Today started off a little behind, that happens sometimes when I have a very challenging 7-year-old boy who…. well it varies from day to day what he does or how he does it but it can delay things at times… 😉 As I was running late I was rushing to school for a site visit from Digital Promise (really looking forward to working with this company), when I arrived the scheduled had been mixed up so I was able to join my boss and the DP coach at another site visit at a local school! So…
What I learned today:
- Everyone makes mistakes, has mix-ups but usually it all works out for the best at the end of the day…
- There are some really amazing things going on fellow/sister schools that I was completely unaware of (I plan to now tap these resources)
- Oklahoma Centennial Mid-High has a YouTube channel where a student-produced web show is shared!
- Technology in OKCPS is in abundance (to the point of excess) at some schools, but they need help/support implementing it. (hopefully where the awesome team I am a member of comes in!)
- I wrote excess above and then as I look back and think, when can we have excess technology?? There cannot be too much just an increased urgency to support it at these schools… (hopefully you get what I am saying here)
- How exciting it is to have people outside the district versed in Ed Tech come into our building (JM) and feel the climate and warmth from our students, staff, admin. I tell everyone it’s like another home and the Bears are my family, but you don’t really understand until you come for a visit! Just ecstatic the DP coach felt it!
- I am helping some teachers…
- Draftback is one of the coolest Chrome extensions I have ever seen, plan to make a screencast about it’s awesomeness!
- It is okay for me to get overly excited about tech and tools and geek out in front of everyone!
- Families with students that receive free lunch at school can get Cox (high-speed internet) for $10 with the Connect To Compete Initiative.
- The Learner First is going to be a great thing for OKCPS, it will take time but using multiple assessment points to draw conclusions about our students being prepared for their future in and outside of school will be well worth the work we are putting in! “One size fits one”, ask me why.
I so did not feel like writing today/tonight, but these moments really help me to process my day… I know I still have tons to learn and plan to do so!!
We got a new puppy over the weekend so adjusting to her has been a change but she is a great new addition! I also decided to add a lil color to my hair with some red underneath and a couple peek-a-boo spots! I am pretty happy with the results. Riley and his team won their last outdoor soccer game Saturday and I started to feel “better” so that is good. Today was a fairly usual gloomy fall morning, lots of drizzle and dark most of the day…. but overall it didn’t turn out to be a bad day….
What I learned today:
- People will appear as helpless or competent as they choose depending on who they are talking to….
- Our students are amazing and intelligent! I interviewed one of our 9th graders today about her experience in her 1:1 classes and her overall opinion of technology. (It was awesome and I look forward to talking to more students)
- Classcraft is making really positive changes in our 7th grade ELA class!! I walked into get a couple shots of students FA working and to check in with and felt how the climate of the classroom has changed… It has been less than 2 weeks and I can see and feel it in the class I observed!
- Digital Promise is pretty awesome! We met with 3 coaches all well versed in education and technology implementation who really illicited some great conversation for some stakeholders in OKCPS and our ETS team.
- I am super lucky to be a part of our OKCPS ETS team!! We truly are a great group of intelligent, passionate educators.
This is Riley (my 7 yr old) and Layla our 7 week old Rottsky!
Woo Hoo! Playoff game 1 is a win for the JM Bears! Riley played his first indoor game tonight (they lost) but it is all good! My baby 8th graders are Seniors this year, it is so much fun to watch my students grow!
What I learned today:
- You can have a vision or idea but when great minds come together even better things are created!!
- That Voxer has been around a long time but using it for a PLN tool is pretty awesome, I love to listen to the ETcoaches chat on Voxer
- I am excited to hear what my teammates think of “PeekAPak” it’s this new social/emotional program/curriculum for K-3rd, I spoke to the co-founder Ami Shah and she is so awesome! I think PeekAPak is going to be great for students, teachers and parents.
- College App Day for our students is November 17, 2015 (volunteers for the community are coming into help students look through, research and apply to colleges during the school day) this is going to be #epic #bearsdoitbetter
- My weekly e-mails from Unsplash are awesome!
- I like freebies! Thinglink is doing a give away for creating a ThingLink LifeHack #stayamazing and Shakeup Learning is doing giveaways for the next 4 weeks (today was the end of week 1)
- I love Apple Mail (the mail client withing MacBooks) totally my favorite – “Smart Mailboxes” make my life better because I am addicted to the subscribe button (I don’t want to miss out!)
