Friday, August 1, 2014

The Dr. Will Show (Episode 23 - Keeping it Real on Twitter) with Sarah Thomas

By Dr. Will




















Sarah Thomas is the Technology Liaison at John Hanson French Immersion School in Oxon Hill, MD.  In addition to this role, she also teaches Technology Integration and English Language Arts at the middle school level.  She has served on the School Leadership Team, advising administrators and teachers on technology-related matters.  

Outside of her work at John Hanson, she also conducts professional development for teacher recertification hours at the county level, on topics such as Google Drive, Google Sites, and Using PowerPoint in the Teaching and Learning Process.  Sarah has presented on various technology topics at the local, regional, and state level.  She also presents free interactive tutorials for teachers on various educational technology topics.

Sarah holds a Masters degree from Howard University in the field of Curriculum and Instruction.  She is currently a doctoral candidate at George Mason University, with a major in Education.  Her upcoming dissertation, Using Technology to Facilitate Language Acquisition of English Language Learners, is rooted heavily in student-created artifacts through the use of project-based learning.  

Sarah has an amazing blog: sarahjanethomas.com. You can also connect with her on Twitter: @sarahdateechur .

The Dr. Will Show (Episode 22 - Education Publishing) with Angela Watson

By Dr. Will





















Today on The Dr. Will Show, I chat with Angela Watson.

Angela Watson was a classroom teacher for 11 years and has turned her passion for helping other teachers into a career as an educational consultant and instructional coach. As founder of Due Season Press and Educational Services in Brooklyn, NY, she has published 3 books, launched a blog and webinar series, designs curriculum support materials, and conducts seminars in schools around the world. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Dr. Will Show (Episode 21 - PD via iTunes U) with Sabba Quidai

By Dr. Will




















Today, I chat with Sabba Quidwai about delivering professional development via iTunes U. 

Sabba Quidwai is a passionate educator with a love for creating innovative student-centered learning experiences.  What Sabba loves most about the creation of technology-enhanced curriculum is its potential to empower all learners and is driven by the following philosophy:

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." ~ Confucius.

Sabba currently serves as the Director of Innovative Learning for the University of Southern California - Keck School of Medicine where she works with faculty to create innovative learning experiences for students.  Sabba specializes in creating professional learning programs to motivate and empower educators as they create 21st century learning environments.

She is the author of iLearn. iTeach. iLead - a professional learning course for educators.

Prior to joining USC, Sabba successfully led the technology-enhanced curriculum initiative at Fairmont Private Schools in Orange County, California where she developed a three year plan that put mobile devices in the hands of every student.  It is here that she also taught Social Science.  Prior to joining Fairmont, Sabba taught at Northwood High School in Irvine, CA, Mayfair High School in Lakewood, CA and Huntington Beach High School in Huntington Beach, CA

True to her philosophy to, "Discover, Innovate and Share," Sabba has presented at several conferences including EdTechTeacher, OCCUE and iPads in Higher Education. Sabba shares her experiences and ideas as a featured writer for iPadEducators.com.

Sabba holds a Master’s in Education, Social Science Teaching Credential and a B.A. in Social Science from the University of California, Irvine. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Educational Technology Leadership at George Washington University.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Dr. Will Show (Episode 20 - Coding and Mobile Technology) with Alefiyah Bhatia

By Dr. Will





















In this episode, I hung out with Alefiyah Bhatia from Cresecerance. We talked about coding and mobile technology in schools.

Alefiya believes that involved communities result in higher academic and social outcomes, stronger values, and increased future success for students. Her degree in psychology and education from Emory University, along with her training and experience as a Montessori teacher, power her passion for wide-scale education improvement. It is this passion that led her to start her company Crescerance (cris-seer-unce) in 2011.
In Crescerance’s short lifespan of just over 3 years, Alefiya has enabled over 150 educational institutions in America and throughout the world to better communicate with and engage their communities through the growing power of mobile. Alefiya is passionate about making mobile an easily available and powerful channel to thousands of schools worldwide. She is now focussing on brining the concepts and tools of app development to students as young as the 3rd grade by enabling them to build mobile apps with the newly launched MAD-learn program. In her spare time, she enjoys touring the world, meeting new people, learning new languages, and experiencing new cultures. She is also a closet adrenaline junkie who loves the occasional sky or sea dive expedition.




