Thursday, September 3, 2020

Just in Time!

 A shout out to Lisa Parisi who challenged several of us former bloggers to start blogging again. So, I revved up my Chromebook and will join in. As I looked back, it has been a little over a year since I last blogged when I was at ISTE in Philly.  Lisa asked that we start with an About Me post, here goes. 

I began with a degree in education in 1974 with a BS in Early Childhood, followed by MEd in Special Education both degrees from University of Maine, Orono . The University of our Hearts Always still holds true as two out of three sons also graduated from UMO. The other son graduated from University of Maine Farmington . We have all stayed in Maine and work and play in this great state. 

I was fortunate to be able to work in this State for 37+ years beginning as a kindergarten teacher,  elementary then high school resource room teacher, computer lab teacher, technology coordinator and finally back in the resource room high school classroom for 6 years before I retired in December of 2018 in order to ski the winters away!

As important as my times in the classroom were my times outside the classroom connecting with like-minded educators around the world beginning with the Webheads in Action, way back in 2003. In 2006 I was intrigued by conversations about Webheads and I took the plunge! I took part in online classes and meetups before they were fashionable. I was on the fast track and became an online instructor for Webheads in Action, I became a podcaster after free classes with WorldBridges. From that grew Women of Web 2.0 with Vicki Davis, Sharon Peters, Jennifer Wagner, and myself. Check out our 84th podcast from 2008. From there I moved virtually back to Maine with my dear friends Alice Barr and Bob Sprankle as we grew our podcast Seedlings, which are remarkably still timely to listen to these days. Also in 2008, I was accepted into the Google Certified Teachers-now Certified Innovators in the NYC class of 2008.  I met so many wonderful educators and went on to champion google tools for challenged learners. So much so that YouTube search googlers located me and created a 3-minute video of one of  my former students Morgan. Over 3.6 million views have been going on with this awesome video. Thanks to Google and great google tools many students are able to be independent with their learning. 

Now, in 2020, I am a co-conference chair for ACTEM Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine, working on my 3rd conference with Steph Cheney and our first virtual conference. I work for ACTEM preparing the conference and paying it forward to educators. I spend most of my time in the warm seasons in the garden, a local CSA and kayaking. In the cooler seasons and winter, I ski as often as possible!

When people ask me if I am glad to be retired in this Pandemic, I say that I am, but that doesn't mean I am not concerned,  or worried. One bright part of this pandemic has brought attention to Universal Design for Learning for all learners. When everyone school had to move to virtual teaching and learning UDL rose to the top as a way to meet the challenges of virtual teaching and learning. So,each day I am hopeful. Hopeful that our world can make changes that will allow a kinder path for all our students, all our communities, and our world. Peace out!