Microsoft Innovative Educator

Microsoft Innovative Educator

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Conference Wrap-up: Do You Edcamp?

My summer conference mini tour ended with a #EdcampSparkle! For my very first edcamp experience, it was sparkle-rific. When the announcement was made by Jed Dearybury (@mrdearybury1) about the Edcamp (@EdcampSparkle), I knew I had to be there. I am already looking forward to the next one. And if you missed it, make plans to meet me there. This Blog Is Why every educator needs a little SPARKLE.

At first, an Edcamp can be a little unsettling. You come in and there is no set plan or agenda (for the most part). Participants decide in the morning what the session topics will include based on interest and/or expertise. Then, when you get into the session, there is not just one presenter, but everyone in the room has a chance to chime in and add their perspective, experiences, stories, and/or questions. At #EdcampSparkle, I participated in sessions on Twitter in Education (and yes, I shared about the wonderful book 140 Twitter Tips for Educators), Donor's Choose, Seesaw--with Shalonda Blakeney (@sblakeney3), and Guided Math. I was inspired by the Lily Sarah Grace room, which encourages creativity in the classroom with painter's tape, chalk, foil, yarn, and other everyday clean recycled stuff. The best parts of the conference included: the freebies, Jed's awesome energy, great food, the DJ, the fabulous prizes, and did I mention that all of this was FREE!

My number one take-away from the Edcamp comes from the meaning behind SPARKLE as shared by Jed Dearybury. His message truly resonated with me. How could you not want to be a part of #TeamSparkle?

S-Service to others
P-Pursue new things
A-Affirm the good you are doing
R-Rejuvenate (Okay, I know Jed said Run, but here is me and running...)

K-Kindred spirits
E-Encourage each other (I love meeting and supporting my PLN. You rock....I mean SPARKLE!)

Even if you didn't attend the Edcamp, you can still add a little SPARKLE to your life.
An event like this is only possible through the efforts of a hard working team and support. Educator friends, please support these businesses because they support you and they helped to make this event possible.
*Palmetto State Teachers Association *Converse College *Lily Sarah Grace *Discovery Place Education Studio *Share Fair Nation *Edcamp Foundation *Printex *iPevo *Harrison's Workwear *Krispy Kreme *Papa John's Pizza *Babaziki's *JMT Express *Squirrels (I know there are more. Thanks!)

Kudos to the team! Your vision and hard work paid off.

Jed, I am looking forward to the continued success of your vision and I'm IN! #TeamSparkle

Back to School Announcement

Well, after a jam-packed two weeks, my "Back to School" blog post is complete. I am excited about some great new opportunities this school year and I look forward to sharing the journey with you. My title may be a little misleading, just add an "S" to announcement and we're good! This Blog Is Why I am reminding my educator friends, don't forget to promote yourself. It helps you grow professionally and students benefit in the end.

Just before the start of school, I finished writing my first Donor's Choose project. It was funded in just three days. I was able to receive all of my materials before the start of school as well. So exciting! A Genius Bar in the making. Can't wait to share.

I had an idea at the end of the summer that I needed a selfie stick for "First Day of School" selfies. On the way back from our last vacation of the summer, I got my first selfie stick. On the first day of school, it was so much fun posing for selfies with my firsties (First Graders). Even though I won't share their bright little faces here, parents were able to see our fun photo shoot on our Class Dojo page. My colleagues got in on the fun too, with a selfie photobomb that I shared with a local television station who was spotlighting back to school photos. Thanks for the fun memories!

So, my big announcement....drum roll please. Over the summer as I presented at different conferences, I used an awesome new Microsoft tool called Sway. If you are looking for a way to spice up your presentations, check out No, that is NOT my big announcement. I applied for and was accepted as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. As a participant of #HacktheClassroom last year, I am excited to be a part of this inspiring team/movement. I like trying out new things in all aspects of my professional growth: whether it involves my classroom, presentation skills, or sharing ideas with others. As an MIE, I can continue to expand my knowledge base and learn from other professionals who share my passion for growth, innovation, and thinking outside the box. Thank you Microsoft for the opportunity. If you are interested in joining the Microsoft Educator Community, this link is for you:
Join the Educator Community

Finally, curious to try Seesaw (The Learning Journal)? Not sure how to get started? I have the perfect resource for you! First, use my link to sign up for an account. No worries, it's free. You also get a bonus with my link, Seesaw's premium service (called Plus) free for a month. Enjoy!
FREE Seesaw Plus features

Seesaw Roll Out Plan