Crescerance began its journey in 2011 with the simple idea of wanting to make it easier for schools to connect and truly engage with their parents, staff, students, alumni, and community at large. Through working with schools in creating their school apps (so that everyone could be connected through Mobile and have quick, easy access to the information they needed), we met students that had a keen interest in not just using the app that we created for their school, but in wanting to learn about the creation process of that app. 

"How did you make our app?" was a question that we got asked through numerous in person or Skype calls from teachers wanting to bring an App Developer perspective to their students. This is where MAD-learn was born. It was born from the curiosity of our students. From their quest to know more and absorb more. From our passion to feed that curiosity.

MAD stands for Mobile App Development and MAD-learn is a program that is teaching students how to be Creators of Technology, instead of just Consumers of it. To learn more about MAD-learn, watch this video: MAD-learn.com

Saturday, July 5, 2014

ISTE 2014: The After Post

By Dr. Will

Pictured left to right: Elle Deyamport, Nancy Blair, Angela Watson,
Angela Maiers, Shelly Terrell, and Me. 



















Last Friday, the wife and I packed up the Suzuki and headed to Atlanta for ISTE 2014. It was both of our first time being there, and neither of us were disappointed. 

The enormity of the conference is the first thing that grabs you. There were 16,000 thousand people in attendance along with the alphabet soup of Ed tech vendors. People came from all over the world to be at ISTE. The awe and audacity of everything simply took me off guard.  

Like everyone else, I am blogging about my reflections of the conference. I took over 160 photos, some of will appear this in post. You will be able to view the rest on Google+ page. 

The Sessions -

View of the Google Theater













I have one word for you: Google. The Google Theater rocked like a Jay - Z concert. Folks were even standing on the sidelines to listen and learn from the presenters. I was impressed by all of the Google Apps-centered sessions I attended. I was especially moved by Google Books by Shane Spicer         Google ebook Creation by Tanya Avrith and Holly Clark of Eduslam, and the Google Classroom by Jennie Magiera

What made the "Google" experience stand out for me was how real teachers were illustrating how they were using Google Apps to transform learning in the classroom. Too often I hear folks talk about there is too much focus on technology and not enough focus on the kids or on pedagogy. I myself have been in some vigorous discussions on the topic. What's missing from those who say there is too much emphasis on technology and what was displayed at the Google Theater, is the need to reinvent how teachers are teaching and how kids are learning. 

Aren't we past the "sage on the stage" way of teaching? If not, shouldn't we be? The running themes, in my opinion, of the Google sessions was putting kids in charge of their own learning, connecting them to a larger world, and creating new ways in which students consume, collaborate, and produce information. 

Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs does a much better job than I can in explaining this much needed shift. Please watch the following video:



The other sessions I attended covered 1:1 rollouts and connecting globally. I also attended some poster sessions, and a Promethean-led Classflow session that got me a little giddy. Overall, I left ISTE 2014 with the info I wanted to take back to my district. 

The People -

Me with Stacey Roshan













Me with Jen Carey











Me with Tara Linney












I met almost everyone I wanted to meet from Twitter and a whole lot of other folks. Yes, the sessions were great, but it was the people that really made ISTE so amazing. 

You see, the people were what brought ISTE to life for me. My best experiences came from hanging out at the Blogger's Cafe and chopping up the edtech with folks who challenge you and empower you to try different things. One of my starstruck experiences came from a conversation I had with Kristin Daniels, the flipping pd guru, about how I have started to flip pd in my district. Another memorable experience was chillin' with Shelly Terrell. I have known Shelly for several years, and this was our first time meeting offline. She was a hoot! Not only was Shelly humorous and real; she was inspiring when talking about the hustle and making things happen as a consultant. The ah-ha experience for me was meeting Jennifer Ezell and Dr. Debbie Fucoloro. Jennifer is writing her dissertation on similar topics as Dr. Fucoloro and mine. It was cool to be reminded that on some level I am an academic. I can go on and on, but I won't. 

