Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What's Up Wednesday? Why I NEED an Erin Condren Planner!

Ok, I skipped yesterday and I felt really guilty about not blogging (but a little ice cream and my a few lost hours over on Twitter made me feel so much better) I am back today and ready to go!

I don't know about you but I am a planner...I have to have my life and each day all planned out. As the mother of a very busy 13 yer old, and the wife of a police officer whose schedule rotates every six weeks, we always seem to have something (or multiple somethings) going on at all times. Add to that, I just started a Master's Program with papers, group projects, etc.  I have (and need) calendars for my calendars. The problem is, I am overwhelmed a lot of the time, and I still feel like I am always forgetting something. I know a lot of you have blogged about Erin Condren planners. I absolutely love them and have wanted one FOREVER. I struggle with the cost-benefit analysis...especially justifying it to my husband. **If you have never heard of Erin Condren and her Ah-Mazing planners...go HERE to take a look-see!

I would love to hear from this of you who have used one. Was it worth the money? Did it help keep you more organized? What are the Pros of using it, and what are the Cons?  Are there other planners out there that are less expensive and just as good, or more expensive and better?  I REALLY need some feedback on this so please tweet or share this blog post with others who you think might be able to help me make some hard and fast decisions.

In the mean me decide which of these three planners I should get, if I decide to go with an Erin Condren planner. Follow the link below to a Google form to vote. If I get 100+ votes, I will do a random drawing for a $10 Starbucks gift card.  So SPREAD THE LOVE!!!!

 Planner A- Be Brave

Planner B- Initial It

Planner C- Collage

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer...(finally!!) update from UTC and the importance of having a PLN!

Wow! Has it really been 4 months since I last posted? I know I have said this so many times before but I really struggle to blog during the school year because they are so many other things going on (like PD, grading, ummmm oh and TEACHING)! Rather than fill this post with excuse, or worse yet, promises to do better...I am just going to jump right back in and see where it leads. I am going to warn you...I just started grad school so that may cut into my blogging a little this summer, but I may schedule a few weekly posts and go with it!

So, today began my first full week of summer break. Last week I finished up school stuff on Monday and then spent 3 days at the Upstate Technology Conference (UTC) here in Greenville. This year I presented on two different topics: Using Google in the Classroom and Starting a Primary Technology Club (I really should have blogged about that last year, but I was a little busy STARTING A TECHNLOGY CLUB!!). If you would like to see my Google Slide presentations form either session, comment below with your email address and I will send you the link. This is absolutely the best technology conferences ever. And it is FREE. I would love to be heading to Atlanta to ISTE14 in a few weeks with a bunch of my other bloggy pals but I don't have an extra $400 for the conference fee. So back to UTC. Tons and tons of sessions on everything Technology related. This year there was no keynote speaker but that was not a bad thing because it gave extra time for more sessions. This year they also had a new opportunity called "Unconference" loosely modeled off of Edcamp but they were just 1 hour breakout sessions. While it didn't really meet my expectations as a true "EdCamp" type experience--what it did was allow me to re-connect with members of my Profession Learning Network (PLN) and even add a few members. Many members of my PLN were presenting at this conference, so it gave us all an opportunity to cheer each other on, all while learning some new tricks. I have to say, if you are in the NC-SC-GA area, you really need to try and attend this conference next year.

Now more about my PLN.  A few years ago, at UTC, I attended a session on building your PLN. The platform they suggested was Twitter but I already had a personal Twitter account so  I created a professional Twitter Account (I wanted to keep it separate form my personal one because it is always best not to be shouting my love of all things Justin Timberlake, OITNB and the Red Sox among my professional colleagues!!! AWKWARD!  Can you have a PLN without probably already have one thought whatever social media you are currently using, whether it is Blogging, Facebook or Instagram.  The point it, to connect, learn and share. And when you get the opportunity to meet face to face with these people who have your back is an indescribable experience.

During a session at UTC, there were several of my PLN members in a session with me, and the presenter was also a member of my PLN. We were all tweeting nuggets of wisdom during the presentation, and all you could hear was the notification "dings" going off on our phones, laptops and iPads! It was our way of supporting our friend and showing our excitement of being all together!

Here is a selfie of my PLN! They are awesome! Just AWESOME!