TCEA 2017 – Day 5

Wow…morning got here early! I headed over to the convention center to do my volunteer shift while the rest of the gang found sessions to attend Continue Reading →

TCEA 2017 – Day 4

Presented in the Google Theater today…Google Forms: Practical Magic. Again, I think I had just as much fun creating my Twitter advertisements as I did presenting…Harry Potter rules! Continue Reading →

TCEA 2017 – Day 3

Wednesday hit me like a ton of bricks! LOL…or was that the vendor hall? Walked a couple of miles today…spent over an hour with the GoGuardian guys discussing our demo of their program (the margaritas at your booth were a nice touch – talk about crowded!).  Continue Reading →

TCEA 2017 – Day 2

Enjoyed my last day at TCEA where there wouldn’t be a line out the door of the Starbucks in my hotel lobby. Sigh. Continue Reading →

6000+ Chromebooks Distributed

The amazing Board of Trustees and Superintendent of Burleson ISD approved a 1:1 Chromebook roll out for students in 3rd-8th grade for the 16-17 school year. We were thrilled that they wanted to take this initiative to so many students. That meant we had to pull together and everyone got hands-on with prepping and distributing the devices. Continue Reading →

Happy Birthday, Matthew

We celebrated Matthew Kitchen’s birthday at Babe’s Chicken House…and may have subjected him to a little public dancing in a pink cowboy hat! What a good sport! Happy birthday, Matt! Continue Reading →

CDW Leadership Workshop

The Technology Department hosted Mike Patterson from CDW for a Leadership Workshop on August 30th. Principals, APs, Top Techs, librarians, and teacher leaders joined together to learn about leading our district into a 1:1 environment. Mike shared some great resources and the whole group worked together, discussed ideas, and shared notes in a common Google Doc. It was a great day of learning, thinking, and preparing for where BISD is going next. Continue Reading →

Top Tech Breakout Edu

Our first Top Tech meeting of the year took place at STEAM Middle School (thanks, Louise, for hosting)! We went over some information about the Chromebook roll out and then Lindsay introduced the group to Breakout Edu! Continue Reading →

Get Your ZSpace On!

Thanks to Dr. Leslie Bender Jutzi, BISD’s Academic Innovations Officer, and in partnership with Texas Health Huguley Hospital, Clinkscale Elementary gained a 3D ZSpace lab! Right after Convocation, several teachers and the LT team headed over to Clinkscale to learn how to use this amazing learning tool! Continue Reading →

August Chromebook Academy – Movin’ It to BHS

August, with all of the back-to-school professional development, proved to be a challenge when it came to scheduling and delivering our third Chromebook Academy. We moved from Centennial HS to the Burleson HS library, and we split the training into 2 days in one week and the final day in another week. We had a great turn out of dedicated educators who had great ideas and made the training lots of fun! Continue Reading →

July Chromebook Academy – Holy Crowded Training Batman!

Our July Chromebook Academy was very well attended with over 50 teachers signing up to learn all about Chromebooks, Google Apps for Education, and managing your classroom in a 1:1 environment! I had some adorable help setting up the classroom for our training (my grandson Aiden and daughter Amanda). Continue Reading →

New Office Renovation Begins

BISD is growing and office space is at a premium. We’re very fortunate that our CTO arranged for the renovation of the Data Portable to allow it to house not only the Data team, but our department AND a training lab/conference room. We are very excited about getting to move into our new digs…as soon as they’re ready. Continue Reading →

June Chromebook Academy – Google is Coming

June brought our first 3-day Chromebook Academy training for teachers in our district. Heather created a great Game of Thrones parody graphic for the event and we carried the theme throughout the training. Continue Reading →

zSpace Mobile Lab Visit

On June 24th, 2016, the zSpace mobile lab rode up to one of our elementary campuses so that students participating in summer programs could experience the amazing 3D virtual lab. Continue Reading →

BCHS Summer Bridge Program

bchs-logo1-4I was flattered and excited to be asked to participate in Burleson Collegiate High School’s summer bridge program. This new campus was bringing in all of its new students and doing a complete day of goal setting, team building, training, fun, and pizza. Continue Reading →

