22 May 2017

#PassTheScopeEDU - 2 Days Late - #30DayProject - Day 01

Source: Brian Smith - @BrianRSmithSR
Last week was another excellent #PassTheScopeEDU event. If you didn't see the scopes live, you should totally check out the #PassTheScopeEDU hashtag and watch them soon because it was great! I once again was able to take part in the event but I wasn't there on the scheduled 3rd Thursday typical of the event because something happened that got in the way of my filming, life happened and it was okay.

I was finally able to get on camera two days late on Saturday and share some of my #aMAYzingMoments from the 2016-17 school year along with the reason for me being late, I was busy spending time with my family. We need to be sure to take the time needed to show our families that we care about them as much (or hopefully more than) the students in our classes. I loved working with my students and colleagues each and every day, but my own family was the reason why I was out there with my students, I was making a living to provide for my own family. Be sure to take the time needed to show your family you care and they mean the world to you.

I linked the Periscope above, but in case you can't find it up there, here it is again. And feel free to join us in the next edition of #PassTheScopeEDU, each and every 3rd Thursday of the month, unless of course you're busy spending time with your family and need to join in a little later.

18 May 2017

Similar

I spent a lot of time today driving (roughly 8 hours) from my home in Southern Utah to Salt Lake City in Northern Utah for meetings. The meetings were successful and we had some excellent conversations about how our state should act when it comes to the technical needs and concerns of its schools, medical facilities, and libraries. Being from an education background I assumed I would care mostly about the needs of the schools and somewhat ignore the needs of the other groups, but I was wrong. The more I listened to each short presentation shared the more I realized just how much each of the groups in the meeting were similar and dealing with issues and concerns that matched those of my own schools I work with. And it was there in that room I realized how important it is to actually listen to others fully before making judgments or casting out the falsehoods you may believe.

So, remember, we are more similar than different and we should be willing to give each other a complete chance.

21 September 2016

September Edition of #PassTheScopeEDU


Image Courtesy of Brian Smith - @BrianRSmithSR
Today is the day for the September Edition of #PassTheScopeEDU and we're excited to make it happen! You're probably wondering why #PassTheScopeEDU is happening on a Wednesday instead of our normal Thursday? It has to do with our theme for September tying in with the International Day of Peace so it's on a different day. We are very excited about the topic this month and hope you all enjoy the messages.

As a reminder, what is #PassTheScopeEDU and how do I take part? #PassTheScopeEDU is an event where educators use Periscope to create a live broadcast (called a Scope) and share their thoughts. Each person participating will be using their own Periscope account and those of us following along will use Periscope to follow and watch their scope wherever we want, making #PassTheScopeEDU a truly personalized PD opportunity.

For our #PassTheScopeEDU event, we're gonna keep each scope live stream to about 5-10 minutes. When the first person finishes their scope they will tell you who is next up and what their Periscope user information is so you can go watch the next part. This continues until the last person finishes and the event ends. We didn't invent the idea of #PassTheScope, but we are very excited to do another one and share some great educational ideas.

If you are more of an auditory learner, check out this great episode of the Hack Learning Podcast by Mark Barnes, who is also participating in this month's edition of #PassTheScopeEDU. It's a great explanation that is short enough you can listen just about anywhere.



Who is involved and when are the times? Often a #PassTheScope event happens all at once, back-to-back, but we are going to do it a little different and have people throughout the day so feel free to jump in whenever you have time. The schedule and lineup are below:

Wednesday, September 21st

8:00am EST / 5:00am PST:
Tracy Brady
Twitter: @mmebrady
Periscope: @mmebrady
Website: ChangingMyRealmOfControl.blogspot.com

8:15am EST / 5:15am PST:
Stacy Lovdahl
Twitter: @braveneutrino
Periscope: @braveneutrino
Website: ScienceToybox.blogspot.com

10:15am EST / 7:15am PST:
Catherine MongisTwitter: @CathMartinique
Periscope: @CathMartinique

10:45am EST / 7:45am PST:
Catherine Mongis
Twitter: @CathMartinique
Periscope: @CathMartinique

11:00am EST / 8:00am PST:
Mary T McCullaghTwitter: @marytmccullagh
Periscope: @marytmccullagh

11:15am EST / 8:15am PST:
Jennifer Casa-ToddTwitter: @JCasaTodd
Periscope: @JCasaTodd

11:30am EST / 8:30am PST:
Dene GaineyTwitter: @dene_gainey
Periscope: @dene_gainey

