Thursday, April 13, 2017

You are NOT your...

It is hard to believe that I am on month five of my leadership to interview 50 leaders in one year.  As of today, I have interviewed 27 different leaders. Although some are in business, others in education, and others in the non-profit sector, they share many different similarities and themes. 

Know Who You Are

In every interview that I have had, each leader has stated the importance of knowing who you are.  Ironically, this lesson became quite clear to me while taking my eleven-year-old daughter out to breakfast during this past weekend. She and I talked about troubles that she was having at school. 

At one point in the conversation, I asked her to fill in the blank:

You are NOT your ___________.

How about you? How could you fill in the blank? You are NOT your job title...bad degree....promotion....lack of promotion....divorce....difficulties. You are so much more! You were created to serve in a way that cannot be confined by a label. 

I recently heard a speaker, who stated "You are not what others do to you. You are what you do to yourself." How often do we allow the words, thoughts, and actions of others

Who Are You?

How do you typically introduce yourself to a new person? If you are like me, you introduce yourself by your job title, where you live. Is your value 

 How often do we tie our value to another's opinion of our value, performance, or potential? 

If you could never work again, who are you? If you could never earn another dollar, receive another promotion, earn another degree, or receive another compliment....who are you? This is an important aspect of effective leadership.

Effective leaders know who they are and they have outlets, support networks, and hobbies outside of work. They effectively balance the challenges of leadership with friendship, fellowship, and family. Take away their title or job and they will still thrive. 


So, I have to ask you, who are you? Who are you without all of the stuff? Who are you without the titles, the recognition, or qualifications? It's a very difficult, yet important, question to ask. 

Drawing to Learn through Google AutoDraw

Brain research is crystal clear that the way students learn is highly variable; however, have we started to make adjustments in our instructional style to address variability?

Drawing is an important and under-appreciated aspect of learning. How often do we restrict the ways students respond? In our highly digital classrooms, it can be difficult to find easy-to-use and free tools to help students draw content. Google AutoDraw is a new web-based tool available on any device that pairs artificial intelligence and drawings created by you. Here is how it works.

Step 1: Open Google AutoDraw

Visit Google AutoDraw on the web on any device!

Step 2: Create

Use the drawing tools to draw, create shapes, or add text.  If you use the AutoDraw tool, Google will try to identify your object and provide you with suggested images that you can use instead.

Step 3: Download or Share

Google AutoDraw provides you with the option to download your image or share via a link or social media.


This tool provides you with so many possibilities in the classroom! Solve math problems, illustrate concepts, define vocabulary words, create timelines, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

12 Things You May Not Know About Google Photos (and Cheat Sheet)

Google Photos is a popular way of backing up your images and videos; however, it offers many creative solutions as well. Here are 12 things you may not know about Google Photos:
  • Anything uploaded to Google Photos is automatically private as default. Items can be seen by others ONLY when shared. 
  • High Quality photos uploaded via Google Photos have unlimited storage space. 
  • You can search by a person's face, the location of your photos, or even a word - like "skyline."
  • Google Photos is available on multiple devices. Whether you are using the web or your favorite Android or iOS device. 
  • You can set up Automatic Sync (in Settings) on your device to automatically back up your photos to Google Photos. 
  • You can create albums, shared albums, animations, and collages on any device.
  • Google Photos can create movies with music on the mobile version (iOS and Android)
  • Items uploaded via Google Photos DO count against your Google Drive storage quota if they are stored in "Original Quality" or uploaded via Google Drive. 

  • The Assistant Feature is a helpful feature for creating new items. Google Photos even creates and offers suggestions for sample items. 
  • Albums can be shared with anyone. Share via a link or through social media account. Viewers do not need to have a Google account. 
  • You can collaborate with others to create a shared album. This is perfect for field trips, class projects, or showcasing sports team photos. 

    • Need to create a quick slide show? Create an album with your favorite pictures, then choose "Slideshow" in the top right-corner of your screen.

    Want to learn more? Here is a cheat sheet for using Google Photos:

    Wednesday, March 29, 2017

    Google Forms Cheat Sheet

    If you have never tried Google Forms, there are a variety of different things that you can do with it, such as creating:

    • Surveys
    • Quizzes
    • Sign-Ups
    • Documentation Logs
    Here is a cheat sheet that I developed for using Google Forms: 

    Click here if you would like a downloadable copy. 

    Monday, March 27, 2017

    7 Ways to Use Google Drawings in the Classroom

    Google Drawings is quickly becoming one of my favorite tools. How do you use it? How can you incorporate it into your classroom? Here are 7 ways to use Google Drawings in the classroom:

    Do you have other creative ways of using Google Drawings in the classroom? I would love to hear your ideas! Please comment below.

    Friday, March 24, 2017

    14 Things Siri Can Do

    Siri is a powerful tool that often gets overlooked; however, it has the power to help you stay organized, increase efficiency, quickly find information, and perform tasks with very little effort. Just when you learn one trick, there are new things added each day!

    Here are 14 things that you can do with Siri to increase your productivity inside and outside of the classroom:

    Click here to download the PDF version of the 14 Things Siri Can Do Cheat Sheet.

    If you are interested in seeing the full list of Siri commands, here is an excellent article from CNET that has even more!

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    Tell Your Story with Sutori

    How do you tell a story? Sutori is a free tool for telling your story in a unique, engaging, and interactive way.

    Here is how it works:

    Step 1: Create Your Title

    Create a short title to get your audience engaged and interested in your Sutori.

    Step 2: Use the Story Tool

    Creating your story begins with using the Story Tool. You can use the tool to add, move, or delete items. Not only can you add traditional text and multimedia components, you can also add assessment tools (i.e. multiple choice and drag and drop) and a discussion forum.

    Step 3: Collaboration

    Groups are a great way to collaborate with others on your story. Collaboration is free and unlimited, meaning you can add as many users as you want. The only limitation with the free version of Sutori is indeed with the number of groups you can create, limited to two per user.

    Step 4: Share the Love

    When you are finished with your story, add a conclusion and share with the world to see. There are a variety of different ways to share your Sutori with the world.


    Sutori is an excellent tool for creating engaging and interactive stories that will solidify learning. Need more information on how to use Sutori? Check out Sutori's How to Create a Story guide.

    Need help being inspired? It may be helpful to explore what users have created.