- Our OKCPS communications department is AHHHHmazing!
- My teammate and I spent some time this afternoon working in Google Sheets w/conditional formatting (fun stuff!) We so got our #datageek on!
- Conversations and explanations can lead to creativity and innovations…. (in my opinion)
- Reading and reflecting are critical to my processing….
I love shouting and cheering on my son in soccer and our Bears on the field but my throat is not such a fan…
Today was a good day. I spent the morning discussing “hot topics” for the district with a TLE lead and my awesome ETS team followed by a group pow-wow in the our boss’s office. I truly realize why we work so well as a team, each of us brings our own perspectives, questions, experiences and ideas to the table and the conversations are amazing! I wish people further on up the food chain could hear us talk sometimes…. honestly we could probably solve a lot of the issues they face! (jus sayin) On to more good stuff!
What I learned today:
- There are too many sites and programs and tools out there (this is great for competition and increasing effectiveness of these tools but….)
- I really want to know who makes decisions in our district to buy things like programs, software, etc…. (this is probably not my business but I am curious and would love to find out)
- The teachers at John Marshall Mid-High in OKC love their students and are like family (ya there are some odd balls in our group but they choose that life) #bearsdoitbetter
- Paperwork is necessary but sometimes it is a drag
- Planning a presentation for a conference is trickier than it sounds (I am so a get up and “wing it” kind of gal)
- Wunderlist allows you to e-mail your to-do lists in a check box format for those people not using Wunderlist
- Vocabulary.com has a national leader board of schools! and Individuals (I am so not into English but very into competition, so yes this site is for me too!!)
- #innovatorsmindset is a new hashtag I am going to follow on my TweetDeck!
- A nearby school (Enid, OK) is holding a student and teacher TEDx Talk!? on Saturday 11/14/15 (we want to have one at JM this Spring) so inspiring!
- One amazing teacher #mademyday by telling me that she appreciated my help as a coach and mentor (what?! me?) seriously made me so ecstatic! She is a beyond amazing first year teacher that is destined for greatness and I feel blessed to be along for the ride!
- Laughter is a necessity (even with your boss or bosses)
Dirty dishes are not fun especially dirty dishes that are not rinsed right away…. These can be a tad bit tricky to clean (resistant food) but I do love to eat! (Pork chops, Mac&Cheese, and Carrots for dinner, YUM!)
Three months since my last post, better than nine months… but I plan to start doing this in smaller chunks. Seriously amazing stuff happens to me like every day and I want to share but it does not always happen, very rarely happens. I am actually considering some short vlogs too. My son is absolutely the biggest YouTube fan specifically the “Shaytards” and I think I would like to share my excitement and enthusiasm with the world but until then… I write. I have been sick for the last two weeks but spent Saturday through Monday in bed… I keep hearing this noise and then I’m like “oh ya, that’s my breathing” yup… it is that bad! Going back to work after one sick day or two is hard… we never have enough hours in the day and when I miss one or two full work days, I feel lost, behind, and in catch up mode. I have a whole list of “productivity reads” in my bookmarks to check out but I have yet to find the time. I notice that when I write and text I use”…” a lot so forgive me if my English/grammar is not “on point.” Anyway on to the good stuff and hopefully what I will be sharing more regularly with everyone.
What I learned today:
- “The Learner First” is going to change the perspective of many OKCPS teachers on assessment this year (hopefully in a great positive way, I am seeing the light!)
- Students are more than one test score and I am not the only who believes this
- The Math teacher in my cohort of Ts is looking for ways to increase autonomy along with the rigor…. (I think he wants to do something creative and fun, but data and test scores are holding him back, I plan to process all this and help!)
- Our Science teacher is doing some awesome stuff with ATP, respiration, actual murders and cyanide….
- Additionally I shared my love of “google drawings” and “SmartAMP” for diagramming and collaborating in his Science class and we are making plans for the amazing lessons to come… (these tools are not limited to Science)
- English teachers are really pretty cool…. I work with three and as I visited with my two ladies today I realized that every time I leave their classes I have a smile on my face (seriously). Oh and I totally need to sit and take notes in their classes more often because I need help in English!! 🙂
- Administration is hard to please 24/7 but I think if I keep doing my best it will all work out…
- There are a lot of Chiefs in education and a lot of Indians….
- My “to do” list keeps getting longer (I need to stop finding/adding and start checking things off!)