11:45am EST / 8:45am PST:
Catherine Mongis
Twitter: @CathMartinique
Periscope: @CathMartinique

12:00pm EST / 9:00am PST:
Toutoule Ntoya
Twitter: @ToutouleNtoya
Periscope: @ToutouleNtoya
Website: Toutoule.wix.com/Toutoule-Ntoya

12:15pm EST / 9:15am PST:
Loojimps MarciusTwitter: @lmarcius
Periscope: @lmarcius

12:45pm EST / 9:45am PST:
Rachel Pierson Twitter: @RPiersonEDU
Periscope: @RPiersonEDU

1:30pm EST / 10:30am PST:
Valerie Lewis
Twitter: @iamVLewis
Periscope: @iamVLewis
Website: iamvlewis.wordpress.com

2:00pm EST / 11:00am PST:
Barbara Cotter Twitter: @BcCotter
Periscope: @BcCotter

3:00pm EST / 12:00pm PST:
Tracy Brady
Twitter: @mmebrady
Periscope: @mmebrady
Website: ChangingMyRealmOfControl.blogspot.com

3:15pm EST / 12:15pm PST:
Nicolette James Twitter: @njames
Periscope: @njames

3:30pm EST / 12:30pm PST:
Ashaala Shanae Twitter: @AshaalaShanae
Periscope: @AshaalaShanae

3:45pm EST / 12:45pm PST:
Matt Frattali Twitter: @mfrattali
Periscope: @mfrattali

4:15pm EST / 1:15pm PST:
Brian Smith Twitter: @1to1brian
Periscope: @1to1brian

5:00pm EST / 2:00pm PST:
Sarah Thomas
Twitter: @SarahDaTeechur
Periscope: @SarahDaTeechur
Website: SarahDaTeechur.com

6:00pm EST / 3:00pm PST:
Judy Arzt
Twitter: @JudyArzt
Periscope: @JudyArzt

6:45pm EST / 3:45pm PST:
Kate Zakrzewski Twitter: @carrotmuffins
Periscope: @carrotmuffins

7:00pm EST / 4:00pm PST:
Kimberly Howell Martin Twitter: @kmhmartin
Periscope: @kmhmartin

7:30pm EST / 4:30pm PST:
Venus Miller Twitter: @timetotalkforreal
Periscope: @timetotalkforreal

8:30pm EST / 5:30pm PST:
Cassie Reeder Twitter: @reeder_cassie
Periscope: @reeder_cassie

8:45pm EST / 5:45pm PST:
Knikole Taylor Twitter: @knikoletaylor
Periscope: @knikoletaylor


Come join us for #PassTheScopeEDU and don't forget to follow each of these amazing educators on Twitter and Periscope! Also, if you follow the #PassTheScopeEDU on Twitter at @PassTheScopeEDU you'll see reminder tweets so you don't have to worry about when the next scoper is starting. And remember, if you watch, feel free to give lots of hearts because we love you!

18 August 2016

#PassTheScopeEDU August Edition

Image Courtesy of Brian Smith - @BrianRSmithSR
Today is the day for our August Edition of #PassTheScopeEDU and we're excited to make it happen! It's been a crazy wild for me in the last couple of week with me accepting and starting a new job, but I'm excited to be back with my #PassTheScopeEDU crew and hope you'll join us today. Our theme for August is "What did you learn this Summer and how will you use it this year." This is such an excellent topic as school is about to get started because it can help us remember all the amazing things we learned and hopefully help you to also remember some of the amazing things you learned as well.

But what is it and how do I take part? #PassTheScopeEDU is an event where educators use Periscope to create a live broadcast (called a Scope) and share their thoughts. Each person participating will be using their own Periscope account and those of us following along will use Periscope to follow and watch their scope wherever we want, making #PassTheScopeEDU a truly personalized PD opportunity.

For our #PassTheScopeEDU event, we're gonna keep each scope live stream to about 5-10 minutes. When the first person finishes their scope they will tell you who is next up and what their Periscope user information is so you can go watch the next part. This continues until the last person finishes and the event ends. We didn't invent the idea of #PassTheScope, but we are very excited to do another one and share some great educational ideas.

If you are more of an auditory learner, check out this great episode of the Hack Learning Podcast by Mark Barnes, who is also participating in this month's edition of #PassTheScopeEDU. It's a great explanation that is short enough you can listen just about anywhere.

