Reflective Journal for Coaches

In my role as the Regional Educational Technology Coordinator for ISBE's LTC, one of the perks is I get to work with instructional technology coaches. As a coach for 10 years prior to this position, it is where I feel most at home. In Chicago, coaches aren't plentiful. I was the only one in my building, in a city without many others. All of my professional personal growth came from opportunities I sought outside of my district, and on my own: volunteering, serving on boards, Twitter chats, conferences, etc.

Recently in one of my meetings, there was a discussion about how there isn't much out there for coaches to improve on their own practice. After all, many coaches strive to improve the practice of educators in their school building. In response to this, I created a reflective journal for coaches to use if they were interested in improving their practice on their own. The journal contains 8 sections:

Learning Style & Connecting with Others- an area for coaches to ident…

Podcast Update 2019: What's in your playlist?

In one of the graduate courses I teach I recommend various technology tools that may be of interest to my audience. For one of the weeks, I decided to share with them several podcasts that can be found in my playlist. Below are some of my most visited podcasts. While the majority of what I listen to is related to education and technology, some I listen to just for ear candy. The podcasts are listed in no particular order. 

Teaching in Higher Ed-this podcast deals with many aspects of teaching at the university level.
The Mind Online- this podcast focuses on digital literacy and how it shapes our interaction with content online.
The Privacy, Security, and Open Source Intelligence Show- this is a really higher-level security podcast that almost always goes so far beyond my comprehension I don’t know why I listen! But sometimes I can find out some cool privacy tips and tricks.
Ear Hustle- by far, one of my current favorites, and one that actually changed my point of view on judging people. …

Using Multimodal, Asynchronous Discussion Forums in Public (aka: Why My Students Blog)

An article written for a special edition of elearn magazine on Technology in eLearning.

Article URL:

Special Edition:

Hour of Code Participation Guide 2018

Google Workflow Tips & Tricks 2018

Originally presented at IETC conference.

Resources to Teach Media Literacy

Originally written for LTC blog during #Media Literacy Week 2018

How many advertisements do you come across in one day- ten, fifty, hundreds, thousands? Somesources say we encounter 4,000–5,000 ads a day all trying to persuade us to do something, believe something or buy something (while making money for their shareholders). We may not be consciously aware of seeing these ads, nor are our students who are exposed to the same content we are on a daily basis. Are students equipped to recognize when they are being manipulated? Probably not. Media literacy is a skill, not a topic. It is the responsibility of every educator; in every subject, in every school.

The goal of teaching media literacy is to educate our students on how to question what they see. Media literacy has dozens of “subtopics” that can be explored year-round in your classroom. This post shares some fun media facts, concepts, and resources to get you started.
Media Literacy “Fun Facts”Media is not good or bad; it is just a …

What Does Your Tattoo Say About You?

Originally written for

Do you have a tattoo?  What’s the story behind it?  What does it say about who you are?  Tattoos have been around for over 5,000 years.  For centuries people have been marking their bodies for a variety of purposes; love, status, tribute, and medical just to name a few.  Today the tattoo industry is busier than ever, although an internet search for “tattoo removal” proves there are clearly some that regret the decision.  Is our online existence that much different? Do we not post statuses that declare our love, tribute, medical dilemmas and more, much like people tattoo their skin?  If that is the case, do we not regret some of our social media posts as well? The term “digital footprint” is well known and represents what trace of us we leave behind when we are visible and active online.  It is a catchy phrase, but in my opinion not completely accurate. Footprints can be washed away. They can be covered over so they are no longer visible. …