Go BIG, or go home?

Do you find yourself to be in an situation where you have opportunities for growth? The next step? That is where I am finding myself. A great step to be at, but all the more, making me feel excited and anxious about what is to come. Over the past week I’ve been reflecting on my journey and my future. It looks a little different now, than it did a couple years ago.

For those of you who don’t know, I was part of the Route 91 shooting. Needless to say that experience shook me to my core. Going through that experience has made me have to rebuild on parts of myself that were once so strong. For example, my fearlessness and drive looks a little different. Within the last three months, so many people have spoken into my life. I started feeling like I was “getting back” to where I once was. I find myself excited about presenting again to other educators, stepping out of my comfort zone, and being stretched. Another source of inspiration has been the author, Rachel Hollis. I’ve read both her books, Girl Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing. From her books, I have gained perspective, belief and direction.

An excerpt from Girl, Stop Apologizing states this:

“If I could tell you anything, if I could convince you to believe it, it’s that you were made for more. You were made to have the dreams you’re afraid of having. You were made to do the things you don’t think you’re qualified for. You were made to be a leader. You were made to contribute. You were made to make changes for good, both in your local community and the world at large. You were made to be more than you are today and–this is the important part–your version of more might not look like my more, or hers.”

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

This excerpt made me pause for awhile. It reminded me that I am made for more. I’m made to contribute my passions and talents, that the Lord has blessed me with. AND SO ARE YOU. I write this blog post to not only allow me to reflect and put it down on paper (or my google doc), but to encourage those of you who need it. I feel like so often we get stuck, we limit ourselves, we stay complacent, and we diminish our dreams due to fear. I’m here to remind you along with Rachel Hollis, that the world needs YOU. We need your talents, strengths, weaknesses, triumphs, etc., to help shape and mold our local community and the world at large.

Another great point that Rachel Hollis brings up, is the idea of “comparison” as you carry out your dream. We have to remember that we all bring something to the table. What we bring may be more than others, but it’s never better, it’s just different. In the past, I’ve struggled with comparing my life, my talents, my passions to those I’ve interacted with. It robbed me at times and limited my ability to share with those who needed it. So I encourage you as you step out and live out your dream, to not get burdened or discouraged by the thief of comparison.

I’m sure as you read this you are either on fire to set out to accomplish your dreams or you are still struggling with taking the first step. The fact that you are even thinking about it, means you are a driven person. So you have two options according to Hollis, “Go big or go home?” She then concludes, “I never go home.”

Listen, I cannot emphasize enough how much of a struggle stepping out of my comfort zone has been over the course of my life and most recently within these past two years. But what I received from stepping out of my comfort zone can never be measured. The Lord has used me and taught me some valuable life lessons. Allow Him to use you to accomplish the dreams He has for your life, as well as your own.

So here I go, taking more bold steps to accomplishing my dreams and hopefully impacting those around me. I’ll keep you posted…

My theme for the year: Service

Background photo created by jannoon028 – www.freepik.com

So it’s March and I’m barely coming up with my theme for the year. Many educators around the world come up a word that they are focusing on for the year. Unlike them, my year didn’t start off with this huge epiphany. Through conversations and interactions with my colleagues, friends and family….I was able to fully grasp my goal for the year, SERVICE.

From an educator viewpoint, one would think that I would serve my teachers and students all year round. Yes that is true, but it’s a little more in depth than that. I have been a huge advocate for helping students and teachers to be successful in the 21st century by utilizing technology.

So I decided to embark on a journey. I decided to cultivate a training for my classified staff called: Become a GooRu. What it consists of, is a program designed to teach them on how to use G Suite Apps for Education. I love teaching people how simple technology can make their lives. In doing this, I want to teach the classified staff the basics to help make their daily tasks easier. From just introducing this training it spiraled into training other administrators and hopefully into training students on a grander scale.

I wrote in a blog about 8 months ago that I wanted to get back to my passion. The passion of spreading technology. So here I am ready for the journey ahead.

