Thursday, August 10, 2017

Maine Google Summit 2017

Wow. Another great learning opportunity.  Here's a recap of what I've learned last week at South Coast Maine Google Summit!

Chrome Extensions!

Eric Lawson gave some amazing Chrome Extensions.  My two big takeaways from this session were Extensity & Google Keep!

Extensity: Quick, simple way to turn Extensions on & off! Extensity alphabetizes your extensions making it simple to find the particular extension you would like to utilize.  Here's what it looks like when you've installed it:

Google Keep: Not only is it a Google App, it's an Extension. Now, users can take notes while viewing their websites.  The note appears in the top right corner, automatically links to your webpage, and autosaves to your Google account.  Here's what it looks like:
Then when you access your Google Keep app, the note appears:
From this screen you can even create documents from your notes.  Here's more information about using Google Keep in combo with Google Drive.

Google Calendar & Appointments

How can you use Google Calendar to streamline your appointment scheduling?  Blanca Duarte gave an excellent session about utilizing Google Calendar to organize your scheduling.  There are two ways:

Appointment Slots

This must be enabled by your domain administrator.  Use this option when working with people inside your domain, as they are likely to have more Google Calendar experience.  You can tailor your time slots and automated descriptions for meeting materials needed.  Also, the slot can be set up to accept feedback from the person scheduling the appointment.  This feedback can be a way for you to understand the meeting's context.

Google Form & Choice Eliminator Add On

When you are booking appointments with people other than teachers, Blanca Duarte showed us how you can use Google Forms with the Choice Eliminator add ons.  There are two: Choice Eliminator Lite & Choice Eliminator 2.  I've used both and had great success with them.  I joined Blanca's session because I wanted to get her feedback on both of the add ons.  She agreed that sometimes the users can sign up for the same session if they submit their requests at the same time, but overall, the add on solves many scheduling issues for things like field trips, open houses, parent/teacher conferences, and athletics practice times.

3D Printing

Katie Vetro was amazing!!!  I attended this session to learn how others integrate 3D printing into their curriculum.  Katie explained 3D printing and showed how she uses Google Drawing to teach students 3D designing.  She has the students create their designs and then exports them as a JPG.  My instruction is slightly different that Katie's.  Katie works with elementary school students and so she is just teaching the basics.  Whereas my students incoporate scaling and measurement into their designs, so Google Drawing may not be the best solution.  Also, both of the 3D printers in my school cannot print JPG files.  However, if I utilize the 3D Builder app on our machines (Windows-based), I am hopeful that I can convert the file.

Tour Builder

Joli Boucher was phenomenal.  I attended this session last year, but I wanted to attend again because I wasn't able to implement Tour Builder like I expected.  Here are my huge takeaways:

Newseum PD

What a treasure trove! Did you know that Newseum offers a slew of online PD for educators?  What an amazing resource for us librarians!  I cannot wait to delve into this more to learn more about teaching source evaluation.


My PLN grew at this event!  First of all, I was very fortunate to keynote Thursday morning.  I shared Pathways to Leadership and received great feedback on Twitter.

Mary Soares, an amazing Special Ed teacher in my school, came to this Google Summit.  She's an amazing educator; I learned a great deal from her throughout this past school year.  It was wonderful having her at a Google Summit because we were able to share all of the amazing things we learned and how we can apply it in our district.

Nancy Smith is a 5th grade teacher in Maine.  She taught me about Newseum & the resources available.  I cannot wait to chat more with her about this!

Jen Bishop was at the Source Investigators workshop.  She's another middle school librarian.  Having her feedback in my session was a great addition.  She was able to corroborate my tips, provided great questions, and shared with me an awesome website she designed for American Immigration.

Katie Vetro is another 3D printer!  I'm excited to have met her because I can never seem to get enough ideas and help when troubleshooting!

