Skip to main content


ImpactEDU 18 Tuesday Keynote: Jimmy Casas- Live Your Excellence Starting Today!

Jimmy Casas was the Tuesday Keynote at the 2019 Impact EDU conference. Casas was a principal in Iowa as well as Milwaukee. For the last three years he has been a consultant. Casas started by thanking educators. We cannot keep working as hard as we are without expecting our health or our relationships to suffer. We use all of our patience at work and then go home and we can't do that for our families.  Living our excellence in every aspect of our lives is his message. Beginning with Mindsets. 16 years ago, Casas realized he needed to shift. Every time you bring a group of people together is an opportunity to build a community.  Think back to August, and all the excitement. Are we still bringing that same level of excitement when we enter the building in September? What if we did reach out to others and let them know how much we appreciate them? A person who feels valued and appreciated will always do more than what is expected. When you forget your why, you forget yo
Recent posts

Impact EDU 2019: Angela Maiers-How Big is Your Brave

Angela  Maiers  was the keynote speaker on Monday at the ImpactEDU  2019 Conference. Technology doesn't change lives, people do. Her mantra is "You Matter!" Today's to- do list is overwhelming! Instead we need a "To-Be" List! Who do you want to be? Thinking about the future and seeing yourself in the future  is a 21st century skill. Our reality is that the world contains  VUCA- Volitility , Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity  This is what our world is like now... The world of the past favored the bold, now we need to bring our courage into practice. In the e nd, we need ot be "braver!" Brave is... Ask students to bring images to show what that means... She asked us to think about what brave was... (I said, "Stepping out of your comfort zone.) Seth Godin- "There is nothing comfortable about courage. Our need to feel ready and in control actually  prevents us from being able to fully participate in life

Safe for Prep...Week 2 Podcast:: The Power of Inquiry and Poetry

Episode 2 of our "Safe for Work Podcast has me discussing Inquiry, and Sean reading a lovely poem!    I was inspired by the great work of our South View and Valley View Middle School 8th grade staff on incorporating Inquiry in their instruction, as well as Project Lead the Way Engineering teacher, Jodi Ramirez , who had her kids sifting dirt to learn about composition. This focus on inquiry has continued to evolve, after some great professional development from Diana Laufenberg a few years ago! Earlier that day, I saw a great article noting that fostering curiousity in students can have a huge impact on closing our acheivement gap with low income students. Incorporating inquiry in instruction can be a great way to make that happen!  Sean and I are having a blast recording these sessions. It really is an extension of the great conversations we have when we get together in the office. We hope it is meaningful for you. If you have suggestions for upcoming topics, please let u

Sometimes I Have to be the Fun Police...

Yesterday, I had two instances where I had to be the "Fun Police," in my role as Digital Learning Specialist. It is not a role that I rellish, as philosophically, I want our staff and students to have an authentic experience as possible and utilize tools that may be of benefit to their learning. However there are times, when for safety or due to missuse of a tool, I have to put on the hat and shades... Case #1 The first instance was when I got a request for a group of 5th grade students to use Prezi as a presentation tool. Now Prezi may not be as popular as it was a few years ago, and some folks wish they had kept their "Classic" tools and format , but it still offers a nice way to make non-linear presentations. However, for elementary educators, there is another component that makes Prezi problematic: their Terms of Service .  Given this restriction, unless the student has been held back 3 years, odds are the 5th graders will not be able to use Prezi for their p

Speaking of Podcasting...

Last month, I shared about some work I was doing around Student Podcasting ( Giving Students Voice & Choice Through Podcasting ). This month, my colleague, Sean Beaverson and I are launching our own podcast! Safe for Prep is a short but sweet look at the great things we see in our roles in Edina Public Schools. As the name implies, it is something you can listen to, in the background during your prep! Below is Episode 1! We highlight some great work the 8th grade teachers at South View Middle School shared with staff last week, and Sean's efforts to help some students. Have a listen!

Giving Students Voice and Choice through Podcasting

This February, I shared with staff the value of giving students pathways in how they demonstrate learning by creating podcasts. I was inspired by an ISTE presentation by Rabbi Michael Cohen and Jeff Bradbury  last summer, and a presentation that Glen Irvin Flores gave in November.  A few staff were interested and so I put together this presentation for students. I shared how I still remember my 6th grade project where I recorded myself as a 12 year old in Moscow, and my dad interviewed me to demonstrate what life was like in the Soviet Union. (Yes, I'm that old! The collar above gives it away! In addition, I cannot remember any of the multiple choice tests I took to demonstrate learning...)  I also shared with students that NPR was sponsoring a Student Podcast Challenge , inviting students to ask their teachers to submit their audio file that spoke to one of the following prompts: Tell us a story about your school or community: about something that happened the

My Thoughts on Digital Learning Day 2019

So yesterday was Digital Learning Day. In the past, I have shared how we have celebrated it in Edina  (Of course most of the post was aggregated from a tool that no longer exists....sigh!) Well, yesterday, I saw this tweet from Schoology and so I thought I'd share my thoughts... 💻 Happy #DLDay 2019! 💻 In honor of this special day, we’re having a contest! Here’s how it works: 1️⃣ Reply to this tweet answering the question “What does digital learning mean to you?” 2️⃣ Use the hashtag #DLDay 3️⃣ Best answers win an exclusive prize! — Schoology (@Schoology) February 28, 2019 Here goes...