Showing posts from July, 2014


Hi, I'm Amanda and I am not a sit-and-getter. (Hi Amanda)
I have not slowed down this summer, it has been a summer of learning. I have attended, participated, and presented at several different conferences this summer including the EngagEDnwi, ISTE2014, and EdcampHome. I have plans for a few more before the school year starts like the Leyden 1:1 Symposium, District 207 Summit, and the CPS Googlepalooza. Call me crazy, but I love learning!

As I was driving back from my most recent learning experience at SAMRi Summer Camp, a conference run by a group of classroom teachers from Downers Grove 58, I started to reflect on the morning there. I was able to attend four great sessions, and the reason they were so great was because I was able to participate in all of them. I realized that I am not good at a sit-and-get style of learning. I need to be an active participant. I need to be able to ask questions, make connections to my life and experiences, and share things that I have learned. …


Let me just start by saying I am in no way a gardener. I love flowers and think that they are beautiful, but I don't have much of a green thumb and would rather spend my time outside doing other things. But, this past September I bought a house and with a house comes gardening responsibilities. Early this spring my dad came and pulled out some very (read VERY) overgrown bushes and once they were gone my house was left looking a little bare. I planted a couple lilac bushes, a hydrangea, some bleeding hearts, and some other small bushes all of which are low maintenance.  The hydrangea was especially beautiful, if I do say so myself. In the front there was a lot of empty space so I bought some mulch to cover up the dirt, but got busy and still haven't had the chance to put all of it out. I was walking in my house the other day and saw that there was a whole bunch of other plants growing in the empty space. Those other plants are known as weeds. My beautiful garden needed to be we…

A Love Letter to ISTE

To My Dearest ISTE,

I can still remember the first time we met, it was in beautiful Denver. I came to you not really knowing what to expect, I had no idea all that you would someday give me. That first week together I tried to attend every session you offered, I sat and learned at every session I possibly could and I'm pretty sure my brain grew three sizes that week (kind of like the Grinch's heart). While I was in Denver a friend, +Daniel Rezac, introduced me to twitter which has opened up the world so much. Without you, ISTE, I may have never known the power it can hold. Sadly we parted ways after five wonderful days together, hopeful to see each other soon.

It took us a couple years to to be in the same place at the same time, but when we were together in San Diego it was magical. I got to see a different side of you. I learned that you spent your days learning and your nights celebrating. We are two peas in a pod. I had the time of my life just being there with you learni…

Reflections of a First Timer

No, this wasn’t my first ISTE rodeo, but there was something very unique about this time for me … I presented a poster session. If you would have met me ten years ago the first word that you would probably use to describe me would most likely have been shy, or it would have at least made the top ten. If you met me this week shy probably wouldn’t be on the list, actually I would think that if I called myself shy people might look at me like I was crazy. I’m not really sure what caused this change, what triggered it, when it happened, or whether it has slowly occurred over time. What I do know is that I am so happy that I have gained confidence. Anyway…
Last year at #ISTE13 in San Antonio I decided to drive (so I might actually be a little crazy) in early so that I could attend the pre-conference #HackEd event. One of the sessions that I went to was on Coaching. Having just finished my first year as an Instructional Technology Coach in Park Ridge I had a lot to share. At some point dur…