#CCCWrite Conference

I am pa@One Logoparticipating in Reflective Writing Club, a six week collaborative experience offered by Online Network of Educators.  This Post is written as a reply to prompt for Week #2, conference.

Going to in-person conference has multiple benefits.  It allows an educator to network, learn new skills, interact with some awesome colleagues and present their ideas to a wider audience.  Attending a conference may introduce the attendee to rock stars of the field and open up doors they even did not know existed.  Did I mention the goodies we can bring home at end of the conference?

On the other hand, the cost of attending conferences and the time away from family may make attending one prohibitive.  e.g., as an independent educator, attending 2018  NCTM  Annual conference and Exposition  in Washington DC will cost me

Cost of attending 2018 NCTM conference & Exposition

$2485.  Not a small chunk, Ya?  

Does that mean, I stay away from attending conferences? 

No, I do attend local conferences when:

  1. Attending a conference is NOT cost prohibitive.
  2. It does not keep me away from my family for a long time.
  3. It gives me bang for my buck.


University of ScoutingRecently I attended University of Scouting, a one day conference run by Samoset Council of Boy Scouts of America.  This volunteer led conference is aimed at teaching the Adult Scout Leaders and Scouts leadership and personal skills; from Cub Scouts to Commissioners, there is something for everyone.  The Registration fee was reasonable: $11 for Adult leaders and $6 for a Scout.  The commute to conference was not even a concern; a 45 minutes drive each way gave Awesome & me much needed time to talk as well as listen to Heart & Soul by Maeve Binchy.  Win-Win all around, ya?  At this conference, I was a presenter for 3 sessions and a student for 2 sessions.  The learning did not stop at the end of the conference.  I will share the knowledge by offering additional sessions to my troop, mentoring and  sharing during committee meetings.

Conference & Digital  Citizenship:

In past, going to conference was synonym with in-person conference.  Now, digital citizenship allows several alternatives.  Sometimes, the conferences are live streamed or recorded and available at a later date.  Let me share some of the alternatives I came across and may have participated in this year:

Alternatives: 1. Online Conferences 2. Webinars 3. Twitter Chats 4. Blogging Challenges 5. Visit other blogs



Online Conferences saves travel time and cost while giving many benefits of in-person conferences.  e.g., Global marathon, Smithsonian- Symbols of Diplomacy.  

Webinars can be equivalent to a session or a full day conference.  Supporting Students Digitally

Twitter chats can act as mini-conferences and is a great tool for professional development.  I find #Edchat,  #mschat, and #MtBos  good resources for networking.

A finch looking for nutrition on thistle plantBlogging Challenges are opportunities to present my voice to wider audience and connect with other educators.  We can also use comments as mini-conferences. I have reached more educator-writers in 20 days of  Slice of Life Challenge than in previous 2 months.  

Visiting Other educator’s blogs are like attending key note speeches and presentations to gain exposure to ideas.  Kevin and Sam Shah not only teach me something new each time I visit their blog, they make me widen my horizon by introducing me to new concepts and other bloggers. Networking anyone?

What are your views on conference and its impact on you?



NCTM = National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Prompt for the Reflective Writing Club Week 2


What was the last conference you had attended in person?

Attending the

Conferences play a big role in expanding and nurturing an educator’s Personal Learning Network.

  • Discuss the role that attending conferences plays in your professional learning
  • Reflect on one valuable conference experience you had and discuss why you found it valuable.
  • Let us know what happens once your conference experience is over. Do you share what you’ve learned and, if so, how and with whom?


Impact of Digital Technology

 Digital Technology connects us across languages and geopolitical boundaries


I am participating in Reflective Writing Club facilitated by Michelle Pacansky-Brock.  In this post, I am sharing my reflection on the impact of digital technology.  

How has Digital Technology Impacted me – Professionally and Personally?

To answer that, we need to look at my use of technology as a student and as an educator.

Long Long time ago, as students, we were happy to have an alternative to type writers.  While using 5 1/2 inch floppy drives on apple computers we needed to make sure to save the project on a correct drive or retype the whole 35 pages.  By the time I got my second degree, we had progressed to 3.5 inch discs and were talking about world wide web.  In  computer lab, one of my co-worker was excited about a new program, word, that will make writing easy.  I learned about Lotus in required Computer Application class.  Does anyone remember Lotus?? Or Dos or Dot printing?  Talking about this make me feel like a fossil.  

Chalk boards and projectors were the norm of the day.  We flocked to the reference library for research.  Making copies of reading material was not fun, especially there were 5 people ahead of you and the copy machine broke down.   We actually talked to a human when we needed the information.  During final exam week, the my college libraries stayed open till 11 PM; the larger university had 24 hour services available.  Guest speakers travel to campus and in-person meeting was the way to go.

Fast forward couple years when I started teaching. I used smart board in my class. We still used notebooks.  Textbooks and journals were still hard copy and printers still broke down.  Use of  books on CD allowed my differently able students to view and listen to the material.  We were able to share material with parents via email attachments.  Digital learning has started giving  teachers and students opportunities to explore.  Bringing Discovery Education in classroom anyone?  We connected via in-person conferences within the building or traveled to learn from experts.   Having 3 computers in classroom was considered connected classroom.  


Lets look at expansion of digital technology available to an educator by looking at this Symbaloo I have created for Web Walk about.  Click on a tile which will bring you to its website & explore further.

Now, my kids use personal learning devices and textbooks are being replaced with online resources.  hybrid classrooms, Blended learning and flipped classroom is the norm of the day.  We neither required to physically go to the libraries for research /study groups.nor we are bound by synchronicity or physical location.  Like my 50 colleagues for Reflective Writing Club, a learner can connect with anyone on the world to share ideas and learn from one another.  Digital technology has allowed me to become a global citizen in online communities.  e.g., I can

  • Stay connected to my family and friends. Use Skype, Whatapsp or Face-time video so grandparents can be a continue present in my kids’ life.
  • Add on to my Georgia teaching licence via taking an GA Online Virtual Professional course and completing the requirements.
  • In my role as volunteer Crisis Textline Counselor, help a texter who reaches out to the platform by texting 741741 on their phone and bring them from hot moment to cool calm one via text conversation with them
  • Mentor the participating students across the globe in online challenges.  Mentor participating students from around the world from comfort of my home. 
  • Connect with peers and expand my personal learning network by taking parts in Connected Learning MOOCs, Webinars, online conferences, blog challenges and collaborating with peers online.  Hashtag #CLMOOC, #CCCwrite and #SOL18 to see these connections in action.
  • Avoid reinventing the wheel and learn from other professionals by participating in Twitter chats, connecting on social media platforms and visiting other professional blogs 
  • Use of Learning Management System and resources such as Google classroom for better management of the classroom.  Go ahead and click on tiles of this Symbaloo to see how I use Digital Technology in my personal and professional life.  


Yes, these can not replace in person connection.  Just like anything else, healthy balance of unplugging and use of technology is necessary. We can take care of it by picking up a phone and talking to people, meeting them and attending in-person events.  Some people argue that digital technology hampers personal relationship and easy access to Googling has dulled the need to look deeper when looking for answers. I will say to them that we, the user, decides how much entrenchment of our life we will allow to technology. At the end of the we are the master of our choices. We can still allocate time for reading, hands-on projects and encourage students to write in their hard cover journals.  Yes, the digital technology has opened more doors for me but at the end of the day, I am still same person.


Let me know what do you think of the digital technology?     


The prompt asks:

  • Compare your current professional experiences with your professional experiences at the beginning of your career.
  • Discuss how digital technologies have impacted what you do professionally and how you do it.
  • Has your professional identity shifted at all as a result of the emergence of digital technologies? What about who you interact with and how you interact with them?




Reflection on #CCCWRITE

@One LogoJust yesterday, I had started on a 6 week journey of Reflective Writing Club.   The final prompt is reflection on our passage.

My goal for participating in the reflective writing club were: 

  1. To grow as a person and an educator
  2.  Connect with colleagues and learn from them
  3. Challenge myself and share my ideas with peers

What have I learned from it? Have I achieved my goals?

Six week may seem like a long time, but for me it passed before I can blink.  Yes, I did achieve each of this goals a little.  I visited many of my colleagues blogs and gain insights from their knowledge and am learning to integrate technology with sound education.  I am able to connect with wonderful Sheri Edwards and always graceful Laura Gibbs to name a few.  I realized that I have a lot of ideas and yet struggle with deadlines.  