In addition to the people pictured above, I was able to meet Al Elliot, Walter Duncan, IV, Nikki Robertson, Alice Chen, Sarah Thomas, Ronald A. Miller, Chris Rogers, Christian Padgett, Krista Moroder, and many, many others. Too many to list in this post.

The Takeaways - 


  • Don't try to jam pack your schedule with sessions. Leave room for meeting people.
  • Don't get caught up in the Twitter hype. Approach folks. If they are too into themselves, it ain't about you. Move on and enjoy your time with folks who genuinely want to engage you.
  • Comfortable shoes are a must. I haven't walked this much in a very long time.
  • Pre-plan your evening activities. Whether that means registering for vendor-sponsored events or arranging meet ups with folks on Twitter, plan out your downtime beforehand.
  • Look for sessions that inspire you. Be flexible in which ones you want to attend. There were some long lines at some.
  • Spending quality time in the Blogger's Cafe is a must. You never know whom you'll meet or what you'll get out of it. I spoke with Angela Watson about my venture into consulting. I walked away feeling my swagger grow like the Grinch's heart.
  • Last but not least, I am too old for the Gaggle party. Enough said!

Click to check out the photos I took at ISTE 2014.

About the author: My name is Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. I am a district instructional technologist, connected educator, and digital media learning consultant. I began teaching the educational applications of digitals as the Campus Outreach Coordinator for CAREEREALISMcampus.com. I also spent another two years as the Chief Social Strategist for StrengthsFactors, where I oversaw and managed the company’s social strategy, created and curated content for the company’s Ning, as well as launched multiple projects that expanded the company’s digital brand. Currently, I work with teachers in discovering how they can use a multitude of technologies, such as Google Apps, Compass Learning, ActivInspire, etc., to create an array of interactive and engaging collaborative learning experiences, with a focus on blended learning and connecting students to a global community.

Over the past several years I have presented at a number of conferences, guest lectured, and regularly blogged and produced online content aimed at the educational uses of web tools and social technologies. In my travels, I have met some amazing educators. Along the way, I earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University, where my research focused on digital leadership and teachers using a Twitter-supported personal learning network (PLN) to individualize their professional development. And this past year, I worked with an amazing group of educators across the state of Mississippi to organize the first Edcamp in Mississippi, which we did through Gmail and Google Docs.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Twitter for Educators: Higher Education Edition

By Dr. Will




















Recently, the link to my dissertation was tweeted by Stephanie Echeveste from USC Rossier Online. This tweet sparked a conversation, and she asked if I had any tips for professors who wanted to join Twitter. Normally, I am quick in my response to people on the subject. However, I wanted to think about this, and put my thoughts in a blog post. 

The following are my tips for academics who are considering using Twitter for professional development:

Have a Plan:

Don't just hop on Twitter and start following a bunch of folks. Understand your reasons for joining Twitter, and create a plan. I suggest you start with what area or concentration you teach. Following people who teach and conduct research in the same areas you do is a great start to building a personal learning network

The next step requires you to ask yourself "Is there's a topic or research area where you need to further develop your knowledge base?" If so, let that also be a guide for you in the people you follow. After wards, think about what drives you; what you are passionate about. This will be the focus of your conversations on Twitter

Have a Pic and Good Bio:

You are a live human being. Let others know that as well. Post a picture of yourself for the world to see. I beg of you to use a picture that represents you well. You don't have to use a picture of yourself in full doctoral regalia or you in a suit or you in your classroom or office. You can actually show a creative and fun side of your personality. Just be sure your picture isn't inappropriate for your workplace, out of the norm for your field, illegal, or highlights activities you wish to remain private. 

As for your bio, identify what you want people to immediately get about you. When your name pops up in a search, what do you want people to see? Personally, I wrote my job title, and included a shortened-link to my dissertation. 

