Embrace the Uncomfortable – Rapid Reaction from #picademy

I’m sitting here in the airport ready to head home, and my head is spinning. I spent the last two days immersed in a fully hands-on learning experience unlike any other.

When I applied, I knew Raspberry Pis existed, but didn’t really know anything else. About a month ago, I received an email that congratulated me on being accepted to the final US Picademy of 2016.  There were about 500 applicants for this cohort, and I was extremely lucky and honored to be selected to attend. I knew this academy would be right up my alley, but way out of my comfort zone.

I decided that I was going to embrace the uncomfortable.

I’ve been keeping my eye on the maker movement now for several years, and have even taken a graduate course that had making and makerspaces as a primary focus. But, still, I didn’t really know where to start. I think my fear has always been—and still is to a certain extent—that I wouldn’t be the best at it. But again, I had to tell myself:

EMBRACE THE UNCOMFORTABLE.

img_1172
My new Raspberry Pi 3 with Babbage!

After a night of meeting the other cohort members, our instructors, and the amazing hosts from TACC (Texas Advanced Computing Center), I became a little more comfortable in my skin but was still unsure about what I had gotten myself into.

img_1176
Taking a selfie with the PiCamera using a Sketch Filter

Day 1: It was a fast-paced firestorm of experimenting and getting our feet wet with a Raspberry Pi. I found myself at times feeling so overwhelmed because I didn’t know why what I was typing in the code was making things happen. And other times, I latched on to something and went crazy while I was supposed to be listening to someone teach.

Day 2: If day one was a firestorm, then day two was trial by fire. We heard from some great speakers in the morning who shared what Raspberry Pi and digital making has done for them and their students. We also heard from a student, Ethan, who started a company by 5th grade, and has now shifted his business model after learning about Raspberry Pi.

After the speakers, we were given 4 hours to work on building a Raspberry Pi project. This provided so many of us to worry about what project we would tackle, but with the guidance of the instructors, we finally decided on a project: a Teddy Bear camera and song machine.

Initially, we found amazing success with our code in the first 15 minutes, but then we realized, when we wanted to make it more difficult, we really needed the support of the room. This project work time was easily the best part of the whole academy. Check out our video of our 1st prototype:

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img_1186I have to admit, that I still feel a little over my head, but Picademy has given me some confidence in knowing that embracing the uncomfortable is the right place to be. When we are uncomfortable, we can grow. Now, there’s lots of work to be done, and I can’t wait to process more and dive head first into digital making and computer science!

picert

 

 

 

 

Drawing More and Why I Feel I Can’t

I have done an activity as a teacher, now, several times. Each time, it produces almost the same results. I use it to talk about creativity with my students, but little did I know that I need my own lesson.
I give my students a blank piece of paper and a marker and then tell them that they have 5 minutes to create something. Continually, students freeze. Not just for a second, but for most of the time allotted. The students who get going, love the activity, but about 75% don’t know what to do. I start seeing students looking at their peers’ papers wondering if what they are doing is good enough. What I point out to my students is that they are conditioned to expect rules and procedures for everything they do in school. And when those rules or procedures aren’t given—or heaven forbid, the assignment is open ended—they struggle.

I consider myself a visual/spatial person. I love to visualize things and images stick in my head. But I have always felt inadequate when it comes to illustrating my own thinking. I don’t know if there was a specific moment that I felt that my artistic side decided to take a permanent vacation, or what.

When I was asked to draw a picture for my graduate course this week, I found myself struggling to get started. I didn’t want it to be bad, but I knew that it wouldn’t live up to my own expectations. I needed to sit through my own lesson.

At the Google Innovator Academy in February, we had the opportunity to hear from Sylvia Duckworth who has had some amazing sketchnotes shared around the internet countless times. ShSketchnote Timelapsee encouraged us to try our hand at sketchnoting and not let our fears overcome us.  At the ISTE Conference in Denver this past summer, I was lucky enough to present a short session at the Google Teacher Theater. My friend, Jess, and I gave a session that was sketch-noted as we presented.  After looking at the sketchnote, I couldn’t help but realize that the visual representation of our session was summed up perfectly in images and short headlines.

Knowing that I don’t have to have requisite skills in drawing and art to be able to illustrate thoughts, I still find it extremely demanding and difficult to take an artistic approach to my thinking. I have always struggled with the mind map, because I always felt that others were better than mine. As if somehow, because my spiderweb was less attractive than someone else’s, I had lesser ideas. This has been inhibiting in my life. I let my fear of perfection and excellence cloud my judgment. This limits my creativity, and getting thoughts on paper.

Maybe if I can overcome this fear, I can demonstrate my learning. It can serve to be a starting point for all things creative. It could allow me to really try something new. It might just be a way for me to actually attempt to accept my inner creative side. But, I am weak. And will probably succumb to my perfectionist attitude. But for now, at least someone was able to illustrate my thinking for me.

