January 11, 2019

5 Tools I used TODAY

People ask me all of the time..."What tools do you use regularly to help increase your efficiency?" I guess the word efficient could be debatable, but I do think certain tools make my life easier and more enjoyable. That counts for something right??

I always have a couple of those tools on the tip of my tongue but today I was intentional on paying attention to what I used. I wanted to share those tools today so that you can get an idea of what could potentially help you in your day. So, here you go.

These are the 5 tools I used TODAY (in no particular order):

Image result for pocket

There is not a day that goes by that I do NOT save something to my Pocket. This is a great site and extension where with a click of a button, you can save an article, video, link etc to one location that can be easily found. Also, once it is saved to Pocket, you can "tag" them into specific categories to make finding them even easier. Two cool things...YOU can use Google to log in AND you can use it on any device. Simply meaning if you are on your phone which happens to be an Iphone or on your computer which happens to be a Chromebook. You can save on either and they can be found on both...make sense?? In fact, any where I log into my Pocket, I will find my stored information.  I LOVE IT!

Image result for google keep

As a list guy and a checkbox guy, I love the fact that I can do both on Google Keep. One guy I met said that he did not quite understand the appeal to Google Keep just yet. I explained to him, that it really is a personal preference, there are others but for my use, Google Keep is the best. Once a list is created, it can be shared, it can be colored, it can be pinned to easily find. The user can also take regular notes, save images or even draw and write within the app. Oh, by the way...it can also be used on any platform, any device. 

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I have been preaching this one for years. Twitter could potentially be one of my best professional development tools in my tool box. "Wait!" say most people. "How can a social media too be used for PD?" Very simple, I have made connections with people all over the world who may have answers to questions I am seeking. Also, if there is a topic that interests me, if I need to learn more about something, there is most likely a chat that coincides with that topic. A simple hour long Q and A can sometimes be more beneficial than a 3 day conference at a big hotel...and A LOT cheaper. Are you still unsure?? Sign up for an account, follow me and start asking questions. I will fill you in and show you how Twitter benefits me. 

Image result for g suite

I really could not choose just one of these because I literally almost use everyone one of these tools daily. Probably my favorite out of this group would be Google Slides because of the ability to do so many things. They are all good but Google Slides has a special place in my Googly Heart. So, I guess I did just choose one. But, I think you should give them all a try. I use Gmail, Calendar, and Docs multiple times a day. There are so many tools to choose from!

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Podcast App

I listen to music occasionally, but my go to activity while on the road (or doing dishes) is listening to a podcast. I have favorites and not all are education-related but all are equally important to my sanity. You see, I can listen to stories, jokes, series, interviews and so on. And all of those play a role in my daily life. And yes, podcasts can also be used for professional development. In fact, I used to co-host a podcast that could be found on multiple streaming apps. There is a rumor that podcast may be reborn...stay tuned.  While you wait, here are some of my favorites:

There you have it. I promise, I have used ALL of those tools TODAY and yesterday and the day before...

There are others but these I use regularly. 

What do you use??


January 3, 2019

Mick's Top Blog Posts of 2018

Yep, I stole this idea from Julie Davis (check out her post here...). Even if you do not read the rest of this one, you can click on Julie's and I promise it will be worthwhile.

So, I always feel better when I blog, it helps me reflect over topics, trends, ideas etc. Even if people never read it, I feel it can be of benefit...and I have encouraged others to do the same. I really WANT to be more consistent and I know that is my problem and not any one else's but here is my attempt at consistency...the first Thursday of the new year. Here is to the rest of the Thursdays.

Back to the post...I have seen several folks share their most popular blog posts of the year and I felt I should join in the fun. What a great way to start 2019! Feel free to share and steal, that is exactly what I do.

So here you go!

All about Mick

First things first, I did not just randomly write a blog post about myself. Yes, it is a blog post about myself but it there is a reason. After 18 years in one school system, I moved to a neighboring system. I shared this one so people could get an idea of the Mysterious Mick from that "rival" school system. It is actually pretty cool, more of a hyperlinked Google Slide that tells a little about me.

So you want to be an admin - The Directors Perspective and So you want to be an admin - the aspiring leader

Interesting that two of my most popular posts were written by other people, maybe I should just host other people's thoughts on my blog?? Anyways, this was a series of several blog posts on becoming an administrator. The whole series was actually pretty popular, might be worth a read.

My thoughts on personalized learning - 5 Tips and My thoughts on personalized learning - Part 1

Again, another several part series that focused on the idea of personalized learning both for students and adults. If you have a link to education (which is everyone) then pay attention to this. Learn how we (and you) can personalize learning. This goes for all fields. If you are in a career, does it not make sense to select your learning based on what YOU need?? You can and should have some control over your learning. That goes for kids too!

The New Gig

I mentioned earlier the changing of schools systems. I also devoted a blog post to that transition. Although it did not gather as many hits as the ones above, it was still one of my favorites of 2018.

So, there you have it...my top blog posts of 2018. Hopefully I will have many more in 2019! Now it is your turn, share what you know.