Microsoft Innovative Educator

Microsoft Innovative Educator

Monday, February 19, 2018

***For RDG 101 Students Only*** Let's Blog

It's that time of year again! I am looking forward to sharing the blogging world with a new batch of learners. It is my mission to build a tribe of bloggers one blog at a time. This semester, students will have focused blog assignments based on readings and topics discussed in class. I hope you will take this opportunity to learn and grow from your peers with this unique platform. This Blog Is Why I am excited to see your blogging talents unfold and I look forward to sharing this experience with you. Shake off your nerves and have fun!

Here are a few tips to get you started!

Top 10 Blogging Tips:

  1. Choose a topic you are passionate about.
  2. Be different.
  3. Write like you talk.
  4. Include quality content in your blog.
  5. Include pictures-pay attention to details.
  6. Professional formatting-pay attention to details.
  7. Do your research. Look at other blogs.
  8. Fake it until you make it!
  9. Use your platform for good. Bring positive vibes.
  10. Build a Tribe. Connect and interact with others.
Remember, you will also post comments to your classmates' blogs. Use this post to help you easily find links to their blog pages.  Don't forget to add your links, add an image, keep it professional, and ENJOY! (Along with other requirements as listed on your rubric.)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Technology Integration w/Video Games

Always learning. As an educator, this is not only a motto but a way of life. How can you ever stop learning in this world of educating tomorrow's future leaders? You can't. This Blog Is Why I am seeking your advice about a cool new educational, technology tool that I recently picked up.

This past summer, I participated in the GenCyber teacher camp and became just a little bit more techie. I am intrigued by the world of computer science and all that it has to offer. Our students today are so lucky that they get to grow up in a time where, if they play it right, they can CREATE their own job/career path. How amazing is that? As an educator, I feel lucky that I am able to bring experiences to students/schools that will prepare the next generation for jobs/careers that do not even exist yet. It starts with a knowledge of computer science, coding, robotics, and other related topics. Our summer camp experience didn't end this summer and I am grateful for the extended opportunities we have had throughout this school year. At our most recent session, we explored several tools that can be used in classrooms for students at all levels (elementary and up). The one that I am trying this week, is Bloxels. With Bloxels, students (or teachers) can create their own video games. One feature that I liked was the ability to add content through the storyboard. Students can play the video game and practice skills or review material along the way. Now, I am new to using Bloxels and this is not a sales pitch. Take a look at my Flipgrid (code: ca6b46) and I hope to get some new, creative ideas for how to use Bloxels in the classroom.

Learn More About Bloxels

My Bloxels Flipgrid

Share a Flipgrid


Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Microsoft Experience

Have you joined the Microsoft Movement yet? If not, I invite you to read on. And even if you have, there may something that you have missed. As a current Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE), I enjoyed a fulfilling experience at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC). This was all thanks to Microsoft and I was not disappointed. For months, I have been looking forward to my first flight experience and my first time presenting at this national conference. This Blog Is Why I encourage educators to follow your dreams and connect with those who will support you in making your dreams come true. 

My most memorable experience was volunteering at the Microsoft booth and introducing other educators to the Microsoft Innovative Educator program. As an added bonus, they each received a t-shirt for earning the badge during the conference. 

You can follow that same path. Here's how:

Step 1: Join the Microsoft Educator Community. Community Sign-up Here 
In this community you have access to free resources that will assist you with integrating technology in the classroom. There are self-paced courses for your personal professional development. If you want to schedule a Skype session, this is the place to be. Find authors, guest speakers, classrooms around the world, and virtual field trip opportunities at your fingertips. 

Step 2: Become an MIE (Microsoft Innovative Educator). Certified MIE Journey
Now that you have the resources to become an expert at technology integration, why not get certified? Earn 1,000 points through the Educator community by taking courses, participating in Skype events and/or sharing through your social media platforms. How easy is that? Once you earn your badge, show it off and encourage others to do the same.

Step 3: What's Next? Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert
Keep earning badges/certifications. Find your niche. What is your favorite Microsoft tool or product? Learn about it. Present to your colleagues or at conferences. You can set your own path. For me, the next step was the MIEE program (link above). The nomination window is set for April 15, 2018-July 15, 2018. If you have earned your MIE badge, the final step in the application process will be creating a 2-minute video. Don't be nervous and have fun!