The only bad bio is one that takes away from the message you want to get across to people. If you want to be more personable and write that you are an avid fisherman who enjoys Renaissance festivals, I say go for it. The only caveat I have is to follow the same rules for choosing a picture (avatar). 

Give as Much as You Receive:

I can't count the number of resources I have obtained from the folks I follow on Twitter. From lessons plans to Google Apps info to insights from their professional experiences, I am a much more informed educator because of my time on Twitter. That said, as much as I enjoy finding the gems in my Twitter stream, I also make it a point to tweet links I think my followers might enjoy. 

What you tweet can be as simple as a link to a journal article you published. You could also tweet out links to conferences you think are worthwhile, research you find on Google Scholar, etc, or articles from your blog. The idea is to give back to your followers. To share the great resources you have at your disposal. 

Networking is Sharing:

Treat your time on Twitter like you would with colleagues at your college or university or with people you know at conferences. In addition to tweeting out professional resources with your followers, get involved in personal conversations. For example, if you like the Pittsburgh Steelers, talk about them. What you want to do is be human!. Man does not live by journal articles alone.

Enjoy yourself and understand that you aren't going to build a vibrant personal learning network overnight. It will take time to develop those relationships, and that's OK. Keep at it and before long, you will wonder what life was like before Twitter. 

If you or your department are interested, I am available via a Google Hangout to discuss how valuable Twitter can be as a professional development tool.

Check here to learn more about the USC Rossier Online and its MAT and Ed.D. programs.

About the author: My name is Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. I am a district instructional technologist, connected educator, and digital media learning consultant. I began teaching the educational applications of digitals as the Campus Outreach Coordinator for CAREEREALISMcampus.com. I also spent another two years as the Chief Social Strategist for StrengthsFactors, where I oversaw and managed the company’s social strategy, created and curated content for the company’s Ning, as well as launched multiple projects that expanded the company’s digital brand. Currently, I work with teachers in discovering how they can use a multitude of technologies, such as Google Apps, Compass Learning, ActivInspire, etc., to create an array of interactive and engaging collaborative learning experiences, with a focus on blended learning and connecting students to a global community.

Over the past several years I have presented at a number of conferences, guest lectured, and regularly blogged and produced online content aimed at the educational uses of web tools and social technologies. In my travels, I have met some amazing educators. Along the way, I earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University, where my research focused on digital leadership and teachers using a Twitter-supported personal learning network (PLN) to individualize their professional development. And this past year, I worked with an amazing group of educators across the state of Mississippi to organize the first Edcamp in Mississippi, which we did through Gmail and Google Docs.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

My Preparation for ISTE 2014

By Dr Will 
















ISTE 2014 is right around the corner. Next week to be more specific. This will be my first time going to the conference, which is the biggest Edtech conference in the world. 

I decided to write a blog post to share my experiences in preparing for ISTE. If you are going as well, please let me know if I left off anything. Also, feel free to leave comments or any advice you have for maximizing my experiences at the conference.  

My Tech: G2, Nexus 7, Jetpack, and Flipcam.

I will be bringing my cell, my tablet, and my Flipcam with me. The cell will be used to both take pics of my surroundings and the obligatory selfie with folks I know from Twitter. I will also use my cell to tweet about what I see and do, as well as to backchannel during sessions. I plan on using my tablet to take notes, pictures, and upload content. As for my Flipcam, I am bringing this gem to interview folks I have wanted to meet offline for years. The Jetpack is to make sure I have access to the internet when I need it. 

My Attire: Polos, shorts, Sketchers with Memory Form insoles, two dress shirts, two dress pants, and one pair of black dress shoes with matching suspenders.

I am ditching my normal "investment banker look" for a more laid-back one. Being in Atlanta in late June, I gotta be comfortable during the sessions, so I am going casual all the way. I am also bringing along a couple of dressy outfits for a couple of nights out on the town. 

My Agenda: Google, Google, Google, More Google, and 1:1.

