Sunday, May 28, 2017

Go Googley...with Google Certifications

Happy SundayY'all!

I've had a lot of people ask me about "Going Google," and I can truly say it has been a great learning experience.
Our district became a Google Apps district many years ago! While still in my classroom, my principal  forced ... encouraged us to use Google! I am so glad she did because my knowledge of Google helped me land the job I have now!

Way back in 2014, I became a Google Educator. In order to become a Google Educator, I had to pass a series of five tests - one for Gmail, Calendar, Drive, and I chose to take Chrome and Chromebooks. Each test cost $15 each and took about 90 minutes to take.

Then, they did away with Google Educator...

My colleague, Leslie, and I decided that we wanted to try to become a Google Trainer so through an intensive application process, she and I were chosen to be Google Trainers! That has been an amazing experience because we get to share the greatness of Google with others!

Since becoming a Google Trainer, I have thought of trying to become a Google Innovator, but first, I had to become a Level 1 and Level 2 Educator. These two new titles became the replacement for Google Educator that I had completed back in 2014. I was all gung-ho to take my Level 2 test in April of 2016, and... I failed.   

So I had no hope of applying for that round of Google Innovator. I think I got a bit overconfident, and felt like I didn't need to go over the training. Words of wisdom: Do the training -- no matter how much you think you know about Google!

So a whole year goes by, and I procrastinate taking the Level 2 test again until finally I decided that it is not going to take itself. I begin by taking doing ALL the training for Level 1 educator, and then taking that test. Google gives you three hours to take this test. I finished in two hours. They validate the test as soon as you finish so for those few minutes that they are validating is torture!!

The next day, I began doing the training for the Level 2 test. Again, after I did ALL the training, I took the Level 2 test, annnnnddddd...I passed!  

Google gives you three hours to complete this test too, and finished in two hours 45 minutes. Again, it was torture as they validated my work, but WHOO-HOO, I passed! I did both tests within the span of about two weeks, and I only had about two weeks left in the window to submit my Google Innovator application.

I had already been toying with my video and vision deck already, but I wanted everything to be perfect! With that being said, I submitted my application a couple of days again. I had a pit in my stomach as I hit the submit button. Now, I am anxiously waiting for next week, June 6th, to be exact, when they will announce the latest cohort for Google Innovator in Washington, D.C. #WDC17

Till next time...

Monday, May 22, 2017

An Update on the Bomb-Diggity! Finally!

Okay, so it's been an H-O-T hot minute since I last blogged and a lot has happened since then! I'm going to try to bring you up to date!

I left the classroom after 25 years, and I am finishing up my third year as an instructional technology coach. That first year as an ITC was, to say the least, interesting. My colleague, Leslie Fagin, and I were hired at the same time, and neither of us had any experience. We worked really hard on trying to learn as much as we could in our new jobs! Part of that was developing our Personal Learning Network. I had this blog where I would share what I was doing in my classroom, but I began to really reach out and connect with others via Twitter. This was eye-opening to me because before, I had used Twitter mainly as a place to follow my favorite celebrities, but low and behold --- I could actually learn from Twitter!!  

Another component to my new job is to present at conferences. Leslie and I have done just that, from presenting at our local RESA conferences to state technology conferences, to the largest edtech conference in the world - ISTE. I have presented at ISTE 2015, ISTE 2016, GaETC 2014, GaETC 2015, GaETC 2016, RESA Drive-in Technology Conference 2014, RESA Drive-in Technology Conference 2015, and ASCD 2015. 

I have also completed Google Certifications of Level 1 Educator, Level 2 Educator, and I am currently a Google Certified Trainer, as well as a Plickers Ambassador and a Seesaw Ambassador. 

If I look at where I am now, I have been able to accomplish so much in a short amount of time. I am most proud of being about to work with teachers on how to effectively integrate technology into their lessons using the SAMR framework. The WHAT, you say? More about that in an upcoming post!

I am excited about being a part of the ISTE #ETCoaches Blogging Buddies Project. I joined this project because it is going to force me back into blogging. I have missed it so much, but wasn't really sure of how to move forward with it since I was no longer in the classroom. I hope you will stick with me as a work with Pam Shoemaker, Alex Carter, Waneta Hebert, and Emmanuel Andre.  This is a great group of educators, and I look forward to learning from them, as well as them keeping me accountable!

Till next time...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Seriously September

Can you believe it is time to link up with Farley for Currently?  Seriously, it's September, y'all!!  Wowzer!  Where has the time gone?!?!

Anyway, here is my September Currently.