As an MIEE, I hope you take advantage of the MIE Travel Program. Last year, I submitted a proposal to present at FETC and I was excited when it was accepted. But, the icing on the cake was being accepted to the MIE Travel Program. They handle your registration (if needed), travel and lodging. Talk about stress free! Thank you Microsoft for an awesome experience. There are some amazing people on the team from sales to marketing and programs and I am proud to be a part of it. (Special shout out to Robyn Hrivnatz. She's the BEST!)

FETC Extras: 

FETC 2018: Your Digital Footprint

Interview with @EduTechGuys:

Sunday, January 21, 2018

FETC Coming Your Way

Happy New Year! Welcome to my first blog post of 2018. This month has been packed with preparations for the upcoming Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC). This will be my first year attending and I am excited about all of the cool, new things I will learn. As an added bonus, I also get a chance to present (which means I am extremely nervous). This Blog Is Why I encourage you to stay tuned and hear all about my FIRSTS at FETC!

This trip would most likely not be possible without the support of the Microsoft MIE Travel Program. I look forward to sharing my MIE experience in person with conference attendees. Don't forget to stop by Booth #435 (Microsoft booth) so that you can become a part of this awesome experience AND get a free t-shirt. Who doesn't love a freebie?! Thanks to @MicrosoftEDU, I will be taking my first flight EVER! That is going to be an adventure itself. Once my feet touch the ground again, here is where you can find me:

Wednesday, January 24th
*11:30AM-Interview with @edutechguys; EduTechGuys at FETC
*4:00PM-5:00PM-Poster Session "Your Digital Footprint: Tell Your Story with Blogging and Sway"
                               (Booth 1100)
*5:30PM-Microsoft Booth Talk "Become a Microsoft Innovative Educator"

Thursday, January 25th 
*12:30PM-2:30PM-Microsoft kiosk (Come see how to get your Certified MIE t-shirts)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Early Birds

I will make this post brief. It's more like an announcement or PSA for all those life-long learners. There are two great conferences coming your way and now is the time to take advantage of the early bird specials for registration. And YES! I will be presenting at both. Hope to see you in 2018. This Blog Is Why the early bird gets the worm.

First up is the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC). The conference dates are January 23-26, 2018 in Orlando, FL. You can save $100 with Early Bird registration until December 22nd.

Register Now

Next up is the 2018 Tomorrow's Classrooms Today Conference. The conference dates are May 18-19, 2018 at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. Register soon to take advantage of Early Bird pricing.

#TCT18 Early Bird Pricing

Check here for updates:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Conference Wrap-Up: Edcamp Palmetto Rock Hill

Giving back. It feels so good. Today as I reflect on Edcamp Palmetto in my town of Rock Hill, there are so many emotions. At first, I was nervous and a little disappointed that we had to compete with so many other great events in the area. But, at the end of the day, it was PERFECT. I was honored to work with so many hard-working and dedicated educators (or future educators). And proud to hear the compliments of organizer Jed Dearybury (@mrdearybury1). This Blog Is Why you have not lived, until you have experienced an Edcamp!
                                           (Photo courtesy: Jed Dearybury)
Behind the Scenes
Usually in my conference wrap-up, I get to share about my experiences attending a conference or edcamp. This time, I have the unique perspective of assisting with planning the event. That is a lot of hard work! Today, as I looked around, I realized that this event was planned and prepared by teachers for teachers. Talk about empowerment.

                      (Photo courtesy:

In preparation for the day, there are meetings (love Google Hangouts), phone calls and visits to businesses, making tough decisions, and then putting it all together the day before everyone arrives. I am thankful for those businesses who jumped on board immediately and offered donations to support teachers. Many of them realize how hard teachers work and want to do what they can to show appreciation. Edcamps are free events and designed to be an informal day of professional growth. The hard-working people that make up edcamp teams are all volunteers. As a volunteer, I learned the art of balance. Trying to assist in planning and preparing as much as possible while still working two jobs, spending time with family, and being sick (two whole weeks). But it is so worth it when you see teachers and students walking away with freebies that will hopefully spark a new innovative lesson in their school or classroom.

This event was hosted at my alma mater, Winthrop University, and again I am bursting with pride. The staff was helpful, welcoming, and accommodating. Thanks to the student volunteers who worked so hard, we were able to get a lot done in a short amount of time. As issues presented themselves, they were on top of a solution immediately! A special shout-out to the PSTA student chapter board members at Winthrop. A job well done.

