Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & Conference

Posted on

On February 21-24, 2016, I attended the PETE & C Conference for the first time since 2010!  As usual, I put my best self forward and presented four sessions on Microsoft in Education.  Check out my presentations and resources hosted in a collection on


MakerSpace “Playdate”

Posted on


On Friday, November 13th, WMS hosted educators, technology/instructional coaches, administrators and librarians in our MakerSpace and Library for what we dubbed our “Playdate”.  The intent of this time was for folks interested in MakerSpaces and STEM education to come together to collaborate, experiment, communicate and essentially PLAY with the items in our MakerSpace and other items that were brought by those in attendance.

We started the afternoon out with a bit of a “potluck” lunch and a brief overview of MakerSpaces, the Maker Generation and the items available in the WMS MakerSpace.  Participants also briefly shared the items that they brought as well.  Check out this Sway that we used for our intro presentation:

Wow!  What a Friday!  Not only did the afternoon work out exactly as planned with hands-on experimentation and collaboration, but we now have a solid group of educators from the area who will continue to collaborate and communicate about MakerSpaces and STEM education.  In addition to the items we already have in our MakerSpace, we learned about a lot of other STEM tools and resources and discussed their use in various curricula.

Check out some of the pictures from our event below:



Ten Tools for Engaging Learners

Posted on

On Wednesday, September 30th, from 3-6 pm, the Montgomery County Association of Teachers of Foreign Languages (MCAFTL) held its fall conference at Wissahickon Middle School.  I was asked about 6 months ago if I would be the presenter for this conference as they wanted to once again focus their fall conference on technology.  As a former French teacher and member of MCAFTL, I jumped at the chance to share my love of instructional technology with my world language colleagues once again.  When writing the conference presentation blurb in the spring, I came up with the following:

World Languages 3.0:  Technology Tools for Engaging World Language Learners

Come on out to learn about the latest and greatest web-based tools for creating engaging and interactive activities, projects and lessons for your World Language learners.   In this fast-paced, hands-on workshop, participants will be exposed to a variety of tools and resources that can be used for communication, collaboration, creativity, formative assessment, and the blended/flipped learning environment.  Time will also be allotted for participant sharing, so be sure to come ready to share your favorite web-based technology!  Be sure to bring your own device (laptop or tablet) to get the most out of this session.

However, I didn’t really know at that time what tools I would be presenting.  As I really only had about 2 hours of instructional time, and I wanted to be sure to allow the participants some hands-on time with the tools I present, it was difficult to choose not only the best tools for world language learners, but also tools that would be free, web-based, and device agnostic, as we have a variety of platforms, devices, and student access in our county.

So, without further ado, I present “Ten Tools for Engaging (World Language) Learners“.  I put World Language in parenthesis because in no way are any of these tools solely for language class.  Each and every one of the tools below can, and should, be used by teachers from every discipline in every grade level.

What tools would you have chosen?  Please leave your favorite free, web-based tools, in the comments!

E2: Microsoft Global Educator Exchange

Posted on

I had the most life-altering experience of my life a few weeks ago as one of 20 educators from the United States chosen to join about 250 other like-minded educators from around the globe at the Microsoft Global Educator Exchange, E2.

Check out the Sway that I created below as a recap, photo album and reflective blog post all wrapped into one!  You can view it as embedded below, or click HERE to open it up in its own tab to see it fully.  Enjoy!

ISTE 2011 – Day 1 – Sunday

Posted on

Yesterday was awesome!  I arrived in Philly around 9, checked into the Marriott, and headed to the Convention Center  – SO COOL that it is attached to the Marriott with a bridge (the littlest things make me happy :).  Then, I proceeded to the room where my workshop was held.  I arrived about 2 hours early, but wanted to stake out the area.  I was NERVOUS and anxious to get started.

At 12:30-3:30, I presented my very first ISTE 3-hour workshop entitled, “Perk Up Your Projects With Web 2.0” to a great group of 25 educators, tech coaches and administrators.  It was an awesome workshop with great participation from the group with thoughtful reflection and insight into the pros and cons of using Web 2.0 tools with students.  What a great way to start ISTE for me!

Then it was off to dinner with some of my favorite people … it was great to see you all and reconnect.  It’s been way too long that the four of us were together!!  Dark Horse FTW 🙂

Next we headed to the Opening Keynote with Dr. John Medina of “Brain Rules” fame.  He was energetic, entertaining and effectively humorous!!  A few of my favorite items from his talk…

  • “What is obvious to you… is obvious to YOU”
  • “Fluid Intelligence has two parts – 1.  A richly structured database  2. The ability to improvise off of it”
  • “Regular aerobic exercise increases executive function.  The ideal learning environment should be guided aerobic activity all day with islands of learning.”

After the Keynote, I headed out and reconnected with some of the great educational technology people from the great state of Pennsylvania before I turned in to get a good night’s sleep for a full day of learning today!

I am looking forward to a great day of sessions, connecting, meeting new people, and collaboration.  Not to mention my next workshop and an evening full of activities!