The EdTech Bites Podcast Turns 1 Year Old!

Can you believe it? One year old? They grow so quickly (sniff, sniff)…

On June 28th, 2017, the EdTech Bites podcast launched episode 1 with Edward Zelarayán from Nearpod. I had the idea to do a podcast for a couple of years but for one reason or another, never got it off of the ground. I knew I wanted to do something different from the other podcast offerings in the edtech world. I knew I wanted to incorporate food somehow. After some discussions with Edward and some motivation from my wife, I decided to go all in with EdTech Bites. I interviewed Edward at ISTE 2017 in San Antonio and then interviewed Brian Smith the very next day. After that, Edtech Bites was born and began to grow in front of our very own eyes!

I’ve made some great connections through the podcast and am thankful for each and every guest I’ve had on the show. I’ve chatted with listeners and they are thankful for the content that I’m able to provide them with no matter where we may be (It still blows my mind that I can record an interview in person or via Google Hangouts in my den and be able to make it available to the world within a few minutes). I’m thankful for each and every listener and subscriber of the podcast and I want to thank you for telling a friend or colleague about EdTech Bites. I am not a published author or edtech evangelist but I thank those who have included me and my podcast into their own PLN. I hope your learning never stops as I know mine will not anytime soon. I hope that I can be a source of learning for you as many of you are a source of my own professional and personal growth. Thank you for this awesome year and there is much more in store for the future of EdTech Bites. I hope to break bread with you in person one day. Cherish your time at the table. Turn off those devices and have a conversation with each other while you eat. Remember, great conversations happen when we break bread with great people. Buen provecho!

“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?

 

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. 14: Amy, Coaching, and Biscuits

In this episode, I chat via Google Hangouts with Amy Storer. She is an Instructional Coach in Montgomery, Texas. She’s had various roles throughout her educational journey and is also one of the few who can say that her and her mother taught at the same school, at the same time. We discuss some of the Do’s and Do Not’s of instructional coaching and she shares some gems with me about her experiences. In addition, we also talk about some southern cooking and one of my favorites, biscuits! Check out what she has to say and don’t forget to subscribe and tell a friend. Check out the EdTech Bites Facebook page and please leave a review of the podcast on whatever platform you use. As always, Buen Provecho!

Ep. 13: Claudio, #Singasong, and West Coast Eats

In this special episode, I sit down with Claudio Zavala Jr. to discuss his contributions to the Educational and EdTech world including, #singasong. If you’re unfamiliar with #singasong, it’s a very innovative way he has incorporated Flipgrid to spread some #positivenoise around the globe. If you’d like to know more about it, listen to this episode. He’s come a long way on his educational journey and has taught various grade levels and now serves as an Instructional Technology Coordinator. We share many similarities being that we’re both born and raised in San Diego, California and both graduated from San Diego State University. We probably crossed paths in the past but never realized it. Now, we’re recording a podcast together discussing two passions of ours, educational technology and west coast eats. This was definitely a fun episode and conversation that continued even after I hit the “Stop” button.  Don’t take my word for it though, check it out for yourself. Don’t forget to follow Claudio on Twitter and share your voice using #singasong. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, share it with others, and leave a review. As always, enjoy and buen provecho!

Ep. 11: Leadership, Dan, and Desserts

In this episode, I sit down and chat with Dan Kreiness to discuss leadership and his podcast, Leader of Learning. He’s carving his own niche in the educational podcast world with a fresh perspective on leadership. This is a must-subscribe podcast for anyone who wants to hear from innovative leaders in the educational field. In addition, we discuss donuts from his favorite spot in Connecticut, Donut Crazy. Ironically, there’s a great BBQ restaurant that he recommends to anyone that wants great BBQ in the Connecticut area, Hoodoo Brown BBQ. If you’d like to subscribe to his podcast, look for it on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and other podcast platforms. Don’t forget to leave a review and as always, enjoy and Buen Provecho!

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