Edcamp Highlights
My favorite session of the day was "Pass It On" with veteran teachers, newbies, and students. The conversation was positive and inspiring as teachers new to the profession shared some concerns or questions. They were able to hear from veterans about some coping strategies. The conversation was so good that we were almost late to lunch! I heard one participant say as she was leaving the room: "Ooooh, that gave me chills." The stories about building relationships and passion ruled the session.

During the very first session, I floated among three rooms. Yes, you can do that at an edcamp! They were Flipgrid, BreakoutEDU, and Classroom Management. Flipgrid and Breakout allowed participants to be interactive and think about ways they could integrate some lessons in their own classrooms. I made my way to Classroom Management after peeking in at the Collaborative Notes (also a part of Edcamp). There were so many good ideas, strategies, and resources being posted that I just had to witness the conversation for myself.
                                 (Photo courtesy:

My goal for the next Edcamp is to visit the Ongoing Sessions: Cardboard Room and Game Room. In two edcamps, I have not had the chance to fit in all the goodness of the day. I also missed the GooseChase fun, but that's okay because I over-indulged at the last one.

I would love to hear about your highlights from the day! Share in the comments or tweet me @MsClassNSession.

Thank a Sponsor
If you attended Edcamp Palmetto: Rock Hill, don't forget to thank the sponsors. This day would not be possible without their support. I will try my best to list them here and hope I don't miss anyone (but I will keep updating, if I do):
Palmetto Partners
Palmetto State Teachers Association (PSTA)
Winthrop University
Founders Federal Credit Union
Discovery Place
Lily Sarah Grace
Sharp Business Systems
Makey Makey
Dave Burgess
Matt Miller (Author)
Monica Burns (Author)
its Learning
Goose Chase
EduMatch Publishing
The Pump House
Groucho's Deli
Legal Remedy
The Brass Tap
The Children's Cottage
Burgers & Barley
Leola & Simone
Elaine Miller, Primerica
Go Bigger, Go Home
The Paper Gnome
Faded Crown

Upcoming Dates
March 24, 2018-Columbia College
April 28, 2018-College of Charleston, North Campus

**Apply for an Impact Grant Edcamp Foundation

Saturday, November 4, 2017

30 Snaps in 30 Days

It's blogging time ya'll and I have lots to share! Since my last post, I have been super busy settling into a new year, a new school, and a brand new role. Who knew chromebooks required so much attention?! But, I am loving every minute of it and that makes me even more excited to share some of my experiences and insights. Within that time, I did participate (mostly) in another 30-day Twitter challenge. You know, I just love a good challenge. This Blog Is Why I don't mind sharing that in the middle of hectic days, it was hard to remember that "snap" of the day.

Day 1: 

Collaborative Coaches Meeting (Math, Reading, Technology)

Day 2: 

Another year of being an MIEE (Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert)

Day 3: 

Driving to my dream job and enjoying God's work

Day 4: 

Ready to crack open that LEGO WeDo kit

Day 5: 

A special visitor in the building today

Days 6/7:
I managed to squeeze in ONE blog post.

Day 8:
Professional reading

Day 9:
Completed Google's Digital Citizenship & Safety Course

Day 10:
Fire Drill!!!!

Day 11:
Writing challenge for my college students

Day 12:
First Lego League Mentor/Coach training

Days 13-15:
And then out of nowhere, SICKNESS

Day 16:
Hurricane Watch...Irma

Day 17:
Feeling better...Back to normal

Day 18:
I 💘 my job!

Day 19:
Book sharing on campus

Day 20:
Exciting news/announcements...coming soon

Day 21:
MAP Training

Day 22:
Another challenge for my college students

Day 23:
Wait! Did a student just buzz the office looking for me?

Day 24:
More training: Bullying Prevention

Day 25:
Training sessions completed

Day 26:
DonorsChoose project funded by Advancement Courses (@AdvanceTeaching)

Day 27:
Just another day at the District Office

Day 28:
Introducing Flipgrid

Day 29:
Thanks, Secret Pal!

Day 30:
Getting amped for Edcamp Palmetto! Join us.

While you're here, get your FREE ticket to Edcamp Palmetto and tell a friend!
Edcamp Palmetto ticket