WEP 127: Everyone Can Create Learning Environments, an Interview with Jason Fahrenbach

In this episode of the Wired Educator Podcast, I interview Jason Fahrenbach about his work with the Everyone Can Create curriculum, designing learning environments, and so much more. His passion and enthusiasm for teaching is enchanting, and his perspective will empower many teachers. This is a great interview that will inspire all listeners.

Jason Fahrenbach is currently the Arts Department Team Lead at Walt Disney Magnet School in Chicago, Illinois. He has worked with various Arts organizations including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Walt Disney Family Museum, and Adobe, in creating authentic and meaningful Arts Integration Projects.

Jason was most recently recognized for his work in the classroom by the Apple Distinguished Educator program, and he was selected as one of the “20 Educators to Watch” in the Chicago area.

I am excited to share Jason’s story and his work with the Everyone Can Create Curriculum. What he is doing in education is outstanding, exciting and beneficial to all educators. 

You are going to love this podcast!

Mentioned in the Podcast: 

Everyone Can Create

Books:

The Clips App by Apple

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Kelly Croy is an author, speaker and educator. If you’d like to learn more about Kelly, or invite him to your school or conference to speak please send him an email. • Listen to Kelly’s other podcast, The Future Focused Podcast and subscribe. • Subscribe to The Wired Educator Podcast with over 115 episodes of interviews and professional development. • Visit Kelly’s website at www.KellyCroy.com. • Looking for a dynamic speaker for your school’s opening day? • Consider Kelly Croy at www.KellyCroy.com • Order Kelly’s book, Along Came a Leader for a school book study or your personal library. • Follow Kelly Croy on Facebook.  • Follow Kelly Croy on Twitter.  •  Follow Kelly Croy on Instagram 

The Best Chromebook is… an iPad.

I have read many articles about which device is the best for education, the Chromebook or the iPad. Let me be clear from the onset: both devices are great for education. I believe there are many myths and flat out fallacies about each device that need to be explored.  After using both devices in my teaching I can clearly see the merits of using each. The iPad, however, clearly stands out as the best choice for many reasons, but I feel the one thing most people fail to consider, is that the iPad is also a Chromebook.

That’s right, the iPad is a Chromebook. I love using Google Apps for education in my classroom and the iPad has them all.

There are currently well over forty apps in the iTunes store created by Google for the iPad that include the Google Apps for Education suite:  Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Gmail, Chrome web browser, Google Drive, Google Search, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Keep, Tasks, Google Voice and more. Teachers even have a special app Google Classroom. Blogger and YouTube Creator Studio are available and fantastic for student reflection and creation.

Myth #1: The iPad is about consuming not producing. Wow! This is incredibly false, in fact, I would say the complete opposite is true. There are far more apps for the iPad than any other device and the iPad has the best apps for creating and sharing authentic digital content. Students can create books using wonderful apps like Pages and Book Creator, create movies with iMovie, and as mentioned at the start, it is a Chromebook, so it uses all the Google apps and then add all the apps just for iPad. Fact: The iPad is wonderful creation tool for education. You can write, great websites, make movies, play instruments, and so much more. I challenge you to find a device that can create more than an iPad. Apple has dedicated an entire free curriculum titled Everyone Can Create that demonstrates iPads superiority to creating which is the DOK 4, the Quad D, the rigor and relevance, and the synthesis of students’ learning. Students should not be sitting and exploring “learning” sites by themselves going over facts, they should be collaborating with their peers creating standards-based creations.

Myth #2: The iPad doesn’t have a physical keyboard. This just isn’t true! First of all, if you have typed on the iPad I would contend that most students do not need a keyboard. Just because you do doesn’t mean they do. In fact, I had students who preferred no keyboard and typed very fast. Still, know this, there is a greater variety of keyboards available for the iPad than there are for the Chromebooks. Apple’s detachable keyboard is awesome. The Chromebook only has one keyboard available, the iPad has a variety from different vendors with built in cases if you prefer. The idea that a physical keyboard is superior is a concept created by older generations. Students don’t have physical keyboards on their devices. Physical keyboards are foreign to them and take as much time for them to get adjusted as it does adults to get adjusted to a keyboard screen.  If you want a keyboard for the iPad, it’s a choice, and you can pick one out that you like. I have seen many Chromebooks left unusable after a keyboard mishap.