The other main aspect of my life, my Health & Wellness Coaching side. This is actually a newer venture. One that I started because I knew I was not balancing my work-life situation. I was 90% work and 10% life. Let’s be honest, I was faking it while making it. I was achieving goals, hitting deadlines, but was getting so discouraged with how I felt physically and it was taking an emotional toll on me.

So I decided that I would sign up as a coach, to not only get a discount, but had the ability to later help serve others. Fast forward 8 months and I’m able to help 4 other women. I was able to give them the tools I’ve used to help me drop 25lbs, 2 pant sizes and give them tools for a healthier life. Serving them has been great, it’s given me a different purpose that I am passionate about. Allowing people to know their worth and strive to be the best they can be, daily.

Im looking forward to the rest of 2019 and seeing how God is going to use me in both of these roles.

As many in the education world are either approaching Spring Break or have had it…I ask you to make sure you take the time to reflect on the past three months and set goals for the rest of the year.

I can’t wait to see what you do!

MSC 2018: Teach like lives depend on it!

As I sit and reflect upon my experience at the Model Schools Conference, a phrase from the conference comes to mind, “attitude of gratitude”. This phrase came from Tyrone Howard’s keynote, which was very enlightening. Every session and keynote I sat in, allowed me to gain some powerful insights.

Here are the top 3:

  1. Blended Learning: “A great place of blended learning is where you can transition from old to new school. It’s not one or the other.”

I have been in education for 11 years (10 as a Teacher, 1 as a Vice Principal). I can count several new initiatives and “re-brands” to statewide testing. As time has progressed, technology has become the forefront of the education world. When I was in the classroom, I know that I was guilty of sometimes using technology before clearly defining my objectives. I was all for technology within my lessons, but I never lost sight of “old” school initiatives. As I sat in Wes Kieschnick’s keynote, he was talking about a BOLD (Blended & Old) approach and turning it into: Blended & Online Lesson Design. Using this structure within lesson design, will give our students the opportunity to be ready for the 21st century careers.

I know that many educators are blazing forward following new technology initiatives and weaving it creatively into their lessons, while others are still staying in their comfort zone with their “old” school lessons.

My plea to the trailblazers:

  1. Don’t lose sight of the objective within your lesson with technology. Make sure you follow Wes’ instructional design: OUTCOMES → STRATEGIES → TOOLS: (technology) → PLAN: What gets planned gets done → RIGOR & RELEVANCE: is it any good?
  2. Help your “old” school friends out. SHARE! SHARE! SHARE!

My plea to my “old” school friends:

  1. Take the leap into the digital age! Be an example to your students by stepping out of your comfort zone.
  2. Ask for help! Your colleagues and your students would LOVE to show you!

Finally, something that resonated with me as I listened to Kieschnick’s energetic keynote:

“Learning is King, Growth is Queen. “Cool” is the court jester. The jester is technology. And the jester has value, but don’t put him in charge of the kingdom.”

As educators we have the power to educate students. With that powerful statement, we need to make sure we do everything we can to ensure they are ready for the future.

  1. Teach like lives depend on it!

I sat in awe of Tyrone Howards keynote. His main focus was EQUITY. In order to bridge the gap and allow for equity, educators need to understand poverty, race & racism and mental health. Two of the three aspects resonated with me as being a major concern and need in our classrooms today: Race/Racism & Mental Health.

A mistake that Howard stated that many educators and society makes today, is that we say “we don’t see people’s color, we just see them as human”. A great approach to take, however that is doing a disservice to minority students in today’s classrooms. He continued to state that by taking this bad approach, we use microaggressions in our classrooms. Microaggressions are brief everyday exchanges that convey denigrating messages often unintentional and unconsciously delivered in the form of subtle snubs, dismissive looks, gestures and tones.

We as educators often want to show sympathy to our students, but we need to focus on empathy. We need to focus on how our students are feeling, and allow them to use who they are to drive their learning and experiences.