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Introducing the #MTV16 #GoogleEI Cohort!

In 6 days, this amazing group of educators will convene in Mountain View, California to attend the Google Innovator Academy. We will be working on refining our visions for education and building a year-long project to implement our visions. This group has already inspired me in so many ways, and I know that we, as a group, are excited to share with the greater education community!

So, here we are in alphabetical order (Check out our podcast intros here):

Adriaan van der Bergh

Locationavanderbergh_1355561206_71
Düsseldorf, Germany
Connect with me:
@avanderbergh
https://plus.google.com/+avanderbergh
http://www.sharpinput.com
Link to my vision video
https://youtu.be/FCgKxLZHOow
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I have double-jointed thumbs
Bio:
I was born and raised in a city near Johannesburg in South Africa. I started out my working life in the IT industry working as a Network Administrator. I’ve been working as a Technology Coordinator for 4 years. Before that I taught MYP Design. I have taught at schools in South Africa, Thailand, South Korea and now in Germany.
Anything else you want to share?
I was named TIME magazine’s person of the year in 2006
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
The bearded, carb-free, gamifying teacher.
Education Role
Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
Computational Thinking

Alicia Zeoli

LocationIMG_8764
West Chester, PA
Connect with me:
@aliciazeoli
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AliciaZeoli
https://aliciazeoli.wordpress.com/
Link to your application video
https://youtu.be/umXf44Nyjfc
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
First Time
Interesting fact about yourself
I used to be a Zamboni driver.
Bio:
I love the mountains! My true passion is snowboarding. I’ve lived on the west coast, east coast and the middle of the US. I live my life with a west coast attitude combined with an east coast directness. Sprinkle in some coffee and I become human ;). I can be an information junkie and am usually reading at least 5 different books at a time.

Innovation in schools is a true passion of mine. I’ve been fortunate enough to take former students on global field trips to Vietnam and Turkey. I am truly excited to work with such an amazing group of people.
Anything else you want to share?
I love Vietnamese food.
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Rides the Edge
Education Role
Innovation Specialist
Primary Content Area
Tech Integration & Design Thinking

Andrew Caffrey

Locationcaffrey (1)
Lichfield, United Kingdom
Connect with me:
@MrCaffrey
https://plus.google.com/u/1/+AndrewCaffrey/

http://mrcaffrey.com/
Link to your application video
https://youtu.be/68i3ib0s4n0
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
2
Interesting fact about yourself
Was part of the team that wrote and developed “The Worlds Largest Science Lesson” – but I am not actually a Science Teacher.
Bio:
Assistant Headteacher for Data and Technology at The Streetly Academy, a Google Reference School with over 1,000 Chromebooks. I teach Geography and Travel & Tourism (Travel & Tourism is a bit like business studies but with better trips).
Anything else you want to share?
I quite like donuts.
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Geographer, who messes around with technology.
Education Role
High School Teacher, Administration
Primary Content Area
Geography / Travel & Tourism

Angie PottsGoogle Headshot

Location
Saint Peter, MN
Connect with me:
@angpotts
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AngiePotts
http://apteach.weebly.com/
Link to your application video
https://youtu.be/ngBuiQzKwHE
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
2
Interesting fact about yourself
I can blow spit bubbles.
Bio:
I am currently teaching STEM in a specialist role at our intermediate school in our district. It is my third year teaching STEM. I have spent the previous seven years teaching middle school math or science as well as one year as an instructional coach. I love when students have opportunities to own their learning with authentic, hands-on, collaborative work!
I am also a mom to two energetic, goofy, witty, and creative six year old boys. Their school experiences continue to fuel my passion for embracing school as a vehicle to push students’ creativity, not stifle it!
Anything else you want to share?
Let’s make a difference!
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
First line: #geek Second line: Quietly different Bottom line: Quietly disruptive
Education Role
Elementary Teacher
Primary Content Area
STEM

Ariana Flewelling

LocationAri Flewelling Headshot
Colton, Ca
Connect with me:
@EdTechAri
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AriFlewellingEdTechAri
https://sites.google.com/site/edtechari/

Link to your application video
https://youtu.be/M6xsKdP8SZM
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I’m a big Disney fan.
Bio:
Hi I’m Ariana Flewelling but you can call me EdTechAri or Ari for short. I am a Staff Development Specialist for the Innovation and Learner Engagement division at Riverside Unified School District (RUSD). In short, I’m a educational technology implementation coach/TOSA for K-12 teachers. In addition, I’ve earned the Master of Educational Technology degree from Boise State University.

Prior to working in RUSD, I was a Teacher on Assignment within the Colton Joint Unified School District (CJUSD), as the Secondary Technology Coach. When I was in the classroom I taught high school English and helped write CJUSD’s 9th grade CCSS transition plan.

Outside of work, I am an active member of CUE, current Inland Area Affiliate President, and ISTE. In my free time I like to play Mass Effect on my Xbox.

