11 Random Facts About Me and 11 Questions -- A Blogging Challenge from Nikki Robertson

Since Nikki Robertson ROCKS, I'm accepting her challenge to participate in this Blogging Homework meme.
Gotcha, Nikki :)
But, be warned, I'm keeping the questions, generally speaking, really light :) Yes, we bloggers do like to write, but who wants to think hard during a holiday break?

The mission:
1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
4. List 11 bloggers.
5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.

As mentioned above, Nikki Robertson does indeed ROCK! She's the quintessential teacher-librarian and I am always learning from her. Find out about her here and here.

2. Share 11 random facts about me:
  1. My best ideas come to me when I'm brushing my teeth in the morning.
  2. All I need is a 15-minute power nap and I'm good to go for hours.
  3. I'm a sucker for animals, especially dogs.
  4. I love to climb trees.
  5. I can whistle really really loud.
  6. I cannot remember jokes for telling.
  7. My work is my hobby.
  8. I love to wear a flower in my hair.
  9. I'm a stickler for grammar.
  10. I am a lover of all things Google.
  11. I don't swear. Really.
3. Answer the 11 questions Nikki has created for me.

  1. What is a goal you hope to accomplish from your bucket list? I'd like a completely sustainable backyard garden. I have avocados, lilikoi, bananas, mustard greens, and lichee so far and a long way to go.
    First lilikoi (passion fruit) from my vine
  2. What is one goal you hope to accomplish in 2014? Take more reflective photos like this one.

  3. If you could host a reality TV show, what would it be about? My reality show would be about how people's pets run their family.

  4. What is your favorite quote? The Golden Rule.

  5. What is one of your personal theme songs? "Don't Worry Be Happy"

  6. What are you incredibly proud of accomplishing? An open, welcoming learning environment in my library.

  7. What was one of your favorite gifts? HUGS were, are, and always will be my favorite gift.

  8. How have you dealt with a past failure? I made the best of it and then I moved on.

  9. What is one piece of advice that has helped you throughout life? The Golden Rule.

  10. What is your happiest childhood memory? Laughing uncontrollably while rolling in the grass with my best friend.

  11. If you were to get a tattoo what would it be and why? I actually have thought about this and I joke about doing it someday. I would get a "J". There are three important people in my life whose names start with a "J".
11 Bloggers I Tag To Take The Blogging Challenge (several are from my beloved #GTANY12 cohort, and a couple are Maui-based)

Team Diesel at GTANY
  1. Fiona Beal
  2. Brent Catlett
  3. Julie Greller
  4. Jenny Kirsch
  5. Jane Lofton
  6. Lisa Parisi
  7. Liza Pierce
  8. Elizabeth Warrick Smith
  9. Joe Wood
  10. Sandra Wozniak
  11. Linda Yollis
5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

  1. What makes you happy? (Be as serious or as light as you like.)
  2. Extroverted or introverted?
  3. ereader or paper?
  4. Favorite book? (Or your latest favorite book or one of your favorite books)
  5. Mac or pc?
  6. What's your favorite web-based tool?
  7. Who do you admire?
  8. Dogs or cats, or other, or none?
  9. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
  10. What are you most proud of?
  11. Why do you blog?
Whew, that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, now that I've finished the challenge, I'm thinking that it was FUN!


My Year in Social Media and What My Omnibox Autofill Says About Me (What about you?)

Jennifer Magiera always has something interesting in her Teaching Like It's 2999 blog!

Her article Reflecting on 2013 Through Social Media inspired me to reflect too.

It's kind of interesting to look back!

Google Plus automatically made this movie for me from my G+ photos. I love that there are so many of my students in it! (I'm the librarian, so I consider everyone my student :D) I'm sad that my beloved Shadow who I lost in April isn't in there, but instead a random (gorgeous) dog I happened to take a photo of is.

2013 Twitter video

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On another note, this little exercise below was fun for me to do! (Again, inspired by Jenny's article.)

Type in a letter of the alphabet in your Chrome OMNIBOX, and your recent searches will AUTOFILL (the results are virtually the same across devices -- I tested this). 

My autofill gives a pretty accurate picture of what engages me. The ones in bold were, are, and will likely always be in my Omnibox autofill. :)
a - Amazon
b - Blogger
c - code.org
d - dltk-teach.org
e - easybib
f - freerice
g - Google
h - hi.gafesummit.com
i - ifttt.com
j - Junior library guild
k - kendama
l - libguides. seaburyhall.org
m - mauilibrarian2.com
n - northpole.com
o -
p - paper.li
q - QandA App FAQs
r - read write think
s - sotfconf.org
t - tweetchat
u - Uploads - YouTube
v - Vitamix
w - wechat
x - Xbox
y - YouTube
z - Zamzar

What about you? What did your year look like in social media, and what does your Omnibox autofill say about you?