North Texas Google Summit

The BISD Technology Department hosted the North Texas Google Summit from June 8-9th this year at Centennial High School. We hosted, set up all technology, and our team presented at the event. Our CTO, Stephen Logan opened the summit with a welcome speech. Continue Reading →

CHS American Studies – Chopped

The CHS American Studies humanities teachers, Yvonne Hensley and Patti Massey, decided to mix some TV with their course. We recreated the format of the culinary show Chopped to work with their final review for their students. Students were given boxes with mystery recipes and ingredients in them. Continue Reading →

The REALM Parent Night

I got to stop by The REALM Parent Night presentations – which were set up like games…really cool! Parents and students were so excited to learn about their new campus. Some of those parents got really competitive playing the 1980s video game challenge prepared by Dean Cheryl Essex. Good times and a GREAT turnout! Continue Reading →

XQ Grant Finalists

Working with the Data Department and the Academic Innovation Department, we managed to make the finals of the XQ Grant – a 10 Million Dollar grant for innovation in High Schools. Continue Reading →

Aloha Employee Banquet

We ran the green screen photo booth again this year for the Employee Banquet! What a fun group of teachers and administrators. We always enjoy adding some digital fun to the proceedings!

Neighborhood Fun Day 2016

LT Teresa Sumrall supported students from two elementary schools in BISD who wanted to raise money, goods, and awareness for local charities. They used Google Apps for Education to collaborate between their separate campuses, communicate with participants, and to inform the community. One student even invited the Mayor via Twitter! Continue Reading →

CHS Lit Tank 2016

Spring 2016 brought with it the 2nd Annual CHS Lit Tank. This 11th-grade English assignment is a take on the popular TV show, Lit Tank. Students have five weeks to plan and create a product, service, or business that is literature or literacy based. Students create a digital pitch site, a social media marketing campaign, create mock-ups or prototypes, and present to a panel of “Sharks” composed of district teachers, administrators, and community members. Continue Reading →

STEAM Academy at Stribling Parent Night

The LT Department helped with the STEAM Academy at Stribling’s Parent Night. We helped with Osmo, robots, and more. It was a great, hands-on night where parents and students could explore STEAM activities, hear a presentation about the new direction the campus is moving in, and ask questions. Continue Reading →

BrightBytes Conference

I was invited to sit on a panel for the BrightBytes Conference at Region XI. I got to do a brief presentation on how our district uses its BrightBytes data, and then the panel took questions from the crowd. It was a great conference full of incredible speakers and I was grateful to be included. I got to spend time with my friends Jan North from Mansfield ISD and Dwight Goodwin from Denton…I always learn new things from them!  Continue Reading →

SXSWEdu 2016

This year we all got to go to SXSWEdu in Austin. It was VERY different from the usual educational technology conferences we attend. It was much more about big ideas, pushing limits, and a lot of the sessions were more geared toward post-secondary education. My biggest goal was to go to the XQ venue and talk to them (as we’re applying for one of their grants). We did manage to make it over, participate in their activities, and wind up on their display board! Continue Reading →

LT Teresa Sumrall…On A Billboard!!!

BISD created billboards for our district’s two TCEA award winners – Ryan Churchward and Teresa Sumrall! We couldn’t wait to run over and get photos of them! Congrats, guys!!!

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Working on The One Thing Challenge

Here are a few of the fun ways we reached out to the teachers who signed up for our One Thing Challenge to keep them motivated and setting appointments with us! These were put in the box of each teacher who signed up for the challenge. Continue Reading →

The REALM Board Update

Tonight was an update for the School Board about the BISD Gaming and Coding middle school, The REALM. I helped with sample schedules and assignments for the presentation. The Dean, Cheryl Essex, and the Principal, Dr. Beaird spoke…and so did the student Stewards of The REALM. I am so excited to see what amazing things these guys do with this school concept! Continue Reading →

It’s Finally Happened

Forced into bifocals to be able to read my screen. Sigh. I knew this day was coming…but I put up a good fight.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Estes Bunch!