If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
She knew what she had to do, and she did it
Education Role
Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
Technology Integration

Arlene Simpelo

LocationIMG_2715 (3)
Pleasanton, CA
Connect with me:
@ina2jack
https://plus.google.com/+ArleneSimpelo
http://www.tinyurl.com/b2website

Link to your application video
https://youtu.be/wD-FEVbNJHA
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I have been fortunate enough to travel with the Wheelchair Foundation to deliver wheelchairs to Peru, Guatemala, and Honduras. I hope to deliver wheelchairs to Ecuador this summer. Our school raised enough money to send 99 wheelchairs to Peru!
Bio:
I’m a baseball mom, teacher, traveler, book & dog lover.
Anything else you want to share?
I like zombie books, movies, TV shows.
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Let’s go guys!
Education Role
Elementary Teacher
Primary Content Area
1st grade teacher

Brandi Miller

Locationbrandi
Diamond Bar, CA
Connect with me:
@teacherbrandi
https://plus.google.com/u/0/110036980177109237701
http://swingingforsuccess.blogspot.com
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTmlBGJYqI4
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
This was my first application
Interesting fact about yourself
I received a softball scholarship for college.
Bio:
I taught 1st through 4th grades for 11 years, before leaving the classroom this year to be an Instructional Technology TOSA. In my new TOSA role, I coach and support teachers in integrating technology into their practice. I also lead weekly and monthly professional development sessions/groups. It is from leading this professional learning that my innovator project was born. Like others, I do not want to participate in sit and get PD. I want to transform professional learning to something that is personalized, hands-on, and job embedded!
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Keep Calm & Tech On!
Education Role
Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
Instructional Technology Integration

Charles Shryock

Location000-TOPTEN-055
Mount Rainier, MD

Connect with me:
@timidstone
https://plus.google.com/+CharlesShryockIV

Educational role

Director of Faculty Development

 

 

Christine Lion-Bailey

LocationCLionBailey
Morris Plains, NJ
Connect with me:
@clbtech2learn
https://plus.google.com/u/0/106228393804260876700
https://sites.google.com/a/mpsdk8.org/the-21st-century-classroom/
Link to your application video
https://youtu.be/L6tXBjXjzP4
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I host food competitions with my friends- kinda like Iron Chef.
Bio:
I was a 7th grade Social Studies teacher for 11 years before becoming an EdTech & Enrichment Supervisor just one year ago. I love to learn and I love to teach and my new role affords me the opportunity to do both. I see technology as an amazing vehicle that can drive learning into the global community. I am the mom of an amazing little 4 year old girl named Lilia and the wife of a equally amazing and supportive husband, Mike. I love the beach, books, food, and good wine.
Anything else you want to share?
#MTV16 #Amazing
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Sassy EdTech Nerd
Education Role
Administration, Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
Social Studies (when I was teaching)

Chrystal Hoe

Locationchrystal_hoe
Dedham, MA
Connect with me:
@cehoerun
https://plus.google.com/u/1/+ChrystalHoe
http://www.chrystalhoe.com
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar0el6LgKEs
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
first time
Interesting fact about yourself
I was a diver and coached it for a bit
Bio:
Chrystal Hoe is a Integration Coordinator and Certified Google Apps for Education Trainer (GET), Google Certified Educator and Future Google Innovator. She is a featured presenter for EdTech team and also presents and trains at conferences and workshops as well as schools on how to integrate Google Apps, Chromebooks, and other emerging technologies into learning. Her background is in Modern Language Pedagogy with a Masters in French. She holds a license in French, Educational Technology and Administration. She has been featured at MassCue, Google Summits by EdTechTeam, ISTE, and Deep Learning.
Anything else you want to share?
I love ice cream, especially banana soft serve
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?

The happiest, most energetic Google Educator we know!
Education Role
Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
Technology & French

David Hotler

LocationHotler_Headshot
Hampton, Virginia
Connect with me:
@dhotler
http://www.davidhotler.com
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I have an irrational fear of having glitter all over me.
Bio:
I run at 5000 rpm in 6th gear. I am always looking for something new to try that is challenging. I am really into charcuterie, woodworking, and reading. I brew beer, keep bees, garden, and travel as much as possible. I coach CrossFit to teens, kids, and adults. I am happily married to a Spanish professor and dad to a yellow lab named Harley. I am recklessly optimistic and always looking for a new joke.
Anything else you want to share?
Do what makes you happy.
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Renaissance Man I Cant Wait to Travel
Education Role
Adult Learning
Primary Content Area
Technology Integration

