I watched #COETAILCast 11

And really enjoyed it! Definitely worth an hour of your time. But if you don’t have that much time, here are the highlights (according to me):

COETAILers on Twitter
After the workshop I gave at PEAK on Saturday, I found value in the conversation re: Twitter. Becoming a connected educator can do so much for you and for the education community.

COETAILers on Blogging 
A great discussion about making the time to blog and what to blog about. Hopefully something we can use during our KIEC workshops in January. Two highlights for me: “If you’re in a tech integration job, part of your job is to blog, to reflect” (Jeff Utecht) & “Write for yourself” (Chrissy).

Dana Watts on iPads in education
Dana summed up everything I believed in the perfect way. I’m not going to try to paraphrase. Just go watch it (only a minute or two).

Videos & Redesign

I’ve been incredibly busy with grad school and teaching French (yupp…that’s right. I’m teaching ‘temporarily’ teaching French again. I’m going into my 5th week starting tomorrow.) A few of my recent assignments were interesting so I thought I’d cross post them here.

For UKSTL EDL 661 with Jayson Richardson, we had to recommend 3 blogs for our classmates. I couldn’t pick only three so I recommended 4 in my first video using Jing. (If you have ideas for how to embed Jing videos in WordPress, let me know!)

For COETAIL course 3, there were 2 pieces to my final project. The first was to create a digital story. I decided to make a first draft of my video in order to become a GAFE Certified Trainer. Feel free to watch my video, read my post and leave me feedback so I can make it better!

Also for COETAIL, I had to revamp an existing presentation. Below is my final product. Check out the original and the handout I created on my COETAIL blog.

I’d love any and all constructive criticism to make these better! Thank you!

Kuwait: Year 2!

I cannot believe it’s already September! We had a great summer: spent quality time with lots of friends & family, traveled for a month in the US, and mostly disconnected. Now we’re back in Kuwait for year 2 (year 5 teaching) and school is already under way!

It was incredibly refreshing to disconnect from my PLN this summer. I didn’t blog, keep up with Twitter or read my RSS feeds. During the last 2.5 weeks back “home,” I’ve been trying to get used to the heat while getting ready to dive in full force this semester. Today starts COETAIL Course 3 and EDL 661 with UKSTL. I’ll be taking 12 graduate credits this semester and have already started to feel a bit overwhelmed. However, I’m incredibly ready to be challenged, fulfilled and rewarded. Looking at the outlines for all 4 courses has made me eager and excited. I can’t wait to start learning and growing professionally!

I plan to continue to reflect professionally and share resources on this blog. However with a total of 21 graduate credits while working full-time this year, I may not be posting regularly (not that I did before either!). I would, however, like to continue to grow my PLN and collaborate with educators around the world.

I’ve tried incredibly hard to come back to school this year with a positive, go-with-the-flow attitude. I’ve decided to make myself stand out in my position (as technology coach) by intentionally showing teachers that I care about how they’re doing and supporting them. The first week with new & returning staff was an amazing week of professional discussion and collaboration organized by the middle & high school principals. It set a great tone for the start of the school year. The entire 6-12 staff participated in several protocols (including Compass Points – I’m a north with tendencies towards east & west). I particularly liked the text-based protocols and the articles chosen. Our HS principal also shared a video with me that is worth slowint down and watching for 20 minutes: Celebrate What’s Right with the World. If only more human beings had this attitude…what a world it could be!

Happy September, happy school year and happy new beginnings!

#NESA_SEC 2013

To be honest, I attended the NESA Spring Educators Conference this year because my husband was chosen to present. Instead of wondering around Bangkok by myself for 3 days, I decided to pay (a lot) to attend the conference in the hopes of mediocre professional development. What I got was much more than that!

Networking: I had the opportunity to meet Dana Watts and Scott McLeod in person (and attend their sessions). I’ve been following them on Twitter for awhile and have a bit of a blog-crush on Scott’s Dangerously Irrelevant. I also found many new international educators to follow – my list is still primarily US-education based and I’m ready to expand my PLN! The discussions that took place on Twitter were equally as valuable as the sessions I attended.

Sessions: I really enjoyed the idea of the 4-hour workshops. Scott McLeod’s workshop blew my mind (as did the keynote). I was inspired & challenged by the content Scott delivered and by the collaboration that I participated in and witnessed. Check out the unit/lesson plan my group made (we had approx 25 minutes to create it). We then presented the lesson to another group who gave us feedback (and vice versa). I was completely overwhelmed at first (and didn’t like the constraints  but then it got me thinking -if we could do this in 25 minutes, what could teachers who actually teach this content do in an hour (or more!)? And I ended up really liking the fact that Scott had given us constraints – it focused us and was much closer to reality (we all have standards…). If I had gone to nothing else, these two sessions would have made the entire conference worth it.

Decisions: Scott & Jayson handed out fliers for the School Technology Leadership programs at the University of Kentucky during the workshop. My first instinct was to set it aside without really looking at it. The longer I sat in Scott’s workshop the more I felt that piece of paper calling to me. I listened to Scott and Jayson talk about the program and did a little of my own research. Wow. Even though I’ve already started my Masters with COETAIL, I felt pulled to the UKSTL Masters. Scott, Jayson and Dana were nice enough to answer a few questions for me…and my mind was made. I’ve been (quickly) assembling my application ever since (due May 1). I’m really excited about the possibility of being a part of the next UKSTL Masters cohort (I’ll still complete the COETAIL certificate, but won’t do the Masters). The more I sit on my decision to apply the stronger the pull becomes to be a part of ‘it.’

So…the Spring Educators Conference was a success. I am bummed that I missed out on the opportunity to meet Doug Johnson and attend his sessions. Next year the conference doesn’t back up to Spring Break…but if there’s a good line-up of presenters I might just pony-up the cash and go again. 🙂

#Coetail Course 1 is done!

I can’t believe it’s already done! It went by so fast 🙂 I’ve already been able to meet fellow COETAIL-ers in person and love that my PLN is expanding exponentially. Although I’ve been “connected” for about 2 years, my PLN consisted of mostly American educators. COETAIL has given me the opportunity to connect with international educators around the globe and we’ve just begun!

Feel free to browse my Course 1 posts/reflections including my final project 🙂 (Bug all fixed thanks to Jeff Utecht!)

I’m still here

I’ve been kind of absent on here. Instead I’ve been busy traveling, planning PD and reflecting for course 1 of COETAIL.

We’re still having Reflector issues and it’s not yet been rolled out for our entire staff. I’d love to get everything solved this year so we can make it 100% available next year.

Jeff and I are heading to Dubai next weekend for the Middle East GAFE Summit. I’ll have my presentation up for viewing pleasure next week.

I also have some draft posts that I need to finish. My goal is to finish those before we head to Thailand and NESA for Spring Break.