Myth #3: Chromebooks cost less. No way can I agree to this! First of all, I see iPads outlasting Chromebooks every year. The iPad is better made inside and out and it’s like having multiple devices in one package. Still, there will be many who say their school simply can’t afford iPads. If you really believe that, you are doing your math wrong. Without adding in Apple’s Education Pricing or Bulk purchases, you can purchase a brand new iPad on Apple’s site (Cheaper on other sites like Best Buy and B&H Photo) for $329. This is one of their newest iPads that has great utilization with the Apple Pencil. Second, when I search for Chromebooks of similar quality as the iPad I get the the same price as the iPad, and you can do more on the iPad. I am certain discount packages for both devices for education are available. You can play the “pricing game” all you want, but you get what you pay for when ordering technology.

Six Reasons The iPad Dominates over the Chromebook in Education: 

  1. Accessibility: The iPad is loaded with accessibility features that no other device has that can help ALL students such as: Captioning and Audio Descriptions, VoiceOver, Display Customization, Guided Access, Speech and so much more! I use Speech to have my emails read to me and I love Magnifier and LiveListen. All students can benefit from accessibility features. Too many teachers think these features are for a particular group of student. Not sure. You can learn more about iOS Accessibility Features here. 
  2. Durability & Longevity: The iPad wins this one outright. The iPad is made of stronger materials and has less physical features to fail. Sure the screen can be of a concern but that I don’t think you would want to drop either device, and in a drop test I’ll take the iPad. Battery life on an iPad is superior from my use. The screen looks better on an iPad, the sound, sounds better on an iPad, and the overall experience of operation and use is better on an iPad than a Chromebook.
  3. Portability: Hands down, the iPad is by far a more portable device. The front and rear-facing camera, and the ability to use the iPad in any flexible seating situation makes it perfect for education. Combine this with the long battery life and its super-slim footprint, the iPad can go anywhere. Changing the brightness of the iPad’s screen also makes it great for portability; allowing the student to use it in a theatre and other situations without disturbing others. Watch how students awkwardly try to use Chromebooks to shoot video, in flexible seating, in labs, while standing and you will see why schools’ choice for the best Chromebook would be an iPad.
  4. Reading Device: The iPad as a tablet is an incredible reading device storing thousands of books. There are a variety of reading apps available including: Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and so many more. It’s a light reading device that is much more pleasurable to read with than a traditional Chromebook laptop. This makes the iPad the best Chromebook for reading. More books and a better format.
  5. Apps: There are far more apps, and educational apps and creation apps available for the iPad than the Chromebook. It’s insane how many awesome apps there are for teachers and students to use to amazing things! No other device has access to this library of GREAT tools to teach and make a difference.
  6. The Game-Changer: Apple’s apps designed especially for education, only to be found on the iPad: iTunes U, Schoolwork, and Classroom. iTunes University is only available on the iPad and I believe this is the game-changer for education. Giving teachers and students the ability to create interactive textbooks and creating online courses with embedded discussions is the future of education for all levels of education. iTunes University is being used from primary grades all the way through post secondary with incredible gains and impact. For this reason, you can see why the iPad would be the Chromebook of choice for teachers and schools.
  7. Everyone Can Create: Apple has a dedicated curriculum on using the iPad to create in the classroom and it’s called Everyone Can Create. You can learn more here.

In the end, it comes down to the teacher and the classroom. If the teacher is simply going to use a device to type papers and take standardized tests, than that is pretty sad, and it’s doubtful that true innovation and transformational learning is going to be out of reach. However, if you want an innovative classroom that interacts and explores a platform of incredibly creative apps, I believe the iPad is the best Chromebook and best 1:1 device. The iPad does all that a Chromebook can, and then adds to it it’s own ecosystem of iPad-only apps that have in themselves transformed education.

I am an Apple Distinguished Educator AND a Google Certified Innovator. I see the value of the Google Apps for Education, but I also see the iPad as a superior educational tool.  I just want everyone to understand that the iPad is an amazing, stand-alone device for education and it is also a formidable Chromebook of sorts all rolled into one.

