NEOTIE Magazine and Conference

In case you missed it a couple weeks ago, the latest issue of NEOTIE came out.

Headlines include:

Why Should Schools Invest in Technology? By Dr. Ken Veon

Pokemon Go Back to School By Giovanna Orlando

Poke a Stick at It: Being a Lifelong EdTech Learner By Eric Curts

Traditional vs. Progressive Education: Why the Battle? By Vicki A. Turner

Writing and Communication: The Importance of Conveying Message and Online Identity By Sean Whelan

eBook Creation using GAFE in the Primary Grades by Stephanie Sholtis


Tips Every New Teacher Should Know by Mike Daugherty

Also, the NEOTIE conference is coming up next Saturday, October 1! There are still tickets available (only $15!), and you’ll get free coffee, breakfast, lunch and a t-shirt. More importantly you’ll be collaborating with the best kind of professionals, those excited to learn about innovative technology on a Saturday.

True Life: I’m a 30 year old intern

Nope, this isn’t a movie. It’s my life! Hyland Software, Inc. (maker of OnBase) has given me a shot as an instructional design intern. I’m loving it so far, but more on the details in a future installment of True Life: I’m a 30 year old intern.

In other news, the OnBase Blog features a post that I wrote! Everyone’s heard the advice, write what you know. Well, after a few days as an intern, I wrote a piece called “The Hidden Benefits of Being Clueless.” Check it out.


Quick check with Multiple Choice Qs in Google Classroom

A newer feature of Google Classroom is the multiple choice question option. Now, in addition to short answer, teachers can quickly poll their classes from the stream. Today I used it to get a feel for the progress each student has made on creating their own game on Scratch. Creating the question and viewing the results took less than 2 minutes, enabling me to prioritize which students I would help first.

Creating the question

Viewing Results


NEOTIE Issue 3 & a Personal Note

NEOTIE issue 3 is out!

There are articles written by some awesome people on things like:

  • Effective Professional Development
  • Design Thinking
  • SAMR model of integration
  • Overcoming fear of tech
  • What Netflix teaches us about PD
  • What you can gain from Twitter, with a list of individuals and hashtags to consider following
  • 15 Awesome Websites to use immediately
  • Beachwood’s IT Department
  • Also, my App Evaluation Rubric 🙂



    Personal Note

    I started this blog just over a year ago (April 15, 2015 was my first post, on getting tabs back in Chrome) and it has truly been the best year of my life. I got engaged to the most wonderful, loving person, traveled to Italy which has been a dream of mine since I was little, made professional connections that have blossomed into great friendships, snagged a pair of jobs that I am so excited to start, and really began feeling like I know who I am and want to be.

    It was my aim to post once a week for a full year, and, with the exception of my no-tech time abroad, I have accomplished that goal with 58 posts over the 52 weeks. So, I have decided to cut back on blogging and focus my energies on the changes ahead. I’m certain this won’t be my last post, but I can’t say when my next will appear. Until then, with many thanks, goodbye!

Less Stress in 5 steps

Very often, and especially lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with my to do list. Though of course it helps that the rapidly approaching changes are positive and exciting, the resulting stress is…still stressful! Here’s my advice to myself (and you!)

Prioritize & Schedule

Looking at each week ahead, block off time for who and what you love. Figure out when you can work toward your goals, both personal and professional. Set up calendar reminders to keep on track. Also leave time for nothing. Let yourself do whatever you feel like doing when that time comes, even if it’s just for 20 minutes.  Stop feeling guilty about tasks that aren’t enriching your life, or helping you meet your goals. Hand them off to someone else or quit them altogether. Another tip: schedule time to worry. Tell yourself, I’m going to think about this when ________. If you’re hyper-time-aware like I am, these ideas may help.

Get silly

Being serious is my default mode, but I’d rather be light-hearted, so I try to be. Last night, I wore a colorful outfit to see the Carol King musical, Beautiful. I laughed in my pink pants, salmon-orange coat and red purse, hand in hand with my black and white clad fiance. Currently, I have that topped.


