Wednesday, December 12, 2018

EdTechTeam Blog Post: Google Applied Digital Skills

Hey all! I wrote a blog post for EdTechTeam all about how we used Google's Applied Digital Skills curriculum in my 7th grade Creative Technology classes. Please take a moment to head on over to check it out when you get a chance!


- Mrs L.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Introducing: ResetEDU! (An Origin Story)

I'm really happy to have finally released my Google Certified Innovator #GoogleEI #LAX18 project into the world, ResetEDU!

ResetEDU is a web series where I strive to help educators hit their own professional “reset” button by applying Design Thinking principles to their teaching career, be it curriculum, physical spaces, or even professional relationships.



A lot of physical and mental energy has gone into this project, and well... will continue to do so! I really struggled with HOW to get my message out into the world. I've been a blogger for about 10 years now in one form or another. But the community isn't the same; people don't comment on and follow blogs like they used to. Podcasts are quite popular at the moment, but I wasn't sure if that was right for my project - there are a lot of podcasts that I already listen to that are done with such high-quality... and it just didn't feel like the right fit. 

I didn't want to create an entirely new platform or community. If I personally didn't want to sign up for another thing and have to check another "thing," I know I couldn't ask other educators to do so, too. I want to meet teachers where they already are. Facebook? Nah. I actually quit that last summer, and I've never looked back. I definitely haven't regretted that choice. 

So... I like making videos, and I have a ton of fun being goofy and creative using WeVideo tools and posting instructional videos on my teacher YouTube channel... so why not go that route? ResetEDU projects often involve quite a bit of visuals. Plus, I'm a visual person... former art teacher holla! Viewers can subscribe to the channel, and I can hopefully somewhat seamlessly integrate into a habit (watching YouTube) that already have. I want to make it as easy as possible. So that's my gamble. I'm also trying to keep the videos short - five minutes or less? - to keep it really convenient and easy to watch. 


My future goals for the channel are to connect with people who have video production experience who are willing to donate time and/or services to help increase the quality of my work, and to help distribute the work load. (I'm 100% DIY right now!) 

My 10x goal is to make this my full time job; to travel around and help educators while creating video content that other educators can watch and apply to their own professional work! (LOL, who's ready to hire me - let's connect!)


When I first graduated college, my favorite tv show was an interior design show called "Interior Motives" with Christopher Lowell. He would decorate rooms, but use this process of steps that he applied to every space that he designed, like floors, ceilings, texture, lighting, accents, etc... I ate it up! I thought about it and applied it to my own spaces and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Dang, I wish that show was still around! 

If I could have that impact, to be what Christopher Lowell was to interior design, what Gordon Ramsay is to kitchens and restaurants, or Jon Taffer is to the bar industry, that would be the 10x result of my dreams!


Both the name "Reset" and the logo of my project are really significant to me. Because I teach computers, the idea of resetting/restarting is like the golden rule around here. Something's not working right: Have you tried turning it off and back on again?

So, I wanted a word for my project that was simple, but expressed that same sentiment. Also, my son, Iggy, who is now six, used to (and occasionally still does) struggle with temper tantrums and meltdowns, as all kids do. My husband and I had a trick when he was younger where we told him to press his "reset button" when he was getting too upset. Iggy would literally press an imaginary button on his body to refocus and calm down (kinda cute, huh?). RESET was perfect! 

When designing the logo, I knew that I needed to incorporate the universal symbol for restarting/resetting: you know, the circle with the arrow thing. But the cloud is incredibly symbolic, too. The cloud is a nod to a YouTube video recommended to me by my #LAX18 coach, Michael Kosko:

"The Cloud" is the unknown area, the indirect path, between getting from point A to point B (or, often times, alternate point C). The Cloud is that area of uncertainty, confusion, and frustration, where in order to move forward, you must get creative, explore new ideas, and walk into the unknown, even if there's a chance that you could epically fail. The Cloud is not only where I found myself in the middle of #LAX18, but where I imagine a lot of the teachers who need a Reset exist. 


I simply cannot forget to thank and give credit to my #LAX18 mentor, Kevin Jarrett, who has been incredibly patient and understanding throughout my struggles with getting this off the ground. His support (and directives to stop and take a break when I'm overwhelmed!) has been key. I've noticed how much even a quick text or check-in can help at times; just knowing someone is out there cheering you on is the best feeling. Thank you, Kevin!

Wow, this post became a whole lot longer than I had thought! I guess I've had a lot swirling in my head about all of this. I'm really excited about my project, and I hope that it connects with other educators, too.

Final thought: My project cannot continue without the support of as many other educators as possible. Please share my project with others. Please subscribe to the ResetEDU channel, follow the project on Twitter and Instagram, tell a friend... any and all support is appreciated! If you're interested in connecting with me on a ResetEDU project or episode, you can fill out the form here or contact me via the ResetEDU website.


- Mrs L.