The Time is Now

•May 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My schedule for the 2011-2012 school year is done.  Sure, a fundraiser might pop-up, or a lunch time activity may arise based upon special circumstances, but the schedule is set. 

Activities are like that, we area always planning ahead, preparing for the next year.  So much so that it can be hard to finish the year we are currently in.  Next year will be my school’s first senior class, I can’t help but look with excitement and anticipation at what will be.  Sure, this year has been good, but next year, seniors.  Will our culture be complete? 

As I sit here grading essays, my mind is focused on the task at hand, but looming – pleasantly – is the future.  I look forward to a school that is developing an identity, tradition, spirit.  A school with a sense of pride, unique in our endeavors.  Time will tell, but I look forward to seeing of our seniors step up and help take our school to the next level.


“Yay” is for Learning

•April 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Today’s post comes to us from Matt Soeth, technology coordinator for CADA.  Matt is an English teacher and Activity Director with seven years experience.  He has also been a vice principal and led many professional development trainings with students, educators and administrators in technology and leadership.

When you see kids learning, that’s when teaching get’s fun.  This post looks at the process for me, as an educator, how amazing it is when I see kids I have been working with all year have their “a ha” moment:

All of Us Have Something in Common …

•April 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I stand amazed at the quality of educational leaders that are connected through
CADA. At the state convention this year, it was impossible to go anywhere without
witnessing sheer excellence. It was impossible to leave without feeling truly
energized and, in some cases, empowered to integrate technology like we never
imagined. Every detail was exquisite. Every presentation not only educated those
who were there, but also challenged us to do better (and more!) with less. Continue reading ‘All of Us Have Something in Common …’

My List of Favorites for Google Voice

•April 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I recently took some time to list out some of my favorite uses for Google Voice, check it out and let me know your thoughts.  If YOU have any favorites, please let me know.  I’m always looking for more to add.


Thanks for reading …

Evernote Top 10

•March 31, 2011 • 1 Comment

With a new iPhone update and an Android update to come, I have grown to love Evernote more and more.  Note taking has never been easier on my iPhone – so with some playing – I have come up with more than a few uses for this app.

  1. Now that I have the ability to add media and text in one note – I do that all the time.  In class, I will take a picture of what is on the board from our discussion, share about 30 seconds of my closing thoughts by using the recording option, label and tag the note to search it later, and then share it.  I like this in that it frees up my kids to engage in discussion and they can take the notes down later.
  2. Books: I’m always coming across books that I need to read, so I have a list going of my favorite books, and I started adding pictures of book covers.  If I have time I add links online where I can buy the books.
  3. To do list – I start one of these every day and add check off items finishing all I can before I leave work.
  4. I taught my students how to take notes on this app – so much easier and more usable than a notebook in that they always have their phones with them.
  5. I take pictures of documents; I have my students do the same.  That way if something is lost I am not making more copies and the kids have a digital copy as a jpg or a PDF file. Homework should not get lost any more.
  6. Screen Capture: with so much content blocked on my school server, I have used the screen capture tool of Evernote on my computer to take shots of sites I cannot access at school.
  7. Geo-tagging: this is more for admin, while walking around I thought how neat it would be to tag places where certain issues arise, such as where kids hang out during lunch or after school, graffiti, fights, or slow lunch lines.  Then, after tagging that several times with the GPS in my phone, sharing that Evernote file with my staff and ask them to keep a specific eye on an area.  I could easily show them what is going on and where certain events are taking place. It would be so easy to track a pattern and identify what is really happening.
  8. In leadership I started having kids create notebooks for projects.  Rather than fill out committee handouts the kids can now post all of their information into the file.  Then, if I need an update, say how the float is looking for homecoming, I can have a picture, video, and text showing me everything is done or in progress and find out the status of the group.  Afterwards, I now have a file that accurately and completely demonstrates what that group did and can now use that as part of the student’s grade as well as a living history for the class.
  9. Collaboration: as I work in class I have encouraged other teachers to start using Evernote. We try to share ideas back and forth.  It’s not perfect, but it has started a dialogue and forces us out of our rooms once in a while.  It helps me keep track of lessons online rather than going to my file cabinet or looking for my planning book from two years ago (or more).
  10. I had the kids create a notebook/scrapbook on Romeo and Juliet.  The girls were Juliet, the guys were Romeo, and they had to create a notebook with notes that detailed the life of the two young lovers from right before to the night they met.  I encouraged my students to include media: they recorded dialogue, added pictures, and one group went all out and shot a short dance sequence in costume.  So much fun and great presentations at the end. This challenged the kids with their analysis skills and it engaged them with access to a new medium.

Explaining Evernote

•March 24, 2011 • 2 Comments

After presenting at CADA convention, I really didn’t write a whole lot up as I walked people through the process of using Evernote with the intention of writing up a blog right after.  Well, this is not exactly right after, but pretty darn close. So, check out the info, let me know your thoughts, and happy note taking. Continue reading ‘Explaining Evernote’

Hey Ma! I’m on YouTube!

•March 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Video can be a powerful way to connect with your students and unify your campus.  I have been using video for six years and it has had a huge impact on our school spirit and culture. Continue reading ‘Hey Ma! I’m on YouTube!’