My Edublogs Best Free Education Web Tool 2013 *Favorites, *Ones I'll explore, and *Not on the list but on my radar screen for 2014

Inspired by Shannon McLintock Miller's list of favorites from the Edublogs Best Free Education Web Tool 2013 list, I put together three lists of my own.

My favorites from the list, in order of use:
  1. Google Apps for Education 
  2. Google+ Hangouts
  3. Twitter
  4. Screencast-o-matic
  5. Dropbox
  6. Pinterest
  7. Animoto
Tools I'm going to explore:
Tools not on the list but on my radar screen for 2014:
  • fishtree - Learning relationship management
  • WeChat - Connect with friends across platforms
  • GIFMaker.me - Web-based animated gif maker
  • domain.ME - Personalize your website
  • visual.ly and other free infographics and visualization tools
What about you? 

What does your list of favorites look like, what would you like to explore, and what's not on the Edublogs Best Free Education Web Tool 2013 list that's on your radar screen?


Reflecting on 2013: The Reasons I Blog, and My Top 10 Posts

I get asked this question all of the time. Why do you blog?

I enjoy it! That's the #1 reason.

I like documenting and reflecting on what I learn, for future reference. My memory bank is sometimes unreliable. That's #2.

I like sharing what I learn with others who might benefit. #3.

We librarians teach and thrive in an open environment. Now that open environment is a whole lot bigger, and so are the rewards.

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I'm sharing my top 10 (of 54) blog posts for 2013 in the hope that more educators in the Internetverse will find something they can use.

(in chronological order)

Google+ Tip: How to Adjust the Flow of Information from your Circles -- A Snapshot

5 Scholarly Science Search Engines for the College Student's Toolbox

Innovative Chromebook Teachers in Math, Science, Social Studies and Foreign Language, Special Education, Language Arts - EducationOnAir - All in One Place

This "Libraries of the Future" Infographic Nails it!

My 10 Favorite Google Tips of the 100 Shared by @EdReach

Use this Google Custom Search Engine to Search Through 40 Sources for Curated Educational Videos

Resources for Learning about COPPA's (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) New Rules

School Libraries as Maker Spaces -- A Few Resources to √ Out

Plussers that Pin and Vice Versa, shared by Peg Fitzpatrick

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My blog post goal for 2014? 100 quality posts.

I think I can do it!


Commonsense Media is a GR8 Place for Parents and Teachers to Find "Best Of" Lists ... and much more

I'm a big fan of Commonsense Media! Their mission and 10 beliefs resonate with me.

"We are the nation's leading independent non-profit advocating for kids."

It's a wonderful place for parents and teachers to find age-appropriate

  • Movies
  • Games
  • Apps
  • Books
  • TV
  • Music
  • 'For learning' Resources

I just posted this on my Facebook page to alert my FB parent friends about the Best Holiday Books for Kids list.

I highly recommend bookmarking Commonsense Media, not only for parents and teachers, but for anyone looking for quality on the Internet.


A Monthly Twitter Chat for Hawaii Educators! Hashtag: #edchatHI

A monthly Twitter chat for Hawaii educators!

Anyone who lives in or is from Hawaii and is involved in education is invited to join the conversation!

I'm happy to be a member of the organizing team, with Ellen Cordeiro, Michelle Colte, and Michael Fricano.

We have a website (thanks for setting it up, Michael) and we expect it to grow with resources for Hawaii educators!

Please start using the hashtag! No reason to wait until the monthly chat starts. I see our friend JoAnn Jacobs has already started.

Chats will be held on every first Monday of the month. If it's a holiday, the chat will be held on the following Monday. (Time converter)

First #edchatHI chat: January 6, 2014 at 6pm HST.

Want to let us know that you're interested in participating? Please fill out our #edchatHIsurvey.

We hope you'll join us!


How Hour of Code Went Down at Our School

English and drama teacher Mr. Van Amburgh started the ball rolling by bringing all of his classes to the computer lab to participate in Hour of Code. How cool is that? An English teacher promoting computer education!

Spurred by Mr. Van Amburgh's enthusiasm, I spontaneously arranged for a Friday the 13th event.

Experienced coders Milo, Aaron, Ema, and Dylan showed up in the library to talk shop during lunch. I learned a lot from them!