 

Who is involved and when are the times? Often a #PassTheScope event happens all at once, back-to-back, but we are going to do it a little different and have people throughout the day so feel free to jump in whenever you have time. The schedule and lineup are below:

Thursday, August 18th

Sometime before 12:00pm EST / 9:00am PST:
Dan Kreiness
Twitter: @DKreiness
Periscope: @DKreiness
Website: LeaderOfLearning.wordpress.com

12:00pm EST / 9:00am PST:
Toutoule Ntoya
Twitter: @ToutouleNtoya
Periscope: @ToutouleNtoya
Website: Toutoule.wix.com/Toutoule-Ntoya

12:15pm EST / 9:15am PST:
Jennifer Gwilt
Twitter: @Mrs_Gwilt
Periscope: @Mrs_Gwilt

1:30pm EST / 10:30am PST:
PledgeCents
Twitter: @PledgeCents
Periscope: @PledgeCents
Website: Blog.PledgeCents.com

2:30pm EST / 11:30am PST:
Derek Larson ( That's ME! )
Twitter: @lars3eb
Periscope: @lars3eb
Website: EdTechBabble.net

4:00pm EST / 1:00pm PST:
Judy Arzt
Twitter: @JudyArzt
Periscope: @JudyArzt

4:15pm EST / 1:15pm PST:
Jacqueline Rose
Twitter: @JRose_Edu
Periscope: @JRose_Edu

4:30pm EST / 1:30pm PST:
Kate ZakrzewskiTwitter: @CarrottMuffins
Periscope: @CarrottMuffins

5:00pm EST / 2:00pm PST:
Sarah Thomas
Twitter: @SarahDaTeechur
Periscope: @SarahDaTeechur
Website: SarahDaTeechur.com

5:15pm EST / 2:15pm PST:
Matt FrattaliTwitter: @iMattFrat
Periscope: @iMattFrat

5:30pm EST / 2:30pm PST:
Hanane SolorioTwitter: @msHanane68
Periscope: @msHanane68

6:00pm EST / 3:00pm PST:
Cynthia Day
Twitter: @msdayvt
Periscope: @msdayvt

6:30pm EST / 3:30pm PST:
Tracy Brady
Twitter: @mmebrady
Periscope: @mmebrady
Website: ChangingMyRealmOfControl.blogspot.com

6:45pm EST / 3:45am PST:
William Jeffery
Twitter: @CoachJeffery
Periscope: @CoachJeffery

7:00pm EST / 4:00pm PST:
Stacy Lovdahl
Twitter: @braveneutrino
Periscope: @braveneutrino
Website: ScienceToybox.blogspot.com

7:15pm EST / 4:15pm PST:
Heidi CarrTwitter: @carr_8
Periscope: @carr_8

7:30pm EST / 4:30pm PST:
Valerie Lewis
Twitter: @iamVLewis
Periscope: @iamVLewis
Website: iamvlewis.wordpress.com

7:45pm EST / 4:45pm PST:
Kimberly HowellTwitter: @ kmhmartin
Periscope: @ kmhmartin

10:00pm EST / 7:00pm PST:
Heather GauckTwitter: @HeatherGauck
Periscope: @HeatherGauck
Website: EdVoiceGauck.weebly.com

11:00pm EST / 8:00pm PST:
Heather Marrs
Twitter: @hmarrs24
Periscope: @hmarrs24
Website: TheTechyTeacherBlog.wordpress.com

Come join us for #PassTheScopeEDU and don't forget to follow each of these amazing educators on Twitter and Periscope! Also, if you follow the #PassTheScopeEDU on Twitter at @PassTheScopeEDU you'll see reminder tweets so you don't have to worry about when the next scoper is starting. And remember, if you watch, feel free to give lots of hearts because we love you!

New Job and Guest Hosting #HouseOfEdTech

I've had a pretty amazing and busy last couple of weeks that have kept me from writing here like I'd like to do. Not that that's any real excuse, but this may actually be a decent reason for why I've been absent for so long. While I spent a lot of time traveling and enjoying family time this summer, I had a life-changing event occur that has left me feeling very excited and nervous all at the same time.

My new home, SEDC!
As of August 1st, 2016, I am no longer a classroom teacher. I've left my post as a 5th grade teacher working with some of the most amazing educators in the state of Utah, if not the entire country, in order to accept the position of Technology Director of Southwest Educational Development Center (SEDC) in Southern Utah. While I have been working on my Administrative Endorsement to work in the area of Educational Leadership, this is a position that is kind of a dream come true! I get to work with some of the best educational technology integrationists and network specialists along with an outstanding Autism Specialist, the most organized office manager and kindest director you could ask for, it's like I'm dreaming here!

