Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Reflection on 2014

Some EDTech Reflections of 

Wow! What a year! As my 3rd year as an Instructional Technology Coach at Gull Lake COmmunity Schools there were many "firsts" for me this year. 2014 was stressful, busy, and yet amazing. Here are some of my highlights from the past 365 days!

New Tech Team:
I can not say enough what a pleasure it is to work with such great individuals. We have contracted through KRESA this year for our tech support and the team is amazing. From Tony, to Micah, to Dylan and the rest of the KRESA support, it has been a great year of growth and improvement. We have an amazing open communication and collaboration with the Instructional Tech team I work daily with. Speaking of Instructional Tech, I do believe that we have the most cohesive, collaborative, and solid Ed Tech Team at Gull Lake. Drew, Karen, Lisa, and I could not be a more perfect match. I may be a little bias, but you can't top GL EdTech! I am fortunate!

MACUL 2014:
Actually, kind of 3 highlights. I was fortunate to work with an amazing and talented group of #michED Tech Gurus and help put on the first EdTech Rally. Over 70 EdTech Specialists joined together for a half day session of collaboration, networking, and fun. It was amazing to say the least. We also organized another meeting this fall and hosted over 120 EdTech Specialists. The momentum is rolling and gaining force! I also did my first 2 hour Hands On session at MACUL. It was energetic and exciting. I will be submitting proposals every year now (already lined up for MACUL 2015)!

Mobile Learning Conference:
A local favorite, the MACUL Mobile Learning Conference at KRSEA. I did another great couple of presentations and learned for Michigan's best! This is another local conference that is gaining momentum in the state. I am looking forward to presenting this year as well!

DENSI 2014:
What can one say, but be blessed with the opportunity to experience Discovery Education Network Summer Institute even one time in a life, but this summer I attended my second. Thi syear it was held in Nashville with 125 of my closest (and most distant in milage) DEN Family members. If you are not a DEN STAR and applying for DENSI 2016, you are truely missing out!

Windows 8:
Ugh...Really, that is putting it nicely. Our district launched all new computer systems (grades 3-12) and left Windows XP in the dust, only to struggle with the district learning curve of experiencing Windows 8. Need I say more? Things have improved, and the learning curve is flattening out for many. We have settled into the new system and life is...of course good!

YES! We finally launched our first 4 carts district wide. I am looking forward to the success and ease of these for ou 3-8 students! Whoot! Google On!

Leave GroupWise:
OH MAN! The world is right again! Finally, after what seemed like forever, we have left the 1990s and cut the GroupWise email/Novell tether. We are now 100% Google Apps for Education! Celebrate Google!

Google Migration:
With the leaving of GroupWise, we experienced a "migration" from our old GAFE accounts ( to  our new district domain ( Sounds easy...Well, not so much. The migration is still in process. Over two weeks into it and things are looking better. It is hard to get others excited about change when it isn't smooth, but it will sort itself out! Excitement is just around the corner!

Google Teacher Academy:
Yep...That is my highlight of all highlights! After 2 previous attempts, I was selected to be 1 of 50 to attend the Austin, Texas Google Teacher Academy (#GTAATX) in December. Wow! How amazing is that?! I am now a Google Certified Teacher! Oh, the joy! Oh, the excitement! Oh, the Googliness! The connections, networking, and resources gained will be a great benefit for both my district & me!

Google Education Trainer:
To add to my Google credits, I was also selected to be a Authorized Google Education Trainer! Whoa! What a December indead! Now I can help (in official capacity) our district and others with all things Google! Time to take myself on the road! I see an interesting future ahead for me! I Heart Google!

Overall...this was an AMAZING year! There were so many other things that could have been included, but I had to try to narrow things down. I am looking forward to what 2015 brings! I am wishing you all the best of the new year! Happy EDTeching!