To be honest, I got not even half of what these coders were saying, so I took note of the following, for further study.

I knew about these mentioned:
  • Open Source programming - Milo is a strong proponent, as is Aaron
  • Arduino - Dylan learned the language in Engineering class
  • Codeacademy - Ema notes that the site is chock full of different kinds of programming tutorials

When Mr. Turbeville heard about the Friday the 13th event, he gave his Computer Programming class the option to try Hour of Code.

Here are reflections from two of of Mr. Turbeville's students:

...I tried a few of the programming resources, including the Snap program from UC Berkeley. In this program, I was able to manipulate shapes through simple block coding. I would definitely recommend Snap to someone as a good tool for starting out as it introduces you to the concept of setting commands.

I also checked out the Khan Academy 'Intro to Programming' videos. In the 'Intro to Drawing' video, I learned how the coordinates of shapes translate into codes called function calls. In the 'Intro to Coloring' video, I also learned about function calls but the numbers in these functions did not represent coordinates but instead the amounts of red, green, and blue in the color.

I am most interested in learning the basics of programming because it allows me to see past the exterior face of websites and programs, and at the sophisticated language that lies hidden below. I love how many sources there are out there to help me do that!

--Anna E.

I played the game Light-bot and the interactive walk through of Codeacadamy. I also took a small peek at CodeCombat, but it did not seem to interest me too much. I liked Light-bot and Codeacadamy because it managed to keep me absorbed into programming. The first one was a rather fun puzzle game, and with Codeacadamy I felt that I was actually learning how to do something more complex than the simple "this.moveUp" "this.moveDown" etc.

I felt that these two programs in particular could help draw people into programming. While many of these programs looked fairly intriguing, I can understand why some might view programming as hard. Many of these programs are either not games (to attract non-programmers) too complex for basic programmers, or too time-consuming with little reward for many people that have a minor interest in programming. For example, CodeCombat was a game, but it was a rather boring one and after about ten minutes that I had only learned how to move my character up, down, and sideways. For someone who does not know much about programming, this might scare them, as they invested a relatively decent chunk of time with little results. Also, some of these programs don't hold your hand for the first few steps. They tell you the basics, then drop you, expecting you to play catch-up. However, this was only from my observation of about four or so programs. Oh, it would also be nice if the programs were separated into groups based on the users experience level. For example, a beginner level. Maybe around five of these sections, each introducing more complex programs.

All in all, I found this Hour of Code rather fun and interesting. It'd be easier for access if it was posted on the Seabury Hall web page and it was encouraged a bit more. More people would probably  be interested. Perhaps next year, the advisers and study-hall proctors should be encouraged to ask the class if they would want to try out this 'Hour of Code'. I just felt that the encouragement was rather weak, especially as the future holds so many jobs in programming.

Thanks again Ms. Lindsay and Mr. Turbeville for giving me this opportunity to have a view at the basic level of programming!

--Matthew L.

Yes, Matthew, we should definitely do more next year!

Best comment heard during the day?

"I'm going to try this at home!" -- 6th grader


P. S. These students participated.

The Paperless Classroom According to Our Science Teacher Ms. Brown

I learned a lot from our 7th and 8th grade Middle School science teacher Moka Brown about how she manages her paperless classroom.

Does she ever use paper? "Just for tests", she reports.

Time-stamped index:
05:50 - Intro to Doctopus
07:31 - How Moka Brown started on her paperless journey 
09:41 - Haiku Learning demo 
11:45 - Students' reaction to the new system
13:49 - Video casts for mini-lectures under 5 minutes
16:28 - Run-through of Doctopus
24:34 - About Goobric.
29:47 - Customized textbook in Haiku Learning
30:42 - Marking on paper substitute: free program Skim
32:22 - Pros and cons of Chromebooks
36:14 - Chromebook management
38:05 - Students take charge of their own learning
40:59 - Moka's motivation for going paperless
41:44 - Recommendation for beginners - Juno Ed
43:53 - Moka available for help via email mokabrown@seaburyhall.org
44:14 - Doctopus and the availability of Andrew Stillman
45:27 - Check out script section of Google spreadsheets
Show notes: http://bit.ly/gr17paperless

Thanks for agreeing to come on Google Rocks! Hawaii HOA, Ms. Brown!
P.S. Other colleagues I've begged to come on the HOA are Sean Wilson on Special Ed and Mitch Krulewich on the Flipped Classroom. Thanks, guys!

The Hubbub about Goldiblox -- Our 2nd Student Hangout

We held our second Student International Hangout today!

