Cindy Etherton has always been inspired by the idea of “What if…”. It motivated her during her years as an Oregon teacher of elementary, middle and at risk high school students helping her to push the boundaries of content requirement possibilities and as she collaborated with her colleagues. She is passionate about providing the best support to other teachers as they envision their own “what if…” projects. Cindy will be presenting 4 sessions at NCCE 2016 this year! Session information is listed at the bottom of this post.

Name: Cindy Etherton

Location: Salem, Oregon

Current job(s): Innovative Learning Strategist in Salem-Keizer School District; K12 Launch Consultant

Current computer: Surface

Current mobile device(s): Note 5, iPad

One word that best describes how you teach or work: Intentional

Show us a screenshot of your mobile device’s home screen!

The background picture is from my son’s office window in the Puget Sound.


What apps/software/tools can you not live without?

Google Apps has been my go to tool for a long time. I love the ability that I have to collaboratively work with others gaining their ideas in real time regardless of where we all might be. I am finding OneNote to be another organizational tool that is gaining importance as well. I appreciate having an online notebook that can be visually and informationally organized using pictures, video and text. As I work with others, I am also enjoying using YouCanBook.Me. This scheduling tool allows those I work with to make appointments so that I can best work with them during a time that is most convenient for them. This then syncs with my calendar. It sure beats a series of emails to arrange a time!

Share with us a time when you failed in your teaching or learning pursuits. How did you persevere?

I fail every day and see it as a simple step forward. Because of this mindset, I just don’t get as flustered. I love to move ideas forward which means that I won’t be the expert (or “successful”) every time. That is okay. Just recently, I had a situation where–it seemed–all was going wrong. I stopped and thought about my objective and concentrated on that. This thought reset allowed me to change my plans and continue. While things didn’t turn out as I had originally planned, they were successful because I reached my objective and understand better what the next steps will be.

What is your favorite organizational tip, app or advice?

I learned this tip from another educator and it has made me a more productive person. I make my To Do List before I leave work each day. When I arrive in the morning, I can look at that list and just get started…with a coffee in hand, of course.

What browser do you use regularly? Chrome.

I love all of the extensions that I can take advantage of as a result. Snagit, Ginger and TabCloud are some of my favorites.

What are your most valuable classroom/work routines?

Using my email as a task list and categorizing the rest has been revolutionary. My goal is to get my email to zero each day. While I am not always successful in this, it sure helps me prioritize things better.

What is your favorite avenue to connect with social media?

Twitter is my go to PLN source. I love the ideas and conversations that I can have with colleagues. Using my GEG: Oregon Google+ and local Slack groups also help me stay connected locally with new ideas and trends as well as being aware of what my local colleagues are thinking about.

What app or web service, not currently in existence, do you wish someone would develop?

A chocolate delivery service would be a great place to start.

As a tech-savvy teacher, what everyday thing do you feel you excel with/at versus other teachers/administrators/mentors?

I am a practical visionary. I can see potential in ordinary things and move ideas to the next level through a simple attainable goals while enabling others to contribute to the mission using their strengths and abilities.

What is the best teaching advice you have received?

Failure is just another word for learning.

What are you currently reading?

I am reading Poke the Box as a way to push myself to “start something”. I am always have a mystery book available. Audio books are a regular part of my drive to work every day.

What fantastic tech-savvy educator would you like to refer to us?

Jeremy Macdonald, Katie Reel, and Emily Cunningham

Any parting thoughts you would like to share with our readers?

Good instruction is at the heart of any innovation whether it is the introduction of technology or using new curriculum. Good instruction breeds great results. It is also a learning process for everyone involved. Expertise is not instantaneous; it is a process of learning…failing and trying again.

Cindy will be presenting the following sessions at NCCE 2016:

Let’s Build A Digital Toolbox For Creation, Collaboration And Content Resources!

Thursday, February 25 | 1:00 PM – 1:50 PM | Room: Tahoma 4

To start is half way to the finish line! In this workshop, we will explore useful tools to add to your digital toolbox. This hands-on workshop will give you the opportunity to investigate options that are not tied to any device or student age. Let’s build!

Google Apps Vs Office 365: Smackdown Or Shakeup?


Thursday, February 25 | 3:00 – 3:50 PM | Room: Chelan 4

As instructional and workflow tools develop, we find our favorites and settle in. What if a district decides that two major tools should work in harmony? Lessons learned from Salem-Keizer SD will be shared regarding how to create innovation from a potentially combative situation. In this session, we will look the advantages and weakness of both tools while sharing ideas of how to maximize all that Google Apps and Office 365 they have to offer in the classroom and a district as a whole.

Peer Mentors: Fostering The Fire Of Innovation

Friday, February 26 | 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM | Room: Tahoma 5


Mentors often provide support, encouragement and motivation as new ideas are implemented. Peer mentors help the fire of innovation and change to catch providing a sustainable model for future years and greater growth. This presentation will involve a panel discussion made up of mentors and mentees as well as on overview of the Salem-Keizer Public Schools Innovators program.

Identifying Quality Apps, Websites, And Games For Learning

Friday, February 26 | 1:00 PM – 1:50 PM | Room: Tahoma 5

Educators must sift through a sea of digital apps, websites, and games to determine which are high quality. Learn how to discover, use, and integrate the best digital learning products using the free resource Graphite by Common Sense Education. Teachers can also find rigorous reviews of CCSS aligned learning products.

Skip to content