Monday, July 1, 2013

First year Reflection

Have you ever wondered where an amount of time went?  I am wondering where the last year has gone.  As I write this post, I have been at ESU7 just over a year.  My how time flies.  This time last year, I was still trying to sell a house four hours away while traveling back and forth those same four hours every weekend to see my family.  Thankfully the house sold quickly and I got my family to Columbus and settled in.  All total, my travel time on the weekends added up to 104 hours of windshield time.  That is a lot of miles, caffeine, fast food, and gas stations.

When I look back at the year and the people I have met, I wouldn’t change anything.  There are many amazing people that work at and in ESU7.  Also, I have had the chance to meet others from around the state through meetings, conferences, and twitter.  I have built a GREAT PLN of people that I can contact if I have a question that I can’t answer or can’t find.  The list is so big, it would take up to much space so I will just give a shout out to #nebedu and #nebedchat.

If several years ago I would have known what I know now, I could have been deadly in the classroom.  Not to say I wasn’t, but I would have been able to do so much more.  The learning curve has been great, but that is a good thing.  If I stop learning in this job, then I am really in trouble.  I know that there are many great conferences that I can and need to attend.  Picking the ones that won’t keep me away from a young family for a long stretch of time are the toughest.  But I know, and they do to, that it is helping me become better at my job of serving the teachers and schools of ESU7.

Thanks for a wonderful first year #ESU7!

ISTE 13 Reflection

I spent last week in San Antonio at ISTE 13.  It was a wonderful week of learning and collaboration.  There were many possible combinations of breakout sessions, poster sessions, play grounds, three keynotes, hundreds of vendors, and plenty of receptions to attend.  This type of conference allows a person to do, see and hear whatever they want to gain more knowledge in. 

For example, I was interested in Flipped/Blended Professional Development.  I attended several sessions that were very interesting and gave me several ideas of how I want to proceed with a Blended PD idea for ESU7. 

I also attended a session talking about Integration vs Innovation.  This session made me really think about what our schools are doing with the technology that they have in the hands of their students.  Are they just using it as another “tool” for writing a paper or are they enhancing the writing of the paper with the technology.  It is really something that in my job that I have to get across to the teachers of ESU7.  More innovation is needed.

Finally, the most important part of the conference for me was the collaboration time.  Sitting down, or standing, and talking to other teachers from all over sharing ideas and lessons has a big and lasting impact.  I had the opportunity to talk with people from many different states and several countries, Finland, Australia and Canada to name a few.  Also, having the opportunity to discuss findings with those in Nebraska that were at ISTE was a benefit as well.  That opportunity also allows for collaboration within the state on projects and much, much more.

I will most certainly be attending ISTE in the future.  It is well worth the travel, time, and money.  Hopefully ISTE 14 in Atlanta will be my next ISTE adventure.