- Even when you make awesome things or do great work there is still more to be done and to do right after you finish the first awesome/great/amazing thing….
I know that is not everything I learned today but it is some…. I really do not like budgeting or paying bills, but I do love massages.
I’m Back or beginning!
Since creating this site, I have made one post (I was seriously excited about that) but now I am hoping to commit to this, maybe once a week at least (fingers crossed). Well a lot has changed for me in the last few months professionally and it has been amazing, exciting, and taken some brain power! I was a classroom Science teacher at John Marshall (JM) the last 5 years with a focus on middle school kids and I loved it but my passion for technology in my classroom has grown and thus a new position/offer came about and I accepted. I am now an Educational Technology Integration (ETIS) Specialist for Oklahoma City Public Schools and my focus is my home school of John Marshall mid-high serving grades 7-12. My role has changed from serving the students of JM to serving the teachers as an Ed Tech coach specifically focusing on the 1:1 Initiative JM is piloting this year!
The JM 1:1 Initiative
The JM 1:1 initiative began it’s life as a $100,000 donation from Gardner and Tanenbaum, a real estate company who bought the original John Marshall and it’s property to build a new housing community in OKC. As a teacher at JM when we received this donation I was stoked, the goal was to get tech into all our students hands at the 1:1 level asap! We began holding meetings about what to do and how to do it almost immediately after receiving the donation. As the team discussed its options we found out $100,000 was an awesome gift but at the same time not nearly enough for ALL students to have 1:1, so how do we pick and choose who can be involved not wanting to leave anyone out of possible. A few meetings later the plan we are now piloting was created and thus the “Chromebooks in the Classroom Grant” for teachers. Looking at costs and our budget in this first year we were able to purchase 8 Chromebook carts with 30 devices a piece in the carts and now we had to decide what teachers would be participating in this rollout. It was decided that it would be an application process and 8 lucky teachers at JM committed to integrated technology in their classroom at the 1:1 level would receive these carts! The applications went out on July 6th, 2015 and on August 7th we announced 7 of the recipients! Along the way a new position was created in OKCPS for a Tech Coach to be at John Marshall and be integral in implementing these devices, working and coaching these teachers and making this pilot a success.
I am now ETIS…
I interviewed for the position and was chosen as the best candidate to be JM’s tech coach or ETIS! I have never been so excited and scared in my life! I knew what to do as a classroom teacher and actually was awarded teacher of the year 2014-2015 for John Marshall and a top nine finalist for the entire OKCPS district! Which was a great experience and honor for me in only my 5th year as a teacher, thank you to my fellow bears and OKCPS for choosing me. Realizing this, I still knew I wanted to do more with tech and helping my fellow teachers in a greater capacity than I have in the past and was and still am so excited where this new career is going to lead me! In this new position I am now a year-round employee (no summers off) which means I started work on June 16, 2015 and have been super busy since day 1. I began with some overall information/training excited and at the end of June went to ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! I have dreamed of going to ISTE since I began using tech in my classroom and it was everything and more! I felt like I was surrounded by everyone who loved ed and tech together and everything that I thoroughly was interested in and wanting to learn about!! (I think I’ll stop here and do a 2015 ISTE reflection sometime soon) Upon coming back to OKC I attended our local Education conference called EngageOK and added a few more tools and ideas to my belt. I worked every weekday this summer trying to plan get things ready for the upcoming year including my office/website, resources all of which I am still working on…. 🙂 The ETS team began the school year by training all New Hires to OKCPS at NTO where I spent a day working with teachers new to the district on how to use their grade book, not the most exciting but definitely important info. I started training w/ our teachers the day before with a mini-training on many of the tools, information and resources that OKCPS and JM have to offer the day before. The teachers reported back to JM on July 29,2015 and it was a welcome back kick off for teachers like none I have seen prior, the principal rolled out the red carpet and made being a teacher at John Marshall the best thing any teacher could want to be!! I took some time that day to introduce myself and give some information about what my new position was and how I could help the teachers, the key point was teacher Ms.G used to try to fix things and now April/Ms. G would no longer be fixing things, my role is to coach, plan and empower our teachers to do amazing things with technology in their classrooms and I wanted them to know that! We had a great convocation with the district the 30th celebrating all staff at OKCPS! Overall I have done a lot, learned a lot, and I am super excited to get to work and plan to update as my learning continues! ( I realize I have so much more share and reflect upon since starting this post, look for more to come)