An iPad is a Chromebook and it’s, well, an iPad.

Written by Kelly Croy

 

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Kelly Croy is an author, speaker and educator. If you’d like to learn more about Kelly, or invite him to your school or conference to speak please send him an email. • Listen to Kelly’s other podcast, The Future Focused Podcast and subscribe. • Subscribe to The Wired Educator Podcast with over 115 episodes of interviews and professional development. • Visit Kelly’s website at www.KellyCroy.com. • Looking for a dynamic speaker for your school’s opening day? • Consider Kelly Croy at www.KellyCroy.com • Order Kelly’s book, Along Came a Leader for a school book study or your personal library. • Follow Kelly Croy on Facebook.  • Follow Kelly Croy on Twitter.  •  Follow Kelly Croy on Instagram 

WEP 124: Eduprotocol, an Interview with Jon Corippo

Photo by Danny Silva – www.iteachag.org

Jon Corippo describes himself as a “formerly disgruntled student.” He made it almost all the way through school at a 2.9 GPA. His final three semesters in Advertising changed everything, though: Advertising classes were project based. Jon’s grades shot to nearly 4.0. Also while at Fresno State, Jon served as a graduate assistant football coach, learning about leadership and teaching at the feet of Jim Sweeney. Jon graduated college with no intention of teaching.

After about 7 years in non-educational jobs, Jon’s amazing wife persuaded him to try his hand in education: he was hooked after just two days as a long-term sub on an emergency credential.

About 20 years later, Jon had served a decade at the K-8 level, opened a 1-1, PBL, Google-based high school, served in two county offices, including as an Assistant Superintendent and It Director. Jon has been recognized a County Teacher of the Year, a 20 to Watch Educator by the NSBA, and was a finalist in the EdTech Digest Awards. Jon also holds the Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Innovator, and Microsoft Innovative Educator badges.

Jon is very proud of his work with CUE, where he currently serves as the Executive Director. His work with CUE includes creating the CUE Rock Star concept of Professional Development, with a focus on hands-on learning and getting teachers connected via social media. Cue Rock Star Camps now include Admin, TOSA, Teacher and Specialized Editions for core areas. Jon has lead the development of the very successful CUE Launch program, and the well received CUE BOLD Symposium. Under Jon’s leadership, CUE professional learning has trained over 30,000 educators in only two years.

Jon lives in Coarsegold, California, near Yosemite, with his wife (a very successful educator), three children and a random number of free-range chickens.
Eduprotocols – Book 2 will be adding a dozen new Eduprotocols to the existing sixteen Eduprotocols in original book. We are also beginning an Eduprotocols Podcast that will feature an educators who are actively using an Eduprotocol in their classroom.
Jon Corippo
Executive Director, CUE
Author, The Eduprotocol Field Guide
Helpful Guy
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Mentioned in this Podcast: 
Kelly being interviewed on the Magic Potion EDU Podcast by Keven Rinamen. Listen to this interview here.
Three books Jon recommends:
Invite Kelly Croy to be your opening day speaker at your school for teachers and staff, or present to your students. www.KellyCroy.com
Check out Jon Corripo’s awesome resource Eduprotocol.com and follow the hashtag #eduprotocol on social media.
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Kelly Croy is an author, speaker and educator. If you’d like to learn more about Kelly, or invite him to your school or conference to speak please send him an email. • Listen to Kelly’s other podcast, The Future Focused Podcast and subscribe. • Subscribe to The Wired Educator Podcast with over 115 episodes of interviews and professional development. • Visit Kelly’s website at www.KellyCroy.com. • Looking for a dynamic speaker for your school’s opening day? • Consider Kelly Croy at www.KellyCroy.com • Order Kelly’s book, Along Came a Leader for a school book study or your personal library. • Follow Kelly Croy on Facebook.  • Follow Kelly Croy on Twitter.  •  Follow Kelly Croy on Instagram 

WEP 122: Everyone Can Create with Ben Mountz

In this episode of the Wired Educator Podcast, I interview Apple Distinguished Educator, Ben Mountz about his work using apple’s Everyone Can Create Curriculum, his journey of relocating from Pennsylvania to Hawaii, what it means to be an Apple Distinguished Educator and more! I know you will enjoy this interview with Ben. He is one of the most creative educators I’ve ever met. His kindness and care for others has no limitations.

