Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday reading

So, it is holiday break time and I am reading adult fiction instead of young adult fiction for a welcome change of pace. Here are my Goodreads updates- Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

I've been reading....

Please check out my Goodreads feeds; I've been reading some wonderful books lately!

I also want to highlight my student podcasts from book club: Listen @ my link text

View all my reviews.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I want it all....

And I want it now! What do I mean by that? Well, I am finding that there are so many different cool and exciting applications and websites and technologies out there for me to utilize. All serve to keep me updated and in touch and aware of the world around me. The problem is I am struggling to adequately manage and apply them all in a timely fashion! It takes me time to explore and become successful in the various applications. This certainly does not help my ADD-ish tendencies to bounce like a whirling dervish from one idea/task to another and all the time not feeling like I have conquered anything. Time for me to take a deep breath, relax, and remember one of my favorite mantras: I am a work in progress. It is ok to be a work in progress. I am not ready to "be done". I am a work in progress...(you get the idea).

But, I am feeling like someone needs to ward off the impending technology implosion and get it all together in one place soon. My money is on Google....that would be a wonderful holiday wish come true!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Goodreads does sync here!

Well, a little playing and I figured out how to sync my Goodreads here! Yea! That can be a wonderful resource as I am following some really good, diverse readers as well.

One technology wish down, a few more to go! Stay tuned!


Have you missed me? I've really missed being active with my blog and reading other blogs...it is not like I've been a total slacker. I've been working on exploring other technologies and activities; Goodreads (why can't that all sync here?), Facebook (why can't all the sync here?), spending a LOT of time with my daughters (always supersedes anything else...they are growing up so very fast!), I've started a book club at work that has been keeping me busy, working to connect with the other media people in my district, and keeping up with the politics of the nation.

I have pretty much given up on Twitter...I just couldn't take the stress of potentially missing something and the disappointment of only being able to check in during a small part of my day that seemed to always coincide with major sporting events.

There are a ton of good things going on out there: Check out Steve Dembo's 30 days to a better blogger or the professional development project that Will Richardson and Cheryl Nussbaum-Beach have started.

I'm happy to be back and glad you have not given up on me!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Playing with Flickr

Too many things to play with, too little time to play. Just created a Flickr Badge of Christopher Paul Curtis' visit and am pretty excited. Now I want to figure out how to have a scrolling photostream of photos that is bigger...stay tuned!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Summer Reading

I am struggling with blogger shame as I have been out of the habit of writing for a while. A month to be exact. My old "blogging time" habit has been lost. I had been blogging in the parking lot of the girls' dance studio during their lessons, but with the change in times for rehearsals and the final shows I am done with that activity for the summer. I need to create a new habit.

That is not to say that I haven't been thinking about blogging and my topics...As I am wrapping up all the end-of-the-year work/school activities I am dreaming of all the time I will have to write and explore. And read.

Reading will be one of my biggest summer goals. Switching from elementary to middle school I have discovered that I have some rather large gaps in my reading expertise. I've been getting suggestions from online lists and the awesome group of middle school media specialists with whom I work. We have committed to reading at least three new books a month and then share/swap titles.

With summer approaching I want more.

I am turning to my online community for suggestions. Please, if you have any suggestions for summer reading let me know. I'll compile all the suggestions and may even get the podcasting portion of my blog going with book talks about the various books.

This is kind of scary; I am setting myself up for crickets chirping as I know this blog isn't exactly popular. But hey, it is a start...I'll never know unless I try.

Thanks in advance to those of you who respond with ideas!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Christopher Paul Curtis

Wow. That’s about all I can say is; wow. What a great day we had with Chris. He was an excellent speaker and what really made it nice was how well he related to the students. He also didn’t act “put off” by some of their more obnoxious antics…he laughed and took it all in stride. A sense of humor is a must when speaking to 1100+ middle school students…The feedback I have received from students and staff has been overwhelmingly positive. Everyone really enjoyed Chris and his presentation. Not only did Chris give three presentations, he also entertained students during a luncheon and a desserts session. Students asked plenty of great questions and I was so happy to watch the day unfold. I can’t imagine how tiring the week must have been for him, but he certainly didn’t act exhausted.

