Pepperdine OMET/MALT Alumni Conference – Day 2 & 3

I began the presentations on the 2nd day of the Pepperdine OMET/MALT Alumni Conference.  I shared how my own Cadre 9 Action Research impacted my teaching and my student’s experiences.  I also shared how I built a PLN through Google Teacher Academy, meeting edtech teachers & Teacher Librarians on Twitter, presenting at conferences, co-founding edcampPDX and my future plans of teaching an online edtech class for Portland State University.

Next up was Jonathan Silk (Cadre 14) who talked about building an online Community of Practice with Leadercast for military officers.  David Greenfield (Cadre 9) talked about the Arts and importance of including them into STEM S.T.E.A.M programs — and not just think that doing “artsy” lessons is the same thing.  I really enjoyed meeting Noah Sparks (Cadre 13)  — (yes, he’s Paul’s son) and hearing how Yammer transformed his work environment.  Andrea Flagiello & Jacquelin Sandoval (Cadre 14) shared their MALT Design project — which was solving how OMET/MALT alumns can better stay connected using social media.  We will definitely use some of their ideas as we move forward with organizing future meet-ups and conferences!!

I especially enjoyed hearing about Jeff (Cadre 3)  & Maria (Cadre 11) Lee’s experiences using VoiceThread in their research of Himalayan Communities Leverage 21st Century Technology To Solve Problems.  Jeff had attended one of my VoiceThread sessions at ISTE and was able to meet  Steve & Ben, the owners of VoiceThread and then worked with them to take their beta iPad version of VoiceThread to Nepal to record the villagers talking about their experiences.  Even Robert Martellacci got into the action and updated us about MindShareLearning and Dawn Ryce shared a poem enhanced with her own photos — (thanks Debby & Dawn for being our photographers all week long!).

When enjoyed a leisurely lunch (highly recommend Malibu Seafood) and then returned for our 2nd day of unconference sessions.  I attended a discussion about what questions about technology should we be asking & how its affects our culture.  I also really enjoyed the next conversation about best practices when using collaborative tools with students and teachers.  The final panel once again shared “What’s got your attention” and we ended Friday with a community circle by the Heroes Garden with Margaret.  Of course Friday wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory after dinner visit to the Lego room as the MALT15 cadre mates worked frantically to finish up all of their projects.

We all cheered on the MALT15 cadre mates on Saturday morning as the ran their Hunger Games Lego robots — “May the PROCESS be ever in your favor” — and watched their videos.  By then everyone was all happy and smiles (and a little sleep deprived) and after the final community circle then the conference was over.

I really am glad I decided to attend the conference.  It was fun for me to meet the MALT15 cadre and enjoyed their questions of: What did you do for your Action Research, is it really going to take over my life and what are the instructors like?  Best of luck to my MALT15 buddies Kristina Peters and Catherine Davis and all the other cadre members.  Feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions of need some help with Twitter, Dreamweaver, Action Research or just a compassionate person who will commiserate with you.  And remember … it really is all about the process.  Good luck!

Pepperdine OMET/MALT Alumni Conference – Day 1

The first ever Pepperdine OMET/MALT alumni conference was held at the Malibu campus this last week.  Members from almost every cadre 1-14 were represented with around 40+ attendees coming for part or all of the alumni conference.  The experience was different than a “traditional” conference but very interesting.  Conference Coordinator, Debby (Kilburn) Kurti said it best, “Our common experiences going through the program binds us together because we all value the same thing”.   Thanks to Bill Moseley for pitching the idea of an alumni conference to Pepperdine and Margaret/Paul and a HUGE THANK YOU to Debby (and the Thundering Herd), Julia, Derek & David for making it happen.

I especially enjoyed meeting folks from different cadres and comparing experiences.  We all reminisced about our VirtCamp experiences, the bonds of friendship, frustration with learning how to program Legos, making websites and movies, and remembering “it’s the process”. I enjoyed catching up with fellow Cadre 9 folks:  Kristen, Robert, Novita, David, Allen and honorary Bucca9er – Pam.

OMET/MALT Alumni members in order from Cadre 1-14 (left to right) who attended on Thursday

During the morning sessions of the alumni conference each day various people spoke about their Action Research, current projects, or how the program has impacted them in their current position.  On Thursday we learned about ways to use Edmodo from Jill Florant (Cadre 13) to engage students & faculty and develop communities of practice.  Jacquelin Sandoval (Cadre 14) shared an amazing story how her digital marketing plan from her Action Research helped resurrect a fledgling salon business.  Kevin Chow, a teacher from Venice CA (Cadre 14) talked about marshaling student self-efficacy through knowledge building communities hoping to affect the dropout rate at his high school.  Charlene Reed (Cadre 7) shared the story of how having an real client engaged her design students.  Trey Eubanks (Cadre 14) used the analogy of using the right “power tool” when working with faculty who are learning how to integrate technology at his school. Unfortunately I missed most of Oscar Menjivar’s (Cadre 13) presentation on Teens in LA:  Hustle & Hack because I was pulled out to be videotaped about my Pepperdine experience. The passion of each speaker was obvious and I enjoyed the variety of topics.

After enjoying a nice lunch, Cynthia Martinez (Cadre 1) helped explain and organize an unconference.  Topics by attendees were suggested and voted on and I attended two sessions.  During the first session people shared an online resource, software tool or website.  The next session focused on best practices with mobile learning and favorite Apps.  It was nice to have an opportunity to interact and get new ideas from each other.  The nice thing about the unconference format is that if you feel you missed something by not attending one of the sessions, you can always suggest that topic at the next unconference you attend!

Panel members answer "What's got your attention?"

Julia Fallon (Cadre 8) then organized an informal panel and asked members to share, “What’s got your attention”.  The sharing and conversation was insightful, engaging and inspiring.  Cynthia talked about the Maker Faire movement and this got me thinking about how I could encourage more creativity at my school or for myself personally.  We also got into an engaging conversation about empowering students, empowering teachers and leadership.  What a wonderful way to end a full day of conversations and learning.

We were off to Duke’s for dinner and met up with some of the MALT15 folks later on for drinks.  All in all it was a great first day for the alumni conference.


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Google Apps California Summit

I am presenting at the Google Apps for Education California Summit this week – July 12 & 13 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara.  My presentation are:

Winning ways to use Google Apps in your Library

Got books? Promote Reading and YA Literature Using Google Apps


It was very interesting taking my Got Books? poster session presentation that I did at ISTE 2012 and completely convert it to Google tools.  I was amazed how many opportunities there are to using Google tools while using technology to promote reading and book projects.


There and back again

I am thrilled that Pepperdine has decided to have an OMET/MALT alumni conference alongside when the new Cadre 15 will begin.  My participation in the Online Masters of Educational Technology (now called Masters of Learning Technologies) program was life changing for me.  I was challenged to connect with all types of educators using online and virtual tools.  Never did I know that this constructive environment would stretch me and challenge the way I taught.

It has been five years since I graduated and during the alumni conference I will present a 20minute TED-type talk about my journey, what I have learned along the way and how it challenged me to make a difference.  Here are my slides (including brief speaker notes)