Saturday, September 20, 2014

My Interview with LDCOE

Published on Sep 17, 2014
The Learning & Development Center of Excellence interviews Dr. Will Deyamport. Dr. Will shares his research insights about the behaviors and attitudes that lead to successful use of Twitter to build PLNs - Personal Learning Networks. For more videos, go to

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The 411 on Chromebooks (GEG Mississippi Event)

This was the first GEG Mississippi event. On the panel were Google Certified Teachers, Regina Shaffer and Tara Linney. During the Hangout, we talked about the Chromebook, practices with rolling it out, how to train teachers to use it, and the Chomebook as an instructional tool.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Three Growing Fields in Healthcare by Emily Newhook

As the U.S. economy continues to recover from the recession, new job creation will play a critical role in the recovery. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health care and social assistance are expected to contribute significantly to new job creation between 2012 and 2022. With such significant growth, looking for a job in the health care industry is a smart choice for recent graduates and young professionals. Here are three health care fields that are growing quickly.

1. Home Health and Personal Care
Personal care and home health aides work with people who may be disabled, cognitively impaired or chronically ill, often older adults. Personal care aides assist clients with a range of daily tasks and help them take care of themselves. Home health aides do similar work and also provide basic health services such as medication administration or checking vital signs. Additionally, people who work in this field play an important role in the lives of their clients by providing companionship and support, which is essential for people who may otherwise experience social isolation.

The BLS estimates home health and personal care aide jobs will grow much faster than average, adding 424,400 and 580,800 new jobs respectively between 2012 and 2022. The home health and personal care field could be a great place to begin a career in health care because it doesn’t require an advanced degree to get started; typically aides receive training from their employer to help earn state-mandated certifications. Many people also find the direct patient interaction and care a rewarding experience.

2. Physical and Occupational Therapy
People who go into physical therapy as either a therapist or aide help those who have experienced illness or injury recover mobility and manage pain. Occupational therapists and aides also play a critical role in the recovery and long-term care of patients by helping them recover or develop skills needed for everyday functioning. As the baby boomer generation ages, there will likely be increased demand for these jobs in order to help the aging population maintain mobility and independence later in life. Therapists also work with the increasing population of people living with chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

According to the BLS, as many as 171,600 new jobs will be added to the field (therapists and aides) between 2012 and 2022. Assistants and aides are required to have at an associate’s degree from an accredited program. In order to become a physical therapist, most people first earn a bachelor’s degree and then a three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Similarly, occupational therapists must complete a master’s degree and can pursue a doctorate as well.

3. Medical and Health Service Management

Also known as health care executives and administrators, people in this field help facilitate medical and health services operations by planning, directing and coordinating services in facilities ranging from small clinics to departments to large hospital systems. Managers work with all types of health care professionals including physicians, nurses and other health care workers. In addition to being able to collaborate effectively, medical and health service managers must stay on top of current health care policies, regulations and advances in medical technology. Between 2012 and 2022, this field is expected to produce an estimated 73,300 new jobs.

The health care and social assistance sector is expected to account for about one-third of new jobs by 2022, so now is an ideal time for young professionals to enter the health care industry. The three fields outlined above illustrate the diversity of job opportunities and educational or training requirements. The potential for long-term career growth makes choosing a job in the health care industry a good decision for the future.

About the author: Emily Newhook (@EmilyNewhook) is the community relations manager for the online MHA program (MHA@GW) and the online master of public health program (MPH@GW) offered through the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University. In her free time, she enjoys horror movies, baking and exploring the D.C. area.

Monday, September 1, 2014

In My Defense

By Dr. Will

This post was inspired by Dr. Eva Lantsought’s piece on her doctoral defense.

The subject of my defense came up during the meeting I had with my committee before I started my study. During which I asked about defending my dissertation and the chances of my failing. My Chair responded "We will never let you get to that point and fail". Feeling relieved, I went about the business of conducting my study and writing my dissertation. Fast-forward a year and half later and the day came for me to take my place among those who are called Dr.

