Ep. 19: #NotAtTCEA And Why You Need To Attend Conferences

In this episode, I discuss how I attended TCEA 2018 without actually attending TCEA 2018. I met up with the good folks from Nearpod and Flipgrid at a dinner each company hosted and more importantly, caught up with my friends and fellow #edtech folks whom I have connected with on social media. I also discuss the most important outcome of attending conferences like this, the human connections that are made as a result. In case you haven’t hear of the EdTexicans, you will in this episode. Check it out and as always, buen provecho!

#NEISDPLN Twitter Chat

On February 5th, 2018 from 7:30pm-8:30pm CT, I will be moderating the #NEISDPLN Twitter Chat. Take this opportunity to grow your PLN and contribute to the conversation. The topic for the evening is “Implementing Technology In The Classroom.” Stop in, say “hello”, and contribute. We’d love to hear what you have to say. Also, spread the word to fellow educators to make #NEISDPLN part of their PLN. See you Monday!

“Integrating” Technology

What’s up folks?! It’s officially 2018 and educational technology is booming at an alarming rate. In other words, there are options available to teachers, students, and parents that didn’t exist just 10 years ago. Apps, web tools, and devices that are now becoming faster, smaller, and less expensive. Students no longer need to view a screen from 30 feet away to see the content being presented to them (Thank you Nearpod and Google Cast for EDU). Students can reflect on a topic or question from the privacy of their own home with their own personal device (Thank you Recap and Flipgrid). Peer collaboration and feedback can be done from any internet-enabled device from anywhere in the world (Thank you GSuite and PeerGrade). Anyone can create a professional video to be seen by a global audience with a Smartphone and free web tools (Thank you WeVideo, YouTube, and SoundTrap). Professional development is now at our fingertips on demand with podcasts (Thank you House of EdTech, The EdTech Take Out, Cult Of Pedagogy, and all other educational podcasters). With all of these tools at our disposal, if someone was to walk into a random classroom in any school district in any state, student devices would probably be used to consume and not focus on the 4 C’s.

Why is this? Is the term “Integrating” too broad? Do schools and districts not teach what these look like in the classroom? Do school district network block many of these tools because of what they can “possibly” bring? What are the “possibilities” that these tools can bring to a classroom? Authentic experiences. That’s what they can bring.

Sure, someone who wants to use these tools for the Dark Side will do so. That’s where classroom management comes into play but that’s another topic for another day.

Integrating technology means students are creating content for others to view, evaluate, and possibly augment. Integrating looks like students using classroom and personal devices to create videos to be used in student-created lessons for virtual presentations. Students are not in rows but in pods around the room. The teacher is not teaching whole group rather, facilitating and working with small groups to check progress. The class is a bit louder than a “stand and deliver” environment because students are engaging with each other, collaborating with others, and engaging in feedback. Students, for the most part, want to come to class because of the authentic experiences that occur and the ability to tap into their creative side they normally cannot do in the typical classroom setting. If this is what true integration looks like in a classroom, ask yourself this, what does YOUR classroom technology integration look like? If you’re not a teacher, what does your child’s classroom look like when you walk in? What do you want it to look like?

Teachers, if you’d like to truly integrate technology do something you haven’t done or are possibly scared of doing. Step out of the comfort zone and understand that you will be uncomfortable. That’s OK. There are many others feeling what you are feeling and more importantly, there are many people who can hold your hand along the way. Twitter is a PLN. Connect with teachers who can assist you with this virtually and in your building. Your district probably has coaches who are more than willing to help you and model integration for you. Start off by taking one day a week without handing out worksheets. #worksheetlesswednesday. This is an achievable task that can be done with minimal effort. After doing this for a couple of weeks, beef it up by aligning what you’re doing with one of the 4 C’s. Continue checking in on Twitter and collaborating with others in your building and possibly outside your building. Listen to podcasts (such as EdTech Bites) and build your knowledge during your commutes, walks, workouts, or while cooking (Thank you Amazon Echo and Google Home). These baby steps towards true technology integration will bring you closer to the classroom teacher you’ve always wanted to be. More importantly, will create authentic experiences for your students. After all #kidsdeserveit right?

 

New Year, New You!

Too many times, we tell ourselves, “Things are going to be different this year”. And that’s where it ends. Things can be different whenever you choose for them to be different. It doesn’t have to be on January 1st or your birthday. Better only comes when you make things better. Simple as that. Marinate in that for a bit and Happy 2018! It will be whatever you make it to be!

Ep. 18: Marshall Carroll and All This Science

Happy New Year! In this episode, I interview Marshall Carroll and we discuss his student-led podcast, All This Science. He actually reached out to me via the Reflections page on this website and wanted to share what he’s doing in regards to educational podcasts. Not only is he doing great things with his students, he’s also officially the 4th smartest person in Canada. Don’t believe me, have a listen and as always, Buen Provecho!

If you are interested about learning how to differentiate your instruction using Nearpod, please vote for my ISTE 2018 People’s Choice Proposal. I would love to make it out to Chicago and enjoy some EdTech Bites with you!

