Monday, January 13, 2014

Help 9-year Old Zak In The Journey Of His Live As He Waits For A New Heart

You can help support COTA - Childrens Organ Transplant Association - Zak Mortensen when you search the web, shop online or dine out. Find out more about
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Zak is my 9-year old grandson who is waiting for a heart transplant!  You can learn more about him at!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Help Us Give This Little Boy And His Family A Christmas Dream Of Reaching $11000 In Donations For His Heart Transplant!

We are so appreciative of the kind donations that have been given to We are excited to say that we only need $125 more to break $11000 for the family. Our goal is $50,000 but each achievement is so amazing and a I see a bit of relief on the family's face. With the older son now needing a new heart, Dad needing a new heart, and, of course, our Zak, the burden is heavy. At Christmas time, the weight of the medical bills and trying to help "Santa" with his job is overwhelming. Can we do this? Can we help COTA For Zak M break $11,000? There is no doubt we can? With 1212 likes, only 10% donating $1 each would do it! Please help me make that call to the family to announce $11000 in donations by Christmas by donating $1 or more to Just click the donate button and follow the menu. And, thank you so much!!! You all have made a difference in this families incredible heart story and journey!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Best Practices By Educational Technology Leaders

This blog is written in honor of those leaders who have developed a style that furthers educational technology and improves academic outcomes for students.

  1. Build leadership.
    Look for leadership in those around you from administration to students and build their capacity.  Guide them to further understanding and development of technology integration skills and encourage their growth.  These leaders will be your voice when you aren't available and will carry the message of the power of technology to support learning to those they work with.
  2. Concern yourself with growth.
    Have confidence that your own accomplishments will serve as models for those you lead.  Focus not on ensuring you are recognized but rather on the growth of technology as an educational tool.  Support others in their own accomplishments in the field and know that, in doing so, you have furthered the goals and likelihood that educational technology will be advanced.
  3. Nurture others.
    Educational technology development often requires a nurturing approach.  Recognize even the smallest accomplishments in the field for those just learning how to integrate technology and be sure that these folks are aware of their growth.  Encouragement is a key approach as many educators feel intimidated by technology and lack confidence in their own abilities.  Like a good teacher with their students in the classroom, acknowledge, share, and have pride in your coworkers and teachers as they reach milestones in their ability to integrate technology.
  4. Model best practices in educational technology.
    As you use technology in the educational setting, model best practices in even the seemingly small areas to the most obvious areas.  Email duties are often the nemesis of a leader who is overwhelmed with the amount they find in their inbox.  Yet, the very best educational leaders seem to find a way to ensure that emails are answered and in an appropriate manner.  In your emails, respond promptly and answer every question asked.  Never use one-word responses as they imply to your reader that you don't value their question enough to respond in a way that indicates their question was important to you.  In fact, one-word answers tells your reader the opposite - that your question was a bother and discourages future interaction.  Similarly, the best leaders answer every email from those that they lead.  They recognize that the fact that someone is interacting with them about educational technology is growth and they want to develop and encourage that growth.  They strive to ensure that those who write them know that they are valued and a response is always in order.  In the same way, the best leaders do the simple things. They have professional email signatures, incorporate great tools used by the district or organization in their own work and presentations, provide a plethora of resource opportunities to get the information they share, they take carefully considered risks, and are willing to ask for help when needed.  All of these things model the desired activities of teachers when working with their students and their parents.
  5. Build relationships with those around you.
    The best educational technology leaders build relationships with those around them and those whose lives they affect.  They are willing to get in the trenches with staff members setting up a presentation as well as enjoying a work lunch with colleagues.  They show genuine concern for those they talk to and acknowledge that everyone has a life outside of the workplace.  Probably most importantly, they bring a sense of humor to the workplace.  Laughter is a great team builder and the great leader knows how to use it to build a safe and enjoyable environment.  Using this approach, those you lead want to support and further your goals - the goal of increasing technology integration to further academic success.  This environment motivates and strengthens the overall goals and increases the opportunity for success.
Dedication:  This post is dedicated to Micha Villarreal, Director of Innovative Learning at Ysleta ISD in El Paso, Texas.  Micha is a gifted educator and exceptional leader who inspires and motivates me even five years after my last opportunity to work with her at YISD.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Great App Free Today Only at App Store

Deutsch: A6_calendar_large
Deutsch: A6_calendar_large (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
AppsGoneFree posted a great app today for the student in your life or if you are a student, as well.  Please check out Classes at  The app is usually $1.99 and is free TODAY ONLY.  It looks great for students all levels!