Why Amazon Should Choose Ottawa County, Ohio for Second Headquarters

An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos and The World

An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos:

Top Reasons Amazon Should Choose Ottawa County, Ohio for their Second Headquarters

Amazon is about to choose where to locate their second headquarters. Amazon has found success time and time again by making bold moves and taking risks. I have outlined below why Amazon should shock the world and choose Ottawa County, Ohio for the location of Amazon HQ2.

Dear Amazon,

Here are the top reasons Amazon should choose Ottawa County, Ohio:

  • Superior Transportation Access: Need convenient and quick access for transportation via land, air, and sea? Ottawa County, Ohio has you covered. Ottawa County is intersected by an incredible highway system. The Ohio Turnpike bisects the county East and West, and Interstate 75 runs North and South and is only 15-20 minutes away. Ottawa County is home to its own International Airport, and other major airports are nearby too.  Ottawa County dominates in access to railway systems. Ottawa County is conveniently located near International Shipping yards in Toledo. Amazon could not find a location with better access to transportation than Ottawa County, Ohio.


  • Location: Looking for the perfect location for convenience and safety? Ottawa County is not only near several UPS hubs and major United States Postal Service centers, it is centrally located in the United States, and on the Canadian border. Its rural setting and flat terrain make it incredibly safe and perfect for data centers, alternative energy initiatives, and secretive research and development centers. In fact, with the nearby nuclear power plant, Lake Erie, and international border, Ottawa County has superior safety measures already in place with border patrol, nearby military bases, and impressive local, law enforcement. Amazon could not find a better location for safety and convenience than Ottawa County, Ohio.

WEP 0096: Unmapped Potential an Interview with Julie Hasson

WEP 0096: Unmapped Potential and Interview with Julie Hasson

In this 96th episode of The Wired Educator Podcast, Kelly interviews Julie Hasson, the co-author of the amazing book, Unmapped Potential: An Educator’s Guide to Lasting Change. Julie has a unique perspective in education from multiple vantage points, she has been an educator, and administrator, and now trains future teachers as a college professor. Julie and Kelly have an incredible conversation about educational data and the best ways to use it. This is a great conversation with a brilliant educator and author, Juie Hasson. You are going to love this interview.

Julie is a third generation educator and a former public school teacher and principal. She is currently a professor at her alma mater, Florida Southern College, where she teaches graduate courses in educational leadership. When Julie is not teaching, she is doing qualitative research in schools, delving into educator expectations and impact. Julie is also a speaker, trainer and author of Unmapped Potential. Julie Hasson, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Coordinator for the Master of Educational Leadership at Florida Southern College.

Mentioned in this podcast:

Our Sponsor: Potato Pirates: A fun card game that teachers you programming! <<< Check it out!

Julie’s book, Unmapped Potential: An Educator’s Guide to Lasting Change by Julie Hasson & Missy Leonard.

Books Kelly is reading and recommends:

The Wild Card: 7 Steps to an Educator’s Creative Breakthrough by Hope & Wade King

Culturize: Every Student Every Day. Whatever it Takes. by Jimmy Casas

Code Breakers: Increase Creativity. Remix Assessment. And Develop a Class of Coder Ninjas. by Brian Aspinall



12 Resolutions Every Educator Should Make in 2018

We Should All Do Number 6

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!

Here are twelve resolutions I believe every educator should make:

  1. 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.
  2. Transform the Use of Technology in Your Classroom: Technology should be used the majority of the time 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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. Publish their work.
  12. 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.
  13. (Bonus) 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.

WEP 0095: Learn Like a Pirate, An Interview with Paul Solarz

An Interview with Paul Solarz, Educational Leader & Author

An Interview with Paul Solarz, author of Learn Like a Pirate: Empower Your Students to Collaborate, Lead, and Succeed.

Paul Solarz has been teaching since 1999. He is a National Board Certified Educator and has been awarded numerous honors including: Top 50 Finalist for the Varkey GEMS Global Teacher Prize (like the Nobel Prize for Education), was named 2014 Educator of the Year by then Illinois Computing Educators. He earned his Master’s Degree from Illinois State University in Curriculum and Instruction.

