Perspectives In Education Podcast Episode 5: Monica Burns: Educator, EdTech Consultant and Classroom Technology Advocate

Episode 5: Educator, EdTech Consultant and Classroom Technology Advocate

Our guest for episode 5 is Monica Burns.

Dr. Monica Burns is a Curriculum and EdTech Consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator and Founder of ClassTechTips.com.  As an educator, Monica was part of her school’s Federal Magnet Funding leadership team and was a vocal advocate for bringing 1:1 technology into her 5th grade classroom. During her tenure as a classroom teacher, Monica used iPads to create engaging, differentiated learning experience to meet the unique needs of her students. Realizing the power of tech tools in the classroom, Monica started ClassTechTips.com to provide a resource for educators and administrators on implementing EdTech in the classroom.

In this episode we discuss:

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

Building Leaders

The National Association of Elementary School Principals recently published a great post from Sandra A. Trach on building leaders and investing in leadership.

The article, “Building Leaders“, highlights the role of the assistant principal and does a great job discussing how much they support the principal, staff, and the overall foundation of the school.  I love this quote that they highlighted:

“Assistant principals “lead from the middle” of the school, which allows them to work at a meaningful intersection of administration and leadership, and among faculty, staff, students, and parents. Assistant principals are key relationship-builders, becoming a bridge between the principal and faculty and staff, and aiding in the trust and transparency necessary for a successful school culture.” – Christopher Colwell in Impact: How Assistant Principals Can Be High Performing Leaders.

This is so true!  Often in this process I believe then their skill sets may not continue to grow in order for them to make the shift from the Assistant Principal to the Principal.  The post goes on to highlight the right strategy to bring principals along, tools for growth,  and highlights why investing in assistant principals is definitely worth it!

Reading this article I just LOVE the emphasis on leadership and investing in our people.  So much in education revolves around investing in our students (which obviously is a worthwhile investment) we also have to think about everyone else on the campus.  Investing in our staff to ensure that their voice is heard, they are supported, satisfied, have the resources that they need to be successful are all part of establishing strong school culture.

If your not sure, put out a survey to assess your leadership.  One of my favorite people to follow on twitter in the blogging world, Amber Teamann, did and was surprised by the results. (“MyBad” Podcast by Jon Harper has the story here)  Now she had two options, you know what they are, but she took the high road and now she has transformed her leadership.

So what if you are feeling like you do not do the best job?  I would instantly turn my attention to Lead Like a Pirate by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf.  Not only is it a fun themed book that can easily transfer to your school, they provide real life examples of how to turn your school around.  You will be able to take lessons form their book and instantly start insert them into your leadership tomorrow.  They also joined my podcast Perspectives in Education (listen here) to discuss leadership and their book.  “We want to create schools where kids are knocking down the doors to get in but we also need to create schools where staff are knocking down the doors to get in.” – Shelley Burgess.

Well how do we do that?  I love this quote from Beth Houf that came from the podcast,  “We throw around the phrase whats best for kids a lot, we (Shelley and I) feel like our influence on doing whats best for kids relies solely on how we inspire and motivate and support the adults in our buildings.  If we do that, then the teachers and other educators can truly make an impact.”  She hits the nail on the head.

So back to my question from before, do you support your staff, encourage them, listen to their needs, and provide them all the resources they need to grow?

Rethinking the Lesson Plan

Rethinking the Lesson Plan comes from one of my favorite ed minds, Katie Martin.  If you have not had a chance to follow her on Twitter, read her blog, or see her TEDTalk I would highly recommend her.  She does a wonderful job sharing her views, connecting them to research, and inspires her followers to be better educators.

For me just listening to her TEDTalk sold me on who she is as a person and educator because you can just feel her passion.  I also participated in IMMOOC with her and George Couros and wow do they do a great job covering, highlighting, and discussing The Innovators Mindset.  I would highly recommend you participate if they ever collaborate on Season 3!

So I am out in left field so back to this post from Katie!  This post is great because I believe that highlights what most of us feel about the lesson plan.  Some may think that a well thought out, document plan is fantastic but for me, quite honestly, it is a waste of time!  You can perform a well thought out, planned lesson without dedicating 30 minutes to an hour typing it all out, spell check, grammar check, all just to submit to an administrator (who probably does not review it) to verify that you are “prepared”.

My view is that we, as teachers, have SO many other things that we have to do each day so when planning a lesson, documenting EVERY step can be a waste of time.  If we simply step back, review the principals that Katie outlines in her post, and put our mind to what is best for our students vs. writing great lesson plans I believe you will make improvements as an educator.

One of my biggest take away’s is the discussion over engagement vs. empowerment.  As Katie references, it is talked about several times in The Innovators Mindset but if you sit back and think about how you learn doesn’t it make SO MUCH SENSE!?  I am engaged DAILY at work, doing my job, completing tasks on time, but I am never has happy as I am when I am empowered to do something different.  I can explore my passions and then maybe even find ways to bring it back to my work.  What if you find that your passions NEVER connect to your work, maybe a career change would also improve your lifestyle?  All of these questions and more can be discovered and answered just by taking time to be empowered vs. engaged.  Can’t we also do this for our kids while they learn?  Imagine what they could learn about themselves while also learning math, history, science, and english!

