Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Dr. Will Show - Being Connected Means with Karen Balbier


On today's episode, I chat with Karen Balbier about being a connected educator and what that means beyond Twitter.

I didn't grow up with a keyboard in my hand. I actually bought my first computer when I was in college. At that time, I only knew how to turn it on, type a research paper, and go to the University's Website to check email. I didn't have internet at home and only accessed it when I was at school.

The value of technology didn't dawn on me until I became a classroom teacher. I began to participate in Technology Learning Month in our District. Each year, I learned more effective ways to reach my students. They loved using technology in the classroom.

Most people say I'm a very patient teacher. My patience in working with tech newbies comes from personal experience. That scared feeling turns into excitement when you just let go to click and learn. I spent 6 years in the classroom teaching 4th Grade and 1/2 a year as a technology integration teacher for K-5. I've been an Instructional Technology Specialist with EPISD since 2009.



The Dr. Will Show - PLCs Mean with Connie Hamilton



On today's episode, I chat with Connie Hamilton about Professional Learning Communities, and her practice is designing and un-leading them in-order to build teacher capacity.

Connie Hamilton Ed.S. currently serves her school district in West Michigan as their curriculum director and co-elementary principal.  Her teaching experiences include 1st through 8th grade and interventions and contribute to her vertical perspective on best instructional strategies.  Connie strives to build leadership capacity within teachers, creating teams of educators to work together to increase student achievement.  Identifying student needs from the day-to-day and building to a district point of view allows for various strategies and systems to meet student needs.  As a certified trainer for classroom questioning, Connie shares methods with teachers not only to pose questions for students, but within themselves to help maintain a growth-minded drive in education.

As the founder and moderator of Sunday night's weekly #TMchat, Connie has had the privilege of collaborating with minds like Larry Ferlazzo, Doug Fisher, Dave Burgess, Nancy Frey and many more.  These Twitter chats have proven to be a source for references and thought-provoking conversation on critical educational topics such as student engagement, formative assessment, rigor, etc.  Please follow her on Twitter @conniehamilton and consider joining the dynamic group of educators for a #TMchat Sundays at 10pm ET.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Road to Teach

This documentary is directed by Davis Guggenheim and focuses on what it's like to be a teacher.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Dr. Will Show - The Do's and Don'ts of Professional Development Part 3 with Kerry Gallagher


On today's episode, I chat with Kerry Gallagher about her experiences with professional development as a veteran teacher.

Kerry uses her varied experiences as an educator, attorney, and coach to maximize effective instructional practices in the classroom. Students in her classes experience a paperless learning process that allows them to collaborate, create, and publish their ideas. Her blog, KerryHawk02: Teaching HistoryTech, reflects her intense interest in world and U.S. history along with the benefits of using technology to create innovative experiences for her students. She is the founding teacher of Rockets Help Desk, a student driven technology integration support service for her school and district.  

Kerry is the 2014 recipient of the Yale-Lynn Hall Teacher Action Research Prize for her submission "Mobile Devices and Student Innovators: BYOD and the Paperless Classroom Model."  She was recognized as a 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator.  Her video submission can be viewed here.  Kerry is a contributing writer for EdSurge and the Smarter Schools Project.  Kerry earned her B.A. in Politics from Saint Anselm College and her J.D. from Massachusetts School of Law. She is also a Level II certified Professional Ski Instructor of America.  Follow her on Twitter at @KerryHawk02.

The Dr. Will Show - The Do's and Don'ts of Professional Development Part 2 with Ibrahim Baig



On today's episode, I chat with Ibrahim Baig about his experiences in delivering professional development to teachers.

Ibrahim Baig is currently a PhD student at the University of Toronto: OISE and full-time secondary school teacher. Having received his M.Ed from York University focusing on the uses of technology to assist individuals with special needs, Ibrahim is now focused on shifting education paradigms by bringing the tools of liberal arts education to today's learners by initiating deeper learning opportunities through technological means. His focus within teaching and learning is on values surrounding critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and innovation through educational technology, particularly Google Apps for Education. 

You can connect with him on Twitter: @bm_connect.

The Dr. Will Show - The Do's and Don'ts of Professional Development with Carlie Stigler



On today's episode I chat with Carlie Stigler about her experiences with professional development.

Carlie Stigler is a 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade multiage teacher at Fond du Lac STEM Academy in Fond du Lac Wisconsin.  She attended Carroll University and received her bachelors degree in Elementary Education and Special Education with a minor in Early Childhood. During her student teaching experience, Carlie participated in a yearlong residency program within the Hartland Lakeside School District.  This opportunity allowed her to engage and grow in working with teachers and students, developing habits of a reflective and collaborative educator.  As a first year teacher Carlie is on a mission to facilitate learning spaces that embody community, inclusion, collaboration, and personalizing learning amongst and between educators and students.  As Carlie continues to grow as an educator and learner, she is excited to be a part of the changes in our education system that need to occur to meet the interests and demands of our world.   