Ben is a Physics, Robotics, and Digital Storytelling instructor at Hanalani Schools in Mililani, HI.After teaching for 13 years in southeastern Pennsylvania, in 2016 he and his wife Jess realized their dream of relocating to Hawaii and continuing their teaching careers there. The rich environment allows Ben to pursue his love of creating images and media, as well as exploring the natural wonders of Hawaii through hiking, swimming, and surfing.

As an Apple Distinguished Educator, his most recent passion has been in using the various facets of Apple’s Everyone Can Create curriculum in his Digital Storytelling courses to help students find their creative voice.

Mentioned in this episode:

Everyone Can Create Curriculum: A collection of project guides that that bring creative expression to every subject. Ben and I talk about this at length. What a fantastic resource! It is awesome and free.

The Apple Distinguished Educator Program: Apple created the Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) program to recognize K–12 and higher-education pioneers who are using Apple technology to transform teaching and learning. These are the educators who are looking to change the world. They are active leaders from around the world helping other educators rethink what’s possible with iPad and Mac to make learning deeply personal for every student.

• The most influential books Ben chose to share are the Bible and Resonate by Nancy Durante. If you are a creator, a speaker, and educator, or really anyone trying to “create” better, you need to read and apply Resonate.

• Ben’s favorite apps are Keynote and Procreate. Both are amazing tools for creation, design, art, and more.


Kelly Croy is an author, speaker and educator. If you’d like to learn more about Kelly, or invite him to your school or conference to speak please send him an email. • Listen to Kelly’s other podcast, The Future Focused Podcast and subscribe. • Subscribe to The Wired Educator Podcast with over 115 episodes of interviews and professional development. • Visit Kelly’s website at www.KellyCroy.com. • Looking for a dynamic speaker for your school’s opening day? • Consider Kelly Croy at www.KellyCroy.com • Order Kelly’s book, Along Came a Leader for a school book study or your personal library. • Follow Kelly Croy on Facebook.  • Follow Kelly Croy on Twitter.  •  Follow Kelly Croy on Instagram 

WEP 120: Coaching and Leading, an Interview with Phil Cristofaro

An Interview with Australian, Apple Distinguished Educator, Phil Cristofaro on Coaching & Leading

In this episode of The Wired Educator Podcast, Kelly talks with Phil Cristofaro, a distinguished educator and coach from Victoria, Australia about coaching, leadership and an amazing #EveryoneCanCreate project his students published. You will love everything about this episode including Phil’s incredible insight into education from 30+ years of service, and his Austrailian perspective and accent. What a great interview.

Phill Cristofaro has thirty years experience as a classroom teacher, Leader and Instructional Coach.  He is an Apple Distinguished Educator and is an accredited Apple Professional Learning Specialist. In 2007, Phill was a finalist in the Herald Sun Teacher of the Year Awards and in 2005 was a finalist in the Outstanding Primary Teacher category of the Education Excellence Awards (Victoria, Australia).

Phill works part-time as a Digital Learning Coach at Mackellar Primary School in Melbourne, Australia. Phill supports schools and education across all levels of the system as a part-time consultant. He has published more than twenty iTunes U courses which showcase his expertise in high-level instructional practice and creativity. Phill recently published a student project in the form of an interactive Apple Book titled, “Convergence: April 13th, 1945”.

Phil and Kelly discuss: The importance of teaching to the child, not the level, how the interactive book was produced and published, what the project represents in terms of learning, creation and differentiation as well as collaboration, creativity and a strong female role in learning, student agency, and more!

I love hearing Phil say, “Mate” and he explains why his nickname for me is ‘Bear.’