Katie discusses how we can potentially shift the gears and change this discussion.  You need to read her post for all the details but here are the highlights of the areas that she discusses:

  • From Engagement to Empowerment

  • From Standardization to Personalization

  • From Scaffolds to Agency

  • From Skills to Application

  • From classroom management to classroom community

  • Experimenting or Evolving?

Enjoy the read – you will not be disappointed and I hope that it opens your mind to potentially investigating other ways to do things while still getting a similar result!

Featured image was borrowed from her post which was borrowed from http://HomeschoolingInDetroit.com!

S01 Episode 5: Monica Burns: Educator, EdTech Consultant and Classroom Technology Advocate

Episode 5: Educator, EdTech Consultant and Classroom Technology Advocate

Our guest for episode 5 is Monica Burns.

Dr. Monica Burns is a Curriculum and EdTech Consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator and Founder of ClassTechTips.com.  As an educator, Monica was part of her school’s Federal Magnet Funding leadership team and was a vocal advocate for bringing 1:1 technology into her 5th grade classroom. During her tenure as a classroom teacher, Monica used iPads to create engaging, differentiated learning experience to meet the unique needs of her students. Realizing the power of tech tools in the classroom, Monica started ClassTechTips.com to provide a resource for educators and administrators on implementing EdTech in the classroom.

In this episode we discuss:

Please share and comment!  Would love to get feedback and suggestions.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to us!

S01 Episode 04: Teacher Appreciation Week Part 4

Today we conclude our celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week!

Part 4 comes from co-host Mike Rocco as he thanks the teachers that have had an impact on him from his high school teacher to his mother-in-law and wi

Thank you all for listening and hope that you have taken time this week to thank a teacher in your life!

S01 Episode 04: Teacher Appreciation Week Part 4

Today we conclude our celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week!

Part 4 comes from co-host Mike Rocco as he thanks the teachers that have had an impact on him from his high school teacher to his mother-in-law and wi

Thank you all for listening and hope that you have taken time this week to thank a teacher in your life!

 

Competencies vs. Skills

Eric Sheninger writes one of my favorite blogs to follow.  I could probably share his post weekly!  This is post on “Competencies vs. Skills” was great because it is a widely discussed topic.  There are always posts about the skills students need to be successful in the 21st Century.  The challenge is that “skills” are great but they do not often lead to mastery.

Eric defines competencies and skills as such in his post,  “Competencies outline “how” the goals and objectives will be accomplished. They are more detailed and define the requirements for success in broader, more inclusive terms than skills do. There is also an increased level of depth that takes into account skills, knowledge and abilities. To succeed in the new world of work, students will need to demonstrate the right mix of skills, knowledge, and on-the-job ability. A skill is a practical or cognitive demonstration of what a student can do. Competency is the proven use of skills, knowledge, and abilities to illustrate mastery of learning by solving problems.”

The number one thing that I loved about the post is that Eric does a great job defining them but then stresses that while skills are great, we need to get beyond them!

What are your thoughts?

Featured imageLos borrowed from: www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/8-digital-skills-we-must-teach-our-children/

 

 

S01 Episode 04: Teacher Appreciation Week Part 3

Our celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week continues!

Part 3 comes from our friend Mike Lubelfeld.  Mike is the Superintendent of Deerfield Public School, District 109 in Illinois.  He is the co-host for #suptchat on the first Wednesday of each month at 7 P.M. CST as well as the co-author for The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today.  Mike will be a future guest on the podcast so stay tuned!

If your interested in sending your personal thank you/refection, please contact us!  We would love to add your recording to the show!

S01 Episode 04: Teacher Appreciation Week Part 3

Our celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week continues!

Part 3 comes from our friend Mike Lubelfeld.  Mike is the Superintendent of Deerfield Public School, District 109 in Illinois.  He is the co-host for #suptchat on the first Wednesday of each month at 7 P.M. CST as well as the co-author for The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today.  Mike will be a future guest on the podcast so stay tuned!

If your interested in sending your personal thank you/refection, please contact us!  We would love to add your recording to the show!

S01 Episode 04: Teacher Appreciation Week Part 2

Our celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week continues!

Part 2 comes from our friend Tyler Tarver.  Tyler is an amazing educator from Arkansas and he showcases one of his strengths that we see in him as a leader/administrator/teacher in this episode: Humor.  The power of humor cannot go unnoticed with our students and staff.  Tyler is a future guest of the podcast and to check out some of the amazing things he is doing in education, check out his website: Tarver Academy.  You will not be disappointed!

If your interested in sending your personal thank you/refection, please contact us!  We would love to add your recording to the show.