Jen Adams is a tech integrator at a high school. She's very excited by the idea of Genius Hour.  We sat and brainstormed for at least 30 mins during the Capstone session to figure out her implementation.  I'll be following her journey!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

NH Google Summit: Day 2

NH Google Summit: Day 2

Thank you AppsEvents, Allison Mollica, & Andrea Ange for collaborating to bring us this fabulous summer PD event.  I have learned, presented, brainstormed, and met some amazing new people!

Session One: Source Investigators

This was my first time presenting this topic. I truly believe that the planning phase of research is often overlooked.  Setting up notes, preparing resources, and discussing source gathering methods is the key to students becoming effective source evaluators. My website has my session slides and resources.  Feel free to reuse as you see fit.

Thank you to my session participants.  Your patience with my first crack at this presentation was fantastic and I'm eternally grateful. I got some great feedback.  A person mentioned that this sessions was tailored for librarians, which was not my intention at all.  This has in fact challenged me.  So what I need to do at Maine Summit is to show how what I do in the library can easily be replicated for a classroom teacher or tech integrator, should they be teaching source evaluation or research.

Session Two: What's Up Google? Google's ELOs

Again, Allison Mollica provided a treasure trove of resources for teaching relevant life skills with Google products. I was amazed at all of the resources buried in Google's training website. Here are all of the ones I plan to utilize sooner rather than later:
Methods for Using These Tools
  • Create a PLN for teachers doing this over 6 months?
  • Can create WHOLE courses for students!
  • After school coding clubs
My brain is still spinning from this amazing session. What I loved about Allison's session is actually her presentation style.  She rapid fires resources, lets us play with what piques our interests, and answers questions along the way.  I plan to show my teachers many of these resources.

Session Three: Reflect

Whoa. I needed this session. I always leave these workshops invigorated and excited, but without an action plan. While I still don't' have an action plan (it's coming!), I was able to synthesize my main takeaways and brainstorm HOW to get these resources to my teachers. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

2017 NH Google Summit: Day 1

Wednesday, July 19, 2017: NH Google Summit at Campbell High School

AppsEvents put together another great summit for ed tech leaders and teachers.  Each year, as I drive to the summit, I'm eternally frustrated with myself for signing up for more summer PD.  But within ten minutes of arriving at the summit, I'm so grateful for this amazing PLN.

Here's a recap of what I learned today.

Keynote: Joe Marquez

Joe was phenomenal.  He was fantastic at articulating so many of my thoughts. He discussed all of the various reasons why using technology is so crucial for engaging kids. My favorite slide:
Stats of how technology is embedded in today's students' lives

First Session: My First Android App

Great session from Allison Mollica about designing an app.

Things to know about using AppInventor2
  • Must have a laptop/Chromebook to create the app AND an Android tablet or phone to test your app
  • AppInventor2 is block-style programming
  • Two things to understand: You design an interface and then program it.  Just by adding the picture of your cat or the magic 8 ball does not mean that you're building an app.  You have to program the buttons to actually do something!
  • Great resources at on website's explore page
  • Mind blowing moment: When Laurie Prewandowski showed us that within YouTube's video manager, there is a create button that has access to copyright free audio & music files! (see below)

Where you can find the Audio Library in YouTube's Video Manager

Second Session: Genius Hour

Jessica Payeur & I presented about our year experience with Genius Hour. We had lots of great questions about structuring this in a K-5 classroom/library and also about how to handle apathetic or unmotivated students.  Again, we ran out of time; so glad that we had all of our resources online though.

Third Session: HyperDocs, Slides, & Drawings

Joli Boucher was amazing at explaining how a HyperDoc is more than a document with links.  It's flipped learning, personalization, self-paced, engaging, empowering, revolutionary way for teaching today's students.
  • So many uses!
    • Geography, mapping skills
    • Differentiation of curriculum
    • Math: Incorporate png's to embed rulers, protractors for measurements
    • Reading/ELA: Various text, media literacy evidence activities
    • Science: Concepts, incorporate drawing activities, watch videos
  • Use the gutter gray area around the drawing & the slides to give the students their instructions! #genius
  • Joli uses consistent vocabulary in her docs to communicate learning actions:
    • Explore
    • Engage
    • Create
    • Share
    • Self-Assess
  • Utilize Screencastify for students to explain their learning; then embed video directly in activity
  • Need a video in a Google Drawing? Embed in Google Slide then copy+paste into your drawing
This session was a strength as I know get the excitement over Hyperdocs!