David Lee

LocationHeadshot Image
Seoul, South Korea
Connect with me:
https://twitter.com/davidleeedtech
https://plus.google.com/+davidleeedtechorg
http://www.davidleeedtech.org/
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9nDPcQCpEQ
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I am a sneaker enthusiast!
Introduce yourself to the world!
I am the elementary STEM Coordinator at Korea International School (KIS) in Seongnam, Korea. As theSTEM Coordinator, I contribute to the vision and execution of the school’s STEM program, work collaboratively with all stakeholders (administrators, teachers, students, parents, & community), assist in the development and delivery of transdiscipinary STEM professional development, and attend grade-levels meetings to move all teachers towards independence in the delivery of transdisciplinary instruction and curriculum. I also engage students and develop their science ‘identities’ through open-ended inquiry-based activities in the KoLAB spaces, connect KoLAB activities and content to homeroom activities and content (emphasizing connections between disciplines), and plan and execute opportunities for students to showcase their work within the school and community (i.e. fairs, exhibition, etc.).
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Always in Beta
Education Role
STEM Coordinator
Primary Content Area
Science & Engineering Design

 

Erica Armstrong

Location:885905_10152848570259101_5225064352075932461_o
Ontario, Canada
Connect with me:
@ms_e_a
https://plus.google.com/+EricaArmstrong

Educational Role
Elementary French & Technology Teacher

 

Jared Amalong

Location_MG_4288
Auburn, CA
Connect with me:
@amalong
http://www.google.com/+JaredAmalong
http://www.gfect.io
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-W4GVoDvno
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
0 – Guess it worked out!
Interesting fact about yourself
I started using Google Docs with my students in 2006 – when the service was called Writely!
Introduce yourself to the world!
With over 10 years of classroom experience, Jared Amalong is the Information and Communication Technologies Sector Coordinator for the Placer County Office of Education, in conjunction with the Capital Region Academies for the Next Economy (CRANE). Partnering with schools from 7 counties and 24 school districts in the Sacramento region, Jared leverages his experience teaching AP Computer Science A and Exploring Computer Science courses to support teachers currently teaching computer science courses. Additionally, he consults with administrators that are seeking to introduce computer science courses at their respective school sites. Previously, Jared taught at Granite Bay High School and 49er ROP of the Placer County Office of Education.
Anything else you want to share?
Can’t wait to learn from the #MTV16 cohort!
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Code Blooded
Education Role
Administration, Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
CTE – IT and Computer Science

Jennifer L. Scheffer

LocationIMG_2687
Burlington, MA
Connect with me:
@jlscheffer
https://plus.google.com/+JenniferScheffer
http://jennscheffer.com/
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxWmyONcA1Q
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I’ve been a kickboxing instructor for the past twenty years
Bio
Google Educator Group Leader, and Mobile Learning Coach for Burlington Public Schools, in Burlington, Massachusetts; a 1:1 iPad Google Apps for Education district. In this role, Jenn helps teachers of all content areas and grade levels effectively integrate technology in the classroom.

Jennifer leads the globally recognized student run Help Desk at Burlington High School, highlighted in the 2015 ISTE Ignite talk above. Jenn is also the BHS TED-Ed Club facilitator, organizer of TEDxYouth@BHS, and a TED-Ed Innovative Educator.

She is passionate about leveraging student voice and committed to digital citizenship education. She is a Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Certified Educator and co-moderates the official Digital Citizenship Twitter chats. Jenn is also a member of the leadership teams for the ISTE Digital Citizenship and 1:1 PLN’s.
Anything else you want to share?
I’m 4’9″ tall and live in 3 inch heels (except when working out!)
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Pint-Sized Power House Making It Happen
Education Role
Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
Technology Application

 

Jessica Loucks

LocationIMG_1099
Manchester, CT
Connect with me:
@Jlenore24
https://plus.google.com/+JessicaLenoreLoucks

Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZTe6iCn5gs
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
In Miami, I accidentally walked into the middle of a Young Jeezy music video and got reprimanded by producers.
Bio:
Jessica Loucks been providing professional development on technology integration since her early days as a 7-12 Reading and Language Arts teacher. Now a Technology Integration Specialist for Manchester Public Schools in Connecticut, she has overseen Chromebook 1:1 deployment at both the high school and middle school levels, provided Google Apps training at the district level, and has even spearheaded her district’s first MakerSpaces. As head of the Technology Department at Illing Middle School, she has presented at numerous conferences on how to effectively roll out technology in engaging ways. She is a Google Education Trainer and holds a Masters of Arts in English.
Anything else you want to share?
I love Seinfeld, SNL, tacos, and any type of pub trivia 🙂
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Jess can get your Grandma to Google Hangout
Education Role
Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
English 7-12

Jolie Kwedar

LocationlmhZyNsl
Hazelwood School District, MO

Connect with me:
@joliekwedar
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JolieKwedarHSDEdTech

Educational Role
Educational Technology Specialist

 

 

 

 

