Thursday, June 28, 2012

ISTE 2012

What a great conference!!!  If you don't recognize the acronym ISTE, it is the International Society for Technology in Education.   A cohort of teachers from my school (and a few from another school in the District) asked to attend this conference and because there were a few Professional Development $$ left in the site budget, we were told, "Yes!"

Now, don't get me wrong...this is public education and public monies.  So...no hotels...no transportation reimbursement...no meals; however, our registration was paid and that was the bomb-diggity.  

The team of teachers (with whom I am totally tech-nerdy) and I had a total blast and learned/picked up so many ideas that we can't wait to implement in our classes.  I am not sure if I mentioned it previously or not, but I was chosen to pilot a 1:1 iPad program next year, along with another teacher from my site.  Depending on our success and the processes that we set forth, other teachers may have similar opportunities if a grant that the District has applied for is approved.  It has been a pretty busy summer preparing for that, but this conference definitely made me that much more excited about the opportunity that we have been granted.  One of the best sessions that I attended was holding Literature Circles using the iPads.  I. can't. wait.

I currently use Edmodo in my class, but I learned and watched as it was used to a greater depth and its potential has me intrigued.  Also, I met the founder of Haiku Learning Management Systems.  I use Haiku LMS for the Online Summer Camp that I am piloting for the students at my school, and he was impressed by the way that I have used the LMS for kids as young as first grade (It is all in the video-directions for students that young.)   He, subsequently, invited me to a private party at the town home that they rented in the Gas Lamp.  Awesome!  (I didn't end up going because I missed my family.  It didn't help that the sweeties texted me 2 minutes after the invitation with "I miss you."  Notice their username:  cornchildren because I lovingly call them "Children of the Corn."  We're weird.  So what?)  


Although the sessions were awesome, I think that I got the most from the conference in the Expo area.  I was able to meet many of the people that I know "electronically" and network with many others.  I do have to say that I feel really bad for some of the people there marketing their products.  It can't be easy. *shudder*  
Here are some of the pictures that I took that have no particular relevance or high-interest factor, but they are pictures that I took, nonetheless...
Playing around with the Microsoft Office 365 PhotoBooth.  I want over-sized Elvis glasses to accessorize my everyday apparel.

My next yacht will have a helicopter.  Positively!

Where should I apply?

Poor woman, but I do love the boots....not the orange color though.

We were walking in a restricted area (because that is what we do) and we found this
costume discarded on the floor.  Soooooo, we get the bright idea to take photos in it.
We're weird.  So what?  Oh wait...I've said that already.  By the way, this isn't me....it is my dear friend Janis our SBRT.  :)
There is much more to tell and even more to do to plan for a technologically radical year, but I have reached my saturation point as I suspect you have, as well.  

Thank you again to all of my nerdy-peeps from OUSD and beyond and thank you to all of the fabulous presenters and exhibitors.  #edtech #sigol #sigds #iste12 #edmodo #haikulearning #sigml  #sigct #siggs #sigil #sigte <3 <3 <3

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Day!

June 21st might just be my favorite day.  Seriously.  Enjoy yo' self!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day of Fathers!

Every year, I get to reflect on how incredibly blessed I am to have such amazing men in my life.  They are the ones that I get to call Dad in some capacity.
They are all extremely special to me for how they treat me, my kids, and the others around them.

I'll start with my own Daddy.  He is one of the kindest, most generous men you will ever have the pleasure to meet.  Yes, he totally gives me hell each time that he sees me, but I have never once doubted his love.  He supports me unconditionally, even in times when it was obvious that I was making mistakes.  I love this man!
I love the unadulterated excitement on my face as my dad teaches me to ride a bike in the above photo! (Little did he know that more than 30 years later, I would be as addicted as I am to my bicycle.)

The next father that I need to celebrate is Derek, Jake's dad.  Although he is currently deployed to the Middle East, AGAIN, he still keeps constant contact with Jake.  (Thank goodness for today's technology.)  He is a good dad to both Jake and his new sweet baby, Jason.  God speed, Derek.
A very sweet picture, but I will admit that I can barely look at this photo because of the gaudiness of those couches.  Hello, 90s!

Finally, my favorite!   My hubby, RenĂ©!   He is the best papi ever to our kids and is a kick-ass step-dad to Jake.  RenĂ© was an only child and he made it very clear that he wanted a house full of kids...Boy, did he get what he wanted.  When Gabriela was born, it made three kids under 2 1/2 years of age.  That's right...3 in diapers.  What a whirlwind!  But, my husband handled it all in stride and with grace.  He loves every chaotic, unpredictable moment of it and I love him beyond measure!  Like I said, I am a lucky girl!


My heart just melts. One more of my favorite pictures...it is so difficult to choose because I love so many photos of René with our kids...
RenĂ© and Daniel at the pond behind my parents' house.  Love the sweetness.

Thank you, to all three of you, for making my life pretty perfect.  <3 <3 <3  Happy Father's Day to all of you Dads out there.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Tour of California

A few weeks back, my family had the opportunity to witness one of our favorite sports, up close and personal...cycling!  RenĂ© and I took the kids to beautiful (not really) Ontario, California to watch the start of Stage 7 of Amgen's Tour of California.  Stage 7 is the stage where the riders had to climb Mt. Baldy and it was an uphill finish.  Brutal, in my opinion.

What I love most about any pro-cycling event is the accessibility of the pros.  It was so great to walk around with the kiddos and be able to mingle with the pro-cyclist-past, present, and probably future.  The highlights were, in no particular order:  
  • We actually met Bob Roll.  If you don't know who Bob Roll is, I will assume that you aren't a cycling fan.
  • The family hobnobbed with George Hincapie (I, for one, was impressed with my self-control--I didn't even try to manhandle him!)
  • We greeted Brent Bookwalter, as he was coming off of the bus.  He shook hands with the family. (He was so impressed with Daniel's firm handshake.  It was kind of charming.)
  • The two officers that led the race, the regulator and the CHP pace car, fawned over the kids and gave them some souvenirs of the race while we waited at the race start.
  • Finally, it was amazing to watch the beginning of the race.  There were so many notable riders participating, it felt pretty cool.

Instead of bogging down this blog post with a eleventy billion photos, I'll just link you to my Facebook album.  Enjoy!

Maybe just one....

That man is hotter than an oven....  

We had such a fantastic time and can't wait to our next pro-cycling race!   Life is good!