In preparing for my defense, I had several conversations with my Chair. We talked about what to include in my PowerPoint slides, what to expect from the committee, as well as what I needed to do to bring it. And after a few revisions of my PowerPoint, I scheduled the date and time for my defense.

Now, I know that someone of you may be thinking about how did I defend my dissertation when I went to school online? I did so with Blackboard Collaborate. We had a private room, and I purchased a phone number to use for my defense. Being a Google Hangout man, I did ask about using a Google Hangout or Skype, but my other two committee members were more comfortable with Blackboard Collaborate.

On the day of my defense, I was nervous! I knew my dissertation like I knew the back of my hand, but that didn't stop me from feeling unsure of myself and uneasy about presenting my research. I took the day off my work, and reread my slides and reread parts of my dissertation to "leave no stone unturned". I had to pass. Everything I had worked for for the past three and half years came down to this moment...

For an hour, I presented my research and fielded questions from my committee. In the first few slides, I almost read aloud my slides word for word - something my Chair mentioned in the discussion afterwards. By the fourth slide, I felt more comfortable and just started talking. That went on for about (I'm guessing) 30 minutes. The next 30 minutes covered the questions from my committee members.

Then Dr. J. said "We started this call with three doctors. How many do we have now?" All of the members said four. I was relieved, excited, overjoyed, and ready to ball out like I just won an NBA championship. I thanked my committee members, and we briefly chatted. Two of my committee members left the call, and I stayed on with my Chair to discuss what was next in the process.

I can't thank my committee enough for their help in completing my dissertation. That said, Dr. LB was my rock and the best dissertation Chair I could have gotten. She was and still remains a mentor to me. Alhamdulillah, for her guidance, tough-love, and encouragement throughout my dissertation process. She played a major role in the Dr. Will you have seen at conferences, online, and in-person.

I dedicate this post to her. Thank you Dr. LB.

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 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.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

It IS about the Technology

By Dr. Will

I am guessing that there isn't one teacher on Twitter who hasn't seen a Twitter chat or a blog post or a discussion about the need to focus on pedagogy over fawning over the cool gadgets. The issue I take with this debate is the notion that you can remove pedagogy from technology. In this current learning environment, you simply can't separate the two. The mere fact that these discussions are taking place on Twitter, blogs, and other social platforms are proof enough that technology isn't getting in the way, but is the catalyst for making these kinds of learning experiences possible in the first place. 

Let's go deeper...

To my naysayers or those on the "focus on the pedagogy" side, please understand that what technology does is enables a creativity, fosters a collaborative spirit, invites a world of possibility, and connects your students and your classroom to the world as never seen before. In the same way that the VCR reinvented the movie viewing experiences of people, technology, powered by the internet, has re-imagined what is possible in the classroom. For example, in the past, students would have written a research paper on the American Revolution. Now, with the aid of technology, students can use Google Docs to write a journal from the perspective from one of the key figures during the American Revolution, or use Google Tour Builder to tell their story with pictures, videos, etc. or via the use of Google Hangouts, students can talk to museum curators, historians, authors, and even collaborate with another class on a project about the American Revolution. 

You see, technology doesn't replace pedagogy no more than the movie picture camera replaced stage plays. Technology simply creates a new medium, a new way of teaching and learning that shifts the focus from the teacher to the students. 

Now isn't that what we all want?

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 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.

USC, Twitter, and Me

By Dr. Will

If you've been to my blog, then I assume that you've read my post to folks in higher education about using Twitter. If you haven't read it, you can read it here. The same folks who inspired the post have published a guide for educators on #Edchats, and guess what? My dissertation is mentioned in the guide. 

Please check out the guide: Essential #Edchat Resource Guide.

This guide was brought to you by USC Rossier’s MAT Online

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Dr. Will Show (Go Google or Go Home!) with Christy Fennewald

Today, I hangout with Christy Fennewald and chat about Google.

