Monthly Archives: September 2014

Hawaii Summit Features Google for Education

hawaii summit   What: Hawaii Summit promises to be a high intensity 2-day event that focuses on deploying, integrating, and using Google Apps for Education. In addition, teachers can participate in one of four pre-summit workshops including the Google Educator workshop that helps teachers to be more confident in their use of the different Google features in the classroom.

When: March 19 (Thursday during spring break) for the pre-summit and March 20-21, Friday and Saturday of spring break for the regular conference.

Where: Iolani School, Honolulu.

There are 1:1 project funds budgeted for this event, so if you are interested in attending the Hawaii Summit, please email Cathy so she can work on the funding and arrangements. 

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Flip for Flipped Day

Flipped Learning

When you first hear about the flipped classroom, you might think you have to flip an entire class.  You might believe you have to completely end all live direct instruction and make videos of all of your lessons.


You don’t have to flip an entire class.  You can flip just one single lesson.  Though many teachers have gone “all in” with the flipped class, many are testing the waters of the flipped model one lesson at a time.

If you are interested in flipping, or are a veteran flipper, The Flipped Learning Network  wants to invite everyone to Flip One Lesson on their second annual Flipped Day on October 1, 2014. So if you are intrigued about the flipped classroom, consider flipping one lesson on or around October 1st.  Document your pledge to flip by going to and committing to flip for one day.

For more resources and assistance on flipping a lesson, join the Flipped Learning Network’s PLN at

What Does Your Workspace Say About You?


I saw this blog post by Austin Kleon that talks about the clipboards over his desk and what he uses them for. It started as a design idea his wife saw on Pinterest, that turned into his trying to figure out what he could put on those clipboards to make his workspace more productive or organized. I guess organized production is what his desk space would say about him.

I was looking at my own desk space that I stare at when I don’t shift my chair 45 degrees counter clockwise so I can write on the larger part of my desk or have conferences with other people or just stare out the door of my little office. I basically have just enough room to stare at my computer, my headphones are usually plugged in so I can listen to Spotify while I work, I have my tea, coffee, sometimes both on my right (because I’m left handed which means that I tend to grab things with my left so the accessories go on the right.  I have a bottle of germ-x next to my little container of drawers for doo hickeys and toys. The green thing on the far left is actually where my cell phone sits. The bulletin board consists of 4 calendars, one list of teachers broken up by the three evaluators (I’m one) as well as their open periods. The 4 calendars are September with the meetings, observations that I planned for but that will be “pop ins” for teachers. I also have one for October with the same thing. I am almost never more than 2 months ahead on the minutiae month calendars. The third calendar is a daily rotating schedule calendar (we have 6 daily rotating calendars: odd day, even day, early release Wednesday odd, early release Wednesday even, Friday odd, Friday even). My last calendar is the attendance calendar that says what kind of day it is for the whole year (1 through 8, big run day, early release, founderʻs day, May day, faculty work day, holiday, in-service day and student led conference day.

I guess my desk says that in order to be organized, for me, I need to lock myself into a small space with no windows for distraction except for a yellow and orange noise-making hammer with bubble inside and a long rubbery mega eraser. Also, if I drink a lot, then it forces me to stand up at least every hour to go to the bathroom so that I’m not sitting on my butt all day.

Sigh. I used to be a teacher with kids who made me laugh everyday. Sigh.

I now have a curiosity to venture out and look at other people’s classrooms and teacher desks and see what I think it says about them.

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Why Professional Development Matters


Teachers at the MISO conference in Maui share their most powerful learning experiences

Ben Johnson, in his Edutopia blog post, talks about why quality professional development (PD) matters. It matters because professional development, unlike poverty, is the one thing that we can control. Creating and nurturing the most professional, innovative, dedicated teachers is the one sure way to affect student learning. Other things that are not in our control, the woes of our community, for example, do not have to be stumbling blocks and walls for an effective, brilliant teacher.

Hereʻs one more reason why professional development matters:

It is cheap compared to so many other seeming quick fixes. Sending one teacher to a conference on differentiation may seem like a waste of money versus buying curriculum that claims to differentiate because if the understanding is that the teacher will come back and try it in their classroom, work with their team, share one thing for the whole team to share, and create that PLC around their learning, then the PD money supported more than just that one teacher.

With that conference and travel fee, with the conversation and coaching with the teacher after that, a teacher leader is created who is valued for his/her innovation, who is confident in his/her ability to reach out to his/her colleagues and who rocks! Itʻs that simple.

