Monday, September 29, 2014

30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 27, 28 and 29 (oops!)

Pin It Day 27 - What role do weekends and holidays play in your teaching?
I think I can speak for all dedicated, committed educators when I say that it doesn't matter if it's the weekend...Christmas...after hours...before hours...  We're ALWAYS WORKING!  I try really hard to turn it off when I leave school, but the truth is, I am always thinking of ways I can help my teachers or mulling around ideas I can use for training and PD.  I wake up in the middle of the night and grab my phone to send myself an email or snap a picture of a sign I see while we're traveling that gives me a brainstorm.  While I absolutely cherish my time off with my family, they are no strangers to me going on a rant when something pops into my head.  :)
Day 28 - Respond: Should technology drive curriculum, or vice versa?
Ooooh...good question.  I think there's no right answer here.  For us in BISD, we always begin planning with standards in mind.  So, in that regard, the curriculum is driving the technology integration because the standards drive our curriculum.  However, more and more we're seeing technology be worked into our standards, so we are starting to see the great importance of using technology to enhance teaching and grow Future Ready students.
Day 29 - How have you changed as an educator since you first started?
Oh my.  Where do I even begin with this one?!  I am more assertive.  I am more confident.  I am more comfortable in my own skin making decisions that I know are best for kids.  I'm no longer afraid to say what's on my mind, even if it's not in line with popular opinion.  I have more finesse.  I am ok if I work hard on something and let someone else take credit.  (We all play for the same team!)  And every passing day I have a clearer vision of where I want to go as an educator.  :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 26

Pin It Day 26 - What are your three favorite go-to sites for help/tips/resources in your teaching?
  1. TWITTER!!
  2. Any of my Google+ Communities (GEG-CENTX, GEG Texas, GEG Houston, Google Apps Administrators, Texas Google Summit) 
  3. Pinterest (amazing how many cool resources are out there for FREE!)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 25

Pin It Day 25 - The ideal collaboration between students–what would it look like?
I believe the ideal collaboration between students is a blend of digital and in-person.  I love it when I walk into a classroom and groups of students are collaborating on a shared Google Doc, but there's lots of verbal communication taking place, as well.  I believe this can be done at at grade level and in any content area if the teacher is willing to let it happen!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 24

Pin It Day 24 - Which learning trend captures your attention the most, and why? (Mobile learning, project-based learning, game-based learning, etc.)
Can you say Google Apps for Education is a "learning trend"?  I think so.  :)  In my district we have definitely seen the most growth and the biggest shift in thinking since implementing GAFE.  In fact, the introduction of GAFE and chromebooks has pretty much been a game changer for us.  Our teachers are striving to produce more online content, design really engaging activities, utilize web 2.0 tools, and get students to create instead of just consume.  It's a very exciting time for us and I think we owe a lot of it to Google!
If you're interested in "Going Google" I'd love to talk with you about the power of Google Apps for Education!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 23

Pin It Day 23 - Write about one way that you “meaningfully” involve the community in the learning in your classroom. If you don’t yet do so, discuss one way you could get started.
TWITTER!  Two week ago, @BrenhamISD went live on Twitter.  It was a very big step for our district and I am honored to be the person who is in charge of Tweeting information for BISD.  I think this is the first step in Brenham ISD really involving our community in what is happening in our district.  The sky is the limit with social media!

Monday, September 22, 2014

30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 22

Pin It Day 22 - What does your PLN look like, and what does it to for your teaching?
I believe my PLN is pretty robust!  I utilize Twitter, Google+, Facebook, blogging and both in-person and digital communication to learn and grow from other educators.  I am a MUCH better educator having all of these people and resources at my fingertips.  I literally have thousands of experts right in my pocket via my smart phone whenever and wherever I have a problem.  Countless times I have tweeted a problem and gotten an immediate solution.  I am able to share resources and ideas on several Google+ communities I am involved in.  I can have impromptu Google Hangouts with any of my colleagues from around the globe to brainstorm and plan.  I certainly would not want to function without the power of my PLN!   
What's your favorite tool in your PLN?

30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 21

Pin It Day 21 - Do you have other hobbies/interests that you bring into your classroom teaching? Explain.
When I was still in the classroom teaching 5th grade science, there was no hiding my love of EdTech.  In Richardson ISD, I was THRILLED to have a TV that acted as a dual monitor for my computer.  I was designing "high-tech" I have...Who has... activities using power point and projecting it to the class via my TV.  :)  Moving to Brenham ISD, I was lucky enough to get a projector (that I hung from my dropped ceiling in a mail basket!) and even received a grant for interactive response clickers.  Today, EdTech is still my biggest hobby/interest!  I am able to bring events like the Texas Google Summit to my district to benefit my local teaching community!!  And I guess if you count my consumption of chocolate as a hobby or interest, I can say there is ALWAYS a good supply of chocolate treats in my office for any of my visitors!  :)