Friday, January 29, 2016

Hack the Classroom: Arriving in Redmond

I've been fortunate to have a number of extraordinary professional learning opportunities as a Microsoft Expert Educator.  Currently, I'm in Redmond, Washington for Microsoft's Hack the Classroom event.  I'll be sharing about coding in the classroom and there is a great line up of speakers for the event!  You can still register here and stream live on January 30th or watch the recorded event at a later date.

After I arrived in Redmond yesterday, I was fortunate to visit a school in the area, accompanied by Microsoft team member Sonja Delafosse.  I visited teacher-librarian and fellow Microsoft Expert Educator Julie Hembree at Cougar Ridge Elementary School in Bellevue, WA.  Julie and I met at the Microsoft Global Forum in Prague, Czech Republic in 2012 and saw each other again at the 2014 Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain.  Although we follow each other on social media, it was really nice to reconnect in person.  Julie started an amazing project with her students, Books to Africa, and they had just completed a coin drive to pay for postage for their next shipment of books. They were tallying up their funds and celebrating that they raised over $1000!

Check out the beautiful library Mrs. Hembree works in!
It was exciting to visit another school.  It is interesting that, as educators, we often don't have the chance see other teachers and classrooms during school hours, so this was a special opportunity for me.  I enjoyed sitting in on Julie's library class with one of her Grade 3 classes, who were working on researching weather in different locations.  I enjoyed interacting with some of her students and watching them work on their assignment.  I was also able to do a school walkthrough and visit a few other classrooms and classes.  The staff are really positive and welcoming and their school building is very bright, beautiful and open.  They even have a rock climbing wall in their gym since that is a common activity in this area!

Before we headed back to Redmond, we stopped to see the picturesque Snoqualmie Falls. The view was absolutely breathtaking.  

During supper, I met the other educator presenting for Hack the Classroom, Jeff Kash from Kindle the Passion Academy at Maddison Middle School in North Hollywood, California.  Jeff’s classroom is being featured to share his use of OneNote class notebooks. 

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