Justin Birckbichler

Locationbace6ced0b0322a9aefd70e0021b8c97
Warrenton, VA
Connect with me:
@Mr_B_Teacher
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JustinBirckbichler1
http://blog.justinbirckbichler.com/
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geVDKg_P11g
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
This was my first and only time.
Interesting fact about yourself
I am colorblind, but not the normal kind. I can tell dark shades of colors apart.
Bio:
Justin Birckbichler is a fourth-grade teacher at Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School in Front Royal, VA. He has been teaching fourth grade since 2013, and recently earned a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governors University. In the technology world, Justin is a both a Google Certified Educator: Level 1 and 2 and a Google for Education Certified Trainer. He has presented at numerous local, regional, and state events and at VSTE15. He is a very connected educator, blogging at blog.justinbirckbichler.com, tweeting at @Mr_B_Teacher, co-moderating the #FlyHighFri and #Teach20s Twitter chats, and co-hosting the Eduroadtrip podcast. He enjoys a student-led classroom with a high degree of purposeful technology integration, in addition to collaborating with parents to best meet all learning needs.
Anything else you want to share?
I moderate #FlyHighFri (twitter movement to celebrate the great moments from the week) and #Teach20s (a week long slow chat to support teachers in their twenties)
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
“We don’t make excuses; we make changes”
Education Role
Elementary Teacher
Primary Content Area
4th Grade – all subjects

Katie Ritter

Locationkatieritter
Cincinnati, OH
Connect with me:
@Katie_M_Ritter
https://plus.google.com/u/0/108031372499090613570
http://talktechwithme.com/
Link to your application video
https://youtu.be/3C—iIl4r8
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I never have anything cool to say here- my interesting fact right now is that I am going to be a Certified Innovator and I’m going to the Googleplex!
Bio:
From the moment I walked into my first pre-school class at three years old, I knew I wanted to be involved in education. Throughout my career, I have worked in higher education, at the secondary level, at the K12 district level, in both private and public sectors, in a 1:1 environment and in a very transient, low-socioeconomic district. I now work at Forward Edge, a K12 technology company, and I am able to work with districts throughout Ohio to integrate technology into the classroom. I have an undergraduate degree in Social Studies Secondary Education and an M.A. in Education and Instructional Computer Technology. I’m on the leadership team of ISTE’s EdTech Coaches PLN. Outside of work, you can find me spending time with my fiance (wedding is in July!), two dogs, friends, nephew & two brand new nieces!
Anything else you want to share?
So excited to meet people who are just as excited (and understand what this is!) as I am for this experience!
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Paraphrasing a quote from my best friend on her wedding day, she told me I am “fiercely loyal, honest, bold, hilarious and I do nothing half way.” I’ll take that on a T-shirt!
Education Role
Technology Coordinator/Coach, Consultant
Primary Content Area
Social Studies/ Instructional Tech

Kim Pollishuke

Location:IMG_1085
Thornhill, ON

Connect with me:
@KimPollishuke
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KimPollishuke

Educational Role:
Digital Literacy Resource Teacher

 

 

 

Leslie McBeth

 

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset
 

Location
Toronto, ON
Connect with me:
@lesmcbeth
https://plus.google.com/+LesMcBeth
http://www.lesmcbeth.com
www.cohort21.com/lesliemcbeth
www.greenwoodgreen.com
www.lindnershall.com
Link to your application video
https://youtu.be/BULyo7_lrMw
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
Over the past year and a half, my husband and I completed gutted and rebuilt our 130 year old home (a former concert hall) in Toronto. After tearing 9 tonnes of old plaster, flooring, wires and pipes out of the house, we taught ourselves to do electrical, plumbing, drywall, flooring, tile and it’s *almost* done. It was the best learning experience of my life.
Bio:
I am a teacher who doesn’t like classrooms and I dream of one day building a school without walls. In the meantime, I aim to design experiences that take students out of the school building and into the city and beyond. As a teacher of Green Industries at Greenwood College School, I use my passion for all things urban to engage students in design thinking and project based learning activities that use the city as a teaching tool. From reimagining Toronto’s waterfront landscape, to entering architecture competitions or engaging in dialogue with city leaders, my students learn from real-world experiences that require lateral thinking, adaptability, collaboration, and an understanding of what makes a great city. A wanderlust at heart, I also hope to provide students with opportunities to explore the world beyond our city limits. Over the past six years I have taken students on nearly 20 international and backcountry outdoor adventures including trips to New York City, southern India, dogsledding adventures in the Boreal forest, backcountry hiking trips on the Juan de Fuca trail, sea kayaking trips in the northern Pacific Ocean, and canoe tripping in Northern Ontario. In my former life in New York City, I built the foundation of a city-based, “urban investigations” teaching philosophy at the Center for Urban Pedagogy. Prior to that, I was an advocate for improving the public built environment as part of the team at the Design Trust for Public Space, where I fell in love with cities and discovered the power of design.
Anything else you want to share?
I’m currently training for a full Ironman. Also, despite how crazy this makes me sound, I am actually really laid back and easy going. 🙂
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
What’s Next?!
Education Role
High School Teacher, Facilitator of a PD Program for teachers called Cohort 21
Primary Content Area
Green Industries (Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning)