The second part was the focus on mental health. So much of my job as a Vice Principal is addressing students’ behavior. Much of what I do is trying to focus on the root of the issue and understand why students are behaving the way they are. Howard’s keynote focused on recognizing that discipline stems from the students social emotional upbringing and trauma experiences. Much of the SEL and trauma stays with students for a long time. In that, we must allow our students to receive help they need in order to minimize these behaviors as well as to teach them how to behave.

Many of the conversations I have had with colleagues over the last year has focused on building SEL into our classrooms. I am excited to see how our implementation of our new SEL plan will influence our students lives. (I will be sharing this in future blogs).

  1. Teaching the Hidden Curriculum.

Most teachers today focus on Assessments (Meeting Standards) and Technology, but we forget the most important component: Social Emotional Learning. Times have changed. I can remember my first few years as an educator and can recall few issues I’ve had in regards to behavioral issues. Now, I think of stories I have heard from teachers and other educators and notice the high increase of behavioral issues that fill our classrooms today. In Bill Daggett’s keynote, he emphasized that we need to ensure we are focusing on building up the social emotional aspect of our students by teaching them non-cognitive skills (not limited to):

Responsibility
Contemplation
Initiative
Perseverance
Optimism
Courage
Respect
Compassion
Adaptability
Honesty
Trustworthiness
Loyalty

I think a strong movement that needs to enter into the classroom is, less focus on the standards/technology and more focus on teaching our students these skills. PBL and technology lead to teaching our students this, but we must go a step further and get to know our students. We need to know what makes them tick, what they like, what past experiences they have gone through in order to make the much needed change in our classrooms.

This topic right here, is what I am so passionate about. I miss being in the classroom because of this specific aspect. My students were (and will always be) my babies. I invested so much of my life into them, getting to know about them and watching them develop these non-cognitive skills filled me with so much joy.

My plea to all educators, is to make sure you take 5 minutes a day to make connections with your babies. How we talk to them and what we talk to them about is what makes the difference. Once we have a safe classroom environment we can then pick back up on PBL, technology and assessments.

Year One. Growing.

Year One.

As I started this blog, I tried to think of one word to describe my year, it all came down to the word: growing. This last year has been a whirlwind to say the least. The eagerness of starting the job and all that it entailed, was so exciting during the first month. I do not think I actually remember my first month, except for sitting in the AP or Principal’s office asking a zillion questions. Through their graciousness and help from my wonderful secretaries, the first month was complete.

Then reality struck….literally.

October 1st, changed everything. That weekend I was out with one of my best friends and her family enjoying the Route 91 concert. We were singing to Jason Aldean…then bullets came flying overhead. As my best friend and I were seeking shelter, I was hit by ricochet from a bullet. At that point, I checked my emotions and new it was time to either stay and die from the bullets that were flying around me or time to find shelter. As my best friend and I hid in a storage container I could hear the devastation that was happening outside. We then began to find a place to lay while we waited for our fate. I was stunned and couldn’t function much, as I was standing there a girl begged for me to lay down because gunfire was piercing through the storage container. Seconds after I laid down, a bullet flew overhead in the direct location where I was standing bursting through cans of beer. There I was, laying soaked full of beer. I made the conscious decision to call my mom, no answer. I then decided it would be in my best interest to call the cops and let them know of the situation. After that, I tried my mom again. She answered. I told her I loved her. Making that contact with her was everything to me. After that, I was at peace. Whatever God had in mind, I was ready.  

God had different plans for me in that storage container. He allowed me to trust Him 100% with my life. (Don’t get me wrong I still struggle) The gunfire ceased. My best friend and I didn’t know if it was over or if it was a trick. Either way, we knew we needed to leave. After running by wounded victims, we ran for safety. As we ran, we ran into her dad and a random guy who came to look for us. The rest of the night was a blur as well as the next three months.

I don’t really remember the first semester and my job. I tried so desperately to get back to my life in blogging and technology. It was a struggle. I had to call and cancel speaking engagements (sorry CUE!). I completed my daily tasks, went through the motions, but part of me was missing.

