Friday, August 8, 2014

This Week at Elkmont & Beyond: August 4-8, 2014

This week at Elkmont was a busy one as everyone prepared for students to arrive on Friday, August 8th.

DPI Parent Meetings

Digital Passport Initiative Parent Meetings were held on Monday, August 4th and Tuesday, August 5th. There were only 26 parents that were unable to attend either of these meetings. During these meetings, parents and students learned about the Digital Passport Initiative (DPI), why Limestone County Schools is implementing the DPI program, and when they will receive their MacBook Air.

Below is the presentation parents and students saw during these meetings.

Limestone County Schools DPI Website

Be sure to take a look at all things related to the Limestone County Schools Digital Passport Initiative and our progress through the year on our website:

Celebrating Our Accomplishments

The thought of using technology in the classroom can be intimidating to many teachers. I'm glad to say that Elkmont, however, is busting at the seams to get started with using technology! Here are some of the accomplishments we should all celebrate this week:

  • 3rd and 4th grade teachers are using a shared Google Calendar to plan for DPI lessons and collaborations.
  • 5th grade is using a shared Google Calendar to plan an awesome Project Based Learning lesson.
  • Tessa Hardiman, 5th grade teacher, is a Twitter and Google Drive EXPERT! Yay!
  • Tessa Hardiman and Candi Holt both have DonorsChoose Campaigns going to get technology in their 5th grade classrooms.  Support Ms. Hardiman HERE and Ms. Holt HERE.  If we all give a little they will meet their goal in no time at all!
  • Ms. Walker/Ms. Dougherty are using Class Dojo, a classroom tool that helps teachers improve behavior in their classrooms quickly and easily. 
  • Inclusion Teacher, Amanda Wilson, sat down with me for a mini tutorial on Twitter and Google Sheets.  
  • Michele Brazeal and Beth Bates wrote a grant for two MacBook Carts and have been using them ever since. I can't wait to stick my head in their rooms to see all the tricks they have up their sleeves for using MacBooks!
  • I've heard tales that Math Teachers Katherine Pankey and Linda Schmidt are technology gurus! I'm looking forward to connecting with them more this year.
  • The Elkmont Technology Committee is using a Google Doc to create an Acceptable Use Policy for the Bring Your Own Device initiative rolling out this year. Members are: Ethan Whiteside, Michele Brazeal, Beth Bates, Mary Beth Lewis, Katherine Pankey an Duane Wales.
  • Missy Bailey has uploaded many of her files to her LCS Google Account for easy access and device agnostic ease of use for students.
  • Limestone County School educators got into Twitter and #selfie during Institute Day using the hashtag #LCSforKids 

Google Hangouts

This week I had the opportunity to have two Google Hangouts with some of my favorite people.  Early in the week Gwyneth JonesJoyce ValenzaJennifer LaGarde and I connected via Google Hangout to discuss the upcoming season of TLVirtual Cafe, #TLChat LIVE!, TL News Night and Joyce's newest venture, Global TL: Librarians Without Borders.  I absolutely LOVE all the opportunities the TL Community offers for professional growth, connections, and collaboration.

Thursday night I connected with Elissa Malespina and Jeff Flynn at the request of Jeff as he steps up as a library leader in his Baltimore school district.  This hangout was recorded and can be viewed below:


Elissa Malespina is a big user and advocate for the Voxer App.  Voxer is a next generation push-to-talk app that is differentiated from others by providing live voice that is simultaneously recorded, delivered over a any data network, and stored in the cloud.

I see it more as voicemail which I never check on my phone.  How Elissa wrangled me into using this app is beyond me! With that said, I really have enjoyed using Voxer as Elissa, myself and Jennifer LaGarde have started a private little support group on Voxer as all three of us venture into new territory this school year.  It's nice to hear their voices and know that you have friends just an app away to calm you down when you are stressed out and cheer your accomplishments.


I was honored to be the Keynote Speaker for the Huntsville City School Librarians as they began their school year.  We delved into the importance of a strong digital footprint and sharing your story from the library.

EdCamp Atlanta

Hard worked continued all this week as EdCamp Atlanta draws closer!  Just 35 days until the big event on September 13, 2014.  We have brought several new organizers on board this year as well as some great sponsors.  Be sure to check out our sponsors and support them for supporting us.

#iCONNECT Tech Tips Newsletter

The first issue of the #iCONNECT Tech Tips Newsletter went out to faculty and staff at Elkmont High today. This newsletter will be a weekly feature at Elkmont.

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