Episode 017: Gamification

Education, Education Podcast, Technology

This is episode 4 of the Passing Notes Podcast Tech Series. The Tech Series is focused on the different aspects of technology use in the school.

For episode 4 we focused on gamification. While gamification might not necessarily be technology dependent, gamifying your classroom is a form of innovation that goes well with other forms of technology integration, i.e., flipped classrooms. Gamification takes the aspects of gaming that your students already know and love and implements those aspects into the classroom.

To talk about gamification I visited with Dr. Scott Haselwood. Scott is currently the Instructional Technology Director at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and holds a Ph.D. in Educational Technology from Oklahoma State University. Scott has a strong passion for gamification that he shares with other educators.  You can find Scott on Twitter @TeachFromHere or check out his blog Teaching From Here.

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Dr. Haselwood (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):

  1. Share about your role and education experience.
  2. What is gamification?
  3. How did you get started in using gamification?
  4. How do teachers implement gamification strategies in their classroom?
  5. How does using the process of gamification meet expected and mandated skills/standards for a grade level?
  6. What benefits does gamification have on student learning?
  7. What benefits does gamification have on student engagement?
  8. How should teachers lesson plan for gamification?
  9. What specific teaching strategies come into play when teaching using gamification?
  10. What role does classroom management have in teaching using gamification?
  11. What roles does student choice have in teaching using gamification?
  12. How is gamification changing professional development for teachers?
  13. What advice do you have for teachers who are interested in implementing gamification in their classroom?
  14. What are your go to resources?

Episode 016: The Techy School

Education, Education Podcast, Technology

This is episode 3 of the Passing Notes Podcast Tech Series. The Tech Series is focused on the different aspects of technology use in the school.

For episode 3 of the Tech Series we focused on integrating technology through a school-wide initiative. Technology has infiltrated every aspect of our lived experiences, and the classroom is no exception. Principals have used their instructional leadership capacity to drive how technology is used throughout the school. Creating a vision and plan for a school, including how technology practices will be implemented in the classroom, is an important aspect of school-wide practice.

For this episode I interviewed Rhonda Schroeder. Rhonda is the principal at Arthur Elementary in Oklahoma City Public Schools. Rhonda and her staff have worked to increase the technology integration throughout the school. I visited with Rhonda about the process that Arthur Elementary has gone through and what advice she has for other schools wanting to move forward with technology in their schools. You can find Rhonda on Twitter @rhondaschroeder

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Rhonda (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):

  1. Tell me about your background and experience as an educator.
  2. How is your school different? How do you describe your school to someone who is visiting for the first time?
  3. What was the tech grant your school received? How has that grant changed/empowered your school? Your teachers?
  4. When you applied for the grant what did you envision for your school?
  5. What is your tech vision for your school? What are your steps/plan moving forward?
  6. Buy in and professional development had to have been important aspects of implementation of this tech grant; what did that look like in your school? What steps did you take?
  7. How did you/the grant provide scaffolds for your teachers varying levels of knowledge/comfort with technology? What on-going supports do you have in place?
  8. What teaching strategies are most beneficial in implementing technology in the classroom?
  9. How does technology look different for your kindergarten classrooms? Your 4th grade students? (doesn’t have to be those exact grades… thinking more early childhood/upper elementary comparison)
  10. What is the STEM component to the grant? How does that look in your school?
  11. What advice do you have for principals wanting to invest more in the technology infrastructure of their school?
  12. What has been the biggest struggle through this process?
  13. What resources do you direct administrators to who are interested in investing in more technology in their schools?

This episode was recorded at and mastered by Design Tunnel in downtown OKC!

Episode 015: Tech in Early Childhood

Education, Education Podcast, Technology

This is episode 2 of the Passing Notes Podcast Tech Series. The Tech Series is focused on the different aspects of technology use in the school.

For episode 2 we focused on Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom. Often times when technology is first integrated into a classroom at any grade level we see technology being used for replacement behaviors, meaning that a device is being used instead of a worksheet. Many teachers struggle to move past that point and lack the training or confidence to move towards using a device to achieve higher order thinking skills. Episode 2 of the Tech Series is focused on an Early Childhood teacher who uses technology to allow his students to create and demonstrate their knowledge.

Alberto Jiménez Hidalgo is a kindergarten teacher at Arthur Elementary in Oklahoma City Public Schools. Alberto is a phenomenal teacher. In the 2015-2016 school year, Arthur Elementary received a tech grant from Apple which allowed the school to provide more technology for their students and training for their teachers. Alberto’s classroom is fully integrated with technology, a buzz of student engagement, overlapped with student choice and ownership of learning. After visiting Arthur Elementary for their iArthur Technology Showcase, I knew I had to pick his brain about his experiences implementing technology in the early childhood classroom. You can find Alberto on Twitter @MrAlberto_JH

AJH2       AJH1

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Alberto (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):

  1. Share about your educational experience and background.
  2. What types of technology do you use in your classroom? How did you determine this?
  3. Does technology play a role in how you set up your classroom?
  4. How do you set up routines and procedures for using technology in your classroom?
  5. What role does student-choice play in your classroom?
  6. Explain how you manage technology in your classroom?
  7. Do you notice a difference in engagement in your classroom?
  8. How has technology changed your classroom?
  9. How does technology enhance the learning experience of your students?
  10. How do you plan a lesson with technology use in mind?
  11. What roles does technology play in assessments?
  12. Let’s talk about how you use Seesaw in your classroom.
  13. What advice do you have for teachers who want to integrate technology but feel overwhelmed about where to start?
  14. What are your favorite educational apps?
  15. What resources do you use to help guide you?