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Dr. Will Show - So You Wanna be a Dr.? with Dr. Nicol Howard


I chat with Dr. How about her motivation, her experiences, and her recommendation for anyone interested in pursuing a doctorate.

Nicol Howard, PhD has had the pleasure of serving as an educator in various capacities over the past years 12 years. She has taught at the high school level (9th - 12th grades and Special Education) in the Compton Unified School District and grades K through 4 in the Corona-Norco Unified District and the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD). She is currently adjunct faculty at Chapman University, where she recently received the university's highest honor - the 2015 James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Award (doctoral recipient) and the 2015 Joel Colbert Distinguished PhD in Education Outstanding Student Award from the College of Educational Studies. In higher education, she has facilitated multiple courses in teacher education related to technology, learning theories, and research methods. Her personal research interests are in the effective use of technology in K12 education and equity issues in STEM Education. Nicol recently taught elementary STEM education and served as a Learning Innovation Technology Leader in SAUSD, where she is now a Program Specialist (Personalized/Blended Learning).  

Nicol earned her B.A. at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), her M.A. in Educational Technology at Azusa Pacific University, and her Ph.D. in Education at Chapman University. Her past and present experiences, along with the notion of equity in education (specifically achievement), influence her commitment as an educator, researcher, tech enthusiast, learner, and educational writer. Nicol's concern for certain inequities in education and her research projects have led to publications in educational journals, such as the EDUCAUSE Review and the Urban Education Journal. Additionally, she has written for Edutopia and the Corwin Connect.

Nicol's overall commitment to the field of education has led her to speak at various national and international conferences, such as the Annual Conferences for the American Educational Research Association (AERA), California Council on Teacher Education (CCTE), Emerging Scholars Conference (ESC), the International Diversity Conference, Computer Using Educators (CUE), and San Diego Computer Using Educators (SDCUE). Nicol is also a co-organizer for EdCampLA, and an invited guest moderator for #teacheredchat and #profchat on Twitter (@nicolrhoward). To learn more about Dr. Nicol R. Howard, please visit www.nicolhoward.com.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

#beyouEDU 12 Month Challenge


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Fellow Educators:

#beyouEDU started out as a challenge to educators to discover and reclaim the best within themselves. More than a series of vlogs and blog posts, it has now become a call to educators to be diligent and steadfast in living their best lives. 

Please review the list and choose the month(s) you want to contribute. You can send me your post, post it on your blog, or simply tweet it out using the hashtag #beyouEDU. 

To learn more, feel free to contact me on Twitter: @iamDrWill.

As always, I look forward to you joining the movement.

Thanks,

Dr. Will

12 Month Topics -
  1. March - Ownership of whom you are
  2. April - Finding your voice
  3. May - Finding your niche
  4. June - Finding your tribe
  5. July - Finding your swagger
  6. August - Finding your signature look
  7. September - Finding your bliss
  8. October - Finding your purpose
  9. November - Finding your superpower
  10. December - Finding your success
  11. January - Finding your story
  12. February - Defining your brand


#beyouEDU. The Revolution will be streamed.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Dr. Will Show - Your Voice in Digital with ChaChanna Simpson


I chat with ChaChanna Simpson about discovering one's voice and how to leverage one's voice in social media.

ChaChanna Simpson aka Empress is a Body Acceptance & Confidence Coach for Women, Storyteller & Host of the YouTube show A Stellar Day with ChaChanna LIVE! She’s made it her personal mission to help women intensify their confidence so they can boldly design & go after the stellar career, love and life they deserve with vivacity.

Her workshops, coaching programs, and products are all designed to empower women to look in the mirror, see the stellar women they are and to love themselves just as they are.

She is also a strong believer of helping out in the community and spends her “free time”  preparing meals for Inspirica once a month. She has been known to say: “I believe that we are all on this planet for a purpose: to help others. I refuse to believe we are on this planet to just wander around and only care about ourselves. Yes, we are born alone but we don’t exist alone.” Because of her belief that we are meant to help each other, ChaChanna is dedicated to making a difference one person at time and seeing her clients achieve the happiness they are after.

A graduate of The College of New Rochelle, she received her coaching certification from IPEC, and is on the executive board of Greater Stamford Toastmasters.

