Friday, November 16, 2012

Heroes and Holiday Thanks

As the holidays approach, I am sending a personal  "thank you" to our heroes and a heart-felt thanks to the military families that make sacrifices for all of us!

Originally posted Dec 17, 2012: The Innovator's Network

Send a letter to a soldier: Forgotten Soldiers

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

“Most. Awesome. Teacher. Ever.” *

Now I see why many individuals, including myself, choose teaching as a profession. While imparting knowledge of a stringent, logical topic, such as mathematics, we have license to pepper our delivery of instruction with creativity and wit in order to amaze our audience and create an environment ready for learning. That’s just what Matthew Weathers did for his Nature of Math class at Biola University.
I think this Youtube text comment sums it up best:

“Most. Awesome. Teacher. Ever.”
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind having my chairperson read that type of comment on my next student survey.

This video is inspiring as well as entertaining! Check this out- if you dare! Muah! Ha! Ha!

*This was originally posted on Innovator's Network January, 2010

Sunday, September 16, 2012



My cousin Pegi shared a Poem by Taylor Mali with me and I cannot believe this was the first time I've seen any version of this.   I wasn't going to share here because I thought the few readers I have who are teachers probably have already seen it. If you have, it is worth another look.   I thnk this is a must-see for all teachers, novice, veterans or aspiring.

My favorite part is what Mali shares about bullying.  Also, here is an amazing fact from Mali's bio on his site: "Taylor Mali of the few people in the world to have no job other than that of poet." Definitely Beautiful!


A big thanks goes out to all teachers especially the ones who teach (or who have taught) my kids.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Angela's Hope

Suicide is a difficult topic to read about and discuss.  Of course, one cannot compare this with the aftermath of experiencing such a horrible tragedy.  
I am sad to share that the brother of my friend, Angela Maiers, very recently took his own life.
Angela is dedicating her Choose2Matter cause to her brother, Chrissy.   Please take the time to read her post and share it with others.  At the very least, tell your loved ones they matter. 

Even if you think they already know, look into their eyes and tell them.  It is Angela’s hope to raise awareness and help others who are suffering and let kids know that their genius is valued.   
Please help us spread the word.  Read the article Angela dedicated to her brother.




Sunday, August 5, 2012

Choose2Matter: My Personal Story

Angela Maiers shared her important message on a TEDx talk: YOU MATTER.   Her intent was to raise awareness and motivate others to make a difference in the world.  No action is too small. Angela’s message has transformed lives and motivated others to share her message and make a difference. 
I shared Angela's video with my children.  They were immediately motivated and in an effort to help Angela spread the word, my kids invited their friends over to watch Angela's video.  After they watched the video, the group met Angela via Skype.  See the You Matter Young Leaders' video response and conversation with Angela.
You Matter has now developed into a non-profit organization and a movement: Choose2Matter.  We hope you will join us.   You can help spread the word by telling others face-to-face, joining the Choose2Matter Facebook Group and following the conversation/sharing on Twitter by using the hashtags #YOUMATTER  and #CHOOSE2MATTER.  Not sure how to use these on Twitter?  I'd be happy to show you!  Just ask! :)

My friend and Choose2Matter team member, Sheri Edwards shares about Choose2Matter on her blog: What Else?

Global events are coming soon.  Stay tuned!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

#140edu: Where Technolgy Meets...Witchcraft and Wizardry!

Thanks to all the  #140edu speakers as they were all awesome and inspiring.  One tidbit of info that stood out to me most was when Alex Benepe (@Benepe) mentioned that  100% of PE participation in a UK school was reported  due to including Quidditch as part of the school curriculum.  Read more here in The Telegraph

Thanks to The International Quidditch Association,  the magical game of Quidditch can now be enjoyed in the Muggle world.  Wingardium leviosa! 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Exploring the State of NOW: #140edu

What is the next best thing to sitting in the audience of the 140 Character Conference at the 92nd Street Y in NYC?  Why, watching it via Ustream and participating via Twitter, of course!  Thanks to @WayneNH, I caught a bit of the conference while I was working today and I am looking forward to tomorrow's line up! 

