I <3 Grants!

Like most educators during this part of year there is a combination of the desire for the year to come to an end and reflection. This year I had to add an element to my end-of-the-year routine and that was finishing grant requirements. Even this post is me avoiding the four more lessons that I have to finish for my grant that got me a set of clickers. I was proud that I sent in my invoices and wrote my article for my MICCA grant that funded video cameras for my 8th graders to tryout the AFI curriculum. I am extremely grateful that the Best Buy grant has no additional required elements. 

While I realize that grants are a lot of work, I also realized that I love grants! Of course free money is a plus when a new era of spending freezes and budget cuts, but that is not the main reason why I love grants so much. Everytime I applied for a  new grant this year it caused to me evaluate the needs of my classroom and the school. The grant writing process forced me to develop innovative projects that would stand out in piles of other application. Most of all winning the grant has forced me to work on the project. I'll admit that I am one of those that come up with a million ideas, but only really work on a few. I learned so much by having to do my ideas and to make them work.

Well I couldn't stop with the end of the school year. Right now I am waiting out the last two days of voting on the We Are Teachers Summer Learning Microgrant. This has been a totally different experience because I had to enlist help from my PLN, students, colleagues, and anyone I could think of to get enough votes to stay in the top 10. The compeitive side of me wants to win just because, but more importantly I look forward to doing this project. I still have hope for my staff entering the 21st century and I keeping trying new things to bring them on board. If you get a chance check out the site please do so. Even if you vote for another project, you are supporting a great idea by a lot of great teachers.


My Blogiversary!

I figured this was an event worth celebrating. One main reason is that I stuck to blogging for an entire year even though some busy months had one entry. So much has happened technology-wise to me in the past year that I can't hardly believe. I thought I would run through the highlights:

1. I went from not knowing what Web 2.0 was to giving presentations on it.
2. I became a presenter: scary and amazing at the same time.
3. I became social with Twitter, Plurk, Ning, and Facebook. Great for me, but not so good for my schedule. I really don't know where I would be without my PLN!
4. I became a Google Certified Teacher. The title is great, but I love the connections to great educators and I learn to love Google tools.
5. I became a  grant winner times three: Turning Technologies, MICCA, and Best Buy. It can be a lot of work, but the payoff is so worth it.

There are some exciting things on the horizon, along with new challenges. I look forward to it all and another year of blogging. Lastly, thanks goes out to anyone who has read or added comments to my blog.