Christy is a former high school English and creative writing teacher, a former technology coordinator for a K-12 school district and GAFE administrator, and a current instructional technology specialist at Round Rock ISD. She is an Authorized Google Education Trainer and Google Certified Teacher, Edmodo Certified Trainer, flipped certified teacher, an avid blogger, and an instructional technology geek--always on the lookout for new tools to improve education, enhance digital literacy and digital citizenship curricula, and change the educational framework. She is also co-founder of the RRISD Ninja Academy, co-organizer of EdTech Women-Austin, and the leader of Google Educator Group Central Texas (GEG CENTX).

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Google Hangouts in Education by Rachel Jones


What is the secret to using Google Hangouts in education?

Well, if I told you I would have to kill you. Oh actually maybe not, that would break the ‘Don’t be evil” Google code.

More technologically reliable than Skype, and being linked to the Google Plus social media network, Google Hangouts is uniquely placed to offer cooperation opportunities to staff and students alike.  If you are reading this post from a twitter link, then you need to consider using Google Plus. Two reasons, the first is that you can’t run hangouts without it, and secondly there are some really inspiring educators using it to doing amazing things with Google Apps for Education in their schools.

So – if you don’t have GAfE (Google Apps for Education) in your school, set yourself up a teacher gmail account, and go to your G+ account and set up your professional identity there. I would advise you use a headshot and make sure you add your credentials so you can be identified as a professional educator.
Account all done? Excellent. Aside from the fact that you now have access to all the wonderful GAfE tools (the best being Google Drive by a clear country mile) you are now good to go with trying your first Google Hang Out (GHO) I think that there are many opportunities for teachers and students.
The main opportunity for students is to use GHO to become independent of their teacher. I know statements like this are not uncontroversial – but for me one of the main roles as a teacher is to prepare students not just for exams, but for life after school. Being able to work out problems and being creative is an important part of this. Teachers can help by setting up Google+ circles for your class. Many schools are nervous about using social media – however Google+ gives your class a public and accountable way to communicate and learn together. I have set up circles for my own students. I used it to post reminders and links to resources, but I soon saw the students use it to ask for help from each other – and especially using GHO as a way of asking questions of each other rather than asking me for help.  Before I knew it, or had provided any training on it, students were posting work to the circle, getting peer feedback, sharing resources and even finding ideas for trips. It created a virtual classroom, which everyone (including me, the teacher) had equal access and ownership. I have no doubt that this contributed towards the excellent results of the class.

As a teacher I love using GHOs – and it has really become one of the main ways that I communicate with teachers. I am dyslexic, and I am more comfortable with face-to-face conversation than by working using email. It’s a personal preference, but I also feel that using GHOs builds a more personal relationship and sets a very positive tone for collaboration.

I have used GHOs in a number of ways. One of the most inspiring was meeting my team for the Google Teacher Academy (UK) in 2013. This was the first time I spoke with educators from around the globe, and was an excellent start to building a long lasting working relationship. Since then I have used G+ more extensively to join discussion groups based on certain topics – such as using technology in education. This has been a similarly positive experience and I have had the opportunity to speak to many pedagogy experts from around the world that I would not otherwise had access too. I have also been part of some GHOs that are then relayed live on Air to YouTube. The main one of these was the App-Smashing sessions, which were attended and watched by educators from across the globe. I have also used GHOs to join live CPD sessions in America, Australia and Japan, and benefitted from the wisdom of professional development from thousands of miles away. The final way which I have used GHO is to organise educational events. It made such a difference being able to chat with others (some of which I had never met in person) prior to the event – and used in combination with Trello or G-drive made the whole process of organising an event much less painful.
The benefits of GHOs are that you as a teacher are no longer bound to your school to provide professional development – you can go out and find some of the best quality guidance and inspiration for yourself. A classroom without walls is not just beneficial for students – it can give a new lease of life to teachers and requires a minimum of tech skills. The only thing you need is a device that connects to decent wifi and a willingness to learn. So – what’s stopping you? Get out there – it’s a big wide world beyond your classroom, and one that will have a positive impact for your students and your own practice.

Rachel Jones @rlj1981
e-Learning coordinator at King Edward VI School, Southampton UK.

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: You can also connect with her on Twitter: @sarahdateechur .