Listen/watch #140edu here, live: and follow the hashtag on Twitter.  Thanks to all who are Tweeting out from #140edu in the Big Apple! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Place to Complain.

Twitter went down, way down! According to CNN, there was "no place to complain"
Enter: A Place to complain.

What did you do when Twitter went down? Jump on Tumblr? Phone a friend?
I was in a live webinar where a colleague was trying to demo the micro-blogging site.
I clicked...and clicked...checked my blog. Confirmed. Twitter was down; even my Twitter feed was out! Wow! Never saw that happen before. I sat for a moment and wondered what all the Twitter peeps were doing. Are some on and some of us not allowed in? What are they tweeting? What am I missing? Is it unavailable to everyone? My colleague? She didn’t miss a beat.

What did you do when Twitter was down?  Add your .02: Place to complain here!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Globaloria: STEM for kids!

Globaloria, a social learning network with a digital curriculum by the World Wide Workshop Foundation, is fostering skills for the 21st Century.   Globaloria helps kids learn about Math, Science and and digital literacy through playing and designing games.  Students read, research, investigate, write and publish their works!

Take a look!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


WE are sending Jerry Blumengarten, @Cybraryman1, to ISTE12!  The generosity continues in an effort to pay Jerry back for all of his kindness and efforts with the ISTE Newbie Project.

If you are an educator, parent or student and haven't been to Jerry's site, it is a must see.  You will find a multitude of valuable resources and tools.  You have until June 10th to click and chip in.  Please see the widget on this blog.

Can you see the power of WE?  Won't you join us?
                                                                      Go Jerry, go!

Monday, May 21, 2012

An Invention Kit for Everyone: MaKey MaKey

Q:  Can a banana be used as computer key board?
A: Yes.
As ridiculous as this may sound, MIT Grad students, Jay and Eric are not joking.  Wakey, Wakey!  MaKey Makey will awaken your curiosity.  Watch this video. That's just crazy, man!  Where can  you get one, you ask? It shall soon be widely available, so keep your eyes on the MIT Media Lab! 
As seen on YouTube: MaKey MaKey
Via @jackiegerstein on Twitter

Friday, May 18, 2012

Congrats @Cybraryman ISTE12 Newbie!

Go. Jerry, go!  Get thee to the ISTE!  As seasoned as he is, Jerry is a 2012 ISTE Newbie!  See more on Angela Maier’s blog.   If you have ever connected with Jerry or have taken advantage of his resources, please look to the right and click "Chip in!"  

Safe trip, Jerry!  Oh look!  Me and an ISTE Newbie (and @shareski). 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Say the Right Thing

Created at BigHugeLabs by LH with MS Clipart

Need to tell them that not only what they say but how they say it is important?  Say it BIG in a fun way with BigHugeLabs.  "Check yourself before you wreck yourself:  The absence of appropriate netiquette may be detrimental to professional endeavors and achievement."  This poster was inspired by Spike Lee, Ice Cube, Zach Galifanakis and Seth E.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Here Right Now: Duran Duran!

I am a fan of GAFFA  as well as the famous boy band (Well, men now, I suppose).  However, Here Right  Now is way beyond 80’s music and art!  Visit this online data visualization project and you can post a pic of Rio as she’s dancing in the sand or perhaps share a snapshot of the New moon on MondayPinning pics of the proverbial here and now to a revolving black and reddish-pinkish sphere is pretty cool.  

Gabriel Dunne, project lead, expresses on the Duran Duran site:  "When Duran Duran approached us to create a project that allowed fans to share visual depictions of what they were thinking or feeling, we knew we were about to embark on something special. A single image or photograph can communicate an incredible amount without the use of words, and in addition to geographic location, images have the potential to reveal themes on a global level.”