It wasn’t until Christmas break, that I snapped out of it.

The way I looked at life, was completely different. I am so thankful for the job that I have. I am blessed to work with students on a daily basis and hopefully instill love, care, concern and build a positive rapport. Dealing with middle school students can be challenging, but I sincerely love this age because they are being molded into who they are going to be in the future. They are generally curious and fascinated with learning and experiencing a new world outside of elementary school. I hope that as I continue in my position, I will get to encourage and motivate future students to find their inner worth and see how they can impact the world.

I don’t know why the gunman did what he did. All I know, is that I am put in a position to help cultivate young leaders and allow them to see that they matter. What they do with their life and how they treat people is going to be how people remember them. I want them to know that they matter and their actions greatly influence others around them.

As I reflect on second semester, I find that I built great relationships with staff, got my feet wet in various avenues, but most importantly I grew leaps and bounds in regards to my emotions. I tend to be the person who wears their emotions on their sleeve. Now this can be a good thing, but can also be bad given the location and audience. This job has stretched me in keeping my “poker face” if you will. I can only count on 1 hand where I had an emotional breakdown this year (yay!). This is huge! With this new job comes so much responsibility, but also the ability to be a strong leader. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think expressing your emotions (crying etc.) is bad, but for me not breaking down is the best way I can do my job. I owe a lot of my growth to my parents and family, but significantly to my Principal and Assistant Principal. Their support, encouragement and advice throughout the year allowed me to grow the way I have.

As I look forward to next year, I have set forth 5 goals for myself:

  1. Go back to my passion: Educating staff and students in technology.

This is high on priority list. Teaching staff and students tech has been my life for the past five years. When it abruptly stopped, I lost a sense of who I am as and Educator. Bringing this back into my wheelhouse will help me stay grounded as an Educator and to never lose sight as an administrator.

  1. Develop a program to help support up and coming Educators

I want to build up future teachers. I hate hearing about teachers leaving the field of Education because they “didn’t know what to expect” or the fact that they didn’t have a solid foundation before entering. I want cultivate their passion for teaching at a young age and help pave a way for their future.

  1. Sign up to present at least 1 conference

I have presented at CADA, CUE Rockstar and EdTech in years past. Due to my life changing experience as I previously mentioned this has gone on hiatus. I want to get back out there and continue to share my passion and excitement for education.

  1. Support 5 “discipline” students by doing weekly, monthly check-ins.

Building rapport with students is one of the most important aspects any Educator can do to help support a positive environment. This by far is one of the greatest joys I have in engaging with students. I want to help support them to gain a healthy perspective of who they are and how they can be world changers.

  1. Classroom visits….

Prying myself away from endless paperwork is tough. I want teachers to know I care about what they are doing in the classroom, because I do! I want to make it a strong point that I increase the amount of classroom visits I do daily/weekly/monthly! I care and genuinely want to see the crafted and unique lesson plans that teachers spend hours working on.

Creating GIFs via Screencastify

 

Hello Education World!

It’s been awhile! I apologize for my absence. My world was joyfully transformed by becoming an Administrator and also completely devastated as I went through a life and death encounter. It’s been a crazy five months, but I am finally finding stability to get back to what I am so passionate about.

So what I would like to share with you today is on GIFs. I know you see the hilarious ones that come up on your text messages and Twitter apps,  but have you ever thought about using them for the classroom?

When I was in the classroom, I would use GIFs at least once a week to help show my students a new technology tool. I never had enough time to get through what I wanted to do in class, so I would record GIFs and plug them into a Slides Presentation. That way my students could watch at their leisure and get to know what program/tool we would be using the next day.

There are so many other ways for GIFs to be used in the classroom. One thing I wished I would have done in my classroom would have been to create tutorials on how students could access information such as how/where to find missing work or work while they were absent. I’m sure if you have students like I did, they would ask the #1 question, “did we do anything yesterday, while I was gone?” Often, I’m sure you quick to reply with something snappy or think to yourself how many times have I gone over this. To help prevent you from continued frustration using GIFs to show students where to go and how to do it is powerful.

