Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Edina Technology Open House

On Saturday, October 29th Edina hosted a Technology Open House.  The purpose of the event was to showcase the great work that Edina teachers and students are doing by integrating technology into the classroom and curriculum.  We had 17 teachers that came to do a "Show and Tell" and show the great work that students are using technology for in their classrooms.

There were also presentations that shared information about Edina Apps, Moodle, Edina's Bring Your Own Device initiative, SMART and Interactive technologies, and our iTouch and iPad pilots. In my presentation sharing about Edina Apps, I brought a student 5th grade student with me to share about her 4th grade State Research project.  The ways that she was able to express to parents why she liked integratinge technology into her school projects was impressive.  To hear from students makes all the difference.  

We had over 100 students, parents, staff and community members attend this inaugural event.  It was a huge success and we are looking for more ways to showcase the great work that Edina teachers do to integrate technology into the classroom.

Here is a list of what was shared at the Show and Tell

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Superhero 2011 Ka-Pow!

BOOM!  Superhero 11 was fantastic!

What an amazing weekend of networking, learning and saving the world (Up North).  When we at Flipped Education started dreaming up Superhero and how we could redesign an educational technology event we knew that it would be successful with the perfect recipe of engaging presenters and passionate participants.  This weekend blew all of our expectations.  Everyone got their geek on, shared their passion, sung their heart out, laughed out loud and really created an amazing new SUPERHERO FAMILY of teachers dedicated to transforming learning through technology.

Superhero Eve
One of my favorite parts of the weekend was the chance to network, collaborate and just hang with some of my favorite people.  On Thursday night many of the presenters gathered by the fire up at Madden's Resort to polish and tweak their presentations.  This is one of my favorite times with my geeky friends...because being together allows for the..."have you seen...?"  or "what do you think about...?" types of conversations that I can never get enough of.  Hanging with Ben Friesen, Sean Beaverson, Mark Garrison and David Freeberg is always inspiring, entertaining and simply fun.

Superheros Descend on Madden's Resort- Uniting our SuperpowersParticipants used their variety of superpowers to arrive at Madden's Resort on Friday.  Some flew, some appeared and others came in a Flash.  No matter how they came, the party didn't start until they started filling the room.  This event was always about the participants.  Getting the right people to Superhero was important and, again, surpassed my expectations.  I do think a family was born of technology educators in Minnesota and networking and collaborating with these new friends has some serious potential.  If you want to see who was here and start following them on Twitter, check out this Docs for All with their information!

The pace and schedule of Superhero was designed to be relaxed, a bit flexible and provide time to learn, network and apply information from each session.  I wish I could have attended more sessions at Superhero.  I really think that these presenters were able to engage participants in conversations around some of the most important technology of today that can transform learning.  Make sure to take a look at the sessions that were offered at Superhero and spend some time learning from all the resources provided.  Leveraging collaboration, participants took notes on all sessions on a Docs for All so that even if you weren't at the session you could learn from the website of resources and notes.  Hey, even if you weren't at the conference you can learn from the website.

We ended Superhero 2011 with Demo Slams.  Demo Slams are out of the "phone booth" BIG ideas that could be shared in 3 minutes or less.  Presenters and participants rallied to share these SLAMS.  Google Scripts, Stop Motion iPad Apps, Geo Cashing, Making your Passwords not Suck, annotations in YouTube, Photosynth and more were shared during the SLAMS.  The energy in the room was electric and I was able to see the amazing talent of all the educators in the room.  Each presentation ended with a SLAM and congrats to Todd Roudabush and Nathaniel Lindley for winning the SLAM!

Superhero Extreme
Superhero was designed with sessions for participants to attend, but we also planned a lot of time for networking with each other.  The conversations that took place on a run, around the fire, sitting outside on the pattio, eating dinner, having drinks at the pub, hanging on the pontoon were just as valuable as the sessions.  We planned a flexible, relaxed schedule so that people could have time to network and get to know each other.  After my pontoon cruise with Nathaniel Lindley and others and before signing Karokee in Madden's Pub I found myself looking around Sean Beaversons room and I was so impressed with the room full of fun, smart, inspiring, and incredibly dedicated people.  This is exactly what we dreamed of with Superhero.  Let's connect some really great people.

