Twitter Confirms it is Indeed a Small World!

I want to take a minute to show you just how small our world has become because of Twitter and other social media:

Screenshot 2014-01-19 11.13.10Last week I came across a Twitter Chat that intrigued me.  #PTChat is known throughout the country (and beyond!) for its engaging discussions with parents and teachers, about relevant educational topics.  Last week, #PTChat was talking about using Twitter as a communication tool for teachers and administrators.  Our school believes in the power of Twitter, and we encourage our teachers and administrators to share classroom and campus information through this social media tool. I was excited to share some ideas, and learn from others through this chat.

Screenshot 2014-01-19 11.37.00During the chat, my friend (through Twitter) Gwen Pescatore, a parent from Knapp Elementary in Pennsylvania, gave a shout out to our school’s weekly chat, #TMSHawkChat.  It’s an informal discussion that our principal moderates each Tuesday evening at 8:00 pm., and it gives us an opportunity for two way communication with our community.

Screenshot 2014-01-19 11.39.46Screenshot 2014-01-19 11.40.35Screenshot 2014-01-19 11.41.22As it turns out, a principal and her students from Wisconsin were also participating in #PTChat, and picked up on Gwen’s tweet about our school chat.  The principal, Melissa Emler, asked her student group, Shullsburg Pride, to gather information about our school chat to participate, and possibly gain ideas for their own chat. Gwen graciously offered the info they needed, and mentioned me and our principal in her tweet.  Melissa noticed that she and I were actually teamed up (randomly) by George Couros, to participate in a new Twitter based program called the School Administrator Virtual Mentor Program (#SAVMP).

So….if you’re playing along at home, let me summarize:

  • Random people from around the country participate in a #PTChat session
  • A teacher asks about school specific chats, and someone mentions #TMSHawkChat
  • The teacher recognizes me as a member of her twitter community.

And that’s how small our Twitter World is!  Even though we’ve never physically met, I feel like Gwen, Melissa, and I are already connected.  I imagine if we ever ran across each other at a conference, workshop, or airport, we’d pick up where we left off on Twitter…we’ve already met.

#TMSHawkChat meets every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. CST (when school is in session).  The discussion is informal, and is usually centered around a relevant and timely educational topic. Teachers, administrators, parents, students, and guests are always welcome!  
#PTChat meets on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. CST.  It has become the premiere Twitter Chat for parent/teacher discussions.  Join others from around the world as they discuss topics that are important to teachers, parents, and the community.  
Not sure how to participate in a Twitter Chat?  Check out this informative page from Cybraryman, which includes a Quick Start Guide to Participating in a Twitter Chat.

Where’s My Flash Drive?

nousb“Where’s My Flash Drive?”

  • Teacher: Where’s your project?
  • Student: On my flash drive.
  • Teacher: It was due last week, can you turn it in now?
  • Student: Ummm…I don’t have it.
  • Teacher: You don’t have it?
  • Student: No…I lost my flash drive.  I think it’s in my locker….or at home…or maybe my backpack….or…

images (1) There’s a better way, people!  

This year, our district joined Google Apps for Education.  This means that every student in the district now has a Google Account, and with it, a Google Drive, with tons of free storage!  Why not use Google Drive instead of a flash drive for your storage needs?  It just makes sense!

Untitled spreadsheetSharing

With a flash drive, you must physically turn in your thumb drive to your teacher, provided you remembered to bring it from home!

With Google Drive, you can easily share your project with your teacher. Now it’s already turned in! Every time you update your project, your teacher receives the update immediately.  You can never use “I lost it” as an excuse again!


When you store a document on a flash drive, your teacher can share comments with you only by writing notes on a printed copy of the document.

With Google Drive, the teacher and student can comment in real time, right on the document.comments

Storage Space and Cost

Flash Drive – the cheapest 32 GB flash drive I could find was twenty bucks.

Google Drive – standard storage for students is 30 GB – FREE! images (2)

MEAWHILEWorking from Home

Flash Drive – as long as you remembered to take the flash drive out of the computer you were using at school, you’re good to go!  You can work on any device that has a USB input (no phones, ipads, etc. though!)

Google Drive – access your file anytime, anywhere, from any device…period.

So what are you doing to rid your school of unnecessary flash drives?  If you haven’t tried it, give Google Drive a shot!

Challenge Accepted…

I have a shortcut button to my blog, right on the toolbar of my Chrome Browser.  It doesn’t do much….just sits there….and stares me down…reminding me that I need to write…and I tell myself I’ll get right to it…then I close the browser…and forget about it.

