Monday, April 27, 2015

Reflections from Ednado

On April 25, the first Ednado conference for educators was held at Middletown South HS. According to their website, Ednado is described as "Ednado is about promoting innovation and inspiring educators to try new things in their classrooms. At EDnado, educators from Monmouth County and beyond will be able to learn and share what WORKS in their schools." 

My husband was on the planning committee, and described the conference to me as "Part edtech conference, part Edcamp, part education playground."

Due to issues, we brought our sons to the conference. They were charged with helping, but spent much of their day in the Makerspace.
A photo posted by EDnado (@ednadoedu) on

A photo posted by EDnado (@ednadoedu) on
As for me, I took over the EDnado Instagram feed. I could not have had a better time at this conference than I did taking over their social media. I went into every session for a time, I played in the Makerspace, I drew attention to certain areas by promoting where the scavenger hunt would be for tickets and/or prizes, I helped folks in the hallway directing some toward sessions that might better suit their needs, and interacted with a lot more folks than I would have as a regular attendee.

This was such an AWESOME role for me, because I believe I was able to get the pulse of the conference in a way I could not have had I been a regular attendee.

A takeaway for me was the Draftback extension for Chrome, shared by Adam Schoenbart in his presentation on Backchanneling. This extension allows you to see a video of all the changes made to a Google doc. I can't wait to try it out!

The feedback from this conference was that people really enjoyed it. They captured both technology comfortable educators and those who are not using technology at all; I was amazed by how many folks brought notebooks and no technology, but yet all learned something new.

I look forward to Ednado 2016! Check out all the Tweets from #Ednado.

The schedule from the sessions also includes links for the collaborative notes.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

#AprilBlogaDay Day 2

What have you done today to make a ripple?

Today is "one of those days." It's the day before spring break. Folks are tired and just don't want to be here.

This post rapidly turned into a vent. Rather than venting or even looking for help on finding a solution to these issues, my ripple is going to be to let it go. I will get through today and will enjoy the next week off. We'll all come back in the middle of April (!!!!) rested and recharged and ready to finish the year strong.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

#AprilBlogaDay Day 1

Oh this poor, neglected blog.

There's a million reasons I haven't written here. Among others, life has become frenzied as I entered a program that will lead to my achieving principal's certification early in 2016. This, of course, is a great topic to discuss for the day 1 prompt for the blogging challenge to which I've committed for the month of April, "Are you where you thought you'd be?"

Yeah, no, I'm not.

I can remember being in my first year of teaching and thinking about how my mother had been at the same school district for her entire career.  At the time, she had not yet retired from teaching, but (as far as I know), she taught in the same district from age 22-55. I did not have those plans. I could not envision myself in the district I'd landed for more than a few years.

But yet, here I am, in the same district, for fifteen years.

It is an amazing district, and my career has developed and blossomed here with supportive administrators, lots of resources, and the type of student who is willing to try and go on an amazing ride with me in classrooms.

At that time, my desk was in the faculty room. It was often really distracting... you know that old SNL skit with Steve-O the copy guy?

That's how I felt.

So it was pretty surprising when my desk moved to a classroom... a classroom in which I taught nearly all of my classes. I stayed at that desk until my first maternity leave, when I transitioned to another school on campus and a new desk.

Since that first classroom, I've moved classrooms four times. My current room was a bakery at the time I thought I surely would not still be here by now.

Furthermore, I expected to have changed positions by now. I earned my supervisor's certificate in 2006, but have not successfully used that certificate. In the fall, I thought about how I would further my education when my program crossed my lap and in a whirlwind, I was entering the program to earn the next certificate. In the interview, I was asked where I see myself in five years. I replied that right now, I don't think I want to be a principal, but I also never expected to want to leave the classroom. In other words, what I wanted at 22 and what I want at 36 are not the same. I certainly don't expect my goals at 50 to be what they are now, so I'm opening doors now that will allow me the freedom to choose then what I want to do.

So, am I where I thought I would be? Absolutely not. But I'm open to wherever the road takes me next!