Mentioned in this podcast:


Kelly Croy is an author, speaker and educator. If you’d like to learn more about Kelly, or invite him to your school or conference to speak please send him an email. • Listen to Kelly’s other podcast, The Future Focused Podcast and subscribe. • Subscribe to The Wired Educator Podcast with over 115 episodes of interviews and professional development. • Visit Kelly’s website at www.KellyCroy.com. • Looking for a dynamic speaker for your school’s opening day? • Consider Kelly Croy at www.KellyCroy.com • Order Kelly’s book, Along Came a Leader for a school book study or your personal library. • Follow Kelly Croy on Facebook.  • Follow Kelly Croy on Twitter.  •  Follow Kelly Croy on Instagram 

The Very Best Student Learning Experience, and Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise is one of my favorite actors. He may not be your’s and that’s okay, but to me he really seems to go out of his way to make a great experience for everyone that sees his movies. He said as much in a recent public service announcement about viewing movies on a smart TV and the problem of video interpolation, which is when the TV smoothing out the picture, which actually degrades high definition action movies. You can watch him talk about it here in this PSA if you are interested, but the focus is on his closing words, though, “…on behalf of everyone who works so hard to bring you the very best motion picture experience.”

Boom! That’s really it, isn’t it? That is what we should be focused on doing in education. Our goal is to create the very best student learning experience possible for everyone. We are a team working together on a common goal, from our janitorial staff preparing the school for the day, to the bus driver picking the students up, to the administration greeting students at the doors, to the teachers welcoming them to class, to the cafeteria workers making sure they get a great meal, and every experience in their day, including the work we send home for them to complete. All of it… every single piece should be about creating the best learning experience possible.

What would the result be? I imagine students just couldn’t wait to get to school. They would love their classes, build self esteem, learn, make lasting friendships, and become life-long learners that love to read and give back to their community.

Making a movie takes a lot of work. There is a lot of editing. When you see the credits roll for literally minutes you may be surprised on just how many people there are to thank for making that movie possible. The same is true in education.

The PSA linked above shows Tom apologizing for how smart televisions have a feature that needs turned off in order to enjoy his latest movie. The feature gets in the way of the magic of the movie. As educators, let’s focus on that “best experience” and turn off some of the features that get in the way.

Thanks for all you do in education. You are awesome!

~Kelly

Kelly Croy is an author, speaker and educator. If you’d like to learn more about Kelly, or invite him to your school or conference to speak please send him an email. • Listen to Kelly’s other podcast, The Future Focused Podcast and subscribe. • Subscribe to The Wired Educator Podcast with over 115 episodes of interviews and professional development. • Visit Kelly’s website at www.KellyCroy.com. • Looking for a dynamic speaker for your school’s opening day? • Consider Kelly Croy at www.KellyCroy.com • Order Kelly’s book, Along Came a Leader for a school book study or your personal library. • Follow Kelly Croy on Facebook.  • Follow Kelly Croy on Twitter.  •  Follow Kelly Croy on Instagram 

Resolutions I Want Every Educator to Make in 2019

Educators are my favorite species. They not only work incredibly hard all hours of the day to make an impact in the lives of those they teach, they are also constantly working to improve themselves as well.

Each year I taught, I wanted to make my classroom, lessons, and engagement better. I was always trying to level-up. I still am. I made resolutions each school year and again at the start of the new year. I love those imaginary reset buttons! I shared my resolutions each year with my students and hung them on the classroom wall. Why? Because I knew my students would hold me accountable. And boy did they! I didn’t hit them all, but I hit more than I would have if I didn’t share them.

Which of the following resolutions are you nailing? Scared of? Challenged by?

Here are 19 resolutions I believe every educator should make:

  1. Help to Build a Positive School Culture: Your words and actions contribute to the culture of your building and school district. You are a leader and influencer even if you don’t think you are. You are. Are your words and actions improving the culture of your school district? Are you waiting for someone else to fix the problems? Are you better at pointing out the problems or leading solutions?
  2. Make Your Class Open 24 Hours a Day from Anywhere in the World: Turn your class in to a 7-Eleven. Use Google Classroom or other Learning Management Systems to help students who are absent, traveling, or need to see things for a second or third time. Kids can learn anytime from anywhere. They can even do work on snow days.
  3. Build a New Community in Your School: Look at the students in your school. Which groups of students don’t have a place to share their talents and feel like a contributor? Find them and build that community. You don’t need to be the expert. Just identify what is missing, talk to your administrator, throw a poster on the wall, make an announcement and get going. Maybe it is a group of video gamers, lego builders, robot drivers, or a book or food club. Ask your students and help them feel a contributor to their school.
  4. Add a Portion of Challenge Based Learning to Your Year: Call it what you want, Project Based Learning, SOLE, Problem Based Learning or CBL, but add a little to your school year. Students need to be making and thinking and collaborating and solving. Check out startSOLE or Apple’s Challenge Based Learning: A Classroom Guide. You don’t need to change everything, just add a little. It goes a long way. You will love it, and it is the future.
  5. Collaborate with Your Colleagues to Build Dynamic Lessons and Units: Work with the other teachers in your building to collaborate on lesson plans to increase engagement and design interdisciplinary thematic units. It’s fun for you and the students. The most memorable lessons I ever experienced were working with my colleagues. You can even plan remotely using PlanBook.com, Apple Numbers or Google Sheets.
  6. Take Less Home: Living in constant overwhelm and frustration is not normal nor admirable. Everyone is busy. Teaching is fun and noble. It’s time to get efficient, take less home, and have more pride and joy being a teacher. Design a curriculum plan for your class and change just a small percentage each year rather than constantly trying to redo everything. Take less work home. Really. What are you taking home anyway? What are you trying to assess and measure?Try to do more in class with the students in the form of labs, workshops, presentations and SOLE projects and less 19th century grading of tests and quizzes.
  7. Rethink Homework: “But students need the practice!” Really? I’m not telling you not to give homework, but I am asking you to rethink what you are sending home. Check out the book Ditch That Homework by Alice Keeler and Matt Miller for ideas. Talk with fellow teachers and admins. Rethink homework. Please.
  8. Transform the Use of Technology in Your Classroom: Technology does not need to be used the majority of the time. What a misconception, but when it is used, it should be sued to create content, and only briefly to consume. Examine how you are using tech in your classroom. Offer your students amazing ways to create and publish what they know. Create digital textbooks, videos, presentations, animations, and more! Get going. If your students are mostly on websites clicking answers, well… you’re using it poorly. Try the book 50 Things You Can Do with Google Classroom.
  9. Share Your Story: Take all of the great things you and your students are doing and share them with the world on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, a blog, YouTube or write a book. Everyone benefits. Start this, this year!
  10. Attend a Conference: It is always awesome to get out of your classroom and learn something new, get inspired, and apply it. I recommend returning and giving a presentation to your building and maybe even your board. If you don’t return and apply it, then maybe you should let someone else go in your place. Apply.
  11. Apply to Speak at a Conference: Share what you know! Don’t have anything special enough to share? Then it’s time to level-up and get after it. I’m serious.
  12. Nominate a Colleague: Yes, find someone in your district you admire and nominate them for some recognition. Why? Because they deserve it, and when one educator is looked upon positively, all educators are looked upon positively.
  13. Collaborate with a Colleague: Open the door to your classroom both figuratively and literally and find ways to collaborate with other teachers. I suggest creating an interdisciplinary thematic unit with a culminating activity with other teachers at your grade level. It’s fun, memorable, and good for students.
  14. Lead: Rather than complain about something you don’t like, create a solution and begin implementing it. That’s called leading. We are all educational leaders. Need help? Read my book Along Came a Leader, or one of my favorites, Start. Right. Now.
  15. Start a YouTube Channel for Your Classroom: Hey, it’s all about video. I found myself watching someone cook a fish dinner the other day on Facebook. I watched the whole thing. I don’t like to cook, and I hate fish. My point is… video done well can be engaging, and your class could be open to students 24/7. Do this now.
  16. Get Connected with Other Educators: Build Your Personal Learning Network (PLN) either online by using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or reach out to educators in your building, district, or state. Share what you know. Learn from them. Show other educators how to do this.
  17. Publish Student Work: Find unique and powerful ways to share and publish the work your students do in your classroom. Give them authentic audiences and genuine purposes to create. Build a website, start a podcast, host a “fair”, publish them on a blog, YouTube, or SeeSaw. Have them create digital books as published authors using Book Creator or Apple’s Pages. Publish their work.
  18. Contact Every Family You Teach: Seriously, forget the email. Pick up the phone or send a postcard home to every family you teach. Find something positive to say about every student and offer them a personal challenge in your class. Let them know you care about them. When you do have to contact home for something less than positive it will be easier because you have already talked with them about something positive.
  19. Read an Educational Book: There are so many great educational books out there that will change your career. Grab one and see what a difference it makes. Looking for suggestions? Try Teach Like a Pirate, Lead Like a Pirate, or Empower. Also check out my podcast for links to fantastic educational books. How about my book, Along Came a Leader? It will challenge you in many ways.