You may ask, “Please, please tell me now… Is there something I should know?”  Call me old-fashioned, but, as cool as this is, I am still a little uneasy about sharing my longitude and latitude with the world.  I would caution kids, even the ones who were dancing to Girls on Film back in the day, to be aware of the details they share.  #Imjustsaying

Jonesin’ for some 80’s now? Here ya go!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Living in Paradise

If you are on an egg hunt in South Florida, you may happen upon other colorful signs of Spring.  Be sure you know the dangers of these beauties!

Portuguese Man-O-War on the beach taken by Lauren G.  
These are gorgeous, but don't touch or get in the way of the tentacles that can grow up to 50 feet long!  Ouch!  Pack vinegar, just in case.  More info provided by the Florida Kiteboarding Association.

David L.'s Pineapple Garden

My green-thumbed neighbor usually shares theses gems!  Although not as severe as a sting from a Portuguese Man-O-War, they can cause allergic reactions for some.  I'll suffer through as these are dee-licious!  I can't wait for the harvest! (hint, hint)  Find out more at

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Palm Beach County Tech Conference- Storified!

I was fortunate to have attended The 2012 School District of Palm Beach County Technology Conference on March 26th. 

This conference was very impressive and FREE.  What an amazing job by Lee Kolbert and team!  And the punchline?  I got to meet some rock stars.  It was a sharefest with Dean Shareski, who I have deemed The Sharemeister and the ever-resourceful and very generous Jerry Blumengarten, pictured with me below. 

@cybraryman1 @HansenLaurie @shareski
I do have a few regrets as I could not stay the entire day.  I wasn't able to see the dynamite sessions by Kris or Abby and Lily (Sorry guys!)  I missed other fabulous events including the closing event by dynamic speaker Travis Allen.  Luckily, I did catch his earlier session.   Oh, and I missed the iPad raffle. Darn! 
Opening Keynote,  Rushton Hurley, was a dynamic, brilliant and hilarious speaker.  I also want to share an important quote from his talk: "I am eating granola!"  Confused?  Ask me!

Catch the conference Twitter chat here on Storify and continue the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #sdpbctechconf.

Palm Beach County ROCKS! #ThankYou

Don't miss:
Follow #sdpbctechconf attendees in our chat right from Storify!
A shout out to my friend Nancy, PBC dedicated teacher, for encouraging me to attend! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jefe's Taco Story

Jefe’s is named after a famous surfer who attributed his legendary surfing skills to his mom’s tacos.  When Jefe passed, the recipe was thought to have been lost forever.  Lucky for us, the family recipe has been rediscovered and is being served up on a food truck near you!

If you’re ever in Miami-Dade area, you must find Jefe’s Original  and experience this yum-o-licious fish taco.  Yes, it is as amazing as it looks.  This one was probably the best fish taco ever made.  At least I think so!

Can't get to Jefe's? Find or book another a gourmet food truck near you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

In celebration of Einstein...

Originally posted on my kids' blogs:

March 14th:  Happy Birthday Einstein!  How about a little π?
Sculpture by Mary

And a larger, edible baked delight:
Peanut Butter π Pie baked by Anna
Originally posted here:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Doodlers Anonymous

Butterfly by Laurie Hansen

Hello. My name is Laurie and I am a Doodler. 
These days my doodles are digital.  However, they are not done with Adobe Photoshop or any special graphic artist’s tool.  I doodle using Powerpoint.
I have gotten lost on a slide using the glow, bevel and 3D rotation features in order to create my tiny works of art. Sometimes it takes more than 12 steps.  I don’t usually count, though.
This butterfly started out as a heart. I filled it with a Wordle, flipped it, used 3D rotation and …viola! 
A butterfly!   
Want to meet other doodlers like your creative self?  Want to get inspired? Doodlers Anonymous is a place where you can meet doodlers like yourself or admire the spontaneous art of others.
Have fun!  I’d love to see your work if you care to share.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Odyssey of the Mind

Have you heard of Odyssey of the Mind?  My kids and their classmates are part of this NASA-sponsored, international organization and recently participated in a regional competition. 

The basic idea of Odyssey of the Mind is for kids to creatively solve two types of problems as a team.  They prepare what is called a Long Term Problem starting at the beginning of the school year as part of an afterschool program and demonstrate their solution during a live performance.  The solution must follow particular criteria, rules and guidelines and, most importantly, is accomplished by the team members without the help of an adult.  Another part of the competition is called Spontaneous  which is on-the-spot creative thinking.  Although not everyone places or wins a prize, the spirit among all who participate is positive and the experience has great value, which is a prize in itself.
Odyssey of the Mind is made possible by volunteers.  These individuals, myself included, invest their time because they have experienced the results of the program.   I was recently dazzled by the awesomeness of the kids who competed at the Palms Regional Odyssey of the Mind Tournament. 

Speaking of awesomeness, our school went home with accolades, beaming with pride and excitement!  A blast was had by all!  Kudos to Mr. Rowland and Mrs. Killian who deserve a special award for coaching our kids!    

Still not clear on Odyssey of the Mind? Here is a video that may help you further understand the concept:
"Behind each one of our [Odyssey of the Mind] finalists is a volunteer support network that can proudly claim to be one of those thousand points of light that I like to talk about." - George Bush, President of the United States
Another important point to note: Odyssey of the Mind has created a community outreach program called Odyssey Angels. The Angels deserve their own blog post, but for now, more information can be found here:
Know a group of kids that would like to get involved?  Applications for next year will be accepted starting July 1, 2012:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Attention Young Innovators and Scientists!

WOULDN'T IT BE COOL IF... you won this contest?   Submit a "cool idea that is powered by Math and Science" and win the grand prize:  the opportunity to create a prototype with Fahrenheit 212 

As the name implies, this contest is cool!  It is also sponsored by NASA.  Not cool enough? 

Would it help to say that one of the judges is WILL I.AM?  (Black-Eyed Peas, people!) Will, by the way, is a STEM Education Advocate.

Get your wheels turning kids!  And here's to making the world more AWESOME!

Per the site:
Teams have 2-3 members.  All members of a team must fall within the same age group.
The contest has two age groups:ages 10-12 and 13-15.
Users are limited to submitting one idea — either as an individual or team.
Awesomeness is determined by public vote:  See FAQ for more info.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: March 28, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. ET

Parents' and educators' questions answered here:
Enter contest here:

An astronaut helmet tip to the AWESOME @krswan for RT this NASA tweet! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tube Chop

MS Clipart collage by LH

One of my favorite sayings (excuses) was quoted by Cher back in the 80s: "If it came in a bottle, everyone would have a good body..."  I'll take two, please.  Never know when I'll need a spare!

The version of the original commercial I found on YouTube is 0:30 seconds long , but I TubeChopped it to 0:05 to demonstrate this handy dandy tool.   It's really easy to use!  As they say on the Tube Chop site:

1. Find the video you want to chop.
2. Select & cut interesting part of the video.
3. Share it with friends.

Click here for my Cher Tube Chop example
(Thanks Cher!  Thanks Jack Lalanne in heaven! Thanks Tube Chop!)

So, anyone know where I can get one of those bottles?

A hat tip goes to Kathleen M. for inspiring me to share Tube Chop in the form of a blog post!

Monday, February 20, 2012

(More) Cookie Love

What's better than QT's Choco Chip Cookies?  QT's Peanut Butter Cocoa Cookies!   I must admit, they are good. Too good to be true!  Even the kids are yummying them up!   Below is the recipe. 

QT's Peanut Butter Cocoa Cookies
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup honey natural peanut butter (We used Smucker's. Contains a bit of added sugar)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (or more to taste) unsweetened cocoa (We used Ghirardelli, found in Whole Foods)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix banana, egg whites, peanut butter, honey and vanilla until smooth.  Pour into mixing bowl. Add oats, flour, baking soda, cocoa and mix.  Spoon onto non-stick cookie sheet, flatten each a bit with a fork.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Enjoy your guilt-free fun!

