Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Gone AWOL

Because over the last few days, I have drunk any coffee in sight!  
I normally like to kick out a post about once a week.  Not only does it get my itch for writing out of the way, but it also gives me an opportunity to share out some great things that I have discovered or done since the previous post, provide some motivation to myself and others, and make a snarky comment or two, which is always a good time!  However, in the past couple of weeks, things have certainly piled up on me, limiting my time to be able to knock out a new post.  I have learned about many new programs, participated in some professional development, led professional development both at school and at a conference, and worked on some things that can/will have a profound effect on my life and career.  Without boring you too much, here is a synopsis of the previous couple of weeks and what I have on tap in the coming day...

Dean's Interviews:  One of my goals for 2017 was to secure a position as a school administrator.  Over the past month, I have done my research and applied for a handful of positions in my district.  Total, I have applied for seven middle/high school dean positions, and one elementary assistant principal position.  I have received a callback and interview on five of those positions.  Last week, I interviewed for two of the dean's positions, with a third school's interview today (as of this writing on 1/25).  I have been notified that I am a finalist for the two positions in which I interviewed for last week.  This means that I have a second interview at one school tomorrow and another at the second school on Monday, 1/30.  The preparation and interviewing process can be very stressful and time-consuming, but I am confident in my abilities.

Las Vegas Conference featuring Apple Teacher:  I had the opportunity to attend and present at the inaugural EdTechTeam Apple Teacher Conference this past weekend.  Heather Dowd was the opening keynote, focusing on teaching and learning as a "choose your own adventure" style book.  I presented a session on Adobe Spark at the event and learned a great deal on Keynote, Garage Band, and iMovie during other sessions.  I must give Mark Hammons and Snehal Bhakta a ton of credit for putting on a great conference and I look forward to the Apple Teacher conference making its return to Las Vegas and/or attending at another location.
Happy folk enjoying my session on Adobe Spark!

Got to meet Kelly Baker and Lauren Goodner, two #TOSAchat peeps!

Love this quote!
Tech Tuesday & Education Meet-Up: This week, I started up a Tech Tuesday program for the staff of my school.  I have planned four Tuesday sessions on various tech tools, with the hopes of expanding it after this trial four sessions.  This week, I focused on Adobe Spark (you can view my session notes here).  Next week's focus will be website building programs like Wix, Weebly, and the new Google Sites.  I also presented at an Education Meet-Up for teachers new to the district, showing teachers how they can use Google Forms to create rubrics for various class activities.  Over the past few days, I had to prepare the presentations for each of those.

Pear Deck Training: Earlier in the fall, I purchased a site license of Pear Deck for my staff.  Working with my sales rep, I helped other schools in my district to purchase a license as well.  My sales rep, Nick Park, is going to be hosting a training for district employees on Thursday and Friday of this week.  While I am not required to be there, I plan on attending at least one of the sessions to learn some tricks with Pear Deck that I may not know of and to meet my rep that helped get my school and so many others a great deal on a great program.

Las Vegas Summit featuring Google:  This coming weekend, the EdTechTeam will be back with their annual Google Summit.  I have attended the summit each of the last three years, and presented at a couple of them, in addition to presenting at other events that EdTechTeam has hosted.  I will be presenting two sessions at this event, one on screenshots and screencasts, and another roundtable discussion on integrating tech newbies and tech resisters into the mold of innovative digital teaching and learning.  On top of presenting, I will be attending various sessions throughout the two-day event.  
Life does not stop when you get busy.  I still have my family, housework, getting my daughter from school and to her dance classes, cooking meals, getting to the gym (I have consistently been waking up at 4 am to get to the gym by 5 and work out before work), and so much more.  On top of that, CUE-NV is hosting Tech Fest in Minden this weekend (still time to register), and while I am not going, I have been doing a lot of different things to help those that are going to be ready, like creating a schedule, promotional materials, prize certificates, and the like.  I have been lucky to get 5-6 hours of sleep a night as of late, but I wouldn't change any of it!  I like to be busy, and it keeps me out of trouble!

However, on a more serious front, I did receive word that my Google Certified Trainer application was rejected.  Since it is a rolling application now, I can reapply after I look at my materials and revamp some things.  Google did not inform me of why my application was rejected, but I know I can improve my application and get in next time.

I also got a devastating phone call from my best friend, John VanDusen, last Saturday, informing me that his mother passed away unexpectedly.  Throughout my college years and beyond, John's parents were like a second set of parents to me.  It hasn't quite set in, most likely because I live 2000 miles away.

After the dust settles on these couple of weeks, I will hopefully be able to get back to a more stable writing schedule and share out some of the great things I have discovered and rediscovered in the past few days and weeks.  Until next time...