Becoming a Resource .....

Becoming a Resource .....

The moment you realize you are a resource for other educators is just priceless.  I had that moment today. I've been busy this week tweaking my personal website and was looking for all of the interviews and other resources I had created. As I was searching I noticed my name was tagged for the TCEA 2014 Convention. I thought to myself for a little bit, I know 2014 had been a busy year for me but I was pretty sure I had not attended the TCEA convention, even though I would have loved too.  I became a little curious and followed the link.  To my surprise I was a resource for Debra Atchison's presentation about green-screen projects.  I was overjoyed to learn I had became a resource for someone.

I became a little more curious so I did a little searching and discovered the following people had me as a resource of some kind:

I am sure there are more, those were the first ones I came across.

I love discovering how I have inspired others, helped others, and touched others in some way.  You really never know the impact you have.  As I continue on my path of being a presenter, trainer, speaker, and blogger I can't wait to see how I have inspired others.

Feel free to check out my personal website -

App / Tool of the Week .... EduCrate

App / Tool of the Week .... EduCrate

What is EduCrate? EduCrate is a media curation tool for educators.  It is a place where you can explore, share or even create your own crate of educational videos. The best part is that the videos can come from a multiple of online video sites and you save them all in one location.  If you can copy and paste website links then you can create a crate.

What I really love about this tool is that you can tag your crate (a group of videos) with a certain common core standard, topic, grade, and even subject. When you share your crate that has a variety of tags can help educators find video clips in that area.  There are so many video clips that educators, students, and even companies are making is mind blowing. To be able to have them all in one place just makes life a little easier for busy teachers and students. 


  • Add a description to your crates.
    • This way you will remember what type of video clips you have saved.
  • Add additional web resources to your crate.
    • If you have a game or other resources besides a video clip you can add the link to your crate and tie it to the subject/topic/skill/grade you are teaching.
  • Tag your crates.
    • If you use tags it will help you find similar video clips for that certain topic/subject/grade and etc... 
  • Add the Crate Bookmarklet to your browser.
    • This will help you save your video clips when you are surfing the world wide web.

Some Crates:

A Year in Review .... 2014

A Year in Review .... 2014

I've grown a lot personally and professional throughout 2014. My family even reached memorable milestones.  From my oldest son turning 16 and started driving himself around. To my daughter starting kindergarten while my youngest son started high school.  2014 for me is going down in my record book of a year of growth.

I started 2014 off by hopping on an airplane headed to FETC.  I was glad a had a friend traveling with me to help guide my way during such huge conference. Thanks Brenda for the guidance and the little push, without you I don't think I would be heading down my new path.  I do believe that FETC has been the largest conference I had attended in my career in education.

The hardest and most memorable journey I took was hopping on a plane to go to iPadpalooza.  I hadn't really traveled by myself before, but thankfully there was a kind face waiting for me when I landed.  Wendy opened up her home to me and watched over me while I was at iPadpalooza. Wendy you will never know how much your kindness help me get over a huge hurdle in my life.

I had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people face to face in 2014. From Adam Bellow, Kathy Schrock, Wesley Fryer, Todd Nesloney Brad Waid, Drew Minock, Kevin Honeycutt, Ginger Lewman, to the Blue Bunny gals at SimpleK12.  I even met some amazing people online which I hope some day I will be able to meet face to face such as Craig Yen, Sheryl Place, Monique Dalli, Jess McCarthy, and Terri Eichholz just to name a few.

My PLN has grown tenfold in 2014.  Without these amazing people online and in person belonging to my personal learning network I don't think I would have
grown as much as I have.  If I need help I know I can reach out to them and they are there to lend me a hand. If it wasn't for their support I don't think I could have hopped on those planes and head off to uncharted territory.

If I had to pick a theme song for 2014 it would be Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. I totally believe that today is where my book begins and the rest is still unwritten.  I feel that 2014 has started the first chapter of my this amazing journey I am on.  I am not sure where this journey is taking me, but I know I will learn a lot along the way.

If I had to pick a theme song for the end of 2014 and the start of 2015 I would have to go with Let it Go by Idina Menzel.  I have this passion building up and I need to learn to let it go and let others see me. I've been told that others have heard me through my blog, but now they want to see me. See what I really have to offer.  I would like to extend the walls of my classroom to reach the world.  I want to share how to bring learning to life, even if it is just one classroom at a time. I attended a Launch Me workshop and have connected with lots of people from around the world that would love to see me
achieve my dream.  With their help and support I believe that I will be able to change my theme song to This Girl is on Fire by Alicia Keys.

I can't wait to see how 2015 unfolds and where I go from here.

Website -

App / Tool of the Week ..... NextLesson

App / Tool of the Week ..... NextLesson

I teach skills such as researching, creating spreadsheets, presentations, and etc.... I sometimes find myself using the same lessons or projects to teach these skills, which get boring for me.  Like most teachers I just don't have the time to create rocking lessons for every topic I teach.  I was introduced to NextLesson during the EdmodoCon 2014.  I surfed their content and found lessons I could do with my students in a matter of seconds.  I love how the lessons/projects are broken down into stepping stones. I also love how interactive they can be.  There are already created lessons some of them are free others do cost.  You can browse by Common Core standards, grade level, and even subject.  You can even create your own lesson or project.  If you need help learning about NextLesson there is a built in tour that will walk you through the different features.

One of the lessons I used with my technology classes was called My Dream Vacation.  It is a free lesson and I was able to take it and customize it to fit my students' needs.  My students really like the topic of planning their own dream vacation.  I liked it because I could incorporate all of the skills we had learned and have my students apply them in a real world situation.  I used the Rank and Reasoning with my students to help brainstorm places to go on vacation.  The discussion piece really helped my students share their findings and ask questions such as; What can you do there? What can you see? How much is that going to cost?