Here is my tutorial on how to Create GIFs via Screencastify.

I’m sure there are others ways you Educators are using GIFs. If so, please share!

Google Classroom: Streamline Your Workflow

While in the classroom, Google Classroom was a saving grace for me in regards to streamlining my workflow. At the start of the school year, I was unsure as to how long I was going to be in the classroom, so I wanted to schedule and store assignments all in one place. Being able to pre-schedule assignments and have them easily accessible to the new transitioning teacher, made my time easier.

Last year, I loved being able to pre-schedule all the HyperDoc components for a unit ahead of time. My prep period was no longer used for getting ready for the next day, but rather planning for future units and new activities I could do with my students.

Upon conversations with other teachers, I have found that they were often discouraged with the tedious aspect of grading while using Google Classroom. Many would argue that they would have to open so many tabs. However, I was able to show them some tips and tricks to using Google Drive and it’s preview options to grade as opposed to opening individual tabs.

Through my conversations, I wanted to put together some valuable information that new educators and veterans could use to help streamline their everyday usage of Classroom. Please take the time to preview this presentation. If there is anything I can add, please let me know. I’d love to hear your feedback and include more ways to help other educators around the world.

A New Chapter: Transitioning from Teacher to Administrator

It has been about two weeks since I was named Vice Principal. I really have not been able to fully wrap my head around the news.

The realization has not felt real yet due to the fact that I was in limbo of starting my administrative job. I started this school year as a teacher. Being able to welcome over 150 bright shiny faces was such a unique experience. Starting a new school year with students, and knowing I wouldn’t stay the full year, was very hard for me. I enjoy building relationships with my students every year. However, due to the circumstances of this year, I knew I had to view these connections differently. Luckily, my replacement came within the beginning of the second week. It was hard for me to say goodbye to my students, but I knew I was leaving them in great hands.

Leaving my job on the last day was extremely hard. I was fortunate enough to open up the school as well as work to help create a powerful culture on campus. My role at this site consisted of various duties. To no longer have those roles, was hard to wrap my head around. (I’m not going to lie, having more time to think and enjoy life has been nice, but I felt like I lost a part of who I am.) After getting over that realization, I had to say goodbye to the wonderful office staff I had worked with over the past 8 years (some even longer). Driving to the gym that day, was full of tears, hope and excitement.

Walking into my job on day one, felt like an out of body experience. My new secretary and another secretary that works within my area, surprised me and decorated my office. They made me a huge welcome sign, blew up tons of balloons, as well as made me a super yummy pie. I was so shocked. Their thoughtfulness and sincerity was extremely touching. Day 1 was full of planning, understanding my role, meeting new staff and students, and job shadowing. Needless to say, it was overwhelming.

My first week was a lot of getting my feet wet and understanding that my role as an educator is vastly different. Although I am a teacher at my core, my day to day schedule no longer set by class period bells. Often, I am working on two things at once, juggling new issues,  and never fully knowing what time it is. I know that this new role is going to stretch me more than I have ever been before. With that being said, I am thankful that God has placed me where I am at, doing what I am doing.

The vision/purpose of the school site and leadership team, is uniquely refreshing. Being able to enter into a schools’ whose vision aligns with mine, is truly remarkable. I cannot wait to add to it in any way I can, as well as learn as much as I can.

As I look forward to the future, I see a year full of new experiences, new relationships, new lessons about life, new roles, and pretty much anything else my new chapter has in store.

Google Keep

Do you have countless post-its scattered about your desk? Do you keep important information in your calendar, in notebooks or random pieces of paper?

Do you often forget what list you made notes on? Do you often forget your list of things to do on your desk at home? at work?

Want an easy way to solve this problem? The solution: Google Keep!

Google Keep is a great way to take your notes and organize them according to content. Due to the versatility of Keep, you are able to write notes using the web based program via your computer (Chromebook, MacBook, laptop etc), as well the Google Keep app on your mobile device.

