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What I Did On My Summer Vacation

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This is a travelog of the summer of 2010. It was incredible and highly refreshing summer.  Many, many times I hate talking about what’s going on, so I decided to write the middle school essay “What I did on my summer vacation.” That way I can get it all out and live in the present and not talk about myself. Thanks to all those people I got to know and those people I was allowed see their passions and creativity blossom. It is one of two posts I plan of posting the night before the new school year.

Skype

  • Throughout the entire summer I skyped with two of my students concerning their musical compositions. Having the time to compose and create really put these two students into HIGH gear. I really don’t think they realize how much I enjoy and NEED the time to see these wonderful compositions. They are clearly ahead of me and push my musicianship to another level. Thanks Jack and Clay!

Dream Team 2010Golden Apple

  • I started out the summer with the Golden Apple Scholars at DePaul University. I had an incredible group of fourteen scholars who quickly bonded and called themselves the “Dream Team.” As our first group activity, we created t-shirts with our names using wordle, (www.wordle.net) This is a wonderful website that creates word clouds. They created a wordle for me, emailed me the file, then I ironed on a t-shirt  and wore on the last day.
  • I got to observe these incredible young educators at their respective schools. Castellanos Middle School and Columbia Explorers, which are both part of Chicago Public Schools. The administration and teachers welcomed the scholars and the cooperating teachers were outstanding. The scholars have such a drive to learn, teach, and empower others. I don’t think they realize how much their inspiration overflows to me. Thanks to “Mama C”  Carolyn Cyriaque and Jim Sorensen for impacting so many future teachers and allowing me to be a part of this program.
  • I presented “Google ME!” at IMSA (Illinois Math and Science Academy) with the Golden Apple Scholars. It was a hands-on presentation using Google Documents and other Google products such as maps, alerts, calendars, and much more. The excitement was in the air concerning all the possibilities. My favorite comment was “I wish I had known about this six months ago in college. It would have made my life so much easier.”  The intimate setting with these students and personal touch Linda Newman gives, has created a wonderful experience with these scholars.
  • The Golden Apple “Dream Team,” performed at the final evening celebration of the scholars. We chose to dance and involve the rest of the scholars, to a great success. The two-hour program was highlighted by the “Investing in Communities,” where the scholars chose organizations to give $5000. I created a social website that allowed everyone to connect and others to use http://grou.ps/goldenapple
  • Representatives from the various non-for-profits attended, along with students that will have new books, materials, or programs because of the wonderful organization that donated the seed money.
  • I ended the summer with presenting at CORE, a Golden Apple four-day conference at St Xavier for Golden Apple Scholars. It is for scholars that are now working in schools of need. I presented my top ten websites such as Glogster, VoiceThread, Diigo, Delicious, Doodle, Wallwisher, Prezi, and of course the famous Google Docs. Sister Raeleen Sweeney has the conference completely online and paperless. It was a resounding success, thanks to all the work of the “working” scholars and Sister Raeleen.
  • All of my presentations and Golden Apple presentations are available online. You can follow me on twitter or plurk, my nickname is “musictechie.”

ISTE

  • In between reflective meetings, I traveled to Denver for ISTE (formerly NECC, International Society of Technology Educators.) Saturday, June 26, I attended the Edubloggercon. a pre-conference activity with a face to face (f2f) meeting with people who blog led by Steve Hargadon. http://www.stevehargadon.com/  If you are not aware of who he is, google his name and EVERYTHING he does, sign up! He is a model of what teachers should be doing and connected me with so many web 2.0 material, my head sometimes spins. Meeting people face to face that I have either followed on twitter or subscribed to their blog, was a amazing experience. Sunday,  June 27, I attended the “Constructivist Celebration” with Dr. Gary Stager. http://stager.org/ He is a progressive, innovative, and creative educator who presents all over the world, to be able to be in the same room and learn from him and other educators of like minds was a rush. Finally, at ISTE over 17,000 people attended, so it was quite an honor that I was invited to be on a panel discussion with six other Google Certified educators. Our topic was ‘Dissecting the 21st Century Teacher.” Here again, I know these people via twitter and met most of them for the first time twenty minutes before the presentation.

