This year in review

Posted on

Today is my first day of “summer break”. In celebration of that, I’m going to reflect a bit on the past school year and what I have accomplished and what we’ve taken on at Wissahickon in such a short amount of time.


  • The school year began with a MacBook for each teacher, and the accompanying training entitled “Meet your Mac”.
  • 50 teachers in the district were awarded SmartBoards (including me) and 4 lucky souls were to serve as the first ever 1:1 classrooms in the district in a pilot program.
  • We had a new Student Information System: Sapphire and Course Management System: Moodle.
  • We were told that we would be getting funding from the state through the Classrooms for the Future grant.
  • I was asked to be the Classrooms for the Future coach and jumped in with a whole new enthusiasm for my job.
  • I began teaching for the first time with my SmartBoard and realized that my planning and teaching had to evolve to make the most of this new learning environment.
  • At the end of the month, I attended CFF Boot Camp. This experience, along with the Keystone Technology Integrators Summit in the summer, absolutely changed who I am and started me on the path to my new passion in life: Educational Technology & 21st Century Learning.


  • By this time, I was totally engrossed and involved in teaching French in my new eClassroom and spending a lot of time restructuring my lessons, projects and assessments.
  • I began my job as coach as I began receiving emails on the CFF Coach Listserv and started figuring out how I was going to do two jobs at once.
  • The 12 CFF Teachers were identified and we all met for the first time at the October In-service. There, I conducted a presentation on CFF and my role as coach.
  • I went to my first training as a CFF Coach on the Embedded Learning course that the CFF teachers were required to take for the grant.


  • I continued to work my butt off for my two jobs: French teacher & CFF Coach.
  • I had regular meetings with my Principal about the computers and my future job.
  • The CFF Team met up once again during in-service time. There, I used this presentation to introduce the Embedded Learning course and their requirements and expectations.
  • My principal and I presented a “Wissahickon High School Technology Showcase” to the Wissahickon Board of School Directors. Part of the presentation included this video.
  • I attended my first 2-day session of Apple CFF Coach training in State College, PA. I began to truly appreciate the beauty of the Mac.


  • I continued the juggling of 2 jobs, reworking my lessons for the SmartBoard and getting excited about being CFF coach full-time.
  • I attended my second 2-day CFF Coach Training at the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit.
  • I continued to expand my professional learning network through the CFF Coach Listserv, Twitter, and Keystones.
  • The computers arrived and the “Mac Factory” began re-imaging and getting the carts ready.
  • I got an iphone! 🙂


  • My last month as a French Teacher!!
  • Carts and MacBooks were ready to go to teachers. We just had to wait for me to be done teaching!
  • I attended Apple Coach Training #3 in Lancaster County.
  • My students gave me “Going Away” parties and wished me luck on my new adventure.
  • THE FUN BEGAN! Carts were delivered and the teachers jumped head-first into the fray.
  • I began my new job as the Classrooms for the Future Technology Coach!


  • The learning began! We began our Embedded Learning Course: “Teaching in the 21st Century: The Need for Change”.
  • Apple CFF Leadership Training was held at our Central Office building. The leadership teams of several neighboring school districts also came to share our experience.
  • Apple CFF “Out of the Box” training was conducted for the CFF Teachers. The 2-day intensive training was just that, intense, but was informative, interesting and indeed needed.
  • Apple CFF Coach Training #3 in Allentown.
  • I attended PETE & C for the first time and was just blown away by the whole experience. Before the conference began I went to the CFF Coach Pre-Conference as well as the Discovery Educator’s Network Pre-Conference. My network continued to expand and enrich my own professional learning.


  • I established weekly meetings with all CFF Teachers to touch base, answer questions, and co-plan.
  • I co-taught lessons on Comic Life, iMovie, and Garageband and worked with the teachers and classes that were using these tools for their projects.
  • We continued our Embedded Learning course and learned even more about the need for change.


  • More coaching, more co-planning, more development of 21st century learning environments at Wissahickon High School!
  • Last round of CFF Apple Coach Training in Eastern Lebanon County. It was a great group and trainer to work with and a great network of people to keep in touch with.
  • I applied for and was accepted as a Facilitator & Presenter at the Keystone Technology Integrator’s Summit to be held in July at Bucknell University. This is quite an honor!!


  • As the year was winding down, teachers were planning and implementing “end of the year” projects, including the first ever “Kite Runner Film Festival” for which students had to create their own movies related to the novel.
  • The Wissahickon Art Show’s first ever “Cyber Lounge” and Website.
  • I co-taught for the “Like Water for Chocolate Dictionary” project


  • I was hired for my new job: Instructional Technology Specialist!
  • I met with the Staff Developers and the Curriculum department to outline our professional development plan for next year which includes the eToolBox.
  • I spear-headed the Wissahickon High School Technology Showcase wikispace project in which many teachers contributed and posted their lessons, projects, and students’ work.
  • I video-interviewed students who have had the opportunity to use the MacBooks all year in History class. They have some very intriguing reflections as to why their learning is different and how the computers could affect their school.
  • I video-interviewed the CFF teachers who commented on how having a Classroom for the Future had a positive impact on both the students and themselves.
  • I worked closely with our Director of Technology on many things pertaining to my new job: new website, Moodle, eClassroom training, 1:1 training, eToolBox, summer plans for work, etc. etc

Now, the fun really begins! Although summer is upon me and I don’t need to be at work by 7:30am each day, I have plenty to keep me busy this summer. But, that is for my next blog post…


Posted on

In our final round of Apple sponsored Classrooms for the Future coach training, I had the fortunate opportunity to work with my friend and colleague in the Ed Tech world Aly Tapp. After a short discussion about what makes a genius, we were asked by our trainer to conceive a metaphor and illustrate it with images, video, words, whatever. We were allowed to use whatever medium we wished and were given about an hour to pull it all together. Below is our metaphor: “Teaching without Technology”

Wondering What I Have to Say

Posted on

For several months now I have been newly ‘involved’ with the world of educational technology. Every since the KTI summit this summer I have been adding people to my network and reading their blogs as frequently as possible. I have been twittering like a mad-woman and even get into a Skype chat every once and while. I have 92 followers on twitter and according to the scroll here on my blog, I’ve had 562 visitors from 28 countries stop by. But, in the back of mind sits these questions – What do I really have to say? and Why would people want to read it?

So I think about why I read other people’s blogs. It really is a strange phenomenon, reading about people’s lives and thoughts. It’s like when I was young and I broke into my older sister’s diary with a hairpin. I’m a very curious person and I used to LOVE reading what she would write to understand her point of view of her life and of course to learn about her secrets. (Sorry Dawn if you read this!) It’s strange but also wonderful how reading blogs gives you a similar window into the author’s life. But, unlike my sister, bloggers know they are writing for an audience. They are very selective in what they choose to write and how they choose to open the window into their lives. Even still I’m intrigued, and I continue to read.

diary2.jpgSo that leads me back to my questions. I have yet to discover how much of my own window I want to open. I am struggling with how to go about using this blog and how much of my life I want to put out there. Do I keep it work-related only? Do I mix in personal information? Do I create another blog entirely for one or the other? It is all still a mystery to me, but I hope to find out along the way. Comments are always appreciated!

And my readers, do they feel the same way I do, are they just as curious about me as I am about them? I hope so!

Photo credit: