Learning In Permanent Marker

Three months ago the idea came to me while I was driving to work one day. It was a crazy idea. Completely insane…but what if?!

So I did what anyone with a crazy dream big, leap off a cliff idea has does. I texted my friend and asked her if she wanted to be a part of this crazy idea…and like any good believe in crazy dream big ideas too friend does, she said heck yeah!!!

My idea was to pitch the Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) to live sketchnote the keynotes for their upcoming 2017 conference. I typed up the email and I hit the send button (then I tried not to fall of my chair or hyperventilate at what I had just done).

A few days passed and the reply email came back. The conference replied that they would love…they said YES… to having me and my friend …(I have to pause and completely go off track for a moment. I promise I will come back.  I say friend because that is what she has become but she is also has become my creative, passionate sketchnoter, crazy idea loving and my sketchnoting/creative muse.  She is the kind of person that when you connect with them in life you grab on tight and never let go) …they said YES to me and my friend live sketchnoting the keynote. Oh wait… not just one keynote but all three of them!

Months passed the conference finally neared. Holy wow! It was really going to happen! I was really going to live sketchnote the keynotes and in front of people…hundreds and hundreds of people. What was I thinking?! (For some reading this, those who know my journey, this may not seem like a big deal. Some may even think, seriously your really freaking out about this Carrie? You doodle and sketchnote all the time. You have been doing it for years. Here’s a secret…Up until two weeks before the conference I had only ever live sketchnoted only in pen one time. Up until this point, I have always only  been a draw in pencil first and then traced over my sketchnotes in pen later sketchnoter. For me, the idea of just drawing in just pen never felt within my abilities. It scared me).

As the conference date neared I had a choice (yes, yes, I know I got my own self into this): I could embrace, full on hug the life out of my fear or back down and let the moment pass.  So I did what I have learned to do when I come face to face with fear and the lies and doubt it whispers to me. I took a deep breath and went for it. I was all in. For two weeks leading up to the conference I drew. I drew and drew and drew. I embraced the fear and told off the whispers and I drew some more.. and then I drew again in only pen!

The conference date arrived. A new calm came over me. I felt more ready than I had felt for anything before. As each keynote spoke I soaked up their energy. I let their ideas and words fill me with inspiration, touch my heart and inspire my sketchnotes. And with each passing word, with each new part of each sketchnote, with each pen stroke, I was flooded with my own feelings and my own lessons that sketchnoting in pen decided to teach me…

Mistakes will happen. They’ve always been permanent. You can cross them out, work through them, add to them and recreate them and keep moving forward or let them stop us

There is great power in sharing what you are truly passionate about 

Never underestimate the power of sharing what your passionate about to start great conversations

Going big, dreaming big is really really is worth it

Doubt will hold you back for your greatness. You will never think you are ready enough and you are always more ready
than you think you are.

Stop waiting and dive in. If you want something ask. The worse thing is they will say no. They could say YES!

Don’t doubt fears wisdom. Embrace it and own it.  Learn to love it. Fear is often just the beginning of something great.

Perfection is unobtainable. Being the best and most incredible you totally is!

Being all in is a very freeing feeling

Be you and own the hell out of it! Your skills and your style are your skills and your style,own them. Be proud of them. Screw comparing yourself to others. Instead, learn from others, seek knowledge from others and use it to make you and your craft better but be you and no one else (sorry for the bold language…this lesson was a super hard one for me and it gets me fired up)

Most of all, I learned that this was never really about me live sketchnoting. It was always about teaching me and reminding me of these lessons. It was about changing me and changing my teaching FOREVER. It was about one simple object and the power of one simple act…the moment I made a decision that scared me. The moment I decided to draw in permanent marker.

. . . . . . .

As I finish this  post I have been flooded with the words that bring wisdom to my own journey (isn’t that wonderful how these interwebs work). Words that speak to me and this experience and I think will speak to you too…

Source: ThisIsStory.com

The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

(totally just ordered this book too and also be sure to check out #The100DayProject)

Source: Butch Wilson 

(the mountain top is my new mission… all of them!!)

The Moment My Gamified Classroom Almost Failed

Back in August (ouch…its been a long time) I decided I would take a huge leap and share my gamification planning process. I had big plans. I would start by sharing my planning process and then throughout the months to come I would continue sharing by giving others deeper insight on my process. I decided to start by sharing the process of how I create my game and what goes on in my head when I am creating it. I recorded my process, components I consider and my thinking. I finished what was going to be the first in a series and proudly typed “ This is the first part in “My Gamification Process Series” (I’ll be recording and sharing my entire process as I create this year’s game)”. I hit the publish key.

….then there were crickets.

Nothing. Continue reading

WHY NOT: The Story Behind my “Why Not” Sketchnote

Last month (July 11, 2016) was  International Edcamp Leader  day. Not only was I super excited to be part of this day, learn from and be inspired by local Illinois leaders but the organizers of the Edcamp thought it would be fun to have ignite speeches after our lunch.  I jumped at the chance to give an Ignite Speech (actually I squealed in happiness and then thought what the heck have I gotten myself into…eeekkk).  After a day or two of brainstorming I had my theme.  As I wrote the speech, I knew I wanted to use this opportunity to really push myself  as a creator and as a presenter… not only would I share a belief I am deeply passionate about, I would draw the entire ignite speech. Continue reading

#F2FOMG: My ISTE 2016 Reflection

Monday June 27th (I know, I know, it has been a while, a longggg while since I have shared here…insert hanging head of shame). I stepped on a plane before the crack of dawn and headed to ISTE 2016 (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference in Denver, Colorado. On the plane I was absolutely giddy, nervous and excited…really excited. Continue reading

Barkley Marathons: 22.3 Things It Can Teach Teachers (and Us)

I first stumbled upon the Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young Documentary when it showed up on my Netflix. It struck my curiosity so I saved it to my list to watch and there it sat for a couple of weeks. Now I’m typically not a documentary lover. I am more of Marvel comics spin off, terrible B horror movie (I know…its a problem) or a Sci-Fi movie kind of gal.

… one Sunday night I decided I’d give it a try. Continue reading

Bright Ideas #7: Mini-Game: Keep. Trade. Auction

He shared with me the power-ups he uses with his classroom. Power-ups that were not tangible items or special activities.

“Gosh” I thought, “I just don’t think that would work for my students. For my students, their needs and my goals for our gamification system earning tangible items and special activities was what they needed to motivate and encourage them to take big risks and Continue reading

Planning For Student Success When You Have a Substitute

2:00am my daughter has a fever. Between doses of tylenol and resupplying her with a cool, wet cloth for her forehead I walk downstairs in the dark trying not trip on a stair or stumble over a toy. I find my computer, report my absence and then open a google doc to start writing my lesson plans for my absence. An hour later the plans are written and I hope that things will go smoothly. Continue reading