Ep. 17: Holly, Tanya, And The Google Infused Classroom

In episode 17, I chat with Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith to discuss their book, “The Google Infused Classroom”. This is a great conversation about how the book came to be, who the book is geared towards, and of course, international food. I have to say that this interview made me envision these two ladies as the female version of Dale and Brennan from Step-Brothers. Their energy and relationship is clear in this interview and it’s easy to see why these two ladies wrote this book together. As an added bonus, they are offering a free copy of the book to two lucky listeners. All you have to do is tweet your thoughts of the episode using the hashtags #edtechbites and #infusedclassroom. They will randomly choose two lucky tweeters to receive this added bonus. Please check out Tanya’s and Holly’s blogs to learn more about them and what they can add to your PLN. Also, please leave a review of the EdTechBites podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Play, or whatever app/stream you use. Buen Provecho!

Flipgrid + Nearpod

Have you ever considered app smashing with Flipgrid. There are many different ways to do this but my go-to tool to do this with is Nearpod. To do this, make sure you have both a Nearpod and Flipgrid account. Once that is done, you’re one step closer. To see step-by-step instructions, check out my how-to video that walks you through the rest of the process. Enjoy!

 

Ep. 16: Leslie, Great Leadership, and Filipino Food

In this week’s episode, I chat with Leslie Hazle Bussey from GLISI, the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement. We discuss great leadership and what a great leader does in order to lead and inspire. She uses great analogies between leading a staff and hosting a meal and includes what I consider, the quote of the decade. Listen to the interview and listen for it. We also touch upon the importance of connections and community and how they tie into the overall topic of leadership. If that isn’t enough, we also discuss some great Filipino food – specifically chicken adobo, pancit, and lumpia. Make sure you subscribe to the EdTech Bites Podcast and please leave a review. Also, tell a friend and/or colleague about the podcast and spread the word. As always, enjoy and Kain Tayo!

Ep. 15: Josh, Motivating Teachers, and Waffles

In episode 15, I interview Josh Howard who is an Educational Technology Coordinator in Missouri. He has done many interesting things in his district to motivate teachers to step out of their comfort zone, take risks, and begin integrating technology into their classrooms. He created Gettin’ Steamy and Tech Wars videos to let his teachers know that he’s not afraid to take risks. Not only that, he’s a self-proclaimed waffle connoisseur. I’m not a big fan of these textured pancakes but he definitely schools me in the ways of the waffle. The conversation is completely natural and you’ll find it hard to not be inspired by him. Please check out this episode and don’t forget to subscribe, leave a review, and tell a friend about the podcast. As always, buen provecho!

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Soup

Well, it’s that time of year again when we dust off the coats and jackets and iron our long-sleeve shirts. With the cold weather comes a variety of foods (including the ever popular turkey we’ll all be eating for about 3 weeks straight). One of our family favorites is soups and stews. Who doesn’t like a warm bowl of soup and a crusty loaf of french bread for dipping? One of my all time favorites is creamy chicken and broccoli soup. I must warn you though, if you are a fan or the high sodium and preservative cans, this might not be for you. This is homemade and better than anything that you’ve probably had in the past. So buckle up and let’s get to it!

Ingredients:
3 celery stalks (diced)
3 carrots (diced)
1/2 and onion (diced)
2 cloves of garlic (diced)
4 strips of peppered bacon (I always use the low sodium)
1/4 cup of flour
1 jar of chicken bone broth (or any other broth you prefer)
2 cups of water
broccoli florets
shredded chicken
1 cup of milk (or cream, depending on your intolerances)
shredded cheese
green onions (diced)
salt and pepper to taste

Place a large pot on medium heat and render down the bacon until it is crispy. You can leave them in strips to do this or dice them up before you cook. I choose to dice them up. Remove the bacon when it is done cooking and set aside.
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Add the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic to the pot and cook thoroughly. Once cooked, add in the flour and mix everything until it becomes a thick paste. If it looks pretty gnarly, you’re on the right track! You can now add in your chicken bone broth and water. Mix this around and bring it to a boil. It will thicken as it heats up.
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Next, use a stick blender and pulverize your ingredients so that it resembles a soup/stew. If you don’t have a stick blender, carefully ladle it into a blender and blend up in batches. Bring this back up to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste.IMG_20171112_151620.jpg

Once it is boiling, add the shredded chicken, broccoli, and the milk/cream. Reduce the heat and simmer until the broccoli has cooked through. Continue tasting and adding salt and pepper to your liking.IMG_20171112_151749IMG_20171112_152434

Once the soup has reduced and the flavor is just right, you can turn off the heat. Serve this up in a deep bowl and top with the rendered bacon, shredded cheese, and green onions. I like to serve this up with a loaf of French bread so we can dip and eat.
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Give this recipe a try. You will not be disappointed (unless you don’t eat dairy, pork, or chicken broccoli soup). Leave a comment and share this recipe with your friends, family, and PLN. Buen provecho!