A Rock Star Life: Part One

I love music concerts! You get to hear great songs and you get pumped by being surrounded by fans of the same band. You can scream your head off and dance without feeling like a complete idiot. While I have enjoyed every concert I have attended, I never think about the experience from the band's perspective too often. Imagine everybody there to see you, what a high! What about when the crowd goes nuts after a terrific set? Nothing can compare to that kind of rush.

So at this point you might be wondering why all the concert stuff? It relates to this concept Steve Dembo has repeated in different presentations. In simple terms, if you know your tech stuff, then you should be out presenting and sharing. While I know that I am not on the cutting edge, I do know that I am ahead of the mainstream. My thought was to start out small at a district conference just to see of I could actually present to a crowd other than the teachers in my building.

I finally understood what Dembo meant during my Google Apps presentation. The lab was full and people opted to stay by seating in chairs, on the floor, and by standing. I could feel the focus of the group and their excitement from learning something new. Of course my plans kind went out the window in the streams of questions. Lunch time came and pass in the discussions after the presentation. There was just enough time to grab a bottle of water and set up for the Web 2.0 presentation for a full crowd.

The rock star feeling hit me while I was driving home in the rain. It was this rush that I can't fully explain. I turned the radio up and sang my heart out. I want to use this post to remind me of that feeling if I get too afraid to send in a proposal or feel exhausted in the effort to prepare. For those who play Guitar Hero, I think I might be ready to try another venue or another set.

Now to get back to the thirty day challenge.



So, the next challenge posted by Steve Dembo is to write a thank-you email to the person that encouraged you to blog. While I read many blogs like Dembo's and Will Richardson's, it never inspired me to write and continue to write on a blog. I thought I would stretch Steve's assignment to thank those who put me on the path to technology enlightenment.

1. My former AP, S. Frye. Three years ago she was the only admin to attend a local technology conference (the same one I am presenting at this year). There she learned about the middle school technology course that I teach today. Not only did she fight for adding this course at our middle school, I was the only one she had in mind to teach it.

2. The DEN STARs, especially those at the summer National Institute. All of you inspired me to be a better teacher and hopefully a technology leader.

3. My PLN on Plurk. Beside the amazing resources, they are always so supportive through my good days and bad.

From the bottom of my heart, Thank-you!


What is wrong with ClustrMaps?

The Day 2 challenge is to sign-up for a service to get real stats on who visits the blog. This is some pretty serious stuff! Read Steve's Blog to see the rationale, which does make sense.

While my new site meter may tell me more, I still enjoy my ClustrMap. I have enjoyed watching the dots grow across the map and some dots have actually grown larger. Even if the dot came by accident I was glad it was still there. It made me happy to think someone stopped by and may even be feeling the same challenges in their schools. My map encourged me to keep writing and I was glad I added it to my blog.

Only time will tell on how stats will help my blog. I hope it doesn't hurt my blogger self-esteem.


Beginning New Challenges

I haven't blogged in awhile, because I have been waiting on my new challenge. Steve Dembo, Teach42, began a 30 day challenge to be a better blogger. This was exciting to me because I needed a new tech challenge other than keeping an eye on Plurk Karma number.

The first challenge was to recreate the About Me section of the blog. I almost wish that it would have been another challenge since I have been under an identity crisis lately. Don't worry, I won't use this blog as therapy sessions. The best part of the challenge was to remind myself why I started the blog in the first place. The idea of growing and reflecting sometimes gets lost in the day to day challenges.

While I am beginning the blogging challenge, I am also working on another challenge Dembo posted to the DEN. During the DEN Virtual Conference, Steve told us to be Rock Stars and share what we know. Since the opportunities at my school have dried up, I applied for a VERY local conference. I was happy to be accepted for two presentations: Google Apps and Web 2.0. I think this is a positive step in the right direction since there has been so much negative in my building.