While I will miss my time working directly with amazing students and their very patient parents, I look forward to working with teachers to help them in their quest to become the best educators around! I will be working with the six Southwestern counties/school districts in the beautiful state of Utah! I've already spent time in five of the districts and I can't wait to work with each of the 100+ schools in my region.

House of #EdTech Episode 67
While I haven't done the best of job explaining my new position here, I recently had the chance to appear as the guest host for the #HouseOfEdTech podcast with my pal Chris Nesi last week. In that episode, Chris had me explain all about my new position and the process it took for me to apply for and ultimately get the job. You should consider heading over to ChrisNesi.com/67 and listen to Episode 67 of his excellent podcast #HouseOfEdTech. In fact, if you aren't already subscribed to the #HouseOfEdTech then you should correct that mistake and subscribe to one of my absolute favorite podcasts around. Chris produces a great new episode every two weeks and in it you will find excellent tips and tricks that you can "listen to today and use tomorrow." Thanks Chris for letting me come on the show and share my good news!

So, to recap, I have accepted a new position as the Technology Director of SEDC in Southwestern Utah, leaving the classroom after a wonderful eight years working with students. While I'll miss it, I'm already loving the new gig and look forward to all the new things I will learn. I also appeared as the guest host of Episode 67 of #HouseOfEdTech with Chris Nesi. Go ahead and have a listen at ChrisNesi.com/67.

20 July 2016

#PassTheScopeEDU July Edition

Image Courtesy of Brian Smith - @BrianRSmithSr
Tomorrow will be the first time since the creation of #PassTheScopeEDU that I won't be a planned part of the event and I'm not sure I'm okay about it. I was in the right place at the right time to work with the very talented Valerie Lewis and crew in starting the very first #PassTheScopeEDU event back in April and have loved working with the planning crew for each of the latter events. But I won't be an official scoper for the July Edition focusing on Creating Something New for the 2016-17 School Year due to being away with family on vacation.

Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE to disconnect occasionally and be away from the interwebz, but I also legitimately LOVE being involved with my #PassTheScopeEDU crew, so this is a little crazy for me. So don't be alarmed if you see me jump in on a slow moment and share some of my own ideas for the coming school year, and they are many! Plus, I may even have some breaking news about my next year plans. But I didn't officially plan a time due to not knowing where I'll be, but watch out for me. 

If you want to get a run down of who IS participating, look no further than the wonderful Stacey Lovdahl's great post on her site ScienceToyBox. She has put together a nice view of the event as well as another great video, which is shown below. 


Be sure to check out Stacey's blog for the full schedule and join in as much of the #PassTheScopeEDU fun starting at 12pm EST and going until 11pm EST with some breaks in between. And if you can't join in live, be sure to search for #PassTheScopeEDU on Periscope to find out what you missed. 

14 July 2016

Always Learning - #100DayProject - Day 105

I was lucky enough to spend some time today with a group of educators learning about using Social Media in the classroom and it was amazing! While many people may use social media in their private lives, it's not always easy to figure out ways to utilize it properly in the professional setting. Working with these teachers today they proved that even if you don't feel confident in a certain area, with a little explanation and practice you can get anything figured out and be ready for business.

I really enjoy teaching professional development classes for teachers because it allows me the chance to brush up on my skills in specific areas and reassess how I am doing things. Whenever I teach this particular class on social media, I am reminded that I need to spend more time with each of my social profiles to make sure they are up-to-date and not too laggy in information.

Not too bad of an idea, keep your own name safe on Twitter.
One thing that hit me this year had to do with Twitter and the fact that I don't use my real name but instead a screen name of @lars3eb. I came across someone (I feel bad I can't remember who now) who is in a similar situation, using a screen name instead of a real name for Twitter, had set up an additional Twitter account that was based on her actual name but just had it to keep her real name safe. I LOVED the idea so much I did the same thing and don't know why I hadn't done it before. I decided to treat this account differently and protect the tweets because I'm not going to use it that way, but instead as just a way to reserve my name in case I decide to use it later.

