Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Learning Commons

If you've been reading my blog for some time, then you might have seen my post back in July for our Learning Commons Construction Update. Well, our Learning Commons is finally finished! The month of September has flown by; between the Ribbon Cutting, Open Houses, #Playdates, and all the teaching and learning that has been happening, I'm finally getting around to sharing some pictures of our amazing space to learn!


<<WELCOME TO THE LEARNING COMMONS>>

<<TECH LAB>>

<<MAKERSPACE>>


<<MEDIA STUDIO>>

<<READING NOOKS>>


<<THINK TANK>>

<<COLLABOOTHS>>


<<APPLE TV & SMALL GROUP SPACES>>


<<COMMUNITY CIRCLE>>

<<RESEARCH LAB>>

<<GENIUS BAR>>

<<STORY STUDIO>>

 We also have an evolving website for our space, which you can find here. You can also follow us on Twitter @ExploreCentral.

I can't wait to continue to post and blog about all the amazing things our students and teachers do in the Learning Commons! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Google Tone

Last week at the NICE Share-O-Rama, I learned about a Chrome Extension called Google Tone. This one is a life changer my friends!!


As a tech teacher, I often have limited time with students, and need to get them links and resources quickly. Especially for my younger kiddos, typing in a URL can take several minutes. Enter Google Tone!!
So here's how it works in my tech lab:
1) I installed Google Tone on Chrome on my laptop and on Chrome on all the laptops in my lab. {I made sure there was no one signed into Chrome when I installed on the laptops.}

2) I go to a URL on my computer I want the students to get.

3) Press the Google Tone icon.

4) Students get a popup message that looks like this:


5) Students click on the message and are taken to the website.

BOOM! Done!! 

I just tried it with a class of first graders and it was <<SO fast and easy>>. And when things are easy, its a beautiful feeling :-) 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Google, Evolved

Have you been to Google today? They unveiled their new logo, and have started rolling out updates to many of their products - including Docs & Slides!


First of all, did you know that Google has been around for 17 years?! <<Mind-Blown>>

Check out how they've evolved:


A couple of the updates that I am so excited about are in Docs & Slides:

Docs now has a template gallery! You can choose templates for reports, letters, resum├ęs, newsletters, etc.


And Slides has new templates too! #awesomesauce


I can't wait to see all the other updates that Google unveils! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Currently

I'm linking up with Farley and her September currently!


Listening to the Cubs game in the background while I try to tackle my forever long to-do list!

Loving the students' smiles at our Learning Commons Ribbon Cutting that was this afternoon. It was our grand opening, and the first time they saw it - they were BEAMING! I honestly thought I was going to cry happy tears at how amazing everything has turned out. {Blog post coming soon!}

Thinking I should probably go to bed soon... but there's that darn to-do list!

Wanting a cute outfit for our upcoming engagement photos that are later this month! I keep stalking my usual shopping sites (J.Crew, Nordstrom, Loft, etc.), but nothing is hitting me just yet. Hopefully when more fall things come out I'll find just what I'm looking for!

Needing some yoga. All the events at the start of the school year are interfering, so I'm ready for some routine and balance to come back into my life. 

Goals <> 1. innovate in our new Learning Commons, try new ideas, and collaborate with teachers to explore what we can do in the space! <> 2. Spread joy throughout the school year and keep a positive attitude <> 3. Find balance - see my needing! #yogaplease