What that button at the top of my browser couldn’t do, my friend and colleague Carrie Jackson has managed to accomplish.  In her latest blog post, Carrie issued the following challenge:

1) Acknowledge the nominating blogger. 2) Share 11 facts about yourself. 3) Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you. 4) List 11 bloggers. 5) Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you. 

And so Ms. Jackson, challenge accepted!

Eleven Facts About Myself

  1. I’m addicted to technology.  Seriously….I think I need an intervention!  I can’t remember the last day I didn’t check my Twitter, post something to Google+, read my news feed, or yell “OK Google” into my phone!
  2. I’m a big Texas Rangers fan!
  3. I have pretty smart kids! My youngest is a creator…he builds, designs, creates, invents, produces, and experiments! My oldest is a learner and a writer…he blows me away with his wealth of knowledge, specifically sports trivia.  He writes a blog for NFLRush, and he’s a lot more dedicated than I am!
  4. My wife is also pretty smart! She’s a great teacher, and she’s passionate about doing what’s best for kids!
  5. Here’s something you probably don’t know about me….I originally went to school to become a priest!  I learned pretty quickly that my calling was in teaching and serving others through education.
  6. I secretly wish that someone had convinced me to go into computer programming after high school.  Who knew you could make a few bucks doing something like that in the ’80s?
  7.  I love to try new foods.  I’m definitely not an “I’ll have the usual” kind of guy!
  8. I enjoy running, but can never seem to find the time!
  9. Android or iPhone?  Definitely Android!
  10. I’m blessed with an amazing job, loving family, supportive friends, sufficient finances, and vibrant health.
  11. I’m a big fan of taking risks! If there’s a chance it might not work, but also a chance it’ll change the world….I’m in!

My Answers to Carrie’s Awesome Questions

  1. Why did you start blogging?
    1. I started blogging as a way to share my experiences as a first year administrator with my family, friends, and colleagues.
  2. What is your favorite post of your own? Why?
    1. My favorite post is titled, “How Can I Help.” This post sums up my leadership philosophy perfectly.
  3. What is/was your favorite holiday activity?
    1. My favorite holiday activity is putting our home video together during the Christmas break.  We spend New Years Day watching videos from the previous years, then we watch the last year’s video New Years night.  The kids grow up fast!
  4. Share your favorite sports team.
    1. Texas Rangers…I’m a big fan!
  5. In what activities did you participate in high school?
    1. I was a band geek! I also participated in Theater, Speech and Debate, and Student Council.  Yep….I was pretty nerdy! But I wouldn’t change a thing!
  6. What makes you look forward to each day?
    1. My goal is to make someone’s day…every day!
  7. What is your personal theme song?
    1. Lean on Me
  8. If you were a part of the pizza, would you prefer to be the crust or the toppings? Why?
    1. Let’s go with crust. Crust gets overlooked. It lets the toppings take the credit, but we all know that, without crust, it’s just a saucy mess!
  9. Share your favorite television program.
    1. I’m a big fan of “Modern Family.”
  10. Share something you aspire to do in 2014.
    1. One of my goals in 2014 is to become a Google Qualified Educator. (I know…nerdy!)
  11. What is one thing you don’t know how to do that you wish you could learn?
    1. I wish I could learn to memorize names and faces.  I want to be that person that meets someone once, and remembers their name forever!

My Nominations to the Blogging Challenge

  • Davis Wright – @dbacksbaseball6
  • Conner Wright – @connerwright10
  • Brett Stamm – @Bstamm00
  • Josh Lucas – @joshlucasphx
  • Eric Rath – @EricRath1
  • Brad Tyler – @AimChanger
  • Anthony Gilreath – @agilreath
  • Kelly Christopherson – @kwhobbes
  • Jenna Shaw – @Teachbaltshaw
  • Melissa Emler – @melissaemler
  • YOU – Yes, you….reading this blog….I nominate you, too!

My Questions for You

  1. Who is your role model?
  2. If you could have any career, what would it be (besides your current job)?
  3. iPhone or Android? Why?
  4. Tell about one of your proudest moments.
  5. What would you do if you won the lottery?
  6. Who are three people (living or not) you would invite to dinner if you could?
  7. Describe your perfect vacation.
  8. What’s your favorite book? What’s it about?
  9. Share something you aspire to do in 2014.
  10. If you could choose a time period in which to live, what would it be?
  11. What motivates you?

And there you have it!  I’m looking forward to reading some fantastic blogs! Here’s to an amazing 2014! I wish you nothing but incredible experiences, lots of laughs, and continued good heath!  And GO RANGERS!