Lindsey Blass

LocationIMG_0208
Campbell, CA
Connect with me:
@LindseyBlass1
http://bit.ly/GooglePlusBlass
http://cusdmathtech.blogspot.com/
Link to your application video
http://bit.ly/BlassVisionVideo
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I will be hosting karaoke at the 2016 Annual CUE conference in Palm Springs. I hope to see you there!
Bio:
After seven years in the classroom, I transitioned into a TOSA role as a district Math/Technology Integration Coach. In this role, I strive to impact instructional practice on a larger scale and provide experiences that bring math instruction to life. For two years I worked with Stanford’s Center for Assessment Learning and Equity and researchers from the George Lucas Educational Foundation to design and implement Project Based Learning math curriculum. I use this experience to support teachers in becoming lesson designers, building authentic interactions with content that increase student engagement and performance.
Anything else you want to share?
I also serve as a moderator for #connectedTL, a group focused on educational leadership. Join us for our Twitter chats on Tuesdays at 7:00!
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Teacher. Coach. Communicator. Mover. Shaker. Do-er. Curriculum Designer. Integrator. Never give up-er. Mathie. Techie. Happy. Watch out, because when I walk into your room, shift happens.
Education Role
Math/Technology Integration Coach
Primary Content Area
Math/Tech

Marcie Hebert

Location9fgX-4xA
New Orleans, LA
Connect with me:
@mrsmhebert
+MarcieHebert
https://sites.google.com/site/marciehebert

Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBl6GjguV5Q
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
2
Interesting fact about yourself
I teach at the school I attended as a child.
Introduce yourself to the world!
I am the Tech Director and Computer teacher for a Catholic elementary and middle school outside of New Orleans. I am a Google for Education Trainer who is having lots of fun working with teachers and continually trying new things with kids. I love bringing the idea of Makerspaces into classrooms. My husband and I are the parents to two boys.

Margaret (Maggie) Powers

LocationwDB-xIh8
Philadelphia, PA
Connect with me:
@mpowers3
https://plus.google.com/+MargaretPowers
http://margaret-powers.com
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wZGSCzYrDY&feature=youtu.be
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
My middle name is Austin … and I lived in Reggio Emilia, Italy to study the Reggio approach to education
Bio:
I’m a Technology Coordinator/Coach at an independent school where I run our new IDEA Studio for making, design thinking, and creative work. I’m also an Ed Tech & Innovation Consultant, specializing in design thinking, early childhood education, and global education. I’m facilitating a Global Learning Network around innovation for the Global Online Academy this year and I am a Teacher Coach on the amazing Teachers Guild – join me! I was also a Google Glass Community Leader … before Glass disappeared (for now) and I am always looking for new tools to use in the classroom. I love to travel the world, make things, and bake yummy foods, especially if they involve cookie dough!

Anything else you want to share?
I’m excited to be joining this great group!
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Passionate design thinker powered by coffee & my PLN
Education Role
Technology Coordinator/Coach

Primary Content Area
Tech/Maker/Design

Marlena Hebern

LocationScreen Shot 2016-01-30 at 12.49.54 PM
Mariposa, CA
Connect with me:
@mhebern
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarlenaHebern
http://marlenahebern.com/
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyW9sHAApe4
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
FIrst time
Job Title
Coordinator II Instructional Technology Services
School or District
Fresno County Office of Education

Bio:

I have been in education for 25 years. I have my master’s degree in Reading instruction, LECDE, LECFTA, and am a CUE Rock Star Faculty. I love having fun, meeting people, and goofing around. I am married to a wonderful man and I have 2 fab girls, 1 is just finishing up college. I live in Mariposa, and work in Fresno, serving the kids of Fresno County.
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
#loves-to-learn #connected #believes-in-students #fixer-of-problems #positive-is-her-default #biggest-fan-of-YES,-and…
Education Role
Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
Technology and ELA

Matt Wigdahl

LocationEfS-rTAh (1)
Menomonie, Wisconsin USA
Connect with me:
@MrWigdahl
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MatthewWigdahlMenomonie
https://sites.google.com/a/msd.k12.wi.us/oaklawn-elementary-room-141/
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRhjFE8BLrE
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I’m a cross country skate skier who has completed the Birkebeiner.
Introduce yourself to the world!
I took a slightly less-travelled path of majoring in Fine Arts to become an elementary classroom teacher. I have taught in Minnesota, Alaska and Wisconsin. Oddly enough, I have only ever taught 3rd and 5th grades. My daughter is a 4th grader and most genius author I’ve read. My wife is a Lutheran pastor and marathon runner. I tend a small urban vineyard in my backyard and hope to bottle my first reds sometime in the next two years.
Anything else you want to share?
Excited to be here!
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Artist.
Education Role
Elementary Teacher
Primary Content Area
5th grade – all subjects, 3 sections of science