Christmas Door Decorating Video 2015

This year, everyone drew a Christmas carol that they had to use to decorate their door. Our team got Santa Baby. We won the Clark W. Griswald award…we may have gone a little overboard! Ha ha! Love it! Continue Reading →

North Pole Patrol

Every year we video conference with Santa at the North Pole. I am North Pole Patrol – I run around to campuses and help the kids connect with Santa. This usually involves lots of equipment set up, prepping the kids for talking virtually with Santa…and singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer all day long. It’s become a BISD tradition. Continue Reading →

I’m a Gigi!

Just had to share some wonderful photos of my beautiful new grandson, Aiden. Hooray! Continue Reading →

I’m on a Billboard!!!!

My school district surprised the heck out of my by putting my face up on a billboard! The electronic billboard on 174 and I-35 has congratulations on it for my IT of the Year award! WHOA! Such a surprise and very humbling! Thank you, BISD! You’ve given my mom something to brag about! Continue Reading →

Live Long And Prosper

Leonard Nimoy ~ “My folks came to U.S. as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens. I was born in Boston, a citizen, went to Hollywood and became an alien.” Continue Reading →

Playtime…Old School Style!

Introduced my boys to Spirograph (couldn’t believe Hobby Lobby had one!) this week. Sometimes…it’s just awesome to go old school. They were fascinated…mesmerized…frustrated that I was BETTER at it than them! Ha ha! Sometimes it’s good to just kick it old school and unplug. Continue Reading →

Runner Up

This is probably my second favorite image from TCEA 15 – where sketchnoting got really popular. Still, the content is great.

My Favorite Take-Away from TCEA

Saw Todd Nelsoney  (@TechNinjaTodd) speak at TCEA. I’d always thought he was awesome…this quote just solidified it for me. Probably had the most impact on me this week. Great quote…in your face but true.

The Cool Stuff

Here’s just some of the cool stuff from TCEA! Random post…great memories!

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Gettin’ Social TCEA Style!

Love hangin’ with my peeps at TCEA! Too much fun! Shout out to my crew from BISD, Duncanville, and Crowley for hanging out with me this week! Fun times! Continue Reading →

Awesome Teachers! Awesome Presentation!

My buddies from Kerr Middle School (yep, I call ’em the A-Team) got to present at TCEA this year. An awesome presentation about their experience with the Chromebook 1:1 roll out. They were mega-awesome and got rave reviews from the participants! Love these guys!

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Dare I Say It? Change the World!

So, apparently one of the perks of being an award finalist/winner at TCEA is that you get to sit up front for the Keynote! That’s right…within mere feet of Bill Nye the Science Guy! It was an interesting and lively keynote…my biggest take-away, I think (I’m still processing), was his comment about how WE are raising the next great generation. That’s a huge responsibility. Challenge accepted. Continue Reading →

2015 Instructional Technology Specialist of the YEAR!!!!!

Shut up! I won!!! I got Instructional Technology Specialist of the Year from TCEA! I can’t believe it! So stinkin’ awesome!!! I was really nervous and didn’t know if I’d win…but I did! Have to thank the amazing teachers and administrators that I work with every day! I couldn’t do what I do if you didn’t let me come into your schools and classrooms and get you to do all kinds of crazy stuff! My face hurts from grinning! So thrilled! Thanks for making my job the best one in the world!  Continue Reading →

That Awkward Moment When…

That awkward moment when you wind up in someone else’s Twitter pic about the line at Starbucks…while you’re Tweeting about the line at Starbucks! #bluehoodie

Who’s Got Two Thumbs And Went To Google? This Girl!

TCEA week started out with a bang…or a goo…Google, that is. We were invited to an event at the Google headquarters in Austin. You may now die of nerd-envy. LOL! Continue Reading →

Christmas Fun

This year at work, each group drew a Christmas movie to use as inspiration for decorating their door. My group went a little crazy, but then…if it’s worth doing…it’s worth doing big! Especially when you get Elf as your movie! What a good time! I put the video together for our work Christmas lunch so everyone could see what everyone else had done. Continue Reading →

Calling North Pole Central

Every year we help elementary school classes contact the North Pole and talk directly to Santa. While I joke about hating the endless singing of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and elementary schools giving me hives…I really do love to see the looks on the kids’ faces when Santa holds up their letters, calls them by name, and talks about secrets shared with him by their teacher. Continue Reading →