Ideas swimming around in my head after attending #NCCE2015



  1. Put in for funding to upgrade our version of Photoshop so students can design for the 3D printer
  2. Make another Infographic with Illustrator
  3. Purchase Sphero balls for Makerspace
  4. Plan out initial ideas for start-up incubator space
  5. Share Joe Dockery’s iPad Arts and Creation website with staff
  6. Investigate Intel K-12 Blueprint toolkit resources – especially Active Learning Spaces
  7. Participate in monthly #NCCE2015 Twitter chats
  8. Screencast some tutorials for Adobe Voice, Adobe Clip, Snapsneed, Trello
  9. Get a new stylus for sketchnotes!

NCCE 2015 conference sessions

Next week I will be presenting at NCCE 2015 …


Wednesday 2hr workshop – Extend Learning using Online Discussion Forums

Extend learning by using online discussion forums with middle and high schools students.  Provide opportunities for your students to demonstrate their understanding of concept presented in class, have conversations with their peers, debate topics in a safe and respectful manner, and share resources using online discussion forums.  We’ll learn how to set up online discussion forums and compare features of Schoology and Edmodo (and others) to see how to give every child a voice in the classroom.  Bring your own device!



Thursday 1 hr session – Using Mobile Devices in the Research Process

How can teachers and Librarians using mobile devices to foster critical thinking during the research process of brainstorming, searching, evaluating, curating, organizing and presenting. We will discuss best practices and strategies and compile a list of useful apps or websites. 

Notes from presentation: 
Slide Deck:  
Padlet Wall:

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!

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)

OASL reflections

I attended the OASL 2010 conference in Bend, Oregon on October 8th and 9th.  I attended the afternoon pre-conference and several sessions on Saturday that have impacted my understanding and teaching as a teacher librarian.

On Friday afternoon, I had the pleasure to hear Jerene Battisti and Angelina Benedetti share newly published books at their session titled:  You’re Invited: A Feast of New Literature for Teens. These two women are extremely knowledgeable about Young Adult novels /non-fiction and shared a huge variety of books centered around the following themes:  Fantasy, Old Stories Made New, History in Fact & Fiction, Science Fiction, Lighter Fare, Nail biters, Poetry, Girls In Trouble, War Stories and Boys Boys Boys.  Their session reminded me how important it is for a librarian to stay on top of what has been newly published –which can be very challenging!  Luckily Battisti and Bernedetti review hundreds of books each year and provide attendees with a comprehensive list that will be of great assistance when purchasing new books for the library.  Not only did I receive a list of recommendations but they discussed the authors, previous works they had written, indicated whether the books were award winners and offered related works. Even though I may prefer a particular genre, it is essential as a librarian to read a variety of genres – including graphic novels – so you can recommend books to your students or suggest familiar authors or similar themes.  Attending this session was extremely helpful and I plan to attend future workshops they give.

I was quite impressive with Kristin Fontichiaro who was the Saturday morning keynote speaker.  Her talk, Extreme Makeover: Library Edition, gave practical examples of how a librarian in the 21st Century should adapt and modify their program and become more like a Cultural Anthropologist, Peace Corps Worker, Strategic Technologist, and Community Builder.

As a Cultural Anthropologist, Fontichiaro suggested that we should be “embedded” in the classroom – always be watching and observing the students.  We need to connect to our local needs.  Fontichiaro explained that if students aren’t coming to the library – then the library should come to them.  She reminded us that libraries are not museums and we need to move away from the idea that the entire collection needs to be housed in one area.  I really like the idea of creating classroom libraries to match the curriculum.  I’ve already discussed creating a mobile science library on a cart that could be wheeled between each of our science labs.  We subscribe to several science magazines and this would be a great way to increase circulation among those items. Coming into the classroom with the mobile library cart is another opportunity to book talk!  Fontichiaro also discussed creating a library webpage that provides students with information 24/7.  One way to meet the diversity of learning styles is to have pathfinders that include multimedia – not just text.  By adding YouTube videos, Google Books, links to audio files and International resources we can reach all of our students while providing a valuable service.