It was a wonderful experience.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Authors in April

Authors in April is enjoying another successful year! I completely enjoyed myself at the banquet last evening and am so looking forward to our day with Christopher Paul Curtis this Friday. Judge Asadoorian was a hit as MC. I see a future for her in entertainment if she ever tires of the judicial system. It was so nice to hear the other authors as well. I will miss seeing three different presentations at the school this year.

If you have never heard of Authors in April, you really should take a minute to visit their site. This dedicated group really does an amazing job year after year.

When Chris visits our school on Friday I am hoping to have the chance to talk to him about his research for Elijah of Buxton. I am also very interested in hearing about his perspective of Buxton. I was fortunate to visit Buxton recently with a group of middle school students and it made a huge impression on me. I shared my experience with our eighth grade students and believe it made an impression on them as well. Of course, it is best to experience it for yourself.

Hey- I should post my pictures on Flickr! I'll have to get them off my computer at work...

Can't wait to report about my day!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Well, I’ve been flirting with Twitter for a month. I like it- it has not become obsessive (yet) so that is good. I am still seeking the practical, life-altering, educational-related benefit to this device. It is wildly thrilling to be following a number of superstar individuals who are involved with learning and technology and education. Like I know exactly the moment Will Richardson has posted a new post and that Steve Dembo had to purchase a new car because his was totaled in an accident. Really, who would know that kind of stuff without Twitter? Not only is it thrilling to know that stuff, but to even receive replies from these superstars can be completely ego inflating! For example, I was playing with the Twitter features trying to figure it all out and I accidentally nudged Steve Dembo. I mean, how embarrassing to NUDGE someone who has no idea who I am! I didn’t even know what a nudge meant until after I had already done it. I was worried he would think I was stalking him or something so I quick shot out a tweet to him and apologized and explained what I was doing. He responded back to me and was completely nice about it! I was worried I would get flagged or banned or something. (Just so you know and you don’t make the same mistake, it apparently alerts that person that you are waiting to hear something from them…Steve didn’t think it worked.)

Here are a few points I am pondering with this application and how it relates to my life.

  1. Why are the majority of the tweets from men? And…
  2. Who knew they talked so much during the day! ouch
  3. How do I incorporate Twitter effectively at work?

Examining my points; to be fair, I mostly follow men. HOWEVER, the three women I do follow hardly ever tweet. If you have not been on Twitter, here is a brief personal synopsis of the differences between the sexes and their responses.

Men: They tweet about everything they are doing. Getting the oil changed in the car, new blog posts, basketball scores, rebooting their routers, pondering how to find a Twitter filter (which, to me, sounded like wanting to use an aggregate on Twitter which, I also believe, is not entirely the purpose of the application, but a cool idea nonetheless. I did not choose to share that particular observation on Twitter, however), and submitting interesting nibblets of information they stumble upon. All this tweeting fills the twittersphere with hordes of fragmented comments throughout the day. There is also a great deal of good-humored banter that ensues which is very entertaining.

Women: They stick their beaks out once in a while to just sort of check in and/or tweet some sort of announcement. I’ve observed a little banter, but it is usually in the form of a direct reply vs. a tweet to all.

What does it all mean? I have no idea- it just makes me think and conjure theories. It is interesting to me. Maybe I 'll share my observations with John Gray and get some answers. I’m planning to continue to explore Twitter. I see an huge benefit in how quickly people receive information and responses in Twitter posts compared to blog posts. Several others I am following have commented on this phenomenon as well. Contemplating my statement #3…I will have to continue thinking on that one. Currently I am never sitting at my desk long enough at work to delve into Twitter and see what is going on out there.

If you are interested in who I follow on my Twitter account my profile name is ktkallen.
And if you have any thoughts, suggestions or comments I would love to hear from you!