Being able to quickly jot down notes or items I need to complete in one program, has been a godsend. I no longer have several lists going in several different locations. We as educators have so much going on, Keep allows a little sanity.

Here is a snapshot of the desktop version of my Google Keep:

My phone app using Google Keep looks like this:

Organization and visual appeal are huge for me. I am a visual learner and remember things based on sight (color/font/location) etc. So being able to spruce up my Google Keep notes, is a fantastic addition to the overall functionality of the program.

Thank God for Twitter. I was able to read about Meredith Akers unique way of adding headers to your notes. In her blog post she shares out FREE templates that you can use to create headers that fit your style. She has free Google Drawing templates to create headers by using images or based on color.

Due to the busyness that this new school year will bring, I highly recommend giving Keep a try.

Blessings and well wishes as you start this new school year!

10 takeaways from my first EdTech Summit!

I had the privilege to teach and attend my first EdTech Summit. Not only was I able to share with passionate educators, I was able to learn from other educators. Having only experienced one other technology type conference, I was hesitant in attending.

Why? I have no idea.

I knew I would be around other excited and eager educators, but entering into a new conference setting made me a little nervous. As I sit here reflecting, I am literally laughing out loud! I’m such a silly girl for thinking the way I did. I recognized several welcoming faces of some awesome presenters, that I had seen from past tech conferences I have attended. But, I also met and chatted with some new awesome presenters and attendees.

As I sit here, after two wonderful days engrossed in hard core PD, I reflect upon my two roles at the summit.

My takeaways from presenting:

1. Did I give them too much time to “play”?

So I love to present, but I don’t like to do much talking. I approached my Interactive Infographics presentation very differently than the last time I presented it. I explained my pedagogy, but I wanted to make sure my attendees had time to play. This was different than the last time I presented. For some reason, I feel like I gave them too much time to play. For me, my worst nightmare is to lead a session that doesn’t use every ounce of the time given. I hope that by giving my attendees time to “play” allowed them to gain a better usage of Slides, and they didn’t hate me.

2. Hope “they” got at least one thing from my session.

So as I stated in my previous takeaway, I modified my presentation. I gave them tips and tricks to use while creating infographics. I really hope the hyperlinking & graphing component was something they didn’t know. I know that every presentation cannot be perfect, but as long as they walked away with one new thing…I have to be okay with that.

3. There’s always room for growth.

The perfectionist in me feels like I could have done parts of my presentation differently. I know in the future, I need to document additional aspects of what I am presenting for those who “want to take it further”. I hope that in the future, I can give attendees more information than what I’ll give lip service too. If they are anything like me, they will want to explore more than what meets the eye.

My takeaways from other presenters:

4. “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” -Jennie Mageria

So often my mind wanders as I watch so many people’s Facebook feeds, Instagram posts, Twitter Tweets and SnapChat pics….that makes me sit and think, man they live such an amazing life!?!? Jennie’s keynote message was such an intriguing presentation that made me think about my story and people’s untold story. Quite often other people display their circumstances to the world, in the most bright & magnificent ways. It makes me think, wow, I wish I could live their life. However, as Jennie’s keynote pointed out, that people don’t post the “real-world” & “mundane” items of their day to day life. They tend to focus on their “highlights”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of posting my highlight reel. I think if we are being honest, we all do. As we scroll through other people’s social media, we have to keep in mind, “don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” We have to make sure we don’t lose sight of our abilities and unique qualities we posses. We as individuals, have so much to offer the world. Yes at times other people’s outsides will look differently than ours, however there is not another person who has your heart, soul and passion. So….do you!

