restraints and I fear this will only get worse. The data he shares on the decreasing percentage of divergent thinking over our years of school time is haunting. I believe many teachers try to give open-ended and creative activities and opportunities for response, but standardized testing creates enormous pressure to drill skills in a narrow format. I disagree with Sir Robinson on the issue of class size. I do think that class size makes a difference. I have mixed feelings on the issue of ADD. Medications probably are over-prescribed and maybe in haste to control behavior that is more of a learning style than a problem. I think Sir Ken’s last slide would make an excellent anchor chart for a classroom. Vitality, Creativity, Diversity and Customization!

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Ginny Grenham and the Internet’s Impact on Healthcare Video

Ginny makes a good point about the internet helping people to be more informed about their health and their healthcare options. Who has not been on WebMD? In the modern age of very busy doctors, it is helpful to be able to be an advocate for your own health. On my list of things to do…check out Spark People site.

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