This episode was recorded at and mastered by Design Tunnel in downtown OKC!

Episode 014: Technology Integration

Education, Education Podcast, Technology

This is episode 1 of the Passing Notes Podcast Tech Series. I am so excited about this series. The next six episodes are going to focus on the different aspects of technology use in the school.

For episode 1 we focused on Technology Integration. Technology integration can be an intimidating process for even a seasoned teacher, especially considering how fast technology is moving. Episode 1 will focus on integrating technology in your classroom in meaningful ways. This and the following episodes will give teachers practical strategies for how to ease into technology in their classroom. The educators that I interviewed will give you their insights and practical advice for how to use technology in your classroom and throughout your school.

Jeni James is one of my favorite educators. She is an Instructional Technologist in Putnam City Schools. Jeni helps teachers all over the district with integrating technology in their classroom. She is a big believer in letting students explore and experience their learning. She encourages teachers to not only use technology to learn from but to also create and use as a tool to share their knowledge.

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Jeni (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):

  1. Tell us about your education background/experience.
  2. Why is technology integration important in today’s classroom?
  3. Why is it important for students to have opportunities to use technology in the classroom?
  4. Are there stages of technology integration? Examples?
  5. What are some practical steps to help teachers get started using technology in the classroom?
  6. How do teachers move past the replacement stage of technology into more advanced stages of technology integration?
  7. What role should digital citizenship play in technology integration?
  8. How do teachers ensure that digital citizenship is a part of their instruction?
  9. What are your favorite technology tools?
  10. What are your favorite go to resources?

Episode 013: Interview with Kristy Cooper

Education Podcast, Relationships

For this episode of Passing Notes, I interviewed Kristy Cooper. Kristy is a 13-year veteran, teaching math and leadership at Del City High School in the Mid-Del School District. I have followed Kristy on twitter for years and have always been inspired by her deep relationships with the students she serves and her ability to empower her high school students in leadership capacities! Kristy is an amazing person and her personal life journey is inspiring to her students and other educators! You can find Kristy on twitter @kriscoop80

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Kristy (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):

  1. Tell me about your background and experience as an educator.
  2. Explain the work you do with your high school students.
  3. Leadership has played an important role in your classroom and how you design lessons, what are the important steps teachers can take to setting up leadership opportunities for students?
  4. I would imagine that the leadership looks different for every student, what do you advise teachers to do to help draw out students who are more hesitant or don’t see themselves as a leader?
  5. What role has building relationships with students has had on building leaders in your classroom?
  6. How do you tap into your students’ culture and background when empowering them to be leaders?
  7. What role does team building and relationship building between students play in your classroom?
  8. How do you teach leadership?
  9. How do you tie the community into your leadership class?
  10. How do you empower your students to take the lessons they learn in the classroom with them into their communities and throughout your school?
  11. In all things we scaffold for students, how do you provide scaffolds for students growing and developing in their leadership skills?
  12. You have been an incredibly inspirational person to many educators, how has your personal struggle with health impacted your students?
  13. How has your daily dedication to your students effected/changed how you view your health/healing?
  14. What advice do you have for teachers who are looking for ways to adapt their classroom to provide more leadership roles?
  15. What go to resources inspire you?

This episode was recorded at and mastered by Design Tunnel in downtown OKC!

The Tech Series

Education, Education Podcast, Podcast, Technology

I am very excited to share with listeners that starting August 10 the Passing Notes podcast is going to get techy! Every other week we will be releasing an episode focused on an aspect of implementing technology in the classroom or school. I talked with excellent educators across the state on topics from gamification to coding! I cannot wait to share with you what I learned from these excellent educators.

Episode 012: Interview with Kethzia Njikam

Education Podcast, Relationships

Kethzia is a parent educator with Oklahoma City Public Schools’ Parents as Teachers program. Kethzia meets with families regularly to support parents and guardians as they raise their children during the important development years before school entry.

Parents as Teachers is a home visiting program. Parent Educators meet with families, the OKCPS program particularly focuses on families with children between the ages of prenatal and school-aged, with the focus of strengthening families and building protective factors while connecting families to necessary resources.

Many school districts have a parent educating programs used to bridge the gap between home to school. Through this interview I wanted to engage educators in understanding a program that they may not be aware of in their school district and further glean lessons from home visiting that could be translated into school and classroom practices.

So, what is home visiting? I had to figure that out when I started working for OKCPS. Parent Educators meet with families, our program particularly focuses on families with children between the ages of prenatal to school-aged, with the focus of strengthening families and building protective factors. Kethzia is an excellent parent educator! If you are interested in knowing more about Parents as Teachers, click the link.

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Kethzia (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):

  1. Background/educational experience.
  2. What is home visiting?
  3. Tell us about the particular model that you use?
  4. What does the model you follow offer the parents you serve?
  5. Is there a benefit for parents participating in a home visiting program?
  6. Are there results beyond participating in the program for families?
  7. What could classroom teachers take away from the home visiting model?
  8. Do you see a benefit to teachers using home visiting to connect parents to the classroom?
  9. What recommendations would you have for classroom educators considering using home visiting their students’ parents?
  10. What are the obstacles classroom educators should consider before home visiting?
  11. How might using home visiting support classroom practices?
  12. What resources have inspired/guided you as a home visitor?
  13. What advice do you have for teachers considering implementing home visiting in their classroom?

This episode was recorded at Design Tunnel in downtown OKC!