Welcome to 2015! Now go make it awesome.

I'm still struggling with it. 2-0-1-5. Wow.

Past...

Beyond being the first month of the year, January is also when I celebrate my "job-iversary". I started my teaching career right here in MSAD #6 NINE YEARS AGO. That is so hard for me to fathom. So much has changed since then and yet it feels like it was just yesterday.

Back then, the high school didn't even have the laptop carts never mind the 1:1 MLTI program they do now. We didn't have Infinite Campus. We were still using FirstClass for email. And my classroom was the first in the district to get an interactive whiteboard (SmartBoard in my case).

Present...

Since then, our district has continued the 1:1 MLTI program from 7th grade all the way through to 12th grade with our 6th grade being on our own 1:1 implementation. We are getting close to 1:1 with iPads in our lower level schools. Infinite Campus became our student management system and everyone has migrated to an online grade book. MSAD #6 also became a Google Apps for Education School (GAFE). YAY! Just about all of our classrooms have ceiling mounted projects with many of them have interactive capabilities. And, just this fall, Bonny Eagle Middle School earned the title of Apple Distinguished Schools, a project that I was very involved with and am very proud of. My how times have changed.

For me, I left the job I started my career with and moved to this new chapter over a year and a half ago. Last year I became a Google Certified Teacher and Common Sense Media Certified Educator. I've since presented on blogging with GAFE, gaming in the classroom, Google basics, and positive behaviors for learning + technology at three area and state-wide conferences.

Future...

This year my goal is to become a Google Certified Trainer so that I can better help my coworkers implement the tools that we are so lucky to have with GAFE. The better prepared, informed, and trained our teachers are, the better our classrooms and our students will be. Last month we hosted several Hour of Code sessions at both the middle and high school, which exposed our students to a vast array of opportunities that they hadn't really thought of before. I want to keep it going and get more classrooms to do an hour of code, even though it won't be during the official week of it. We are also making slow, but steady progress in acquiring our own Mindcraft.EDU server for the middle schools students. Yes, gaming IN the classroom. THAT certainly wasn't a hot topic nine years ago!

Beyond just MSAD #6, I also want to help connect our corner of Maine to the world. I know what you're asking. How??
  • Teachers are already using Google Connected Classrooms to connect to experts beyond Maine to bring the world to our students. I want to make that happen in even more classrooms.
  • I am already working with a foreign language teacher to connect her classroom with another classroom out of the US for a Mystery Hangout, e-pals, and more. It's pretty exciting!
  • I have also been working 1:1 with other teachers outside of our district who are in schools that are new to technology. My latest Hangout was with a teacher from Florida. After an hour of planning around what his needs were for his classroom, he's already getting the ball rolling to get his district to look into a GAFE implementation of their own. Isn't that awesome?
So, why am I spewing my guts on my blog at 11:48PM on a Monday?

Because I am REALLY hoping that I get selected to attend the EdTechTeacher Google for Education Jamboree in Boston next month and this is part of me begging to get picked! So, please cross your fingers for me!


And, while you are at it, think about how YOU can make 2015 "the best year for your students’ learning". If I can help make that vision a reality in any way, let's do it!

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