I can't believe it is over, I'm going to have some Superhero withdrawal for a little bit but the collaboration and networking with my new Superhero family has just begin and I can't wait to see how the SUPER POWERS of all these people can unite to save the world!

P.S.  Superhero 2012 is in the making...pass it on!

Some Photo Highlights!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Edina Teaching and Technology Cohort 2010-2011

Over the past year 29 teachers from Edina Public Schools participated in a Teaching and Technology Cohort.  Because of a grant from the Edina Education Fund, the teachers were able to participate in the cohort for a reduced price.

The certificate consisted of four courses:
  • Collaboration and Community with a Global Perspective
  • Curriculum in the Cloud - Integrating Curriculum with Technology
  • Authentic Assessment using Technology
  • Emerging Technology and Trends

    After completing the four courses, each Edina teacher earned a Teaching and Technology certificate from Hamline University.  The teachers participated in these courses in a blended learning format.  Once a month the teachers met face to face and then throughout the month they engaged in learning online using Moodle and Google Apps for Education.

    The two Edina Technology Integration Specialists, Mike Walker and myself,  taught the courses and were able to tailor the courses to enhance Edina's curriculum.  Teachers were able to develop lessons, projects and assessments that they could use directly in their classroom.  This was a great opportunity to really engage Edina teachers in transforming learning in the 21st Century.  

    We took a pre assessment of how the teachers in the cohort were using technology and how they felt about their skill level implementing technology into the classroom.  We did the same survey at the conclusion of the cohort and were very excited to see growth in the level of confidence that teachers felt as they now could integrate technology into the classroom and curriculum.

    Some of the areas that teachers grew the most in were incorporating digital images and digital stories into their curriculum, using Moodle for a blended or online learning experience in their classroom, using Google Docs, blogs, Google Sites, and other Edina Apps in their classroom,  and using web tools and resources to enhance learning in the classroom.    A highlight of the course was learning about screencasting and how to video lessons and instructions so that they could post these lessons to the web for students to watch and relearn or practice concepts.  Teachers found that as a result of the cohort they were posting more information and student work to the web.  They found themselves participating in global learning networks and promoting digital literacy and citizenship more frequently.  At the end of the cohort, 90% of the teachers felt confident in integrating technology into their classroom and curriculum...the other 10% simply said they have so much more to learn.  Overall, teachers grew immensely in their understanding, in their tool set, and in integrating technology into the classroom and curriculum.  Teachers increased their Personal Learning Network by using twitter and other social networks to collaborate and share with professionals outside of their district and building walls.  

    When asked what technology tools would help them to engage students in learning, the top tools were laptops, iPads, iTouches and Smart Phones.  The teachers reported that technology has greatly impacted the way that they teach and the way that the students learn.  

    At the end of the cohort each teacher created an e-Portfolio showcasing their work.  View Kristy's Portfolio to see a sample of all the projects and work each teacher completed.

    You can view a list of all of the ePortfolios off of the Edina Teaching and Technology website.

    Each teacher was asked to share an "ah-ha" moment or a reflection of the cohort.  They could write about it, blog about it, create a podcast, or find any other creative way of sharing their ideas.  Here are a few reflections from the Edina Teaching and Technology Cohort.

    Reflections and Ahha Moments

    Kristy's Reflection

    Tracy's Voki

    Erin's Glog

    Katie's Prezi Reflection

    Kalea's Storyjumper Reflection- See the website version here

    Here are a few other written reflections...