As a Peace Corp Worker, our goal is to make the staff independent users of information.  Success in our position is defined by what the staff can do without our mediation.  Getting the staff to this point may take some professional development and coaching along the way but empowering the staff makes a sustainable community.  Once again, having a webpage that patrons can easily access is essential –something I am currently working on!

Our role as a Strategic Technologist suggests that we carefully evaluate technology and be strategic with planning.  Fontichiaro recommended that we get over “toolishness” and focus on effective ways to integrate technology.  I was please that Fontichiaro discussed technology as part of her extreme makeover.  I think the message that librarians today need to see themselves as instructional technologists is essential and I’m not sure many really know what that actually looks like.  Especially at the high school level, a good portion of my time working with students involves accessing electronic databases, recommending eBooks, teaching effective search strategies, assisting with MLA formatting – but at the same time being able to recommend a new novel for a patron.  We must be users and creators of technology ourselves so we can work with faculty and students when the opportunity arises.

Finally, Fontichiaro recommends that teacher librarians become Community Builders.  She suggests that we should build our learning networks online and at our school.  We need to feed ourselves so we stay current and know what others are reading and discussing.  This can happen through sites like Ning, Facebook, and Twitter but it’s not meant to replace the community you are working with – just enhance it. Participating in these networks is like a daily dose of professional development.  As a Community Builder we can encourage meaningful work such as a book study with the faculty or comment on articles from educational leadership magazines.  We can share instructional strategies with our staff and share resources we learn from our network.

Fontichiaro asked, “What kind of leader will you be?” and encouraged us to stay current on educational research, inform ourselves on current practices and participate in networks with other librarians who are emerging as leaders. Her message reinforced the path that I have taken and inspired me to reach out and invite others to join my journey.

Another influential session I attended at OASL was given by Cassandra Barnett, Past-President of AASL.  Her session, Empowering Your Learners – Implementing the AASL National Standards for the 21st Century Learning helped me to understand how each of the four standards are organized the difference between each of the strands:  skills, dispositions, responsibilities and self-assessment strategies.  The standards provide a framework for academic and personal learning.  Students have an unque opportunity in a library media center to develop their skills, hone their attitudes, independently practice their responsibilities and further their own learning.  Additional Indicators provide action items of what this might look like and finally Benchmarks offer specific skills that students can be expected to achieve by different grade levels.

Barnett provided us with a handout that we could use with our faculty about identifying partners among the faculty who can provide evidence of commons beliefs.  The goal of this activity is document what is happening in your school in a variety of classes or departments related to these beliefs: Reading is a window to the world, Inquiry provides a framework for learning, Ethical behavior in the use of information must be taught, Technology skills are crucial for future employment needs, Equitable access is a key component of education, The definition of information literacy has become more complex as resources and technologies have changes, The continuing expansion of information demands all individuals acquire the thinking skills that will enable them to learn on their own, Learning has a social context, and School libraries are essential to the development of learning skills.  Once the documentation is complete, you can determine areas that need attention and define action items and make plans for successful implementation.  I think that its essential to get the faculty working towards a common vision any time your planning a new initiative or curriculum implementation.  All teachers want their students to be informational literate and if we can find commonalities between our goals, we will have a greater chance at success. Additional Resources:   AASL, NETS & Partnership for 21st Century Comparision Resources for Librarians

These and the other workshops I attended at OASL gave me much to think about.  The time and opportunity to network with other teacher librarians was so beneficial to my growth as a newly returning librarian.  I am a true believer in professional development and am glad that my school library association does a good job of filling that role.

NCCE 2010

If you are attending the Northwest Council of Computer Education (NCCE)  conference in Seattle this week – please introduce yourself or Twitter using the hastag #NCCE10 so I can find you.  Or better yet –  stop by my presentations and say HI!