To get a dose of stellar everyday, catch up on past episodes of A Stellar Day with ChaChanna LIVE! and you can stalk ChaChanna on Instagram.

Friday, May 8, 2015

#beyouEDU Finding Your Niche with Kerry Gallager



Remember that a niche, by definition, is small

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
-Confucius

Dr. Will and I have talked about how all educators have different strengths, needs, and styles just as our students do.  Every person has a different niche in this world.  When I typed the word into Google, this is the definition I got:
definition.jpg
So when I hear about an educator trying to find her niche, I imagine most would assume that means she must find the right content, the right school, the right colleagues, and the right community.  Once she’s there, life is good.

I don’t think of niche this way, as a noun or a destination where an educator arrives.  I don’t see the niche as an endgame.  For an educator, the niche is a short pause in the journey.  She is seeking a better way, a new approach, a way to contribute something original.

Maybe she finds her niche.  But the thing about a niche, according to the definition, is that it is small.  It’s a nook, cranny, or cubbyhole.  No one could be expected to stay in place that restricted for long.  On to the next niche.  That’s why it’s about the journey.

Middle or High?

My journey starts as a game of ping pong.  As a result of multiple forces (changes of my own choosing and requests from my employers) I’ve gone back and forth a bit between teaching history at the middle and high school levels.  It all adds up to 7 years in middle school and 6 years in high school.  Right now I teach high school, 2 years ago I was in a middle school, and a year before that I was in a high school.  I used to struggle with my identity as an educator.  Am I a middle school teacher or a high school teacher?  Now I’m proud of this first niche.  I’m a history teacher with experience at the middle and high school levels.  For example, I understand the middle schooler needs a lot of reassurance and room to experiment with personality in their writing.  But at the same time I understand that the high schooler needs to feel as though they’re being treated as an adult when receiving feedback on their writing.  The difference between the two is a fine line.

Paperless

Once I was comfortable with the middle/high school history niche, I pushed myself to continue the journey. Over the course of a two years, my students and I eliminated textbooks and the use of paper in general from our classroom.  Two years ago we went completely paperless and I even labeled myself a “paperless history teacher” on my Twitter profile.  Edtech news sources asked me to write about my paperless workflow and the philosophy behind it.  Education enthusiasts reached out to me as an “expert” on going paperless.  It became my niche.  For a few months I loved it.  Then a new school year started.

Student Help Desk

A few students who enjoyed the paperless model in my history class worked with me to pilot a student help desk at our BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) school.  Our mission was to help more teachers in our school integrate the technology their students were already using to engage them and allow them to be more creative.  We called it Rockets Help Desk. Although it was only a pilot and it was during my lunch and my prep period, I dove in head first.  We immediately started producing tutorials, networking with experts in the edtech industry, and publishing our ideas.  Soon we were being invited to present to a district cohort of teachers, school committee, and local conferences.  We were awarded a technology grant and were able to grow our little pilot program into a credited business technology elective.  There are even plans to take it beyond our high school so that students in younger grades can have more interaction with high school students and maybe even develop their own student help desk programs appropriate to their schools.  So, I became known as the student help desk teacher.  I wrote about it for ed tech blogs and consulted with schools looking to start up their own programs.  There is still room to grow in this niche, but I’m also looking toward the next one.

I still fit neatly in these three niches.  I’m a paperless middle and high school history teacher with a passion for student-driven technology integration.  I don’t know what to call the next niche, but I know I’m still on the journey.

P.S. If you are still looking for your first true niche in your professional journey, I recommend reading Sir Ken Robinson’s Finding Your Element. It is a thought-provoking book about finding happiness and being true to yourself while living a realistic and successful life.

About the author: Kerry uses her varied experiences as an educator, attorney, and coach to maximize effective instructional practices in the classroom. Students in her classes experience a paperless learning process that allows them to collaborate, create, and publish their ideas. Her blog, KerryHawk02: Teaching HistoryTech, reflects her intense interest in world and U.S. history along with the benefits of using technology to create innovative experiences for her students. She is the founding teacher of Rockets Help Desk, a student driven technology integration support service for her school and district.  

Kerry is the 2014 recipient of the Yale-Lynn Hall Teacher Action Research Prize for her submission "Mobile Devices and Student Innovators: BYOD and the Paperless Classroom Model."  She was recognized as a 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator.  Her video submission can be viewed here.  Kerry is a contributing writer for EdSurge and the Smarter Schools Project.  Kerry earned her B.A. in Politics from Saint Anselm College and her J.D. from Massachusetts School of Law. She is also a Level II certified Professional Ski Instructor of America.  Follow her on Twitter at @KerryHawk02.