    SueWhen I started the CoHort my computer was something I used to do office tasks and social planning. I didn’t know how to go to a coffee shop and find a Network. To me a Tab Bar was the thing that moved the cursor to the left and right and I couldn’t figure out why Mike wanted us to open a Tab (pop?). My hardest obstacle at first was overcoming my anxiety at being such a low-ability user. Learning through Moodle took time at first, but it’s practical and now I will use it with the kids. It’s a good way to organize, post and find information. Some skills we learned in CoHort are more helpful in my field than others but the year of course work has altered the way I teach. We learned a lot of new presentation methods like Prezi, Jing and Screencast that will update my lectures and can be downloaded on Moodle so students can listen at home.  I’ll focus on the technologies that help kids produce spoken language (Screen Cast, Voki, Go Animate, and the many language Apps out there). Finally GASP! I’ll allow mobile devices in my classroom. Things will change but I’m open to the idea that not everything is going to work. I’m just giving it a try. It’s time....
    Finally, a cool part to the CoHort was looking at what other K-12 teachers are doing with technology. Wow! We have outstanding teachers here in Edina schools.

    HeatherWhen we started the cohort, we were asked to share what we were looking forward to during our year. I said I was looking forward to “having permission to spend lots of time playing!” Play we did…with tons of really useful tools! I can’t count the number of instantly applicable tech application we learned about during the cohort, and have found great value not only while trying them out with my students, but also in learning how my colleagues are embedding them in their classrooms. I’ve been AMAZED at the thoughtful and creative ways other teachers have approached using technology in the classroom. I’m grateful for the new ideas! This has proven that the properly chosen tech tool is useful in any grade level and any content area.
    I appreciate the fact that Mike and Molly really supported us in our efforts to try new things out in the classroom. Knowing their expertise was just a phone call or email away at any point during a project was exactly what I needed to jump right in with different technologies as we learned about them.

    I acquired really valuable information and gained valuable skills during the cohort. The information was very timely – technological advances are totally changing the world, and the cohort gave a solid overview of many of the current trends. I think that if we are going to properly prepare students for the future, we need to model the skills and tools presented in the cohort. Along with these tools, we need to make sure students know how to use them effectively, ethically and safely. The four cohort classes did a really nice job preparing me to do my part in making sure that happens.

    Heather- About Google Apps for Education a.k.a. Edina AppsThe list of tech tools that I incorporated into my classes this year is long, and I can’t think of any that I won’t try again in the future. If I had to choose only one tool to highlight here, I’d say that the arrival of Google Apps for Education has made the largest impact on my teaching. The sharing functions of Google Docs greatly facilitated collaborative work. In my classroom, students used this format for collaborate in partners, small groups, and with a classroom at Normandale! Google Forms allows for the creation of really quick progress monitoring and visual overviews of student mastery. Picasa’s photo storage options allowed us to keep our class photo albums updated and easily stored uploaded illustrations for 100 students! On the practical side, Google Docs and Google Forms have kept me organized and have greatly simplified homework procedures. They’ve allowed me to easily share templates with students instead of making needless photocopies, and the options they offer for correcting student work have allowed me to give almost instant feedback on many activities AND make informed decisions about student learning needs.

    Chad S 
    I believe that the biggest impact to my professional learning was through the use of Twitter.  Twitter has put me in contact with numerous other PE teachers that integrate technology on a regular basis.  It helps knowing that there are professionals out there that are willing to help when you want to bounce ideas around.  Just like in the actual building I teach, teachers always say we could use more time to meet, that it would help our teaching.  Twitter does that without needing the actual facetime.  My life and teaching won't be the same becasue of Twitter. 

    Now I see technology as a powerful learning tool not just a cool thing to add to lessons and projects. During the cohort, I had my students use most of the new tools I was learning. It truly empowered them and they always wanted more. They wanted to know about the new tools that I learned. I thought that it was very empowering for them to know that they were learning and using the same tools I was learning in my classes. 

    What have you gained?I have gained knowledge of tools, resources and ideas. I have gained an appreciation for collaboration and assessment. I have gained confidence in my own technological abilities.  But most of all, I have gained an excitement for showing my students how technology can enhance their music making!