As our 1:1 project monies come to an end, and we look at budgeting for the operationalization of our laptop program, I will always continue to push for and budget for a little bit of PD money as the most economical, sustainable way to help students.

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Visit Lyman Museum for Free




Lyman Museum minerals and crystals collection


In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket… for free. Each ticket will get you free entrance for 2 people. Tickets are limited to one ticket per email address.

Here’s how to get your ticket:

Go to the Museum Day site; create an account; select a museum; download, print and bring the ticket with you on the 27th.

On the Big Island, participating museums are Lyman Museum and Huliheʻe Palace

If you’re on another island that weekend, the museums are:


  • Iolani Palace
  • Hawaiʻi State Art Musuem
  • Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor
  • Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi
  • Queen Emma’s Summer Palace

Maui – Bailey House Museum

Kauai – Grove Farm Museum

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Where Dreaming Hits Reality



Now that the dissertation is over, the graduation is done, the party is cleaned up, I’m back at work. . . now what? One of our professors said that the dissertation and the degree is just a paper and just a degree. Get it done. The time for saving the world comes after.

So now is after. 

I am thankful that I still have a job. I am thankful that my job allowed me time and resources to finish this degree. I am thankful that I continue to have the support of my family and especially my husband. But how to save the world? 

Part of the save the world preparation was to prime myself for the job I wanted, but also to share what I learned with a wider audience, so the day after graduation found me at my computer writing dream abstracts to dream conferences that could possibly lead to the beginning of “saving the world.” 

One of my dream abstracts led to an actual acceptance to the Pacific Circle Consortium conference in North Sydney, Australia this October, so it wasn’t enough that I wrote an abstract for an article that is not yet written about my dissertation model, but also that it got accepted and now I need to put my actions to my words and actually see this “dream” through. With each step (renew my passport, book a flight, find a hotel, search for transportation), reality starts to get overwhelming, so this is my reminder to myself, and I hope it continues to be a reminder when I am feeling overwhelmed again:

  • Stay calm 
  • Break things up into small, manageable chunks
  • Don’t freak out about things that are not in my control
  • Be proactive and not reactive
  • Get your shit together


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Call for Proposals: ISTE 2015



As we saw at the Kula Waena tech in-service at the end of August, our faculty have tech-ed integration ideas that other educators can benefit from. Take your manaʻo to a larger stage by submitting a proposal to present at ISTE.

Still feel like you can’t? See Ellen and Kainoa who will tell you that it’s totally doable!

Go to ISTE, read their tips for presentations and submit your great idea online.

Deadline is 11:59 pm, October 1, PT.

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Tagging Hand Written Journals

I am done with my dissertation, graduated, and now twiddling my thumbs trying to figure out how to occupy the vast number of open hours in my day, week, month. But I’m thinking of keeping this open as a research journal, a place to store new writing ideas, a place to perhaps start publishing again or create my curriculum for teaching at the university again. All I know is that this venue worked as a research journal because of my simple tagging.

I used this tag a lot when I was in the midst of writing #aha. Sometimes when you are in the research and writing mode, there will come a little kernal of brilliance and new understanding. I call that the aha moment, eureka, whatever. When I was stuck and bogged down in meaningless drivel and verbal diarrhea in my paper, I just searched for the aha posts and started reading. Even if I didn’t use it, something inspired me to keep writing.

I felt that this tagging on an online “journal” was easier for me than putting my thoughts on paper because I tend to lose notebooks or write on scraps of paper and then not know where I put things. 

But I have hope for paper again after reading Adam Akhtar (via @austinkleon’s Tumblr) post on the HighfiveBlog. It’s pure GENIUS hour!

tag How to Tag Your Paper Notebook

Universal Design for Learning Workshop (UDL)



What: Free UDL workshop sponsored by the Hawaii Learning Resource, a non-profit based in Waimea. The focus of both UDL and the Hawaii Learning Resource group is to help all learners to learn more effectively by supporting the needs of struggling learners and learners with diverse needs.

Workshop objectives:

  • Explore how “everyday technologies” such as laptops and tablets can be used to create projects that address academic, social and behavioral goals.
  • Learn about the UDL framework and how it can be used to design instruction for all learners.
  • Learn practical strategies that can be useful and engaging for the diverse learners in your classroom.
  • Create two hands-on technology projects that model how UDL can be used with a range of learners.

When: Saturday, September 27, 2014 9 am – 3 pm at Kanu o ka Aina New Century Public Charter School

Register here by September 24.

Also, if you are planning to go, please email me ( so I can assist you with our PD process.