#LifeLongLearner – Applying for Google Innovator Academy

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I think it is important to continually push the envelop to do better, be better, and think better. Just two weeks ago, I hit the submit button in hopes of being selected to participate in Google’s Innovator Academy. To learn more about the Google Innovator Academy, click HERE.

In order to become a Google Innovator, you must complete the following:

  1. Pass Level 2 Google for Education Exam
  2. Have an idea/problem that you are faced with and want to help devise a solution
  3. Complete the online application form
  4. Create a 60 second video explaining the question you want to tackle
  5. Be selected to attend one of the academies that is offered in the year. You must pay your way and stay, but I hear that the three intense days of learning and collaborating is worth it.

Continue reading “#LifeLongLearner – Applying for Google Innovator Academy”

My Challenge This Summer

Screen Shot 2018-08-09 at 4.23.50 PMAs indicated in an earlier post, I challenged myself to take an online course on how to create animated GIFs, with Jake Miller being the instructor. I have discovered that creating high quality GIFs sure take some thinking (and time – just like anything else when you first start learning). Prior to taking the course, I would use Snagit to record my screen. Then, with the click of one button, I could say create a GIF. Could I continue to do this? Sure. However, knowing what I know now, I really should keep my audience in mind. They don’t want to watch a GIF that is a minute or longer. Plus, there should me more details provided in the GIF to help the viewer out.

Continue reading “My Challenge This Summer”

Challenge Yourself this School Year


The beginning of another school year is among us. As I write this blog post I am realizing that I myself have been in the education field now for fifteen years. It is amazing how fast time flies when you are having fun.

One of my favorite quotes, that I have referenced throughout those fifteen years, is from John Dewey, “If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.
To me, this is a great reminder that it is always important for educators to constantly reflect on their work and make improvements/enhancements when necessary. So, I ask you “How will you challenge yourself this school year to grow professionally and/or improve or enhance a lesson?”
Will you…
  • use Google Classroom for the first time to help with organizing and streamlining information relating to your class?
  • allow students to view content in a virtual format through virtual reality headsets?
  • ask a guest speaker to Hangout out with your class virtually, or better yet use the record feature in YouTube Live so that multiple classes can benefit from the conversation?
  • implement a hyperdoc in a unit lesson to allow students to explore and share their ideas to a broader audience other than you as the teacher?
  • join Twitter for the first time as a means to grow professionally by following other educators with similar interests/ideas?
  • inspire others in your professional learning community (PLC) to try something new?

Let’s Inspire Each Other
I have created a Flipgrid topic so that we can all inspire each other. Click HERE to share how you plan on challenging yourself this year. My hope is that we can all learn from each other in what our own goals/aspirations are for this coming school year.
Only you will know what makes the most sense, but all that I ask is that you push yourself in some way. No task is small task. If you would like to chat about how you can accomplish your challenge that you have given yourself, you know where to find me.
And that is my spiel…

#Sketch50 – True Inspiration

Let me start off by saying that I do not have the artistic ability like other people. However, I have always been intrigued with sketchnoting. Most people can agree with me in that Sylvia Duckworth does an amazing job with sketchnoting. If you do a simple Google search of ‘Sylvia Duckworth sketchnote‘ several of her masterpieces come up.

Just this past December, I decided to attend Kathy Schrock‘s presentation at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference in New Hampshire on sketchnoting. Like I said, I have always been intrigued with sketchnoting. What I liked about Kathy’s session was that she helped us walk through different tasks with sketchnoting…making people, shapes, borders etc. (Kathy has curated lots of resources on sketchnoting HERE) The session started to get my brain thinking that maybe I can sketchnote.

Fast forward to mid-March. I come across a tweet on Twitter that there was going to be a 50 day sketchnote challenge. Call me crazy, but I immediately thought that this was a cool idea.

My Challenge Journey
Sure enough, I decided to commit myself to the challenge and followed the Twitter Handle @Sketch_50. The first day was lightbulb. Sure I can draw that…

Day two was microphone or megaphone followed by speech bubbles for day three. It was not until Day four where I realized that there was something big happening.
1. Lots and lots of people have decided to join in on the fun from all over
2. People are inspiring others to participate in #sketch50
3. People are learning great techniques from others through the use of sketchnotes (for instance, on my first sketchnote, I did not include my twitter handle)
4. People are building their visual vocabulary through this challenge
5. People over the course of 50 days will have their own sketches that they can repurpose for future use


I also realized that we as people sure have different perspectives of one simple topic. Genevieve Pacada decided to curate all of the sketch notes from Day 3 – Speech Bubbles. I looked at some of these and was just in awe. It is cool to see other perspectives from people all over the world.

A colleague of mine, Jess Gilcreast, tweeted out to others that she decided to curate all of her sketches in a Google Docs table. This way she has a one stop shop of accessing all of her sketchnotes. Very clever idea as I would not have thought of doing something like that. I am going to do something similar with the use of storify. I have seen a couple of people mention or use this tool recently – thanks Tina Zita and Mary Marotta. My only hope is that over the course of these 50 days, I will see some improvement on my sketchnotes.

To see my personal journey that I have taken, click HERE.

Will You Join Me?
I highly encourage you to also get inspired by either participate in the challenge (you don’t have to start from square one, or just follow the hashtag #sketch50 on twitter). Sketchnoting can be done in many ways:

  • Paper and pencil/pens
  • Google Drawing
  • Notes (Apple app on your iPhone)
  • Paper 53 (iPad app) – my personal preference

You would be surprised with what you see. True inspiration. Hope you will join me on this adventure.

And that is my spiel…

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