His book, Learn Like a Pirate is about:

Collaboration. Empowerment. Student Leadership. These buzz words get a lot of press, but what do they really mean for today’s students? Can students really handle the responsibility of leading the class? Can they actually learn what they need to if they are working together so often? Won’t all this freedom cause chaos in the classroom? Not if you’re teaching them to learn like PIRATES!

In Learn Like a PIRATE, teachers will discover practical strategies for creating a student-led classroom in which students are inspired and empowered to take charge of their learning experience. You’ll learn strategies for:
– Crafting active, relevant, and interesting lessons
– Creating opportunities for student leadership
– Providing effective and beneficial feedback
– Instilling confidence so students can take risks
– Increasing curiosity and passion for learning
Incorporate the techniques and strategies Paul Solarz uses in his student-led classroom and watch your students transform into confident, collaborative leaders.

Follow Paul on Twitter at @PaulSolarz

Mentioned in this podcast: 

Paul’s book Learn Like a Pirate

Paul’s Most Influential Book He’s Ever Read is Teach Like a Pirate! by Dave Burgess

The Next Book Paul Will Read is: Lead Like a Pirate by Beth Hour and Shelley Burgess

Paul’s Next Purchase: A Second Projector (It’s Under $300)

Paul’s Favorite App: Sown to Grow (Students Monitor Their Goals)

Kelly’s new Podcast: The Future Focused Podcast

Kelly’s book: Along Came a Leader

Kelly’s website: www.KellyCroy.com

An Awesome Microphone on an Educator’s Budget: The Mic I Use for Podcasting

This is the Mic I use on the Wired Educator Podcast

I am often asked what microphone I use to record The Wired Educator Podcast. A lot of people like the sound of my voice and assume it is an expensive microphone costing hundreds of dollars. Not so. The mic I use only costs $64, is easy to use, and sounds great. 

I use the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone purchased on Amazon for  I plug it into my MacBook via USB and I do not use a mixing board or anything like that. If you want to go fancier and more expensive, you can, but this mic sounds great!

For the first seventeen episodes of my podcast I used the headset of my iPhone with my mic. I finally invested in this microphone, and now I receive compliments on the sound quality and my voice each week. (I do not think my voice sounds great, but who does? Others think so and that really is a great compliment, and I am flattered. Still… it has more to do with this mic than me, I believe.)

Here is the microphone I use to record my podcast, narrate audio books for authors, and more:

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone:


WEP 0094: Chromebook Best Practices, An Interview with Eric Curts

An Interview with Eric Curts

In this episode, Kelly interviews Eric Curts, one of the leading experts in Google Education and Chromebooks in classrooms.
Kelly and Eric talk about the best uses of Chromebooks in classrooms, the importance of creation over consumption, the 5 Cs of using Chromebooks, Erics top 3 suggestions for doing more with Chromebooks, how to “Tech-ify” a lesson, and so much more. This podcast is a must-listen for all educator and educational leaders.
Eric has been in education for 26 years, and currently serves as a Technology Integration Specialist for SPARCC in Canton, Ohio where he oversees Google Apps for Education implementation, training, and support, as well as other technology integration initiatives. Eric is an authorized Google Education Trainer and Innovator, and provides Google Apps training to schools, organizations, and conferences throughout Ohio and across the country. He is a co-leader of the Ohio Google Educator Group at bit.ly/gegohio and runs the award-winning blog www.ControlAltAchieve.com where all of his Google Apps and edtech resources can be found.
Mentioned on this Podcast: 
Kelly’s Favorite Christmas Book: The Red Ranger Came Calling by Berkely Breathed
The book that most-influenced Eric: Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
Follow Eric on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/ericcurts
Eric’s Channel on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/ericcurts

WEP 0093: What Makes Great Professional Development? An Interview with Rich Czyz

An Interview with Rich Czyz

In this episode of the Wired Educator Podcast, Kelly interviews Rich Czyz and educational leader and author making a positive impact for educators and learners. Rich is the author of The Four O’Clock Faculty: A Rogue Guide to Revolutionize Professional Development.