My mission is to learn everything I can about Google from some of the best in the game like Jennie Magiera. My motto is: Go Google or Go home! Using the scheduling guide on ISTE's website, I have already favorited the sessions I plan to attend. That said, with 900 sessions in play, I am open to experiencing what the many, many, many sessions have to offer. 

Going 1:1 is important to me because we are going 1:1 with Chromebooks in the Fall in the middle school. I have to learn as much as possible to stay on top of my game and to feel confident enough in my abilities to be my usual laid-back self.

My Side Gig: Networking like I'm getting paid to do it.

Getting my sessions in are extremely important. After all, I am about business when it comes to my professional learning. However, I will be networking at every opportunity that presents itself. I want to get to know the folks in my PLN away from Twitter. In addition, I am looking forward to meeting some vendors and seeing what tech is out there. Most importantly, I want to develop relationships with people that is going to enrich my life.

My Reminders: Power cords, Prilosec, Aleve, First Aid Kit, and Power Strip. 

You understand. I don't need to get into why I am bringing those.

My Hopes: ISTE will be everything I heard it is.

Everyone I have spoken to has told me how amazing ISTE is. I have been planning to go to ISTE since I missed out last summer. I am so excited, ridiculously excited. I have registered for several events, arranged to meet particular people, and mentally prepared myself to be in awe. I really hope that ISTE lives up to the hype. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Dr. Will Show (Episode 18 - Talking Quick Key App with Co-founder Walter Duncan IV)

By Dr. Will



















Photo Credit: Walter Duncan, IV

Walter has spent the past fifteen years committing his life to teaching and closing the achievement gap. As the husband of a young professor whose career has taken her across the country, Walter has had the opportunity to teach in all sorts of classrooms, from private to public, urban and suburban, privileged and underprivileged. He has a record of success in building consensus and bringing together all stakeholders to solve shared problems.

Walter has consistently improved achievement for his students, throughout his career. During his time at KIPP, a charter school management organization known for effectively closing the achievement gap, his students showed dramatic improvement on the DC CAS and NWEA MAP exam.  As an English teacher at South Shore Charter Public School, his students scored in the top 15% on the MCAS ELA in 2012!

As Director of Administration at the Brooklyn Waldorf School, a small private early childhood and elementary school in its second year of operation, Walter added an extra early childhood class, and doubled the school’s student population for the 2007/2008 school year!

It is this attitude and work ethic that he brings to his transition to entrepreneurship. Walter has accumulated 15 years of experience as an educator, which he applies to his day-to-day activities as the head of Marketing for Design by Educators, Inc., the company he co-founded in 2012.

Click here to download the Quick Key application onto your mobile device.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Dr. Will Show (Episode 17 - Find Your Ed Calling with Maria Vibandor)

By Dr. Will

Inline image 1

Photo Credit: Maria Vibandor

Maria was born in Manila, Philippines and immigrated to Chicago, IL with her family at the age of three.  She spent most of her adult life in the Greater Chicago land area and graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Science with a concentration in Health Studies. 

Although happy at her corporate job and the view of the big city from her cubicle, she was inspired by a group of 8th grade students at an after school mentoring program to join the world of education.  

By 2008, she left corporate America and found herself joining Teach For America and moved to New Orleans with only two suitcases and a positive attitude.  She spent her first years teaching 9th and 10th grade math and science and then elementary grade levels as a reading and writing teacher.  Soon she realized that reliving high school was more attractive than having her skirt tugged by small children, so she transitioned back to the high school setting as a math specialist.  Needless to say, numbers is her game!  Little did she know that she would soon catch the EverFi bug and join the Gulf Coast team as a Schools Manager.  

She continues to be passionate about developing young adults into great leaders of the community and also training them to read food nutrition labels.  Once in awhile you’ll catch wind of her inner foodie and may even get a taste of her newest culinary delight. 

Maria and her family reside in New Orleans, LA, and oversees EverFi implementation in both Louisiana and Gulf Coast Mississippi.

Connect with her on Twitter @MariaVibandor.