Mike de Leon

LocationDeleonAvatar1
Romeoville & Bolingbrook, IL
Connect with me:
@edtechdeleon
http://bit.ly/PlusEdTechDeleon
http://edtechfieldguide.com
Link to your application video
https://youtu.be/2sZT9kMTPLY
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I used to do breast cancer research prior to being in education and instructional technology.
Bio:
I’m an instructional technology specialist in Valley View School district in Bolingbrook & Romeoville, IL. It’s a decently sized district comprised of 13 ES, 5MS, and 2 HS. Previously, I’ve worked with the University of Illinois and Northwestern as a health researcher and transitioned into teaching high school biology where I spent the better part of the last decade. It has only been over the last year and half where I’ve been the instructional technologist for the middle and high schools in our district. I work closely on professional development for district staff, building technology support staff and teachers with their students from time to time.

Being part of the Google Innovator Cohort, I want to find ways to make breakthroughs in providing quality asynchronous learning opportunities for students and staff. I want to bring educators together towards making content more dynamic and accessible for all.
Anything else you want to share?
I’m also a die hard foodie! I’ll try anything…
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
(Front) Break Ground! (Back) Be Groundbreaking!
Education Role
Administration, Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
Instructional Technology

Natalie Priester

LocationNataliePriester
Santee, CA
Connect with me:
@npriester
https://plus.google.com/+NataliePriester1/
http://www.nataliepriester.com/
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6Hs3USTKkw
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I lived in a school bus for six years.
Bio:
I am an English teacher and yearbook adviser at San Pasqual Academy, a first-in-the-nation residential high school for foster youth. I am in my tenth year of teaching English 9 and 10 at the academy, which is part of the San Diego County Office of Education’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools. I was an early-adopter of educational technology and has maintained a one-to-one paperless classroom since 2011. I hold an MA in Teaching and Learning with Technology and am currently pursuing an MA in Educational Leadership with an Emphasis in Technology through San Diego State University. I am Leading Edge Certified and a proud member of the Mountain View 2016 Google Certified Innovator cohort.
Anything else you want to share?
I really like to hike, read, practice yoga, and attend edtech conferences.
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Eager Edtech Leader Committed to Educating Foster Youth
Education Role
High School Teacher
Primary Content Area
English

Nate Ubowski

LocationHeadshotSM
Littleton, CO
Connect with me:
@Denverubow
https://plus.google.com/+NateUbowski
www.persistentnewness.com
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRH7bh4HMHk
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
3
Interesting fact about yourself
Last year, as a teacher, I sang “Beauty School Dropout” in our school’s production of Grease
Introduce yourself to the world!
I am a Google for Education Certified Trainer, Future Innovator, and English Teacher from Littleton Public Schools. While it took me a while to find a career to love, I have been following his passion for teaching for the last five years without looking back. As a way to continue my goal of lifelong learning, he is working on his Master’s Degree from CU Denver in Information and Learning Technologies. I am always looking for ways to connect with teachers to make education the best it can be. I am constantly searching for ways to bring innovation to his classroom through technology, inquiry, and student choice. I have presented at conferences locally, regionally, and nationally. I believe that being open to and adapting to change is one of the most important components of teaching; as J.R.R. Tolkien said, “True education is a kind of never ending story — a matter of continual beginnings, of habitual fresh starts, of persistent newness.”
Anything else you want to share?
I love nachos.
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Let’s grab some nachos
Education Role
High School Teacher
Primary Content Area
English

Patricia Brown

Location555cf496ca4cb.image
St. Louis, MO
Connect with me:
@msedtechie
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PatriciaBrownMSEdtechieBrown
https://www.patriciajbrown.com
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giBe8u7hYh4
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I am married to my college sweetheart and we have 5 sons
Bio:
Patricia Brown is a technology integration coach at Ladue School District, an adjunct professor at Lindenwood University, and owner of Inspirational Images, an edtech consulting company. She has been an educator since 2001. She was selected as a 2016 Google Certified Innovator, a 2016 MidWest Educational Technology Conference Spotlight Educator, a 2015 Lead PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator, and an Edsurge Columnist. In 2006, she was honored as Teacher of the Year. She spent nine years as a classroom teacher with the St. Louis Public Schools. Patricia instantly became intrigued with discovering how students learned, and how technology enhances student achievement. Patricia wanted to provide her student with opportunities to conceptualize the impact technology has on their daily lives. Like most public schools, her school did not have adequate funding for technology, In 2007, she was awarded a technology grant valued at over $25,000 for her classroom. With advanced degrees in Educational Technology, she is passionate about providing educators with practical ways to integrate technology through her trainings, blog, and website. She believes, preparing teachers will ultimately prepare students to compete in our global society through digital age teaching and learning. On a personal side she is a lifelong partner to her husband, and mom-in chief to her five sons.
Anything else you want to share?
I am excited about attendin MTV2016. I can wait to learn, share, and grow.
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Front of the shirt: I Can’t Keep Calm, I have 5 Boys Back of Shirt: #digitalmom #MomNChief #digitaldiva #leaderofthepack
Education Role
Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
Educational Technology