Thanks to Kalan Birnie, Xinyun Cao, Thomas Hayashi, Jacob Alabab-Moser, and Kyle Sullivan for participating! (Thanks for moderating, Xinyun)


Support your favorite! Vote in the Best Library / Librarian category of the Edublog Awards

Support your favorite library or librarian!

You will need to sign up for Listly in order to vote.  I chose to sign up via Twitter. Painless.


A Clear Explanation of How Google+ Events and Hangouts on Air Work Together!

+Ray Hiltz of +NewRayCom articulates very well how Google+ Events and Hangouts on Air work together.

And yes, I totally agree with Ray's recommendation to circle +Ronnie Bincer+martin shervington, and +Mark Traphagen to keep up on Google+ developments.


A Day Well-Spent at TEDxHonolulu 2013

TEDxHonolulu's 4th Annual Conference at the Hawaii Theatre, centering around the theme "Cultivating Community", was fantastic!

All of the speakers were so inspiring.

Sense of Place

Au's Shaolin Arts - Share the cultural understanding and benefits of the Shaolin Temple of China
Terry L. Hunt, University of Hawaii - Use the lessons of Ancient Rapa Nui to Cultivate Community
Paul Bump, Marine Biologist - Cultivate the unseen and under-appreciated community

Sense of Identity

Henry Kapono, Musician - Music can cultivate a community
Jessica R. Munoz, Courage House Hawaii Project - Justice for child victims of sexual exploitation
Kenny Endo, Musician - Engage in activities which promote mind-body-spirit harmony

Sense of Values

Ian Kitajima, Oceanit - Building the World's Most Innovative Communities (from Hawaii)
Owen Shieh, National Disaster Preparedness Training Center - We can cultivate a more resilient community by appreciating the science of hazardous weather and paying attention to its impacts on humanity,
Matthew Nagato, Hawai'i Primary Care Association - Health is in everything we do, and the surest way to creating a thriving, healthy society is through the power of community

Sense of Responsibility

Hannah Roberts, Navy Lt. j.g. - The Runner's Low: Depression and the Badwater Ultra Marathon
Manuel Mejia, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii - Revive and revitalize the tradition of caring for the land and sea, so that our communities, in turn, can thrive in a sustainable way
Pacific Tongues, Jamaica Osorio, Ittai Wong, andYouth Poets - Provide a safe and central location in the Hawaiian Islands to facilitate a cross-cultural exchange within Pacific influenced populations through spoken arts education

Here are some of my memorable moments, throughout the day.

Before the event, 

This is what it looked like outside. Various organizations set up informative exhibits.

We walked over to The Arts at Marks Garage to see what was happening there.

The TEDxYouth group had set up a table to celebrate TEDxYouth Day

During the event,

Hawai'i's Slam Poet Kealoha did a fantastic job as Master of Ceremonies!

Slam poet Kealoha as emcee

Ben Seng Au's presentation was enlightening, and the Shaolin Arts Lion Dance throughout the theatre was so entertaining.

Shaolin Arts Lion Dance

Listening to Henry Kapono sing "Friends" in person and hearing about his life story? Priceless.

Henry Kapono singing "Friends"

Kenny Endo's taiko presentation was so powerful.

Kenny Endo

During lunch,

I had the good fortune to be seated at the Downbeat Diner with TEDxHonolulu attendees Guy and Val Wright of Vancouver Island. Guy is a member of the Komoux, a First Nations tribe / band, and I learned so much about his culture. How interesting!

The Littlest Co-op gave away starfruit tree starters during the break. I hand-carried mine on the plane back to Maui.

During the afternoon,

I was so impressed with Ian Kitajima's innovative projects for good.

Ian Kitajima of Oceanit

I found Hannah Roberts' story about how the Badwater Ultramarathon influenced her so compelling and inspiring.

Hannah Roberts

At the end,

Organizer Genesis Leong thanked all of the sponsors and volunteers. I know she had worked very hard for months. TEDxHonolulu was a success!

Organizer Genesis Leong

I found inspiration, happy surprises, aha moments, and unexpected insight at TEDxHonolulu 2013.

Yes, indeed, it was a day well-spent.

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P. S. The flight over from Maui in the morning set the tone for the rest of my day.

Seated next to me was Chad Chapman, a history teacher at Maui High School, who was grading papers. I reveled with Chad as he showed me his students' work, and we discussed our hopes and dreams for the education of our students. So vitalizing!

The work of Chad Chapman's ninth grade history students