Wednesday 3/3/10:   5-8 pm Using VoiceThread for Interactive Projects workshop (fee)

Thursday 3/4/10:  3:30-4:30pm  Google Tools vs. Google Apps concurrent session – Rm 612

Friday 3/5/10:  9:45am – 10:45am What is a PLN and Why do I need one? with Martha Thornburgh – Rm 612

Reflecting about my own learning

Last Saturday during a two hour drive,  my husband and I had a great discussion about learning, failure and success.  We were discussing people’s attitude towards problems in your work environment and failure in general.  Some folks are crushed by failure, beat themselves up, or try to do everything to avoid acknowledging that things didn’t quite go as planned.  Other folks have an easier time brushing themselves off, looking for lessons learned and bouncing back.

We each identified our own attitudes and behaviors.  It was an interesting discussion about fear of failure, what motivates us to finally act after procrastination and our willingness to be transparent with our shortcomings.

Argg ... NCCE pirate themeDuring the drive home later that evening, I finally had a chance to reflect about my experience presenting at NCCE.  My mind wandered through the events of the conference in the quiet of the night.  While I absolutely loved meeting and connecting with the educators in my Personal Learning Network, my mind drifted to my own presentations and I found myself evaluating my “performance” –  what I wished I had said or not said and what I covered.

It’s easy at this point to beat yourself up.  It’s nerve-wracking standing up front of 60+ educators and put yourself out there.  Two of the three presentations were new for me this year and I wanted them to go well.   Questions like, “Did I explain myself clearly” and “Did attendees learn anything new” or “Did I cover the material well” swam through my head.

For the most part I do not beat myself up if everything doesn’t go perfectly.  I tell myself that if I had at least taught some folks to do something new or try a new way of looking at technology tools, or inspired them to learn more — then I did what I set out to accomplish.

Both Jeff Utecht and Richard Kassissieh blogged about the lack of conference sessions that focused on teaching and learning and too much focus on tools.  Richard wrote:

Excessive focus on the technology itself in the absence of an intentional learning environment reinforces unhelpful stereotypes about technologists and technology. 1) You can improve education just by adding technology; 2) Technologists aren’t interested in teaching and learning. Most of the conference attendees are teachers. Let’s upset the usual stereotypes and return to what matters.

Other discussions I had with members of my PLN also centered around how we could make this conference better and help technology-loving educators connect with one another.  I reflected on my experience of teaching the tools vs. focusing on the pedagogy.  How did I do?

I want to see “problems” as learning opportunities — not failure.  I want to be able to review my experiences and be proud of what I accomplished but at the same time be willing to correct mistakes next time — not see them as failures — but just as opportunities to try something else.  It’s called learning.  Realizing it’s not the outcome you wanted and try again.

Jeff ustreamed my Google Apps for Education presentation and I watched the archived video – and I did cringe a few time when reviewing, but for the most part was happy with the presentation.  Watching yourself is great for learning – as long as you can keep the focus positive.

So after a few days to think about my experience and what I “learned” , I noted a few things down.

  • Focus on student learning first and then how the technology tool can improve, help, or encourage learning.
  • Encourage discussion and conversation among the educators in smaller groups, backchannel or discussion board/questions.  Each person needs a chance to reflect, ask questions, and discuss for the idea to be “sticky”.
  • Be clear about your objective at the beginning of the presentation and the skill level  you are covering and stick to it.
  • For hands on workshops, have the participants create authentic material and not just “practice” the skill.
  • Have resource material available but don’t feel like you have to cover everything (especially 1 hr concurrent sessions).
  • Skip the “how I got here” intro and jump right into the presentation.
  • Constantly tweak your Powerpoint presentations (note:  I’m ready to start over on this one!)
  • It’s OK to be nervous – just breath deep — get in touch with  your passion inside – it will help you relax.

What have you learned about yourself lately?