    Mary Z 
    Before the cohort, I had a pretty healthy attitude towards technology in education.  I did not, however, see the benefits of truly integrating technology into the curriculum.  I always held the notion that the teacher was responsible for utilizing technology in her lesson plans.  I did not see how the student could take advantage of the myriad of technology in order to better his or her own learning.  My perspective on technology prior to the cohort was that I, the teacher would teach with it, rather than actually teaching it.  I never had seen myself as a technology instructor, whereas now, I see myself as responsible for introducing and cultivating technological skills.           
    It is so amazing to work with this talented group of teachers who are ready to transform learning using the new technology skills and tools they learned from the cohort.  They are our new leaders in technology education and they will be showcasing their work at the District Kick Off on August 29th.  They will also be sharing their projects, tool set and learnings in staff meetings, team meetings and other various opportunities throughout the year.

    We all know that behind all learning is great teaching.  The teachers have a new tool box to transform their classroom, projects and learning space.  Congrats to a great cohort of Edina teachers in the Teaching and Technology Cohort!  Your dedication, hard work and example of life long learning is inspiring to all.

    We hope to offer the Teaching and Technology Cohort again staring in the fall of 2012.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Google Teacher's Academy Seattle

    Today is the Google Teacher's Academy in Seattle.  The energy of the new cohort of GCT's is already contagious and although I'm one of the lead learners at the event, I can't wait for a day of learning from everyone in the room.  They day will go too quickly and there won't be enough time to network with everyone but it is guaranteed to be an inspiring and outrageously fun day!  Let the fun begin!

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Chicago Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer Meet Up 2011

    Today I had the chance to meet up with about 16 other Google Apps for Education Certified Trainers at the Google Chicago office.  After any type of training, conference or workshop I try to come away with a BIG 3 so I can really focus on three things I learned and can put into action.  Unfortunately, because of Non-Disclosure I can’t share all the really exciting things that are on the Road Map for Google Apps for Education, but know that we were all really excited about the enhancements down the road for GAFE.  With my BIG 3 I try to have 1 thing I can do on Monday, 1 thing I can do in the next few months, and 1 thing that I’ll do when I get around to having a little time on my hands.

    BIG 3 from the May 2011 Google Apps for EDU Certified Trainer Meet Up

    1. Apps Scripts- I wrote my first Google Apps Script which was really cool, but I learned that there are templates for Scripts just like everything else Google.  There is an amazing mail merge script that takes a persons name, address and email and creates a mail merge with a personalized map and directions to a location, like a meeting or event.  Here is the template gallery for Apps Scripts.  http://code.google.com/googleapps/appsscript/templates.html
    My #1 of my BIG 3 is to explore the template gallery for scripts.  Their motto... “Don’t hate...automate.”

    2. The Creek Squad was a video shown by the #appsct trainers from Iowa who have empowered 7th and 8th grade students to be Google Apps trainers for the teachers in their building.  These students are experts in Google Apps and help to train teachers how to leverage the power of Google Apps.  They have even been asked by other districts to train teachers in the deployment of GAFE.  Google is going to be releasing a video showcasing their “Creek Squad” success.  My #2 is to help empower students to be the trainers and leaders in helping teach teachers about technology and the power of technology in learning.  In Edina, we have recently launched a “Smart Bar” which is tech support and training by students for teachers.  Because of the “Creek Squad” video I’m excited to see the potential of this group in how they lead the way with technology in Edina.  Never underestimate the power and influence of students.

    3.  So this is a strange #3 but as I was using the bathroom at Google during a break I found that I spent a few more moments in the stall than usual.  Now you may be thinking this is a strange thing to be sharing on a blog, but what kept me in the stall was something called “Learning in the Loo.”  I was reading some REALLY great tips on how to manage my gmail better on a flyer that was hanging on the back of the stall I was in.   Learning in the Loo really is a great strategy as you’ve got a very captive audience!  I would love to send out a few flyers throughout the year for the teachers to put in the student’s stalls and for me to put in the staff bathrooms.  So, sometime in the next school year I’d love to start Learning in the Loo at Edina.  