Friday, February 17, 2012

More than that... POWER

By chance did you catch the 20/20 Diane Sawyer coverage of Lakota children who live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota?  In the show, A Hidden America: Childrenof the Plains, Diane Sawyer interviewed Native American children and their families who although poverty-stricken, have hope for a productive future, even if it seems like their goals are against the odds.  

In response to the Children of the Plains, two high South Dakota school classes posted a video on YouTube entitled More than that…  These kids are creative and truly amazing.  Their message is powerful and taking them further than they had imagined.  Per the original news article by reporter Derek Olson, "On February 25th, six of the students are flying to Washington D.C. to present the video at an education conference."

My message to these kids is: YOU MATTER.  And they do.  Isn’t it obvious?  They have the ability to make changes in the world; they have already made a difference by creating this video.  Indeed, these kids are much more than poverty and despair.  Who knows, maybe one day we will have a Native American president?   
A hat tip goes to Lisa.  You are a star for sharing :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cookie Love

Photo by Laurie Hansen

Do you love someone who is watching his/her cholesterol? Here is a recipe that was tested and approved by our household "Cookie Monsters."  These treats are heart healthy, low in fat and sugar, and taste sort of like granola bars.  They are also a nice "indulgence" for someone with a restricted diet, minus the guilt.  Sweet!

QT's Peanut Butter Choco-Chunk Cookies

2 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (We used Smucker's with honey.  Note: This contains a bit of added sugar.)
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2, 1oz. squares unsweetened chocolate, crushed or chopped into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix banana, egg whites, vanilla, peanut butter and honey until smooth.  Add oats, flour, baking soda, chocolate and mix.  Spoon onto non-stick cookie sheet, flatten each a bit with a fork.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Makes about 11/2 dozen large cookies.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tweet Smart (again!)

This was originally published onThe Innovator Network, a.k.a. The Innovations Lab Blog (original post: Tweet Smart) but I felt it was worth repeating. Perhaps I am preaching to the choir. If so, maybe you can share with a few "non-believers"?

I often describe Twitter as one of a few things:

· A room filled with people where you can enter, shout a message and run back out again

· A pool filled with floating free info that you may gather and sort through as needed

· A gathering of individuals and groups where you may meander through quietly and listen in on interesting conversations or stop and chat for a while

I use Twitter to connect, promote, collect, share and sometimes just spread some love. Twitter is sort of a collective consciousness that some claim will make you smarter! At least that is what David “@dmullen”Mullen says. In his article, Five Ways Twitter Will Make You Smarter, David shares the following rationale:

1. You get access to different points of view.

2. The people you follow point you to great resources you wouldn’t find otherwise.

3. You can poll your followers.

4. You can learn what consumers are saying about your company or your client’s brand.

5. Twitter will make you a better writer.

I find number 5 intriguing, but what I like most about Twitter is that it is a place to be nice and benefit from the niceness of others. On Twitter, everyone shares knowledge. Remember what Robert Fulghum said?Share everything.” Just like in Kindergarten. And it’s fun!

A hat tip goes to Steven W. Anderson (@web20classroom), as he shared David Mullen’s (@dmullen) blog post via Twitter!  And, of course, one to you @profdebock!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Conscientious Fashionista: Science Meets Fashion

I share the story of Natalia Allen, Design Futurist, with hope for my kids, our future.  I first heard of Natalia through an email subscription to Green Eco Services.   Natalia is Winner of the Young Scientist/Entrepreneur Partnership Award from the IAP Global Network of Science Academies   and graduate of Parsons The New School For Design, where she won the Designer of the Year Award.  She is also one of “Utne Reader's  25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.”  Initially, Natalia worked with scientists to develop novel, high-tech fashion and processes such as photolumniscent  fabric, “rusted” denim and laser bonding technology.  Really cool stuff!

Throughout her journey, Natalia witnessed production houses, sweat shops (50% in the U.S. alone!) and excessive waste in the fashion industry and, as a result, felt compelled to switch gears.  She then put her energy toward “sustainability as innovation” in the fashion world. No wonder they call her the “Conscientious Fashionista.”   You'll be glad you watched the video below. Pretty. Awesome. Pinky swear. (Hat tip to Natalia's no-spam email subscription promise!)