People on the panel were:
Selena Ward, Middle School technology teacher from Maryland
http://thetechtiger.blogspot.com/
Gwyneth Anne Jones, ISTE K-12 and Middle School Librarian
http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/
Andy Losik, Elementary Technology teacher from Michigan
http://mrlosik.info/MrLosik.info/Welcome.html
Kenneth Shelton, Middle School technology teacher from Los Angeles, CA
http://techedanddev.blogspot.com/
Paula White, Middle School Technology Teacher from Maine
http://tzstchr.edublogs.org/

  • These I felt we all knew each other for years, because social networking has that effect, if done professionally and productively. Ken was able to get clickers from Quizdom which enhanced our presentations and gave us immediate feedback.
  • I attended many sessions and hung out at the Blogger Cafe, where most of my “tribe,” was hanging out.

ADE Camp

  • My highlight professionally was my five days in Orlando with the “Apple Distinguished Educators” at Full Sail University. One hundred educators across the world are invited by Apple Computers to attend this technology conference. We placed ourselves in groups of six to eight educators and through “Challenged Basic Learning Model” created websites, movies, and presentations all revolving around our interests. I choose Professional Development. My group created a website and videos for ADE’s to use within their districts. Apple computer is launching many of our projects in iTunes University later this year, which is a clearing house of podcasts, websites, and other material for educators. When you open up iTunes, look for the tab “iTunes University.”  I have a conference call later this month concerning our piece of the project. Thanks to Karen Thompson, Anthony Armstrong, Lee Simpson, Kevin Kneisley, Gayle Berthiaume, and Travis Harder.

MENC

  • I was contacted my MENC (National Music Education organization in Washington DC) to be on the Music Education Journal Board. This board decides what articles are published in the quarterly magazine. This is quite an honor since most of the participates are from higher education. I look forward to reading interesting material for the upcoming journals.

Art Institute

  • I finished the summer taking a class at the Art Institute concerning “Exploring Green Architecture and Design.” It was a fascinating class where we toured the Lourie Garden at Millennium Park, visited the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and created our own vision of how to “green” our current school. Being around art teachers gives me such a sense of awe. For it is the one art form I am completely incompetent on. I can create and do music, I love to act, and I can dance. (Not well, but I can get by) But, art really puts the awe and takes my breathe away.

ICE

  • I was contacted my ICE (Illinois Computing Educators) to help co-chair with Michelle Russell, the poster sessions at the annual conference in February. I am thrilled to be helping this organization, they have allowed the students of Sunset Ridge to present and giving back is just a small thing I can do.

Boating and Mr. Broos

  • The one thing I did not mention is the time I spent on our pontoon boat. It is my “happy place.” My husband is an amazing boater and individual. He is my secret weapon and I rarely talk about him. But he knows that he is my rock and without him, none of this summer would be a reality. He allows me to just be me. I enjoy the water and it is a place to disconnect with technology. Of course, I still have my iPhone with me and I love taking pictures of the sunsets on “the chain.” It is the chain of lakes in northern Illinois. I let nature be the rhythm of the day.

Lunch and Dinner Dates

  • I also want to thank all those “friends’ that had lunch with me and dined under the stars for reflection and love of life. I treasure the memories as well

Reading

  • I also manage to read two books. One fiction (“Private,” by James Patterson) and Seth Godin “LInchpin”) I adored “Linchpin,” it is one book every administrator, parent and teacher should read. I talked about being indepensible in your job and career, not  a slug.

Exercise

  • I also joined the social network site “Daily Mile,” and focused on exercise. Trying to two to three miles, five times a week. I post the exact route I take, so one of my former students in seeing the route, realized that he lives only two blocks away from me. He walks by my house when he walks with his nephews. His sister, whom I also taught, lives less than fifteen house away! We do live in a SMALL world.

In conclusion

  • So, that’s what I did on my summer vacation. To those people who say teachers only work nine months a year, off at 3:00, have a simple life, think again. Creative teachers are never off, we all always learning, doing and think of new ways to teach. In my world, the summer is a time for learning, creating, reflecting, and connecting.
  • So that’s about it. I have great excitement for the new year and meeting the incoming fourth graders. They are the first class completely born in the 21st century! Let the GAMES begin!

Links

http://goldenapple.pbworks.com is the main site for CORE and Golden Apple materials.

http://musictechie.pbworks.com Presentation wiki

http://grou.ps/goldenapple Investing in Communities site

www.carolbroos.com School website

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