Sooooo, like Farley, I am obsessed with Big Brother!  I am currently watching an episode of Big Brother After Dark.  I can't get enough of the regular show so I have to record all the BBAD episodes too.

I am absolutely LOVING my new job!  I am the Instructional Technology Coach for all the elementary schools in my district! Love, love, love it!  The running joke in my family is that I can go to the bathroom when I want to!  Come on now teachers, you know what I mean!!  That is big if you can go when you actually need to go!

I'm thinking that I still have a huge learning curve that goes along with my new job, but it's getting smaller!

I am NOT wanting to take my son tomorrow to his study visit tomorrow.  He has a kidney disease and was asked to be a part of a national study.  He's been in the study since he was about 7 and gets to have tests that he wouldn't receive in a normal course of care.  Tomorrow is the LONG visit - 7 hours with blood draws periodically throughout the day and an echocardiogram...Fun stuff...

I am needing absolutely nothing.  I am been so blessed in my life!

The three trips I would love to take are to London, Washington, D.C., and Paris.   Three beautiful places that are so full of history.  I would love to ramble and explore in all three of these cities!

So, that's it for my September Currently!  Now, it's time for you to go link up!  Hurry!  It's not too late!! 

Till next time...

Sunday, August 3, 2014

New job and Back to School Sale

In the world of The Bomb-Diggity Classroom, it is kinda strange that I am not getting my own classroom ready for a new group of students. I definitely would be stressing as many of you are.  I am totally loving my new job, but I am going to miss my former coworkers and the students!   

 My world recently has been getting ready for technology training in all of the elementary schools.  It's a daunting thought that I am now responsible for technology professional development...However, I am excited about all the possibilities for the upcoming year!  We will be learning all about Google Apps for Education and how to implement it in the classroom!  We also will be implementing a few other things and continuing training in some other technologies.

As we have been preparing for the upcoming year, one of the items on the agenda was to train the new teachers.  I had three sessions on Mimio, which is an interactive whiteboard application, and my partner had three sessions on Google Apps.  We both were extremely nervous since it was our first official presentations with our new jobs! 

On a different note, I would like to invite you to my TeachersPayTeachers Back to School Sale coming up August 4th-5th.  Stop by to pick up your back to school items.   

                                              300 × 300

Till next time...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Five for Friday...Well, The Whole Summer Really...

Hi everyone! I know, what's up? I haven't blogged since Mother's Day! Sooooo, I guess it's about time!!

I'm linking up today for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching, but it's a post not for just one week. It's for the WHOLE summer!

First up, I was honored with being named my school's Teacher of the Year! It was such an honor! We have some amazing teachers at my school so I was so surprised! My principal actually called my husband and told him and then surprised me during my end of the year celebration!  He and the boys even kept it a secret!!

Next up, I had applied for a new job as a system-wide technology coach.  I found out that I was one of six finalists for an interview.  I had not interviewed for a new job in over 11 years!  I was a bit rusty!  In fact, my interview started out horribly!  I had to do a 5 minute introduction about myself and then a 10 minute demonstration of a Google App since we are a GAFE school.  In the first 5 minutes, I tried to put my flash drive in the wrong port and then, I CRASHED the computer!  Really?!?!  The interview could only go up, right???  Thankfully, it did.  During the demo, I taught the interview committee something they didn't know about the Gmail!  The IT director knew, but the others didn't so I felt really good about that!  However, the first part of the interview still loomed over me.  Stayed tuned till the end of the post to find out the results...

A very sad part of my summer was that my husband's dad passed away.  He had been off and on sick for about 2 years and my husband's mom has been taking care of him.  In June, he was hospitalized, went to a nursing home for rehab, relapsed, and  passed away in the span of 3 weeks.   It was the first loss of a parent for either my husband or me so it has been quite an adjustment for all of us, but everyone's doing okay for the most part.

We have also been on vacation already this summer.  We had a great time. We had lots of beautiful weather, sun, sand, and time with family and friends.  

And finally, the results of my interview...

I got the job!!!!  Even after the horrible start to my interview!  When I called my husband, he said, "Sooooo, everyone else did worse than you???"  My response was, "I guess so!"  Another lady and I were hired to split the schools in our county and as we have been talking about the job, we also have discussed our interviews.  She went home and cried because she felt hers went horribly too.  We have laughed that we are the best of the worst!!  I am so excited about this new challenge, but I have a HUGE learning curve to get through! 

I haven't really decided what to do with this lil old blog, but I would like to continue it with commentary on how our school system is implementing GAFE (Google Apps for Education) and how to effectively use it impact instruction.  

Stay tuned!

Till next time...
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