Scott Padway

LocationPadway Pic
Pleasanton, CA
Connect with me:
@scottpadway
https://plus.google.com/+ScottPadway
http://www.pusdedu.blogspot.com/
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9mv7qa-gVQ
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
2
Interesting fact about yourself
I played Rugby for UCSB
Bio:
Before becoming a Tech Coach, I taught social studies at both Middle and High School. I love working with teachers and being in classes for the special moments when everything seems to come together. I am a Google for Education Trainer and am super excited about this new Innovator journey.
Anything else you want to share?
I love Google My Maps!
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
I’m a Big Picture Kinda Guy
Education Role
Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
Tech/Former Social Studies

Stacy Yung

LocationProfile Picture
Irvine, CA
Connect with me:
@stacyyung
https://plus.google.com/+MsYung/

Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP_CVx2lzgA
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
This is my first time.
Interesting fact about yourself
In my prior life (before teaching), I used to love playing video games. I am kind of a huge geek and love all things geeky.
Bio:
Hello! I currently teach 7th and 8th grade History, a study skills class, and I am the tech coach at my school site. I love integrating technology in my classroom, but I am most passionate about teaching my students skills that they can carry with them the rest of their academic and/or professional lives. I also want to start teaching and modeling for other teachers and students digital citizenship skills to create more digital citizens in our technology-filled world. I love to travel and be outdoors. I try to take as many trips as I can each year with the goal of traveling to all of the historical sites that I teach about one day. I rescued my pup a year and half ago and he the center of my world. Food, wine, and the beach are my other favorite things.
Education Role
Middle School Teacher
Primary Content Area
History

Steve Kong

LocationSKong
Diamond Bar, CA
Connect with me:
@skong81
https://plus.google.com/u/0/109259484728980526022

How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I like to cook
Bio:
Good coffee, Minnesota Vikings, and craft beer.

If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Relax
Education Role
Technology Coordinator/Coach
Primary Content Area
Tech Integration

Wes Kriesel

Location1045247_10200939992635707_1115028120_n
Irvine, CA
Connect with me:
@weskriesel
https://plus.google.com/101221644911162648668
http://weskriesel.com
Link to your application video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQplw-H7LjI
How many times did you apply to the program before being accepted?
1
Interesting fact about yourself
I learned to surf in my 30’s.
Bio:
I’m married to a writer and we started a digital press associated with local literary & arts events to speak out against cultures of violence. I have four college age children. I run half-marathons and marathons every year to raise money for clean water. I incorporate photography into my daily work routine.
Anything else you want to share?
I’m interested in marketing, and non-traditional uses of data in education like web analytics, social media & email marketing analytics.
If a friend designed for you a t-shirt that described you perfectly, what would it say?
Ingredients: ¼ cup learning scientist + ¼ cup of inspiring artist + ¼ cup social justice activist + ¼ cup human connector. Disclaimer: contents may disrupt the status quo.
Education Role
Administration
Primary Content Area
English

Google Classroom Home Screen Organization from #EdTechVanguard

If you are like me and have several classes set up in Google Classroom, it’s really convenient to have your Home/Dashboard set up in a way that makes sense to you. For me, I like to have my class cards go in chronological order of my school day (Periods 1-7).

The problem with this is that once you have classes created, you can’t reorder the cards in your home screen of Google Classroom.

Solution #1 – Create classes in a specific order:

As you create your classes, think about how want your Home/Dashboard arranged.  If you want your class cards to show up in a certain order, create your classes so that the class you want to appear last is created first. 

In the picture above, you’ll notice that I ordered my classes by their section, not by the class name. In this arrangement, I created my period 7 class first so that it would end up at the end of my cards. 

What if I have shared classes?

If you are sharing your classes with another teacher (or yourself in a whitelisted approved domain), you will need to add the co-teacher as you create each class in order to keep the arrangement that you desire. If you have created all of your classes and go to add a co-teacher, the cards will not be organized on the other teacher’s end. 
The bottom line: think about how you want things to appear before you begin creating classes. 

Solution #2 – Using Bookmarks:

If you have already set up your classes in Classroom, there isn’t much that you can do to organize your cards. However, there is a workaround. Before I realized how to create classes in the order I wanted, I used bookmarks to keep my Google Classroom workflow easy. 
If you click on a card and open one of your classes, it has a unique URL that you can bookmark. When you bookmark this class, you can edit the name that shows up on your bookmark. Make it as specific or as short as you want. See image below:
If you want, you can put all of your bookmarks in a folder to free up space on your bookmarks bar. 

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