The stepping stones really helped keep the my students moving forward. Once they completed a task then they could move a head.  With each task you can have student notes, teacher notes, and attachments such as a web link, images, or video clips.  The teacher resources are also very helpful especially the rubrics.

One of the things I changed about the NextLesson My Dream Vacation was I wanted my students to use any tool to create a presentation.  I gave them a list of suggested tools, most of them stuck to creating a Keynote presentation others did venture out and tried something new.  Below are just a few examples of their finished product.

NextLesson Projects/Lessons:
Just a few I found interesting and fun to try.

My Dream Vacation - NextLesson

Vimeo - My Dream Vacation

Being Called Up....

Being Called Up....

I started my career in education in a small 2A school an hour north of Manhattan. My husband and I choose that small school district for a few reasons.  It was the school my husband had attended and his family was right there.  We were a young couple with a young family building our lives together, we needed the support.  I just left K-State in December with my BS in Elementary Education and had planned on going after my masters in January. I started out as a sub for the school district which quickly led me taking over the computer labs.  The school district had two grade schools, one in each small town with the high school/ middle school in the country between the two towns.  Since there were two grade schools they had two computer labs.  I ended up being the computer lab teacher, but I wasn't being paid as a teacher or really treated as a teacher.  In the past the person in the lab was a para and the time the kids spent in the lab was play time. The kids going to the lab was really a break for the teachers and the other paras.

When I stepped into the computer lab teacher roll I had to change how others saw the lab, how others saw me.  The time in the computer lab for the kids went from a play time to a learning environment.  Soon I wasn't just teaching the kids I was staying after school teaching my colleagues.  The school district had wrote a grant the year before and received some SMARTBoards.  Those boards sat unused for a year.  The principal asked me what could I do with these boards and would I share with the staff.  She ended up giving me not one SMARTBoard to use but two.

While I was building relationships with the staff and teaching them how to create lessons on the SMARTBoard, one of the teachers just mentioned that I should send in a proposal to the Mid-America Association for Computers in Education a.k.a. MACE.  If my proposal was accepted then the school district couldn't turn me down and would let me attend the conference.  I took a chance and sent in my proposal.  It needed up being accepted for the summer MACE conference in Kansas City in 2004.

I freaked out just a little, well a lot.  Here I was a new teacher with a young family just trying to stay afloat.  All I could think about was who am I that people would want to go hear and learn from.  My husband just kept telling me to try it.  He would take me to Kansas City and be there if I needed someone to lean on.  So I went to the conference. He dropped me off, handed me the cell phone and told me to knock their socks off.  I walked into a packed room and then really freaked out. These people were all here to learn from me.  I took a deep breath and told myself I'm in my classroom and I'm just teaching.  The whole presentation ended up being a blur for me.  What I didn't know was the SMART Technologies rep was in the room and watched my whole presentation.  He approached me after my presentation.  I will never forget the first words he said to me.  "We need you to teach teachers."  He offered me a job right then on the spot to train teachers how to make learning come alive.  When my husband picked me up from the conference I told him what had happened.  We talked long and hard about what it would mean for our family. I couldn't accept that job at that time.  My family needed me.

Since that day I have presented at several regional, national, and international conferences speaking on a variety of tech ed topics.  I've also had the honor to provide teachers with a wide range of workshops were they were able to learn with a hands on approach.  I've been offered numerous jobs all in the field of technology education.  The timing or the situation hasn't been right or it just wasn't the right fit for me to move a head. I had also never really felt that I was really a major league player, not until my proposal for the 2014 ISTE conference was accepted. Now I'm not thinking who am I, it is more like where can I go next.

I want to travel the world and share technology education along with my story.  I am no longer the young beginning teacher trying to change how people see her.  I'm the tiger that has earned her strips, that has the battle scars, and that is ready to change how you see and use technology.  I've been called up to play with the major league players.  I am on the batting lineup and I can't wait to hit it out of the park.

How can I help you? -

Reflection of Launch Me ....

Reflection of Launch Me ....

This week I had a chance to learn from some amazing people.  It isn't every day you get to sit down and talk with Brad Waid, Ginger Lewman, and Kevin Honeycutt.  Being next to them made me feel like a rock star.  For the longest time I've felt like I was on island or a lone ranger.  When you are at a small town school and you are the only teacher that teaches your content and or skills you start to feel isolated.  I started to attend and present at conferences so that I didn't feel so alone in my field.  I just need to connect with someone that was like me.  I started at my district level sharing what I can do and it spread to region conferences, to national conferences, to international conferences.

ISTE which is one of the largest tech ed conferences accepted my proposal last year.  When I got the notice that I was accepted, it felt like I have been playing for a farm team and I've been called up to play with the major league players.  My heart just stopped, I ran around the house just screaming like I've won the lottery. When time grew near to the conference and my session had been cancelled my heart broke.  Which is OK, because I had made it. I didn't get to hit it out of the ball park, but at least I was called up.

If you watch NCIS you know about Gibbs and how he likes to knock some sense into Tony with a kind but powerful slap to the back of the head.  I think Kevin and Brad so wanted to be like Gibbs and knock some sense into me this week, which I so deserve.  Even my son got into my face after the 1st day of Launch Me and just flat out said "How many ways do people have to tell you that you are amazing at what you do."

Now that my 2 Gibbs wannabes, my sons, my husband, other teacher friends, and even my daughter is in my corner shoving me to the launch pad I best get on board.  It is always scary to start something new, to go beyond your comfort zone, to reach for the stars and hope that their is someone waiting for you.  I think Launch Me has given me the power to fly but also the energy to stay in orbit.

Thank you Launch Me family for the Gibbs slap and being there.