I can’t wait to tweet out on Twitter that I have just posted to my blog…

Friday, March 28, 2008


So many blog topics, so little time. There's that four letter word again...time.

Well, short post as I forgot my computer (gasp!) and actually had to write this longhand. Just to revisit my macul08 conference- I had the best time. Still struggling to get through all my notes and create some sort of brilliant, usable, organized method to keep the new ideas in the forefront of my mind and have other items available to share and demonstrate. That is all prep work and is the most difficult for me. The best part for me was coming back and sharing what I learned with people. I have started to regard that collaborative sharing of the knowledge as a ripple effect. And actually, I already see signs of the ripple effect at work. One person went home and played with all the different tools I presented for podcasting and came back the next day so geeked. You can't imagine how my heart was warmed when I went to the copier to retrieve a locked job that I had sent earlier and I saw there was another locked job waiting the in queue. Another sign of getting the knowledge out there and people practicing. Another sign of progress.

I love my job!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

MACUL 08 Conference

Well, here I am- I am pumped up for a great two days here at macul08. In the first 1/2 hour I have already learned a ton and have added several new features to my blog! I LOVE having my laptop and wireless access and have been cross-referencing sites the presenters reference. I've checked out Gcast, joined the MACUL space through my Ning account, and even checked in with work and answered some email before the presentation started!

I'm off to a wonderful day-

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Heading to MACUL and learning Twitter

I've been playing all last evening and early this morning on Twitter...I'd like to have the ability to Twitter straight from my blog. I have not been able to figure that out yet. I read about Traackr but have not explored that application. Just downloaded Twitbin so I could tweet that I am working on this post. I'll keep playing; right now I'm trying to decide if my tweets are narcissistic but if I get people to respond with proactive and thought-provoking ideas I am going to love the account.

I have to thank Mark Ahlness for getting me motivated to explore twitter...he is now following me so maybe he will read this and know that he has made a positive impact on an educator in Michigan's learning process. Pretty awesome to consider the power of making connections and being connected. To be fair, I should also thank my friend Sarah for introducing me to Mark's blog in the first place.

I am excited to be heading out early Thursday morning to the MACUL conference in Grand Rapids. I finally updated my phone because the old one died (I have a camera for the first time! So lame, I know, but who has time to shop for phones?!?!?! Especially when mine worked.) so I plan to be armed with my laptop and my phone and I'll be tweeting and snapping photos and updating from my blog and learning. It will be great. I have a Flickr account, but still need to figure out how to do a few things on that as well. That will be next!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The days just seem to fly by and my To Do list grows longer and longer. However, one thing that I have been spending time thinking about during my daily commute is a media meeting we had last week. I am continually struck by how nice it was to have the time to sit down with my peers last week and talk. Productive talk. Through our productive talk we laughed together and shared ideas and discussed hot topics. When I left our meeting I was so jazzed!

I think it is the only time in my short media career that a group of us sat together to talk in that fashion. Usually at our meetings we sit and gnaw over district policy and procedure or listen to presentations. We did a little of that too, but time was built into the meeting for our discussion. It was so refreshing! I want more time like that. I need more time like that. Because the days just fly by and my To Do list is growing longer. I need to connect with the other media specialists in my district. It makes so much sense for us to connect. Collaboratively we have the potential to truly rock! Isolated we chase our tails...or at least I do.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Work in Progress

Well, I am writing. I see I average about once a year. Something I would like to work on improving...I guess part of it is; why would anyone be interested in anything I had to say anyway?

This will be short. I am trying something new and want to see how it looks on the page.

I did make that wiki for our district media specialists. I haven't unveiled it to the group so no one knows that it exists. I've joined Classroom 2.0. I haven't done much with that yet either. I do faithfully read blogs in my bloglines account.

I read something this week that puts my mind to ease about all these different ideas and my lack of mastering them all. It puts my head in a good place to remember this:

I am a work in progress and that is ok.

How awful would it be if I were completed?!?!?!