I also love when I remember I actually have certain social accounts that don't always get the attention they deserve. By taking the time to go into the account and freshening it up, I feel like I was able to do a better job as well as enjoy the different accounts I have created. It doesn't take much time, but if you even set a repeating event in our calendar for once or twice a year to update social networks you could be even faster. I've already set my alarm for the next refresh and no, it won't be a year from now because it will be much sooner.

13 July 2016

Drive Time - #100DayProject - Day 104

I love driving. It doesn't usually matter where the destination is, I almost always love driving. The only exception is heavy traffic with small children who can't keep themselves occupied. Other than that, I love driving.
Image Source: Pixabay.com

I was lucky to spend some time driving today as I needed to travel 50+ miles to attend the 2016 Utah Rural Schools Conference (#URSA16). The day was near perfect, excellent drive and wonderful learning took place. I was able to attend some great sessions, present a couple of my own, and connect with amazing educators from across the state of Utah. Then when it was all said and done, I was able to drive the same 50+ miles home and have some nice time to reflect on my day and really think about my learning. Sometimes I wish my regular commute was a little more like the one I had today because it allowed me more time to sort out my thoughts before arriving home so I wasn't as stressed or bothered by my day.

So the next time you decide you dislike your commute, try and use it to your advantage. Replay your day, reflect on the good, bad and ugly, and try to allow yourself the chance to calm down before you greet your home and family so you can be more of the person they love instead of the angry and stressed out educator you sometimes are when you get home.

12 July 2016

Password Management - #100DayProject - Day 103

Image Source: Pixabay.com
I love working with teachers to help them learn about how to use technology in their classrooms as well as just finding different ways to use it in their own lives. Today I spent time working with teachers on how to better use social media as a professional educator. We had a smaller group which I really enjoyed because we were able to really get into some different aspects of unseen aspects of social media including defining PLNs and why educators should care about them and the safety needs associated with using social media yourself as well as with your class. A lot of the important stuff that doesn't always get discussed with this topic.

One of the specific topics we discussed was that of password safety and the need to have different passwords for each different site you use or access online. I'm always surprised when I hear about people who are still using the same password across multiple sites. Not only is this incredibly unsafe it's also unnecessary with some modern tools like LastPass and 1Password. Whenever I discuss password safety, I like to show a great summary video on LastPass that Digitwirl created a few years back. Even though the video is almost five years old, I like the way it explains what password managers do and how to use them. 


As we were talking, we were able to discuss the need for better passwords and other ways to manage them that weren't so hi-tech, but I was happy that some of the teachers seemed interested in doing better with their password usage. If you are still using the same password in multiple places online, do yourself a favor and make a switch to keeping yourself safer and find a solution that works for you. 

** Note **
This is not a paid advertisement for LastPass, but I am a very happy customer who enjoys helping others see how password management can keep them safer online. 

10 July 2016

Music Fun - #100DayProject - Day 101

As many of you already know, I am a lover of almost all forms of music. I played in school bands from 6th grade until college where I even received a partial scholarship for my musical experience and commitment. I finally had to quit organized symphonic band when I entered my Elementary Education coursework. Maybe that was one of the reasons I was so excited to go back and play with the retirement concert for my college band director.
Image Source: Pixabay.com

While perusing Facebook today, one of my friends shared an amazing video where a man by the name of Grant Woolard had arranged (and I say composed even though this person didn't write the music) 57 classical songs by 38 different composers. I absolutely LOVED the video and ended up re-sharing it amongst my friends. I've now gone and watched it on YouTube where at the time of this writing it had 2.7 million views! So take a couple minutes and enjoy a very fun piece of classical music mashed up with other great classical songs. And if you play the piano, even just a little like I do, tell me you don't want to buy the sheet music.


I love sharing music-based items because I feel that music is something that ALL kids need to have in their lives and more than just listening to it. I believe that learning how to play a musical instrument helped me in all aspects of my life and especially in school. While it was difficult at times to finish all my homework and still have time for sports and practicing music, I wouldn't trade my musical experiences for anything! I was able to perform in many locations including Disneyland, Fullerton State Jazz Festival, UNLV, across Utah, and even on the stage of Carnegie Hall. None of which involved my time in rock bands and taking part in our mini-tour across Southern Nevada and Northern Utah. I have been very blessed to enjoy many different experiences through music that without I would be a different person.

Please help encourage your students to get involved with music and learn to play an instrument because you never know, they may just come back and thank you for it one day!

Edit:
I added the name of the man who composed and arranged this amazing work. His name is Grant Woolard and you should check out his other stuff on YouTube as well.

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