I am back with the PLN challenge!

Well, wellit has been too long since I posted anything on my professional blog.  I have been busy as the new Middle School Technology Integration Specialist in my hometown school district of GDRSD (Groton Dunstable Regional School District).  I have been a periodic blogger on our district technology blog.  Our tech department has been busy deploying tons of teacher laptops, even more student chromebooks, GAFE and such… I have been happy, but I digress!

A principal in my districtLiz Garden just tagged me in the PLN challenge in a recent blogpost. .  OK LizI accept!  This challenge asks me to do a few things:

1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger (done!)
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
4. List 11 bloggers.  They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated.  (You can’t nominate the blogger who nominated you. So, here goes!

11 random Julie facts

1. I am one of six kids,  5 girls and 1 boy.  I am a typical type A, oldest child, virgo, perfectionist.  I love my family and I love my siblings.  I am a happily married woman with one delightful daughter who is a freshman at Virginia Tech (hey Lizthis is the first of many connections we have).

2. I am a career changer.  I worked for many years in the software industry in customer support, management and quality assurance.  This helped me immensely when I jumped ship, enjoyed a few years of blissful unemployment and decided to get my masters to become a Technology Teacher.

3. Although I did not think it at the time, my daughter Shannon ended up being a miracle baby.  I lost 3 pregnanciesone before Shannon and two after.  There are many things I purchase in threes to help me work through these losses3 weeping trees, 3 angel charms.  You get the picture.  (Lizanother connection)

4. I am an avid gardener.  I grew up in a city (Peabody, MA) and knew little of plants, but I somehow married a guy who convinced me to move to the country (Dunstable,MA) and taught me how to sow a seed.  Magic.  I love to design gardens.  I use country antiques to make my garden space unique.  I am addicted to the Country Living magazine and to Pinterest gardening and country living boards.

5. I am not much of a world traveler, but I am lucky enough to have traveled across country with my family when I was 13 in a Winnebago for 6 weeks.  More recently I  traveled up the California coast with my family and sister’s family a few summers ago for 3 weeks.  Surprise… I blogged about it! (Liz, if you are interested, there is a picture of my sister and me at the Jelly Belly factoryanother connection!?)

6. I believe that technology is just a tool that should seamlessly improve educationbut Google Glass is frigin‘ coolin this one case it is just about the tool 🙂

7. I did not grow up an animal lover, but somehow my husband made me one.  It started with a stray cat, Barnadette, who needed a home.  She was not supposed to be a house cat, she was a barn cat (hense the name).. but then a run-in with a nasty outdoor creature resulted in the loss of part of her tail.  She quickly became an indoor cat.  Then came a beautiful golden retriever Cooper.   Then another golden, Cooper’s nephew Cody.   Then Tom and Jerry (cat brothers).  Then Rusty (our only mutt dog… big mistake).  Then Tex the cat.  Then Zack the golden retriever. We are pretty much crazy pet people, but are sadly due to old age, cancer, sudden death and car accidents we down to one…. Tex.

8.I love to paint.  I paint decorative furniture.  I paint pictures.  I paint walls.  I just love to paint.

9. I eat to live.  My husband lives to eat.  He is our family chef.  This opposite dichotomy leads to stressful dinner times.  Enough said.  Anyone have a good idea for dinner?  Argh!

10. I love my job!  I have liked my job for a long time, but right now I love my job.  I love knowing many people on the staff before I even started, I love working in my community. I love that in 4 months we are already putting GD on the technology map.

11. I obsessive-compulsively arrange my clothes and jewelry in order by color.  I love clothes, I love accessories, and I love matching the two together.

Liz’s questions for me to answer…
1. What is the best book you read in 2013? I love biographies.  While I did not quite finish this in 2013, I’d say my favorite book was Diane Keaton’s Then Again.  People are fascinating!

2. Do you have a favorite twitter chat?  If so, what is it?  If you don’t have a favorite, what chat would you want to create and moderate?  I do not have one, but admittedly anything I would want (like collaboration between tech integratorsalready exists… I am just too tired to participate at present.

3. How has your PLN impacted you? It inspires and rejuvenates me.  I listen to podcasts religiously (most are on Edreachcheck them out they are amazing), read informative blogs sometimes and participate in twitter.

4. If you weren’t in education, what would you be doing instead?  Design, design, design… I would design gardens, homes or furniture.

5. What is your favorite children’s book of all time?  Auntie Claus….I have created animated voices for each character and have been a perennial favorite guest reader at Onos family holiday parties!

6. What is one app or resource you have learned about on twitter that has been a game changer for you at work? Kidblog.  It was my homebase for publishing student reflection and projects when I taught middle school and is the tool I suggest most when teachers ask me how to showcase work their students have created.  Blogging is old school, not very sexy, but blogs are still a cornerstone tool in my opinion.

7. If someone made a movie about you, which star would be cast to play you? Natasha Richardson, only she is dead.  😦  The movie will never be made anyway….

8. Are you a Mac or a PC person? No questionmac, although I am warming up to my nexus 7 tablet

9. Who is your education rockstar and why? Chad Kafka.  He hosts my favorite podcast “Teacher Tech Talk“.  And he is a GCT and Apple Distinguished Educator.  And he presents at ISTE and such.  And he is cute. I did mention that I am happily married right?

10.  If you could pack a suitcase and go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why? I cannot chose 1 place.  I would want to go to Hawaii with my hubby Dave.  I went there when I was single.  It looks, smells, sounds and feels intoxicating.   Dave and I need a cool vacationwe have been married almost 25 years, bring it!  Or maybe we could go to Greece for many of the same reasons except I have never been there.  Or I will always be happy going to Lake Winnipesaukee which is my favorite summer location.  If I win the lottery I will have a house on Winni.

11. What’s your favorite 80’s movie? The Breakfast Club (classic representation of the cliques in high school) and When Harry Met Sally.  I watch Harry/Sally everytime I find it on TVwhich is a lot.  Oh, the eye rolling that happens when my husband catches me watching that movieagain.

Julie’s List of 11 bloggers that deserve some recognition and a little blogging love

  1. Jenny Leung
  2. Jen Maio
  3. Cindy Engvall
  4. Audra Kaplan
  5. Julie Leach
  6. Nicole Tomaselli 
  7. Mary Marotta
  8. Susan Wright
  9. Ellen Brandt
  10. Kelly McManus
  11. Joanne Najarian

Now for the questions for my nominated bloggers :

  1. If you won 1 Million dollars, how would you spend the money?
  2. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
  3. What drew you to a job in education?
  4. What are some things that make you really happy?
  5. What sound do you love?
  6. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
  7. Who in your life has influenced you the most? How did they do it?
  8. What tech tool could you not live without?
  9. Who is your education rock star and why?
  10. Where do you hope to be professionally in 6-10 years?
  11. What superlative would you give yourself and why?