This video was posted by EcoSpeakers on YouTube.  Read more about Natalia here:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Words of Wisdom: Talking with Al Gonzalez about Professional Development and Social Media

Alfonso "Educator Al" Gonzalez
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Alfonso (Al) Gonzalez, a.k.a.  Educator Al, during #EdChat on Twitter.  For those who do not know, Al is a National Board Certified Teacher and Social Media extraordinaire.   He also was the recipient of the 2010 WA STEM Entrepreneurial Award which is “designed to provide incentives for quality proposals in exploring new approaches in STEM instructional practices and improving student outcomes.”
I hope this interview inspires you to expand your PLC, your PLN and your PDSM (Professional Development through Social Media).
Take a listen here:
Laurie Hansen Interviews Educator Al Gonzalez by LaurieHansen

Below is the information about the TED talk I referred to in the podcast (via @profdeBock’s Innovator Network aka Innovations Lab Blog) and Al's links:
Educator Al’s Blog WA STEM Entrepreneurial Award 
Mr. Gonzalez’s Webs
Follow @EducatorAl on Twitter

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I wrote a poem about nothing.  Not in the spirit of George's idea for a show about nothing, but rather, nothing as it pertains to something.  Something really important.
Why a poem?  I'm not sure.  Because it's (I'm) emotional, I guess. 
Of course, there's  always a back story:  I was inspired by a friend who, at his surprise, needed immediate open heart surgery.  I wanted to send something, give them something. 

I asked what the family needed.  His wife said, “Nothing.  We have everything that is important to us.”  He’s alive. 
Of course, friendship and support go a long way.  But things?  Things leave much to be desired.
So here it is..

A moment of panic scrambles in, but leaves
As the light of realization reveals:  I need nothing
It’s all here
with me

In loving memory of Kim M.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Living in Paradise

Photo by Laurie Hansen

A morning walk can be quite an adventure here in paradise.  I met this fella the other day.  This majestic Great Egret measured about waist-high and seemed to walk in slow motion as he hunted for lizards.         
How would you like to happen upon this odd creature on a morning stroll?   

Photo by Carolyn Hoffman
Read more in the original article in the Palm Beach Post by Willie Howard.
Paradise, indeed!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Free Livestream : "Broadcasting live from LWF 12 : Future of Learning Conference January 25th & 26th.  Be part of the conversation and interact with our delegates, speakers and global community by using the #lwf12 hashtag "   

Get the picture?

(Make your own

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Who: YOU
What: Free webinar, "Co-Sponsored by EdTechTeacher MassCUE and METAA" 
Why: Because you believe in "Education driven by passion"
When: Thursday January 26, 2012 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM EST
Where: EdTechTeacher Blackboard Virtual Classroom
              Register here:


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Once upon a time...

Artwork by L.Hansen

The Innovator Network Blog started my storytelling adventures!  Did you write your six-word story yet?  Too short?  How about this? "Submit your short, story-driven videos (15 minutes or less) on"  You have two weeks to create a short, story driven and submit.  You can submit as early as Feb. 2nd and the deadline is March 31st.  Technically, you have 7 weeks or so to pull one together.  So what do you think?

Here are the details from the Your Film Festival site:
·         Submit a 15 minute story (video of course-Feb 2 -deadline, March 31st
·         Entry Fee: None
·         Format: All genres (short film, web-series episode, TV pilot)
·         Judges narrow it down to 50 semi-finalists
·         Then, global audiences vote, choosing 10 finalists
·         Finalists open the 2012 Venice Film Festival (Italy, folks!)
·         Grand Prize Winner will be rewarded with a $500,000 grant to create a new work, produced by Ridley Scott and his world class team. (Yes, Life in a Day Ridley Scott!)
Not sure how to begin?  Ok, I'll start...Once upon a time...