    All in all, the #appsct was a great meet up because of networking face to face with so many people that you “know” virtually.  The side conversations, lunch chat and beverage at Harry Carry’s was so beneficial to the hard work we all do in helping teachers and students leverage the collaboration and communication power of Google Apps.  I’m excited about the launches that are just around the corner and in the future for the Google Apps suite.  I’m also really proud of my Edina teachers and students and the amazing ways that they are using Google Apps for Education for learning, networking, communicating, publishing and collaborating. 
    Molly and Andy 1/2 of the Central GAFE Users Group Facilitators

    More photos from the Google Chicago Office

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Create a Google Sites Logo using ColourLovers and Picnik

    Want to create a fun logo for your Google Site or classroom web page?  View this screencast to see how you can create fun logos and images using ColourLovers and Picnik.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Flipped Education Launches Superhero 2011

    Today our company, Flipped Education, launched our first event called Superhero!

    technology. education. networking. up north.

    Superhero is designed to match technology-education minded attendees with innovative and engaging presenters to change education through technology.  Superhero is built to expand our personal learning networks with a weekend of socialization, learning and fun up north.

    Superhero is different by design.  In addition to the hands on, engaging workshops, there will be casual social times, long lunches and social events built into the schedule in order for participants and attendees to connect with each other, learn from each other and grow our personal learning networks.  The power of this time together will be the “What if…” conversations that happen over coffee looking out over the lake, a brisk morning run, post lunch chat, in hands-on sessions, playing bocce ball, late night saunas, canoeing on the lake, on the putting green or golf course, drinks at the pub or anytime in-between.  Networking will be a priority.

    Dates: Friday October 21st - Saturday October 22nd
    Registration 9 -10 am Friday
    Optional Superhero UnConference Thursday night

    Cost: $250 (plus the cost of rooms, see below)
    Check with your Professional Development Committee to cover your registration.

    Registration includes...
    Networking Events
    Superhero Surprises throughout the weekend

    Room Reservations: Madden's Resort, Brainerd, MN
    All Inclusive: Rate includes breakfast, dinner, service and tax
    Based on double occupancy (2 people per room). Saturday night stay required.
    **Kids stay free and all Madden's activities, including golf, are included.
    All Inclusive 2 nights at Madden's: $271 (Fri - Sat)
     A weekend of learning, networking and saving the world! Join us!

    Follow flippededu on Twitter 
    Follow Flipped Education on Twitter:@flippededu

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    State Research Projects Going Google

    Planning a summer vacation to a state you’ve never visited?  Look no further than Edina Public School’s fourth grade state research project websites.  

    Every year the fourth grade students in Edina Public Schools do a research project on the United
    States.  Each student is assigned a state that he or she researches using printed materials, media and the internet. The end result used to be a tri-fold brochure, but now, thanks to Google Apps for Education, each student creates a web site.

    With the adoption of Google Apps for Education we were able to transform this state research
    project into a relevant and engaging project for the students.  Instead of brochures, students create a web site using Google Sites.

    Another aspect of the project is to make a map in Google Maps. Using the My Maps feature, the
    students tag three areas of interest or fun facts about their state. The map is embedded into their
    Google Site using the unique URL generated by the App.   

    Then, using Google Forms, each student creates a five-question quiz that is placed on the front page of his or her web site. On the last day of the project, the students go into the computer lab, visit each other’s sites and take the quizzes. The teachers then use Google Spreadsheet to collect the answers and summarize them in a graph.

    The students were energetically engaged in this project, as it was the first web site most students had ever created. They loved creating this website for an audience of people outside of their classroom walls. For the teachers, this was an eye-opening project. We all know that excellent teaching is the reason behind all learning, but this project shows that the content the students were learning didn’t change, but how the students were learning and sharing did change.

    Integrating Google Apps for Education has transformed the perspective that teachers and students have about their world. Google Apps for education provides tools that engage students in projects and learning outside of their classroom walls. Collaboration, sharing and publishing using Google Apps means students have tools that connect them to their peers, teachers, community, parents and world.

    The simple transformation of creating web sites instead of brochures is a great example of how we can engage students and unleash their passion for learning in new and meaningful ways.

    At Edina Public Schools, we are excited not only about what our students learn but about how they are learning. Google Apps for Education allows our students to stay current in the evolving world of technology while engaging deeply with their academic pursuits. Students are now learning without boundaries, any time, anywhere.