Author Rich Czyz is on a mission to revolutionize professional learning for all educators. In The Four O’Clock Faculty, Rich identifies ways to make Professional Development meaningful, efficient, and, above all, personally relevant.

Rich’s book is a practical guide that reveals why some Professional Development is so awful and what you can do to change the model for the betterment of you and your colleagues.

Mentioned in this podcast: 

Purchase your copy of Rich’s book The Four O’Clock Faculty here!

One of Rich’s favorite reads: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

One of the books that most impacted Rich’s thoughts on education: Lead Like a Pirate! by Beth Houf and Shelley Burgess

Sphero: The Affordable Robot for Every Classroom.

Tools & Resources Mentioned: Smore, Wordswag, Retype, Type O Rama, Voxer, EdCamp

Rich’s one word for 2017: Push!

Ideas & Themes Mentioned: No Office Day, Use Your Commute, The Hour of Possibility, Pop-Up PD, Survey Teachers, Own Your Own PD, Go Above & Beyond Your Learning

WEP 0092: What Great Teachers Do Differently, An Interview with Todd Whitaker

In this episode, Kelly interviews Todd Whitaker the author of What Great Teachers Do Differently, What Great Principals Do Differently, and forty other titles that have made a profound impact in education, instruction, leadership and ultimately in the lives of countless educators and student around the world.

Todd Whitaker is one of the nation’s leading authorities on staff motivation, teadher leadership, and principal effectiveness. He has written over 40 books including the National Best Seller, What Great Teachers Do Differently.

Mentioned in this podcast: (Click the title to learn more.)

What Great Teachers Do Differently by Todd Whitaker

What Great Principals Do Differently by Todd Whitaker

Motivating and Inspiring Teachers by Todd Whitaker

Dealing with Difficult Parents by Todd Whitaker

Follow Kelly on Twitter @WiredEducator and @KellyCroy 

Please visit the Wired Educator blog & website at: www.WiredEducator.com

WEP 0091: Ditch That Homework, An Interview with Matt Miller

In this episode, Kelly interviews Matt Miller about his new book Ditch That Homework, co-authored with Alice Keeler.

Kelly interviewed Matt way back on episode 6 when Matt publsihed

Matt is the author of Ditch That Textbook, Ditch That Homework, a veteran teacher, a Google Certified Educator, speaker and blogger. He is also one of the most influential voices in education. You can follow Matt on Twitter at: @jmattmiller and visit his website www.DitchThatTextbook.com

Matt is a super-cool educator that loves to help others.

You are going to love this interview.

Mentioned in this podcast:   

Ditch That Homework by Matt Miller and Alice Keeler

Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller

Tribes by Seth Godin

All Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin

WEP 0090: The Google Infused Classroom: An Interview with Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith

In this episode of the Wired Educator Podcast, Kelly interviews the authors of The Google Infused Classroom: A Guidebook to Making Thinking Visible and Amplifying Student Voice, Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith. This is fantastic interview with two amazing educators.
Holly Clark is an award-winning educator and speaker based in San Diego. She is both a National Board Certified Teacher and Google Certified Innovator. A long time teacher and administrator, Holly consults globally with schools to help them successfully and purposefully innovate instruction through the use of learning theory, technology integration and design thinking strategies. Holly holds an MA in Education from Columbia University, New York.
Tanya Avrith M.A. EdTech is a passionate educator; from Montreal Canada, now living in South Florida. She is a Google Certified Innovator and Apple Distinguished Educator. With deep roots as a teacher and pedagogue, Tanya consults with schools to help plan and execute large scale deployments and professional development plans for digital citizenship, technology integration initiative and organizational development in schools. Tanya is currently the Director of Educational Technology at Grandview Preparatory School in Boca Raton, Florida.
Mentioned in this podcast: 
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salingrer
Google Home
Adobe Spark
SeeSaw app
Apple Distinguished Educator
Google Certified Innovator
National Board Certified Teacher