Not everything’s about the clothes though. I got a game called Little Alchemy on the recommendation of my friend Amy, and it’s awesome! Last weekend Igor and I had fun discussing what kind of dragon’s we’d have as pets. And hanging out with my nieces inevitably involves giggles. What makes you lol? Do more of that.


Exercise is proven as stress relief. I’m doing terrible at this one lately. I should definitely get off the couch when I’m done writing this post. At least I know I’m scheduled to go orienteering Sunday!


I’m meeting friends at orienteering. That’s a one-two punch! Getting together with your favs and family is the best. Talking, texting or video chats help when the physical distance is too great. Make an effort to connect with someone you care about within the next 24 hours.

Ask for Help & Give it too

You don’t have to do it all by yourself. When you’re feeling overly stressed, ask your friends and loved ones to help. My mom is great at party planning. I’m so thankful she’s organizing some of the wedding details for us! Surely you have people that would like to give you a hand. Or would enjoy spending a relaxing hour lending an ear. Giving your time and efforts to others, or to a cause near to your heart, is another great stress reliever. Go, do good.


My “Net News” from ’97

Just over 19 years ago, when I was in 5th grade at North Kingsville school, I made a newsletter about the internet using MS Publisher on my parents’ Gateway computer.

One of my favorite parts comes from an interview with 4th grade teacher Mr. Druschel, “Mr. D. doesn’t think the internet is just a fad. He thinks it is really cool and that we are in Internet prehistoric times.” Prophetic!

Check it out for a trip down memory lane.



Reblog! Short and Sweet: A Comparison of URL Shorteners

One of my favorite people, Amy Roediger, is not only a smart, funny and sweet person, she is also apparently a mind reader. This week on her blog, A Lever and A Place to Stand, she wrote about URL shortners–the very same topic I had planned to write about tonight! I considered covering one or two, but her post is much more comprehensive than what I had “written” in my head. She’s graciously agreed to let me reblog it below. Thanks Amy! Enjoy.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Short and Sweet: A Comparison of URL Shorteners

Last weekend I mentioned in a post that I had taught a Google class that finished with a “what’s the one thing you can’t wait to share” Slides show. A couple of the class participants selected shortening URLs as their one thing. A URL is a Uniform Resource Locator or, in regular words, the web address you type to get to a website. A URL shortener allows users to take a long, crazy web address and shorten it down to fewer characters that are easier to type and remember. For teachers, this means we can get down to business faster.

In the class, I used the Google URL shortener, Since the class is about Google, I feel compelled to use as many Google tools as possible. There are many other URL shorteners, though, so I thought I would compare a few of my favorites in chart form. As you will see, they all have slightly different attributes. Which one you choose will depend on what you need.

Here is a bonus one-sentence “loves me, loves me not” summary of them too.

I love that is associated with my Google account and that a QR code is created when I shorten it, but I don’t love that Google uses O and 0 and I, l, and 1 that all look alike in fonts without serifs.

I love the allows for customization and analytics.

I love that allows for customization but I don’t love that there isn’t an account to search previously shortened URLs.

I love that allows me to cluster several URLs and shorten them together (this would be so great for school projects with students), but I don’t love that the account seems finicky.

I love that is simple and easy and integrates with other Twitter tools.

In the reflection papers that the Google participants wrote, several mentioned how handy a shortened URL would be in their classrooms. In fact, one teacher wrote:

My students, who are fourth graders, some of whom are extremely low, struggle to type in those long web addresses.  And then, once they get the address typed, they have missed a period or a put in a space and all of their work is for naught.  Their hand goes up and there they sit until I can rescue them from their long wait and point out their error.  Time lost is learning lost.

I love that the URL shortener will create more time for learning.

Follow Amy for more awesome content. 


I’m going to interview at NDCL tomorrow. They’ve added a new position which I believe would benefit every district: Tech Coach. The interview process seems much better than the typical Q&A session. They took 5 actual lesson plans from the past couple of months, and asked for an extreme tech makeover for 3 of them. I was informed about the tech available and can use up to 40 minutes of the hour long time slot to demonstrate my ideas and abilities. Isn’t that legit?

Though you can’t see my slide notes, it may be fun for you to guess what I will say during each slide. Wish me luck!