Monday, December 16, 2013

Shining a Light on Our PLNs

Photo by smjbk Used Under a Creative Commons License
On December 4th, I was tagged by Carrie Ross and Kristy Vincent. Then, I was tagged today by Joel Adkins and Carl Hooker. What started out as a Sunshine Award  has now become an opportunity for edubloggers to share a little about themselves and learn a bit about other members of their networks beyond just the professional side that most of us educators stick to when blogging. So, after four tags, I think it's probably my turn to participate!

Wondering what the heck I'm talking about? Read the rules below...

Here are the rules:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.  They should be bloggers you believe deserve a little recognition and a little blogging love!
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated.  (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)
Step one was completed in the opening paragraph. So here goes step two...

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I was adopted as an infant; my mom was 48 and my dad was 47 when they brought me home.
  2. I don't hate smokers, but I hate smoking. Both of my parents died 13 years ago within five months of each other due to complications of emphysema/COPD. They were life-long smokers except for the last four/five years of their lives.
  3. I've read through the entire Bible - Genesis to Revelation - twice.
  4. I can't imagine being retired; I don't know what I will do with myself!
  5. I love to sing but I've never had any formal lessons or training. If I had to do it all over again I would have taken choir in school instead of band so my instrument would always be with me (although I loved being in band in middle and high school!).
  6. I think I'm good at organizing other people, but I stink at organizing myself.
  7. I like to two-step, but I haven't been out dancing in a long time.
  8. My first major experience with educational technology was in the Summer of 1990 when I helped set up the first computers in professors' offices at the university where I was a sophomore and taught them things like how to turn the computers on and launch programs. Little did I know what I would one day be doing for a living!
  9. I've climbed down the back side of Enchanted Rock in Llano, Texas, without any ropes or safety gear and tennis shoes that had almost no tread. Spur of the moment decision. Not smart. Very scary and it's only by God's grace that I lived to tell about it.
  10. I love dogs. A lot.
  11. I first believed in Christ as my savior at the age of 11.

Answers to the Questions from the Bloggers Who Nominated Me

OK, since I have nominations from four folks, I'm going to take a trick from Carl's book and answer a few questions from each of them. Except Carrie, who forgot to list 11 questions!

  1. Why did you start blogging? (Kristy) I started my blog at the same time that I started my master's degree in 2009, thinking I'd blog about what I was learning. Around the same time, though, I also got involved in this thing called Twitter, and I quickly found lots more topics to blog about beyond my formal studies. 
  2. If you could possess only one piece of hardware, what would it be? (Kristy) A touch-screen laptop that switches between tablet/app and fully-functioning computer mode with a standard keyboard. It would also have to have smart phone functionality since I wouldn't be allowed to have a smart phone any more.
  3. What was your favorite lesson to teach in the classroom? (Kristy) One that sticks with me was called The Atoms Family. It was a story for teaching the parts of an atom that I found in a science teaching magazine in the mid 90's. I took on the personas of Nerdy Nelda Neutron (0 personality), Perky Patty Proton (a very positive personality), and Enraged Elliot Electron (negative personality and likes to race in circles) and taught the parts of the atom to my sixth graders. They pretty much thought I had lost it when I ran circles around the room as Elliot! It was beyond fun. I just did a Google search and the lesson is still out there!
  4. If education wasn't an option in any form, what would you be instead? (Kristy) A talk radio host.
  5. What was the title of the last book you read for fun? (Joel) 11/22/63
  6. What was the hardest lesson you learned? (Joel) Change is inevitable, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Even if you don't make changes yourself, the world around you does not stay stationary.
  7. What is your favorite movie of all time? (Joel) I have three, each for different reasons, so I can't break the tie. They are, in no particular order: Air Force One, Shadowlands, and Amazing Grace.
  8. What's your proudest moment? (Carl) My proudest moment was graduating from college. I had a smile on my face that would not go away for anything that day. It was the first time I felt a sense of accomplishment for a body of work and also deeply moving to see how proud my parents were of me.
  9. Have you ever cried at a YouTube video? If so, which one? (Carl) Umm, you mean which ones, right? I am a softie for kids and animals. This video about an abandoned dog rescue really got me.
  10. How do you explain your job to people? (Carl) I tell them I help teachers learn more about using technology in teaching so they can teach students more about technology. It's so much more complex than that, but that's a pretty good summary for a casual chat.
  11. What's the biggest prize/money you've ever won? (Carl) Well, at my high-school's after prom party, I won a diamond and ruby ring. Not sure of its value, though. I won $500 playing bingo once, too.

11 Bloggers I Want to Know More About



11 Questions For the Bloggers I Want to Know More About

I'm going to go with several of the questions I decided to answer above. Mostly because I enjoyed answering them! But I do have a few originals, too.

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What was/is your favorite lesson to teach in the classroom?
  3. If education wasn't an option in any form, what would you be instead?
  4. What was the hardest lesson you learned?
  5. What is your proudest moment?
  6. How do you explain your job to people?
  7. If you could send a message back to yourself 20 years ago, what would it say?
  8. If you could wave a magic wand and fix one thing about the public education system, what would it be and why?
  9. If you could visit any event in recorded history, what event would you pick and why?
  10. What is the title and author of the last book you read for fun?
  11. What is your favorite movie?


This was fun and took longer than I thought it would. It also broke a blog writing drought for me. Thanks, Carrie, Kristy, Joel, and Carl!

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All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please see specifics on my re-use policy in the right-hand column of my blog before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.
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