Annual Report II contest entry

Dan Meyer has done it again – another contest – Annual Report II

The basic idea is to DESIGN information in four ways to represent 2008 as you experienced it. If you look at my second graph (below) you’ll understand why I missed the first Annual Report contest – I was on a self-imposed “no computer” hiatus during January 2008.  But this year I used the opportunity to play around with Photoshop – something I never take the time to do.

These four slides best represent 2008 for me: School, Learning, Family and my PLN. 2008 has been a great year for me professionally.  I gave presentations at three conferences (ITSC, NCCE and ILC) and  I attended the Google Teacher Academy.  I blogged regularly and was active in many online learning communities. I joined the Oregon EdTech Cadre and met tech-loving teachers from all over the state.    I feel more comfortable in my role as a Computer Teacher than I ever have before and I think that is reflected in my teaching.

With that in mind, here are my four slides:





Slide 1: This bar graph shows the number of students who walked through my classroom door in 2008, starting first with the end of Fall /Winter Semester 1, Spring Semester 2 and Fall Semester of the next school year.  I teach 6 different classes each term.  There are not a lot of electives at my small high school and many students choose to take the advanced computer classes their Junior & Senior year.  I love having them all – but it does make for a busy day and lots of planning.  Image credit:

Slide 2: I started this blog in July of 2007 – right when I was finishing up my Master’s of Educational Technology from Pepperdine University.  I had just spent the last year and half blogging for the program and realized I enjoyed the connections I made and the reflective writing.  I never really considered myself much of a writer before but I enjoyed sharing what I was doing with my students in my classroom and resouces I discovered. I wrote 120 posts in 2008 – which I’m sure isn’t a lot for some people – but it is for me.  This 3-D cone graph was made in Excel.

Slide 3: This slide is a timeline of the major family events for 2008.  We traveled to Arizona for Spring Break to visit my husband’s parents and took a side trip to Sedona.  My youngest son graduated from high school and the summer was busy with 2 weddings and trips to the beach and lakes.  We traveled up  to Gonzaga University in the fall for Parent’s weekend and I attended the ILC conference in October – where I met the charming Mr. Meyer himself <smile>.

Slide 4: My Personal Learning Network exploded in 2008.  I have met and stayed in contact with so many fabulous teachers from the Google Teacher Academy, the Oregon EdTech Cadre and the conferences I have attended.  My favorite part of ILC was folks coming up to me and saying, “Hey, I follow you on Twitter – and then the next thing you know we are sitting next to each other, sharing ideas, commenting on each other’s blogs and entering fun contests!

Wow … I wonder what 2009 will bring?

I encourage you to participate.  Alice Mercer already has posted her four slides.  Come on – it’s fun!

Upcoming Tech Conference presentations

Just a heads up:  I will be presenting a 3 hour hands-on workshop and several one hour sessions at the NCCE conference in Portland on February 19th & 20th

Integrating Google Tools 4 Teachers ($85 extra)
Morning Workshop, Friday, February 20, 2009, from 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Come learn how you can use the FREE Google tools to encourage collaboration in your classroom. A Google Certified Teacher will share multiple examples of how MS/HS school teachers are integrating Google shared docs & spreadsheets, Google Maps and the new Google sites into their curriculum. Great for beginners! Windows Computer Lab.…

Other concurrent sessions:

Thursday, February 19th 1pm VoiceThread for sharing and collaboration

Friday February 20th 1:15pm Google Tools vs Google Apps for Education

Btw, I am also presenting a Google Tools for Catholic Schools at the NCEA conference in Anaheim in April.  Anyone else going?

Update:  I will also be at NECC in Washington DC in  June

Title: Using VoiceThread for Interactive Projects
Category/Subcategory*: Formal Session:BYOL (Bring your own laptop)
Theme/Strand*: 21st-Century Teaching & Learning:Web/Internet/Web 2.0
Day: Tuesday, 6/30/2009
Time: 3:30pm–4:30pm