Kelli Etheredge: Virtual Breakout Sessions with Office 365

by Kelli Etheredge
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

How do you gather over 120 educators in one place to collaborate, learn, and have collegial conversations about their profession? 

This question is a continual focus for me.  Once a month, St. Paul’s faculty, PK-12, meet as a whole school team for professional development.  As the Director of Teaching and Learning Resources, and the person in charge of these professional development opportunities, I am continually exploring ways for our faculty to have meaningful gatherings. Visit the author's original post

Kelli Etheredge: Personalized Learning for Global Citizens (White Paper Interviews)

by Kelli Etheredge
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

Personalized Learning is a hot topic in education.  As with many buzzwords in education, however, depending upon who are you listening to, sometimes, it is hard to quantify what personalized learning really means and what value it adds to learning environments.  Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to read the whitepaper Personalized Learning for Global Citizens and then interview its authors, Kathryn Kennedy, Joseph R. Freidhoff, and Kristen DeBruler from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute. Visit the author's original post

Kelli Etheredge: Looking for a New Year’s Resolution? Resolve to Use OneNote with Your Students!

by Kelli Etheredge
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

Happy New Year!

As it is every year, resolutions are a hot topic.  Twitter, Facebook, commercials – everywhere I look someone is resolving to change a habit.  While some center around personal goals (improving your health, de-cluttering), others are focused on work goals (learning a new skill, organizing).  I’ll admit it – I don’t think I have ever stuck to a New Year’s resolution.  Sad, I know.  Don’t get me wrong – I have changed a habit or two in my lifetime.  … Visit the author's original post

Kelli Etheredge: Gifts for Our Students – Lync Recordings

by Kelli Etheredge
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

As you read this post, I am on Christmas break with my family. My children are reveling in the joys of Christmas – opening presents, playing games, perusing books – and not thinking about school for a single moment.   All is as it should be.

The calm of the holiday season is wonderful. Getting to the calm, however, meant lots of hard work and studying for my seventh grader (and every other St. Paul’s Episcopal middle and high school student).… Visit the author's original post

Kelli Etheredge: Introducing My Column

by Kelli Etheredge Expert Educator Columnist, USA “Whatwha whawha whawha” Yes, ma’am. I am paying attention. “Whatwha whatwha whawha whatwha whawha” You would like me to tell you the metaphor you just said? Okay. “My love is a rose.” “Whatwha whawha whawha whawha whawha…” As you read the above dialogue, the Charlie Brown cartoon may have popped in your mind. If not, in Charlie Brown, when Charlie and his friends speak to adults, the adults’ responses are always nonsensical to the audience.… Visit the author's original post

Microsoft’s Global Forum – #MicrosoftGF – An Amazing Week

What is better than visiting Barcelona?  Visiting Barcelona with 250 like-minded educators from around the world.

Three weeks ago, I attended Microsoft’s Global Forum in Barcelona.  The forum was four days of sharing and collaborating with educators, students, school & education leaders, and government officials from 97 countries.  With three tracks for forum judges, innovative schools, and expert educators, the Barcelona Forum Convention Center bustled from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (or later) all four days.

I was part of the Expert Educator track. … Visit the author's original post

Barcelona Bound: Microsoft’s Global Forum

Today I leave for Barcelona to attend Microsoft’s Global Forum. From over 23,000 applicants Microsoft selected a little over 250 educators to attend – an Olympics for teachers, if you will. While I am certain everyone attending the forum is thrilled, I have to admit I am teary as I sit on the plane.

You see, over twenty years ago I first dreamed of visiting Barcelona for the 1992 summer Olympics. My dream wasn’t simply to watch. My dream was to compete in the 400 m hurdles.… Visit the author's original post

The Power of Educators

As the school year begins, I often wonder if we as a community know how powerful educators are.  I know the word power can evoke many thoughts (and I really don’t want to touch on all the ones I don’t mean) – but what I mean is the power of influence in a child’s life.  Educators have the power to tear down or raise up their students.  I have had both types in my life, and both the positive and negative types inspire me in my own teaching style. … Visit the author's original post

Best Kept Secret Series: Windows Live MovieMaker

Well, the busyness of life and school took over and I didn’t’ fulfill my goal of blogging once a week.  Time is slowing down a bit, however, and, therefore, I will begin a new my goal of sharing one of Microsoft’s free resources once a week.  So, let’s begin again…

Windows Live MovieMaker is a Microsoft’s free movie editing software.  Almost everyone I know has heard of MovieMaker so featuring it in the Best Kept Secret series may seem silly, but I have good reason. … Visit the author's original post


If you follow #edchat on twitter, you more than likely know about the Bammy Awards.  For those who do not know, the Bammy Awards, organized by BAM Radio Network, are an effort to celebrate all that is good in American education.  I am honored to be nominated for a Bammy Award for Secondary Teacher of Year.  A few weeks ago, because of my Bammy nomination, two students from the Indianapolis area asked to interview me.  It was a privilege speaking with them about my education, how technology impacts learning, and why I am so passionate about the work I do with my students and my school. … Visit the author's original post


As promised, I am going to share a Microsoft free tool called AutoCollage as my second installment in my Best Kept Secret in Education series.  AutoCollage is just what it sounds like; it is a program that creates a collage for you  in a matter of minutes.

San Diego Pictures_AutoCollage_31_ImagesWhile creating a collage may not sound ground-breaking for education, because AutoCollage creates the collage so easily and quickly, teachers and students are able to use a simple technology to create a product that can be utilized in various ways. … Visit the author's original post

The Best Kept Secret in Education – Microsoft

I have been contemplating this post, and the following series, for a while now.  In fact, every time I leave a conference or an Innovative Educators Workshop, I remind myself of this series idea.  Well, today I will finally begin, and my goal is to share something new every week.

I know someone is immediately questioning the title, “Hey, Kelli, what’s the secret?  Microsoft isn’t a secret.”  While we all know the company, I find time and time again that many educators are unaware of the amazing resources that Microsoft provides to educators. … Visit the author's original post

Abandoning the Plan and Getting Out of the Way of Learning

“Mommy, can I help?”  I took a deep breath when I heard those words.  I just wanted to be finished, and I hadn’t even started….  I was painting my daughter’s room.  I had promised to do it a long time ago; my mom had promised my daughter that she would visit over Mardi Gras break and help me.  Then, in January, my mom died.  I couldn’t avoid it.  I didn’t want my daughter to feel sad because grandmommy wasn’t here.  I didn’t want to feel sad because she wasn’t here. … Visit the author's original post

Reflections from Partners in Learning Global Forum–Part 2

The first official day of the forum began with a delightful breakfast.  ( I should just say it now – we were treated like kings and queens; every meal and snack was divine!). We then gathered together for a warm welcome and an introduction to our learning excursion task and teams.  The learning excursions were lessons created by teams of educators that are focused on the topic of water and incorporate the 21st century skills of knowledge building/critical thinking, collaboration, and the use of ICT in learning.… Visit the author's original post

Reflections from the Partners in Learning Global Forum–Part 1

Two months ago yesterday, I embarked on an experience of a lifetime.  I traveled to Washington DC to attend Microsoft’s Global Forum.  It was my birthday and it was an amazing gift for this “geeky educator!”  I had every intention of blogging about my experience while I was in D.C. but it didn’t happen.  Although I didn’t write then, I promised myself I would capture the experience soon… Two months later, here I am.  With the moments fresh in my mind as if they happened yesterday, I’ll begin the documentation now. … Visit the author's original post