Bonus: Subscribe and listen to an educational podcast. Here is a great list from Monica Burns the creator of Class Tech Tips. >>> Click here for Monica’s list. <<<

What did I miss? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Kelly Croy is an author, speaker and educator. If you’d like to learn more about Kelly, or invite him to your school or conference to speak please send him an email. • Listen to Kelly’s other podcast, The Future Focused Podcast and subscribe. • Subscribe to The Wired Educator Podcast with over 115 episodes of interviews and professional development. • Visit Kelly’s website at www.KellyCroy.com. • Looking for a dynamic speaker for your school’s opening day? • Consider Kelly Croy at www.KellyCroy.com • Order Kelly’s book, Along Came a Leader for a school book study or your personal library. • Follow Kelly Croy on Facebook.  • Follow Kelly Croy on Twitter.  •  Follow Kelly Croy on Instagram 

The Worst Teaching Advice I Ever Received, and The Best Advice I Can Give a New Teacher

My first year of teaching was 1991. I was fresh out of college and excited to make a difference in the lives of students.

I may have not known a lot about teaching that first year, but I did have a couple of things going for me: I was extremely passionate about being a teacher, and I knew bad advice when I heard it.

I remember being told by a veteran teacher, “Don’t let them see you smile until after Christmas.”

I know the intention was meant well and to be helpful. Apparently this was to help me with my classroom management. The teacher cautioned me about “having fun” in class with the students. Whoa!

I looked really young and there really wasn’t much of an age difference with the students, and the teacher thought if I was tough in the class the students would behave.

Luckily, I knew this wasn’t going to work for me. I liked to have fun and wanted the students to like my class. Through conversations, journal entries, writing assignments, and even surveys, I learned the interests of my students and created a good rapport with the kids. They liked coming to my class, and I believe because they liked the class, they worked hard, had some fun, and learned a lot.

I had a lot to learn as a teacher, but ‘not smiling’ to Christmas was really bad advice for me that I’m glad I did not follow.

More often than not, I found that my students mirrored my attitude in my class. How I acted in the classroom really set the tone for most of the class. My smiles were most often mirrored by smiles. If I was excited with a lesson, so seemingly was the majority of my class. My attitude was seemingly contagious.

Not only was ‘not smiling until Christmas’ bad advice, I believe smiling is probably one of the best things a teacher can do:

  • Smiling can improve attendance. Smiling welcomes student to the building, your classroom, and to the day.
  • Smiling can increase participation. “I can trust this teacher. This teacher is kind and nonjudgmental.
  • Smiling can improve performance. I like this class; I want to work hard in here.
  • Smiling makes you a better teacher. Smiling is the first step to being a kind teacher, and if you can be nothing else as a teacher, be kind. Being kind is the most important quality a teacher can possess.
  • Smiling can reduce discipline problems. Smiling is contagious and sets the tone for a positive learning environment. Smiling in times of discipline says, “this is not personal; these are simply the rules we must follow.”
  • Smiling can increase rapport and engagement.
  • Smiling has many health benefits including reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Smiling builds self esteem. 

I have received a lot of recognition for my work as a teacher, and I am thankful for that, but the most meaningful measure of my work is when I reconnect with a former student and they thank me for my kindness in how I worked with them. That is what I am most proud.

The best advice I can offer any educator is: be kind. Be kind to your students, your colleagues, your administrators, and to yourself. Your smile, attitude and kindness is contagious and a gift to all. And… they’re free.

Wishing all listeners of the Wired Educator Podcast and readers of the Wired Educator Blog, Happy Holidays.