5. “If you try to be me, then who will be you?” -Jennie Mageria

Jennie ended with a great story about how her fourth grade teacher made such a profound impact in her life. She went on to explain that she met with her teacher and stated that she wanted to be just like her. Rather than agree and encourage Jennie to do the same, her teacher said, “If you try to be me, then who will be you?” This statement resonated with me deeply. I’m guilty of trying to mimic other amazing things that educators do. However, in doing that, it makes me tend to lose sight of my goals, talents and abilities. I have to remind myself that I have been given a soul and passion that no one else has. My background, upbringing and experiences are unique to me. In that, I have to use my past, abilities and knowledge to leave my own mark on the world. So that is what I’ll do. As I continue to learn from amazing educators, I will put my own spin on it, so that it fits my personality and abilities.

6. “You don’t create a revolution without sharing it!” -Rafranz Davis

I can think back to my first few years teaching. I didn’t really leave my classroom. I didn’t chat with my peers. I came to work, taught my babies and coached. Nowhere in the mix did I ever think of sharing with my colleagues. It was not until I started attending technology conferences that understood the power of sharing. Twitter for me, has been a great platform to share out the wonderful things my students & colleagues are doing at my school site. My mission this last year was to encourage and motivate other teachers to share out what they are doing in their classrooms. By not sharing, we don’t give our students a voice nor do we give hope to teachers who are stuck. In order to start movement, we have to move. We have to document what we do and be willing to take the steps necessary to share it out with the world. My encouragement to you is….it is worth it. Your current students deserve it and so do the students you will have in the future.

7. “It’s not the MAGIC that makes it work; it’s the way we work that makes it magic.” -George Barcenas

We as teacher possess the opportunity to instill magic into our daily lesson plans. The magic (our lesson plan/content) is there, however, it is how we work to display it, that makes it worth it. I am a huge advocate for student voice & choice. I strongly dislike giving my students all the information regarding labs and PBL lessons. Relinquishing this control has been something I have slowly done throughout the years, but through this process my students have revolutionized their learning. There is more work on my part from developing HyperDoc units, creating Screencasts, researching technology, to beta testing it…I tend to lose sleep. BUT I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have the ability to come to work everyday and cultivate an epic learning environment for my students. I want them to be excited about learning and be able to take the knowledge they develop in my class with them in the future. I would love to encourage you to continue in your efforts. If you’re reading this and you don’t have that passion, I hope that you find that one “crazy” teacher and begin to ask questions. I promise, it will be worth it.

My Tech takeaways:

8. Google Extension–iorad

For all you Tech Coaches and Trainers. Have you heard of the extension iorad? Do you often create Screencasts that show your colleagues how a program works? You send it out and get that email response of “are there step by step directions on how to do this”. Now there is!! Use this extension to help you do just that.

9. Google Drawing is my friend!! 

Most people have used Drawing, but have you ever tried to mimic artwork from other people? Using the two tools: Curve and Polyline? Check out George Barcenas explanation of these two game changers. I have already began creating my very own blogging sticker, email signature and so much more!

10. Rocketbook! 

I love my rocketbook. Do you sketchnote? Do you still enjoy the good ol’ pen and paper? Do you want to be able to take your notes and share them in your Google Drive? Rocketbook is the book for you. By using friction pens, the notebook, and Rocketbook app you will be able to easily upload your sketchnotes into your Drive. The BEST part of Rocketbook, is once that it is full you are able to put it in the microwave and erase all of your markings. YES, I just said you put it in the microwave. Still don’t believe me? Check this out!

So needless to say, I’m hooked on EdTech Summits. Thank you everyone for making my experience a wonderful experience.

Changing your Sheets….one sheet at a time!

Are you constantly using spreadsheets to create, organize and modify data?

Based on my background I use data for practically everything! I house all my student information, assessment results, survey results, budget sheets, calendars, list of staff members information….the list goes on and on!

I know that the classified staff (clerical staff) at my site uses spreadsheets for purchase orders, staff information, budget sheets etc. etc. etc.

I wanted to share out my information and knowledge of Google Sheets. Please use my slide deck to gain some insight on ways you can change your Google Sheets…one sheet at a time!


Here is the link to my slide deck

If you have any critiques, helpful tips I could possibly add or questions, please email me at: msjenn106@gmail.com.