Over the six weeks, I found out that I am spending way too long time forming and publishing my posts.  At times, I looked at the prompt and over thought my responses.  to meet the deadlines, I need to have better plan and time management.  I am a new blogger. Experience, being comfortable in my skin, learning about new techniques  and applying them to my posts will help me.  Baby Steps is the name of the game here.  I also need to know when to tweak the plan and get similar reason.  e.g., while writing Does My Mother Knows My Despair? I was trying to add a picture with text. I spend almost  two hours on learning about it.  I have still not got hold of it.  Rather than spending any more time on it, I decided to modify my plan and added the poem as document in the post.  In nutshell, I need to 

Allocate time to write a post, stop overthinking, stick to the plan, write the post, publish the  post before the deadline

Sometimes, reading the post from my peers was like looking in the mirror of my thoughts; they had written exactly what I was writing.  Then I wrassle with Do I scrap my post?  Do I continue?  At other times, my colleagues had a different way to look at the same prompt.  Who knew a prompt for unplugging can be responded to as un-driving but Laura Gibbs did just that and in the process taught us a thing or two.  I learned that

There are multiple ways to answer a prompt. Be bold. Be reflective. Be free to look at new angles. Share with abundance

Overall, I enjoyed the experience.  I am looking forward to other professional development from @One. 

Are you participating in Reflective Writing Club?  Another challenge?  What are your thoughts on it? 



Beautiful Mistakes


Do not be ashamed to admit mistakes.   Let us  learn from them & refrain from repeating them,   Beautiful mistakes helps us grow as a person.  Reflect on them but don't spend life & dwell on them.


A Beautiful Mistake.

We often do not hear mistake and beautiful in the same sentence.  Michelle Pancansky-Brock, thank you for the making me dig deeepperr and make me go on memory lane to talk about a beautiful mistake in professional setting that was painful at the time that resulted in my growth and development.

Is being a student profession?  Yes & no.  Being a student gives us foundation from which we build our professional lives on.  The mistake I am talking about was from my early days when I was young, inexperienced girl who had a lot to learn from life.  Though it was a learning experience, I do not know this mistake will be considered  beautiful or not.  By sharing my mistake, I am opening myself -warts and all.  The aim of this post is to engage in a healthy, respectful dialogue with my peers.

Long time back,  while I was a new immigrant, the college’s International Student Association was a bridge to students from different cultures and countries.  Encouraged by the enthusiastic and caring adviser, we will meet, mingle, learn about one another’s culture, share our experiences and try to navigate the new country.  For many of us, this student organization gave us sense of community where we belong rather than being adrift in our new environment.  

Standing United

One day, Elsa (not real name) told me, she liked a dress so much but it was out of her budget; being a jew-sharp and frugal- she was going to use her resources smartly.  So she went to Goodwill and bought something else equally good at a fraction of the price of that beautiful dress.  I asked her why she is calling herself a little jew while she was not one?  She explained that “being a jew” means that one is hard working, has a better moneysense and it is a complement.

Couple of days later, I was talking to another classmate, Chaya (not real name) about our families.  I said that my sister is a little jew, she saves all her money.  Though I was complimenting my sister, it was not so.  Chaya took offense at my word choice, “Jew”.  She was very upset & I can’t understand why.  Didn’t my other friend used same word for herself a week earlier?  Why she can describe herself as a sharp & frugal jew even though she is not a jew but I can’t use the same word to describe my sharp, moneywise sister?

Chaya was hopping mad at me & I can’t understand what had I done.  With blazing eyes and loud voice, she told me that “Being a Jew” is a stereotype and an reason for jews being discriminated through the years. To her, I was wrong and needed to make amends by apologizing as well as understanding why the phrase was derogatory.  My being ignorant of the sad history was not enough excuse & though highly agitated, she decided to educate me on history of prejudice against Jewish people.  That day, I lost a potential friend while learning a good lesson about cultural awareness and history.


Being ignorant of cultural nuances is not an excuse. -Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba


I am older and wiser now.  I look at individuals and do not lump any race with an attribute.  My interaction with Chaya was painful and humiliating.  It also taught me about being culturally aware and a better person.  I bring this knowledge to my everyday interactions in home, school and community. 



I am writing this post as a response to  Reflective Writing Club Week 4 prompt.




Additional Reading: 

 Jews and money: The stereotype, the history, the reality

The Importance of Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness