Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tragic recent events meant my building at work was without a working water cooler for about a week. But oh, was it ever worth the wait. This new, shiny, black and silver NINJA watercooler even smelled like "new car" for the first few days. (The water tasted just fine though.)
I hesitate to turn my back on this sleek devil.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
We were in the Business Office at school at my son spotted the t-shirts for the Summer School and Summer Daycare program. Showing off his musical education, he pointed to the music notes and declared "ta, ti-ti, ta." I didn't have the heart to tell him they're really ALL TIs, because they're all eighth notes.
Monday, March 28, 2011
I was at le-Tarzhay when I saw these and, given my Rockstar status in the California EdTech community, I had to snap a shot. Jon Corippo later said I should buy them. I almost did. But . . . . really, now.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
1. Really? This is what you do in the can, Mystery Colleague?
2. I know He does. But I'd really rather He not watch me in here.
3. Even with my pants around my ankles? Now, that's my kind of God!
4. If I smile, will He see it? If not, will He be sad?
5. Smiling all alone in the restroom is creepy, even if no one other than The Big Guy ever finds out.
And so on.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Hey Mom, did you know there are 37 countries in Europe? a photo by Dowbiggin on Flickr.
My first Instagram attempt. Cameron comes up to me with this map card thing. Then attempted to read me all 37 country names. He's seven. It bordered on comical.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Speaking of my photography mentor, here's something Ken showed us as a great source of images for fantastic presentations that are primarily visual. This would be where Ken gets most of his slide fodder.
Friday, March 18, 2011
In case you're wondering, my session went VERY well. Bigger and better than I had expected, and I was really pleased. I just avoided fixing my gaze on this floor.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
We had a lot of laughs about some of the decor. Took this while waiting for a cab to go down to Street Fair. The Riviera wasn't bad, it's just 2 miles from everything we needed to get to. Won't stay there again if I can help it for just that reason.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
When I needed to get an earlier flight, I ended up paying to upgrade to first class so I could switch the flight for free. (Also saved $20 on my checked luggage, I later realized.) Would have cost the same amount to change flights. First time flying first class. 85 whole minutes.
But that meant enough room to dig out my camera and snap a bunch of shots of the mountains from the air. Cameron helped me pick this one for the 365 project because it had a lot of snow.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
This was at the end of a meeting of my school's technology committee, of which I am 25%. The cup is from an event I worked last month and I love it as a way to make me remember to drink more water.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
This was originally taken during a geocaching outing when my niece was visiting from New Jersey. Cameron was convinced there was a geocache hidden here (there wasn't) and wanted to explore.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I took a picture (with my iPhone) of some tulips growing at my school today.
Then I used befunky.com to apply underpainting, watercolor, and pointillism effects.
Then I used picnik to make a collage of the four shots.
Because I could.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
My son has to create a poster for Ocean Week. It's due Monday. The habitat for first grade is the Rocky Seashore, and they usually study tide pools. The theme for this year is "Rescue at Sea."
This is MY prototype poster for him to use as a guide. Alec or I will make some of the pieces for him (since I could not get any tide pool animal stickers) and he can put it all together. I don't know how to get the "Rescue at Sea" theme worked into it, so I am just not going to worry about that.
We've actually had Cameron visit tide pools a number of times. He's been there and seen what lives there, at more than one location. We'll have to see how his poster comes out.
There's a set showing how I created this, step-by-step, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/22751315@N05/sets/72157626109403111/
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Monday, March 07, 2011
I was playing around with some effects on befunky.com, and I really like how this picture of one of my tattoos turned out. The tattoo is on my right shoulder, and it's in memory of my father, who passed away on March 28, 2008. He was born in England, and he was a very patriotic American (naturalized) citizen.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Saturday, March 05, 2011
There's an entire (small) set of shots of these daffodils here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22751315@N05/sets/72157626203063088/
Friday, March 04, 2011
I actually took this on Saturday, but I had NO pictures for Friday, so I used this instead. Shoot me.
Thursday, March 03, 2011
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
My friends Jim Sill, Jon Corippo, Nicole Dalesio, and Mark Hammons – all from California – got accepted. I did not. And I was among thousands who did not, I am sure; and judging by the names of fellow #ADE2011rejects (that was our new Twitter hashtag), I was in excellent company among a host of really amazing folks who also didn’t make it.
A few friends told me I was robbed. I don’t agree. I am sure I didn’t deserve it nearly as much as dozens of others whom I saw rejoicing on Twitter. My video WAS really good. I’m not gonna lie to you. But I just may not be to the point yet of my comrades who made it in. And I really am okay with that. Had I gotten accepted, I would have been dumbstruck with surprise.
A number of today’s winners got in after two previous rejections. I hope that’s what happens to me (though second time applying would be nicer, if you’re asking). Yes, I will keep applying.
To this announcement on Twitter, David Jakes asked me why.
So this is kind of my open letter to David, but also to anyone else wondering what’s all the fuss with this alphabet soup of qualifications people carry around in the world of EdTech.
It all started back in 2006. I was just taking on the position I still hold (teaching technology to grades one through eight), and my school sent me and my then-colleague (our school’s technology specialist) to ISTE’s NECC in San Diego. Back then, they had the money to fly us both to San Diego (from San Jose), put us in a hotel, get us a rental car, and pay for the conference registrations and our ISTE memberships.
The conference was great, and it coincided with my first summer working as the Blogging Peer Coach for IISME. In fact, at the conference I mainly focused on blogging in education to help me be a better peer coach to these educators I would oversee in a blogging experience for the following six to eight weeks.
Then, a couple of months later, I found out about the first ever Google Teacher Academy. Imagine my surprise when I was accepted. This was the start of something truly monumental in my life as an educator.
Now, let me jump in here to say that there are critics of organizations, especially those run by for-profit companies, who seem to be guaranteeing their future business by staking a claim in the education sector on the backs of teachers. I don’t agree with such critics that this is a problem.
- I teach. Teachers don’t make very much money. I teach in a private Christian school. I make A LOT less money than most teachers. I supplement my income by conducting trainings in the field of educational technology. Being a Google Certified Teacher has opened up opportunities I never would have had otherwise.
- I’ve always wanted to get my Masters degree, and I suppose I had a back burner “plan” to always do it . . . someday. Getting involved with a community of like-minded, supportive educators really propelled me to take action and finally do it. I started in the Fall 2008 semester, and I earned my degree in August 2010.
- Being the geekiest, most tech-savvy teacher at your school can be very isolating. This is especially true in a school as small as mine is. Becoming a GCT gave me a network of people like me, and then inspired me to bring my colleagues along with me for the ride. As I’ve added tools for our staff and students, I’ve helped everyone on our school’s staff strive to meet their own hidden potential. And I have to say, they had awakenings like mine. It feels good to make positive changes for the benefit of students.
- Companies make money. Schools don’t. When schools want to implement change, they often seek sponsorship from companies. Sometimes parent donations are matched by the companies which employ those parents. Everyone wants schools to improve, but no one seems to like the idea of making our students’ future employers invest in education. Companies that care about schools have their motives questioned. If Google wants to make their Apps free for all of K-12 education, I am 100% behind that.
Over the past four and a half years, I have spun a huge web of contacts in my personal learning network (PLN) of educational technology folks. Twitter has helped with that, and it wasn’t around yet when we had the first Google Teacher Academy. I’ve begun working some Google Workshops for Educators, and I qualified as a Google Apps Certified Trainer, which enables me to get even more work helping other schools and districts implement Google Apps. It’s a product I use, and I firmly believe in the value of the tools it offers.
Being a Google Certified Teacher has made me a better teacher and a better person. I really do believe that. It’s not what Google has done. It’s what the power of the PLN has done. And that PLN does include some folks, like David Jakes, who may not agree with me about “badges” and organizations I belong to or seek to join. That’s okay. It’s part of what makes it a great PLN.
So why will I keep trying to get into the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) program?
- They didn’t really reject me. They couldn’t take all of us, they spread the wealth around the country, and my state (California) is pretty geek-heavy and hard to compete in. I heard they took 76 new ADEs, when they normally only take around 50. And I also heard that there were thousands of applicants. My not getting in was not personal.
- I know several folks who needed to apply three times before they got in. Given that this program comes around about every two years in the US, I’m impressed with their dedication.
- What does it say about me if I want something, and then give up the first time I try and don’t get it? I am a teacher and a parent. I am NOT a quitter.
- I know many ADEs and many who are in the new Class of 2011. These folks are spectacular, and I have a lot I can learn from them. It’s another great network to be a part of.
- Staying active as an ADE requires some commitments that will help me to continue to grow as an educator. Never stagnate.
- Other than airfare to the summer event, Apple pays for everything else involved with attending the week-long ADE Orientation and Institute. Will I allow a company I’ve already bought lots of stuff from to put me up for a week? You bet! (See my earlier sharing about being a poor teacher.)
- There have been a number of training opportunities I have had to pass up because I am NOT (yet) an ADE. These have mostly been iPad in Education workshops I could have been paid to teach. (Again, I need the dosh!)
As it stands right now, my employer does not pay my expenses when I attend trainings. Given the state of the economy and private school enrollment, this is never going to change. I generally work for pay, or I present to cover the cost of the conference itself, and then I pay for all my travel and lodging myself. I become better at what I do on the job, my students and colleagues benefit, and I continue to grow my network. It’s a win-win situation that just happens to cost me money. I’m all for increasing my qualifications and decreasing what I shell out to do so.
So, David, thank you for asking why I will keep applying until I get accepted. I don’t crave acceptance. I don’t need another set of letters after my name. I want to be a part of something I believe in, and I know it will be good for my career. I have a self-employed husband and an adorable kid depending on me to always strive for more and better. And that kid’s tuition isn’t going to pay itself.