    The next time you are planning a trip in the United States, let me know and I can hook you up with some amateur, but tech-savvy travel agents.

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Edina is Selected as 1 of 10 featured organizations in Google's "Gone Google" ad campaing

    Edina Public Schools was selected as 1 of 10 global winners in an Ad Campaign by Google to be showcased in their Gone Google Campaign. 
     See our story below!

    Google's Blog Post about the Campaign Winners

    Google's Enterprise Blog Post

    Google Apps has been an invaluable learning tool for students and teachers at Edina Public Schools. As a technology integration specialist for Edina Public Schools, I am Google Certified Teacher and a Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer, Over the past year and a half, my team launched Google Apps at Edina Public Schools. Google Apps has transformed our ability to help students and staff engage in learning.

    Staff and students have been using Google Docs, Google Sites, Picasa, Blogger, and Google Maps to work efficiently and collaboratively. Teachers rely on Google Apps for theirclassroom web presencestaff development and collaborative projects. Students create state research projects, websites and online portfolios of their work. Google Apps enables them to collaborate, submit and publish their work online, allowing them to communicate with an audience broader than their classroom. Even parents benefit from Google Apps -- using Google Docs to sign up for conferences and volunteer opportunities.

    At Edina Public Schools, we are excited not only about what our students learn but about how they are learning. Google Apps for Education allows our students to stay current in the evolving world of technology while engaging deeply with their academic pursuits. Students are now learning without boundaries, any time, anywhere.

    I did a Fox 9 News Story about our "Going Google" Campaing award on March 31st.

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    My Big 3 from CUE 2011

    My Big Three
    At any conference or workshop that I lead or attend I try to walk away with 3 things that I have learned and will implement into my teaching, coaching or professional development.  The BIG 3 allows you to think about what ONE thing I can do on Monday when I return to work, what ONE thing I can do before the end of the school year, and what ONE thing will I remind myself of often and get to at some point in the next year.

    I recently attended the Computer Using Educators (CUE) Conference in Palm Springs.   I went to lead the Google Workshop for Educators, and got the added benefit of attending the rest of the conference with some of my favorite people from my PLN.  Seeing people like Ken Shelton, Jim Sill, Chris Walsh, Mark Wagner, Mark Hammons, Diane Main and Dave Childers face to face is always a highlight of the trip, however I was able to expand my PLN by meeting new and exciting people like Wendy Gorton, Elizabeth Calhoun and Chris Lee Durham.  The people make the conference and I’m always so excited to be with my California peeps.

    My Big 3 from the CUE Conference 2011.

    1.     Flubaroo.com
    Flubaroo is a new script within Google Spreadsheets that allows you to use any form as a self-grading quiz.  I’ve known how to make a self-grading quiz out of Google Spreadsheets by using a template with formulas already saved in the spreadsheet but I think flubaroo is a game changer because the wizard is easy to use for any teacher!  Try Flubaroo Now!

    2.     Mark Hammons iPads in the classroom presentation.
    Teachers from Edina Public Schools recently received grants to implement and pilot about 31  iPads in the classroom.  The iPads will be implemented across Elementary, Middle and High School in a variety of disciplines and grade levels.  We will have 2nd graders, PE teachers, 6th grade science students and Special Ed Students using iPads for learning.  Mark Hammons shared a variety of great apps and lesson plans that I’m excited to share with teachers.  Here are a few Highlighted Apps.

    My specific project that will be one of my BIG 3 is to use Google Earth and POW Strip Design to have kids design a digital story about a geography unit on Regions.  I think the kids could use their iDevice to find different landscapes or locations in Google earth, take a screen-capture and load it into POW Strip Design to share about their learning of a region.  I’m working on my example now!

    I’m charged up to start my App Lesson idea of the week part of my website for teachers.  Thanks to Mark I’ve got lesson plans for a lot of new apps!
    Appy Tuesday- iDevice App of the Week

    3.     Adding to my Personal Learning Network
    As I mentioned above, the face to face time at the CUE Conference with my PLN is always a highlight.  Sometimes the conversations you have outside the conference hotel and convention center transform your thinking and integration more than the sessions themselves.  Here are a few people you should get to know from my PLN.

    New PLN Peeps
    @wendyGorton a.k.a “The Flash”
    Wendy Gorton has been working internationally in India but has recently come stateside to work for New Tech Network.  Wendy is  a Google Certified Teacher and a Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer.  She is excited about her next adventure to Sydney Australia to present for the Google Teacher’s Academy.  I’m excited about the ideas that were generated in my conversations with Wendy and we look forward to planning a great #poolside conference session next year.  My #3 of my BIG 3 is an idea generated with Wendy at the conference, but we’re not ready to go public yet…stay tuned!

    @ChrisLeeDurham a.k.a “Keystone”
    I met Chris at CUE this year and was quickly impressed with how he is influencing technology and education.  Chris is a teacher at ACEL Fresno Charter School and presented on how he is using Open Source and Web Tools in his classroom to engage students.  I also got to engage in a CUE first with Chris as we hit the golf course for a few holes to open my golfing season.  We’re definitely making it a tradition.

    Rockstars in my PLN from the CUE Conference
    Ken Shelton is one of the more relevant technology mavericks that I know because he prides himself by still being in the middle school classroom as a teacher in the LA School District.  I love every moment that Ken and I get to chat about what he is doing in his classroom, with his photography and how he is sharing his energy about technology integration in education around the country.  Ken is also a Google Certified Teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator.  He is running for the CUE Board, so if you’re a CUE member your vote for him would be well casted.

    Jim Sill is a teacher of Video at El Diamante High School in Visalia, CA and he entertains me to no end.  My cheeks hurt from laughing after we remembered some good times with “snow cones” from the ISTE conference and I heard about his trip up to Alaska for a Google Workshop for Educators.  They guy is excited about technology, Google and transforming learning for kids.   Jim is also a Google Certified Teacher, Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer and a new Apple Distinguished Educator.

    Mark Hammons works as an Ed Tech Consultant for the Fresno County Office of Education.  I met Mark two years ago at the CUE conference at the EduBloggersCon.  Mark continues to be on the cutting edge of what teachers and students should be implementing in technology.  He calls himself an OG, “Original Geek” and actually lives up to that name.  I look to Mark for great IMPLEMENTATION strategies and lessons for cutting edge technology.  Mark is a Google Certified Teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator.

    @fitzwalsh a.k.a “Creativity Jedi”
    Chris Walsh is the founder and brains behind the Google Teacher’s Academy.  He worked with Google to establish this professional development experience  that has transformed technology integration around the world.  Chris is now the Director of the New Tech Network  he works with school districts with his new model for project based learning .  Chris’ energy around technology, education and creating a new way of doing school is contagious and I always love our poolside chats that have to include something about Juan Daily.

    Mark Wagner is responsible for all of the professional development for CUE.  He runs the program CUE to YOU which brings technology professional development to your school or district.  Mark organizes the Google Workshops for Educators around the world and has transformed iPad training and implementation with the iPad workshops from CUE to YOU.  I always look to Mark for the latest updates, newest tools and mostly the best ways of using technology in the classroom.  I think Mark’s favorite flavor of snow cone is grape.

    Mike Lawrence is the Executive Director of CUE and put on a great conference for CUE 11.  Mike  has a great vision for CUE and how it can help teachers transform learning into the future.  My running joke with Mike is that I want to be the B-Note Speaker at the conference so I can return back to the CUE Conference every year.  For a MN girl, Palm Springs in March is a great location for a conference. Thanks to Mike and his team for an excellent CUE conference!

    Other Rockstars from CUE that you should include in your PLN...

    @iteachag a.k.a. “The Plow”

    Don’t miss my local MN PLN Peeps too…

    Sean Beaverson
    Technology Coordinator for Bloomington Public Schools
    Google Certified Teacher and Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer

    Benjamin Friesen
    Earth Science Teacher and Tech Integration Specialist
    Google Certified Teacher and Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer

    Mark Garrison
    Technology Coordinator for White Bear Lake, MN

    Susan Michael
    Eden Prairie teacher and Technology Integration Specialist