Kelly

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Kelly Croy is an author, speaker and educator. If you’d like to learn more about Kelly, or invite him to your school or conference to speak please send him an email. • Listen to Kelly’s other podcast, The Future Focused Podcast and subscribe. • Subscribe to The Wired Educator Podcast with over 115 episodes of interviews and professional development. • Visit Kelly’s website at www.KellyCroy.com. • Looking for a dynamic speaker for your school’s opening day? • Consider Kelly Croy at www.KellyCroy.com • Order Kelly’s book, Along Came a Leader for a school book study or your personal library. • Follow Kelly Croy on Facebook.  • Follow Kelly Croy on Twitter.  •  Follow Kelly Croy on Instagram 

 

WEP 117: Metacognition & Instruction, an Interview with Dr. Matthew Stoltzfus from The Ohio State University

In this episode of the Wired Educator Podcast, Kelly interviews Dr. Matthew W. Stoltzfus, a professor of Chemistry at The Ohio State University.  Matthew and Kelly talk about a wide range of topics including: metacognition and instruction, the Digital Flagship Initiative at OSU, the importance of students learning how to use a textbook, higher standards, culture, Focus 3, helping students become elite, the silo effect, and so much more! You are going to love it. This is a great interview. 

Matthew W. Stoltzfus, or “Dr. Fus” to his students, is an accomplished chemistry Lecturer at The Ohio State University, where he teaches large lecture sections of general chemistry. His flipped classroom approach, which has evolved over the years to focus on peer instruction, has been featured on ESPN and NPR mainly due to his iTunesU General Chemistry course, which has an enrollment of over 210,000 students.

He is also a contributing author to the “Chemistry the Central Science” textbook, is a recent recipient of The Ohio State University Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer and is an Apple Distinguished Educator (Class of 2013). Follow him on Twitter: @Dr_Fus

Mentioned in this episode: 

Matt’s favorite books:

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Kelly Croy is an author, speaker and educator. If you’d like to learn more about Kelly, or invite him to your school or conference to speak please send him an email. • Listen to Kelly’s other podcast, The Future Focused Podcast and subscribe. • Subscribe to The Wired Educator Podcast with over 115 episodes of interviews and professional development. • Visit Kelly’s website at www.KellyCroy.com. • Looking for a dynamic speaker for your school’s opening day? • Consider Kelly Croy at www.KellyCroy.com • Order Kelly’s book, Along Came a Leader for a school book study or your personal library. • Follow Kelly Croy on Facebook.  • Follow Kelly Croy on Twitter.  •  Follow Kelly Croy on Instagram 

 

WEP 116: Teaching Cyber Security and App Development, An Interview with Mike Yakubovsky

In this episode of the Wired Educator Podcast, I interview Apple Distinguished Educator, Mike Yakubovsky. We talk about the importance of teaching Cyber Security and App Development in schools. We also discuss his engineering class, technology standards, Swift Playgrounds, smishing, vishing, and so, so, so much more! You are going to love this interview.

Mike Yakubovsky is the Secondary CTE Lead for Coppell ISD and teaches Engineering and IOS app Development at Coppell High School. He has been with CISD since 2003 and started the CHS School of Engineering in 2006. The program is a 4-year pre-college engineering program focusing on design in which learners work on projects that prepare them for college STEM disciplines. Activities expose learners to design, applications of math and science, electronics, kinematics, and coding. This year, they just added a cyber security course
Mike is working on his masters degree in digital leading and learning from Lamar University. He has a passion for preparing learners through authentic, real-world projects and challenges. For example, this past July, his team drove their solar car from Ft. Worth, Texas to Palmdale, CA. You can connect with mike on Twitter @myakSTEM.

Mentioned in this Episode: 

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Kelly Croy is an author, speaker and educator. If you’d like to learn more about Kelly, or invite him to your school or conference to speak please send him an email. • Listen to Kelly’s other podcast, The Future Focused Podcast and subscribe. • Subscribe to The Wired Educator Podcast with over 115 episodes of interviews and professional development. • Visit Kelly’s website at www.KellyCroy.com. • Looking for a dynamic speaker for your school’s opening day? • Consider Kelly Croy at www.KellyCroy.com • Order Kelly’s book, Along Came a Leader for a school book study or your personal library. • Follow Kelly Croy on Facebook.  • Follow Kelly Croy on Twitter.  •  Follow Kelly Croy on Instagram