Ep. 26: Cat and Technology Integration

In this episode, I chat with Catherine Barrett AKA, Cat to discuss technology integration as well as the #RedforEd movement in AZ and healthy food choices for teachers. She reached out to me via the EdTech Bites Guest Interest Form and we finally made this interview happen after about 4 months. Don’t forget to check out the video her students created as it might just spark an idea for you and your students. You can also see how she was able to bring a Drone Club to her high school using Donors Choose.

On another note, I want to give a huge shout out to the EDUPodcasters that are going to be meeting up at ISTE18. I wish I could be there with you all but unfortunately, I won’t. Represent the EDU Podcast movement and when you grab a bite to eat, think of me or even better, post it to #edtechbites. I would love to see them!

As always, thank you for listening, subscribing, and leaving a review on your favorite podcast app/service. Tell a friend about the podcast and buen provecho!

Ep. 25: Sarah, EduMatch, and Vegetarian Cuisine

In this episode, I chat with Sarah Thomas to discuss EduMatch and the importance of connecting educators. No, EduMatch is not a dating site for educators. It’s Sarah’s brainchild that connects like-minded educators. All this while being a vegetarian! Sarah is the first guest on the podcast who is a strict vegetarian and is proud of it. Check it out for yourself and be sure to connect with EduMatch and Sarah with a plate of vegetarian lasagne! Don’t forget to subscribe, leave a review, and tell a friend about the podcast. Buen provecho!

Links to Websites, Blogs, Etc.:
www.sarahjanethomas.com
www.sarahdateechur.com
www.medium.com/@sarahdateechur
www.edumatch4education.com
www.medium.com/@edu_match
www.edcampvoice.com
www.edcampedumatch.org

STAAR FlipGrid For Parents

As a parent, I’m nervous for my children to take the STAAR test and pass (or other equivalent state test for those of “y’all” outside of Texas)! I cannot imagine how my children must feel! As parents, we want to be by their side and help them relax and focus. As teachers, the last thing we want is for a mob of parents to come into our class and attempt to accomplish this task. There has to be a way for parents to be able to do this without being too intrusive.

Flipgrid! That’s how! Teachers, email a topic to your parents asking them to wish their child luck on the test and give the students a couple of minutes in the morning to watch and listen to their parents give them words of wisdom. Parents, open this topic using the Flipgrid app for Android or iOS and tell your child the words they need to hear. How easy and convenient is that?

Teachers, here is the link to a pre-made topic in the Flipgrid Discovery section if you don’t want to start from scratch. Enjoy and good luck on the STAAR Test!

Ep. 24: Ryan, PBL, and BBQ

In this episode, I sit down and break bread with Dr. Ryan Sprott, teacher at International School of the Americas in San Antonio, Texas. He incorporates Project Based Learning in his class and does a great job at it. He gives us some tips as well as some insight on some of his favorite topics he discusses with his students. Not only does he teach, he also is involved with the Buck Institute for Education¬†and the Borderland Collective. Check these out for ideas and examples of PBL in action. In addition, check out the School Reform Initiative for more examples of how PBL is changing the way teachers teach. All of this…while we chowed down on some authentic Texas BBQ! Man, was it good!

Please subscribe to the podcast and don’t forget to leave a review. Tell a friend or colleague about it as well and help spread the word. Buen provecho!

Ep. 23: Mike and Sketchnotes

Did someone say “Sketchnotes”? In episode 23, I chat with the man who coined the term “sketchnotes”, Mike Rohde. This is an exciting one for me because I’ve really gone down the sketchnote rabbit hole and find this low-tech, highly-cognitive method fascinating. Tune in to hear his insight as well as how, when, and why he began this movement. If you’d like to learn more about sketchnotes, check out his website and make sure you grab a copy of his books, “The Sketchnote Handbook” and “The Sketchnote Workbook”. So sit tight, grab a pen and sketchbook, and dig in! Buen provecho!

 

Ep. 22: Noah and #RedforEd

In this very special and important episode, I chat with Noah Karvelis, the man behind the #RedforEd movement in Arizona. If you’re unfamiliar with this movement, check it out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It’s all about convincing the powers that be that Arizona teachers need better pay. Listen for yourself and hear what all the buzz is about directly from the man, Noah. There’s no food talk on this episode, just food for thought.

#ArizonaEducatorsUnited
#RaisesNotLies

As always, please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Play, SoundCloud, Stitcher Radio, iHeartRadio, and other podcast provider platforms out there. Also, please leave a review and tell a friend about the podcast. Buen Provecho!

Make Yourself Uncomfortable

Untitled designIt’s no secret that as humans, we tend to stay in our comfort zone. We shop at the same stores, go to the same restaurants, have go-to outfits for certain occasions, and teach using the same tools year after year. We tend to fall into these “comfort traps” and find it very difficult to accept something out of our norm as “acceptable” if not better than what we’re used to. One thing to always keep in mind is the second we stop learning, we stop growing. If we want to continually grow and truly live a growth mindset, we need to make ourselves at home and make ourselves uncomfortable.

Untitled design (1)I’ve always preached Twitter as a means of learning for all educators from any and every grade level and content area. It really didn’t dawn on me as to how small of a percentage of teachers actually use Twitter as a PLN until I gave a quick professional development session at one of the schools I service. I asked for a quick show of hands of those teachers who were active Twitter users and out of about 45 teachers in the room, only about 3 rose their hand, two of which were the building administrators. It was then that I began this mission to help teachers realize that Twitter is not just “another thing to learn” however, a means to learn from those outside of their building as well as share the great things that are happening in their own four walls. In order to do this, I got with my colleague and friend Laura Moore to develop an online Twitter class for teachers in our district. We planned and mapped out a course that taught and modeled the use of Twitter for developing a PLN. We gathered resources, created video tutorials, and asked our colleagues to help publicize the class prior to us making it available. We delivered the class through Google Classroom and baby stepped the participants towards the end goal of the class which was to participate in a Twitter chat. We even developed and branded our own hashtag, #NEISDTweechers. In my personal and professional opinion, the class was a success! We had an overwhelming amount of participants (with many more on the wait list) and received nothing but great feedback on the course structure but more importantly, the Twitter chat. They loved the fact that they could use the platform as a way to engage in a conversation regarding a topic and add to it and consume the information within it as well.

Untitled design (2)What’s the moral to this story/blog post? We got people out of their comfort zone and introduced them to what I feel is the most powerful digital tool available to us educators. Many of them made mistakes during the Twitter chat as well as expressed how difficult it was at time to keep up with the tweets. Some of them even tweeted how new and different the platform was during the chat. But by the end of the chat, they all had such positive things to say about the experience. Many of which continue to add the the chat a week after it officially ended. Why? Because they made themselves uncomfortable and vulnerable just enough for their trusted colleagues to baby step them to using an unfamiliar tool. And now, they are comfortable with this new tool. So to wrap this up, if you want to grow and continue to learn, be prepared to be uncomfortable. Just know that this feeling will slowly go away as you familiarize yourself and make mistakes with it. This is how we learn. This is how we grow. Remember that first time you tasted a new food? You might have been uncomfortable at first but now, probably have it in your regular rotation. Thank you, #NEISDTweechers for being uncomfortable and now, making Twitter a part of your regular rotation!