Session Four: Drive & Team Drives

Edith Fogarty gave a great overview of Drive & Team Drives.  I love participating in these basic sessions to give me new ways to teach my teachers about Drive.
  • Files in Drive can be in multiple folders!
  • Easy way to move a file in Drive? Select file, hold Shift+Z, it'll pop up the move item window. #presto
  • Team Drives:
    • Must be enabled by domain admin
    • Team drive becomes owner of document
    • Be careful not to confuse the use of team drives with shared folders -- don’t over create team drives
    • Unlike folders, docs cannot live in both the team drive and your drive
    • Team drive creator (likely the admin) can restrict download, print, or copy
  • Team Drive Uses
    • Shared student information; change users of team drive from year to year
    • Centralized forms
    • Shared projects

Demo Slams

Cue the Onyx!

Eric Lawson: Google Street View app takes 360° photos!
Joe Marquez: Turbo Note & EdPuzzle Chrome Extensions power up your YouTube use!
Laurie Prewandowski: Talk & Comment Chrome Extension: Use to record comments; paste link in Google Doc, Slides, etc. comment box for Ss to review your comments!

Who's ready for Day 2?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

ALA MidWinter 2016

This was my third national ALA and/or AASL event.  I was excited to learn more about ALA & AASL, meet more librarians, and scour the exhibit hall for the best conference swag!

1. Get to know more about the national organizations, ALA & AASL, and how they operate
2. Meet school librarians from throughout the United States to share ideas & experiences about their work in their libraries and with AASL
3. Meet a Springshare representative to find out more about joining all Londonderry libraries under the high school's CMS subscription
4. Meet authors and collect new ARCs to add to my library collection


AASL Affiliate Assembly: I represented NHSLMA as an alternative at the Assembly.

  • Saturday: Discussion Groups
    • Broken into groups based on a self-determined hidden strength
    • Discussed how to improve the capacity of AASL
  • Sunday: Business & Additional Round Table Groups
    • Conducted business in regards to the processes for reaffiliation, recommendations & commendations, and statements of concerns
    • Additional professional discussions occurred: Nine separate topics, and in ten-minute rotations, we were able to self-direct which discussions to join
    • I participated in: Relations with DOE, Leadership, Conference Planning, and Surveying Members
    • New ideas include: Develop a project to work on with DOE rep, have year-long sponsorships of vendors to avlieviate pressure on conference to make money, develop resources on a libguide for each region to refer to so that information between each state's delegates does not get lost in the transitions, need to survey members to find out what they need their organization/conference to do (we do this with our students, we should be doing this with our members)
Exhibit Hall
Between Saturday and Sunday I collected more than 75 advanced reader copies (ARCs) and promotional materials, such as posters, bookmarks, and discussion questions, for my library, my school, the other libraries in the district, and my family.  That's right, 75 FREE ARCs FOR MY STUDENTS & FACULTY!  I picked up the new James Patterson & John Boyne -- two huge authors with my students.  Additionally, I spoke with a few publishers to potentially get new ARCs delivered right to my library.  I will reach out to these publishers to follow up on the conversations.  

Springshare representatives were at #ALAMW16.  I spoke with Cyndi Blyberg, a tech support rep.  She assured me that merging my school into the high school's CMS subscription is relatively seamless and can easily be done.  Win!

Ah Ha Moments!
I was introduced to Audrey Church, and immediately following our conversation, I volunteered with AASL Get Involved to join national committees.  I am excited for what is in store for my opportunity to be involved at a national level.

