Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Professional Highlights of 2013

As the calendar year comes to an end I like to take the time to look back on  2013.  It truly has been an incredible year for me for so many reasons. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Face to Face Meetings

This has been another crazy year of face to face meetings. If I started to list off all the incredible people I was able to meet face to face this year I'm sure I'd forget some along the way.  Here are just some of my many face to face meetings in 2013.

Laura, Kristin, Joy and I
Theresa and I
Kristen, Me, and Val
Me and Miriam

Denise and I

Jen, Me, and Sue
Linda and I
Melvina, Me, and JoAnn
Sara and I
Kathy and I

Preston, Louise, Me, and Anne
Me and Tina
Drew, Me, and Brad
Joan and I
Me and Julie
Peter and I
Joan, Krissy, Cheryl and I
Matt and I
Me and Rodney
Me, Melvina, Louise, and Paula
Kristin, Kristen, Me, and Kathy

Tanya and I

Me and Jenn

Tanya, Me, Marcie, and Kristen

Colleen and I

2. Conferences and Learning Opportunities

In 2013 I was very fortunate to attend many workshops, conferences, and learning opportunities.  Highlights include:
  • Days spent in Kathy Cassidy (Moose Jaw) , Kristen Wideen (Windsor), and Kristin Ziemke's (Chicago) classrooms
  • Surrey's Digital Dinner Series
  • Discovery Ed Hangouts with Dean Shareski and Friends
  • Connected Ed Canada (Calgary)
  • ISTE (San Antonio)
  • Apple Institute (Austin)
  • ECCO (Niagara Falls)

Kristin's Classroom
Kathy's Classroom
Kristen's Classroom

Airport Pick Up for the ADE Institute
The crowd I presented to at ECOO
3. Recognition and Accomplishments

In 2013 I was recognized for three major accomplishments. These included receiving my twenty year coaching award, being chosen as an Apple Distinguished Educator, and being awarded the ISTE Kay L Bitter Award.

20 Years of Coaching Recognition
ISTE Kay L Bitter Award
4. Other Crazy and Other Exciting Things

A few pretty crazy, exciting, or lucky things also happened to me in 2013. These included:

Using face time to bring a video game programmer into my classroom, while at the same time Skyping in a #1stchat friend's son so he could learn with my class too.

Presenting for an on-line course through Skype to a laptop in Ontario Canada since I couldn't get into the blackboard collaborate room where the "live" session was talking place.

My computer as my voice was skyped into a session I couldn't get into.
Being in an interview with Alec Couros and then crashing Dean Shareski's Discovery Ed Google Hangout with Alec. I loved the look on Dean's face but I especially loved the magic Discovery Ed Mints which passed through the computer screens.

Brings a surprise guest to a Discovery Ed Google Hangout
A surprise lunch with Kathy Cassidy, Alec Couros, and Dean Shareski. It pays to make the trek to Moose Jaw.

Lunch at Dean's with Alec and Kathy too.
Trying Google Glass!

Yup, that's Google Glass

Eating Texas shaped waffles.

State of Texas Waffle
(Well not exactly with the right plate placement)
Being asked to do the very first Edu Slam and having so much fun with Tanya and Holly.

Winning my conference registration for ISTE 2014 at ISTE 2013.

Being on TV during the morning show with  Jill Krop of Global TV talking about using Social Media in my grade one classroom.

Eating the craziest breakfast in Portland of fried chicken and waffles. But don't worry, it was shared.

Fried Chicken and Waffles for Breakfast

Being part of not one, but two lip dubs. Well I guess technically it was just my class in the second lip dub.

So as you can see 2013 was a pretty incredible year for me and I can only begin to imagine what is in store for 2014.  Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy, happy 2014.


  1. I love this post, Karen! So glad we got to meet in 2013! Happy New Year, my friend!

    1. Joan, I too am so glad we met face to face. I also love that I continue to "see" you most weeks as you listen to one of my angels read to you.

  2. Wow! How do you top that??? So glad to be a small part of your amazing year!

    1. Louise, I'm so glad you were part of my amazing year too! I'm really looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta too. :-)

  3. LOVE the journal aspect of this post, Karen! Oh, how revved I was to be able to meet you - seeing that tweet of Fin on the green Chicago river was serendipity, to be sure! Reading through everything you experienced this year gets me excited for you for 2014, as well - good luck getting any rest! Love you, and so glad to have been a part of your life for a bit this year.

    1. Joy, I am SO glad you saw that tweet of Fin at the green Chicago river. Meeting you on that adventure was such a wonderful unexpected highlight. Wishing you a ton of excitement (the positive kind) in 2014.

  4. Karen, you are one of my favourite educators to learn from. Isn't it interesting that it doesn't matter that you teach a completely different age group, yet I still find so much of your material that inspires me? Your work is grounded in solid pedagogy, generously shared with everyone, and I am so grateful. Keep up the excellent work, my friend. I'm so happy to have had the chance to meet you this year!! All the best in 2014! :)

    1. Thank you so much Colleen. It was a real treat to be able to spend time with you in Ontario, and to listen to your story. I love what you're doing with your students. Happy New Year my friend.

  5. Karen, what a wonderful year for you! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. It was wonderful meeting you and hopefully we'll meet again in Atlanta. Your post also shows what a small world it is. I met Joy Kerr in Boston and Denise Krebs and I have been friends for a number of years. Wishing you a wonderful 2014 :)

    1. It is a small world for certain. I am not sure if you know or not but it was almost by accident that Joy and I met while I was in Chicago. When I was there I had no idea she lived there and it wasn't until she saw a photo I had tweeted from the green Chicago river that the connection was made. With are both so thankful for that too. As you know she's a truly wonderful person. Denise met up with Gallit another Genius Hour partner in crime. I was fortunate to reap the rewards of her being in my part of the world. I look forward to seeing you in Atlanta. While my flights aren't book yet… it is on my to do list. Wishing you all the best for 2014.

  6. Karen,
    You are so deserving of all the awards! Congrats-the thing that i think you deserve an award for is your generosity of time! You are always willing to take time to share your learning and expertise with others. Thank you for that! Happy 2014 to you and may yoube blessed with another fruitful year of learning and sharing!

    1. Thank you Amy. Personally I really appreciate how much people share with me, which is why I feel it's so important to share with others. I thrive on the connections I make with people so sharing my time just comes naturally. True connections take time. Wishing you and your family all the best for 2014.