Netgalley: Helen Burnham told me about Netgalley.  My new addiction!  I will NEVER get any work done around the house.  If I had my own way, I'll be too busy to get anything done on my own time.

Monday, December 21, 2015

crucial conversations post #1

Crucial Conversations has a website, which is filled with resources about communication and leadership. Find it here:

Chapter 1: What's a Crucial Conversation? And Who Cares?

MORAL OF THE CHAPTER: Honing your ability to have the difficult conversations is key to successful leadership.  There is a myriad of evidence to make this a priority skill to possess.


For writing purposes, I'm abbreviating crucial conversations as CCs.

Chapter begins with this quote:
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. -George Bernard Shaw
Definition of CCs:
...interactions that happen to everyone. They're the day-to-day conversations that affect your life (pg. 1)
A discussion between two or more people where (1) stakes are high, (2) opinions vary, and (3) emotions run strong. 
Components of CCs:
  1. Opinions vary
  2. Stakes are high
  3. Emotions run strong
 One of three things happen during CCs:
  1. We avoid it.
  2. We have the conversation & it doesn't go well.
  3. We have it & it goes well.
Why CCs Fail
  • Designed Wrong: Humans are programmed to into emotions in conversations.  When stakes get high, our adrenaline increases, causing us to have less control of emotions.
  • Under Pressure: Most CCs are spontaneous, leaving us feeling like we need to respond right now.  We must think on the fly.  This causes more emotions.  When the unplanned conversations, happen you have these things to manage:
    • The issue at hand
    • The other person
    • A brain overwhelmed by adrenaline and emotions and thoughts
  • Little Practice w/ Effective Communication
Law of Crucial Conversations: Essentially, all effective leaders have "the capacity to skillfully address emotionally and politically risky issues."

People who are strong communicators:
  • Respond to financial pitfalls more quickly & more intelligently
  • 2/3 LESS likely to be injured or die due to unsafe work conditions
  • Save $$$ & time (Over $1,500 & 8 hours for each conversation)
  • Increase trust
  • Reduce transaction costs in virtual work teams
  • Influence change in toxic or poor-performing colleagues
Failures in business DOES NOT EQUAL failure in policies, processes, structures, or systems.  The real problem is employee behavior.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

crucial conversations reading goals

My supervisor continues to tell me that my career is a marathon, not a sprint,  Wise words.  I usually respond with, "If everything feels under control, you're not going fast enough" (Mario Andretti).  I believe that my career is going to be a balance of these two ideas. 

Cover for Crucial Conversations

Which brings me to this professional read.  In my yearly goals conversation, I expressed my desire to become better at communication.  I struggle with expressing my thoughts concisely, yet clearly, & delegating tasks.  My supervisor recommended Crucial Conversations by Patterson et. al. earlier this semester.  I'm finally taking his advice and picking up the book, even though I purchased it well over two months ago.

Just as I recommend to students, for this professional read, I'll be an active reader. I'll be annotating, reflecting, and paraphrasing as much as possible.  Every few days, I'll post my active reading thoughts in order to share what I've read and what I've reflected upon.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

#alaac15 Day 2

Good Morning from San Francisco!

What an energizing first day at ALA Annual Conference yesterday!

Certainly made head way for my three goals.

1. Added Three Massachusetts librarians and Leslie Preddy to my library team.  Lots of great conversations about what we do and idea exchange.  Leslie is a MakerSpace guru!
2. Brief discussions with Leslie about makerspaces. She'll be a great person to follow.  I grabbed lots of graphic novel resources to help purchasing for next year!
3. Got great giveaways from tons of vendors! Will be looking into RefMe and a music research resource! Sent a huge box of goodies home.  Can't wait to give it to all of my Londonderry librarians.

Day 2:

AASL Affiliate Assembly.  Lots to learn there.  I can't wait to experience librarianship at the national level.

Experience San Francisco in the afternoon. #lovewins