Episode 60: Vicki Davis-The Cool Cat Teacher

July 1, 2015

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Vicki is a teacher and an IT Director in a small school system in Camilla, Georgia, but she is connected through her writing, speaking, podcast, and social media content throughout the world! 

This is her 13th year teaching.

She writes regularly for the website Edutopia and Vicki can frequently be found as a national keynote speaker presenting on a multitude of topics.

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She is a published author and has her own podcast on the BAM Radio Network called Every Classroom Matters

I subscribe to her podcast on iTunes and look forward to every episode.

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Her books are Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step At A Time and Reinventing Writing: The 9 Tools that are Changing Writing, Teaching, and Learning Forever

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She has an amazing blog, http://www.coolcatteacher.com/, where she expresses her thoughts about many different areas associated with teaching from technology to classroom management and many topics in between. She also connects the readers to many resources for helping with better teaching and school leading.

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She also is very active on social media, especially Twitter, where her handle is @coolcatteacher

https://www.pinterest.com/coolcatteacher/

https://www.facebook.com/coolcatteacher

https://www.youtube.com/coolcatteacher

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Vicki is engaging and overflowing with incredible ideas for making the classroom experience unforgettable.

After talking with Vicki, I couldn't stop talking to my team members about her inspiring words! 

I think that you will get just as energized.

Enjoy!

Length:

40:45

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Episode 49: Quick Tech Tip… VideoLan Media Player

March 17, 2015

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On today's show, David and I talk about VLC or VideoLan.

VLC is a free-open source cross platform multimedia player that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
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As an Open Source player it is available to users with no financial obligation... although, the producers would like you to donate to them so that they can continue to develop VLC and work on new projects.
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VLC (VideoLan) has many features. Check out this list below. (By the way, Teaching Learning Leading K12 does not have a financial obligation to or an affiliation with VideoLan.) It is an amazing opensource tool that will liberate you from other players that have built in issues. 
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Check it out...we use it on all of our equipment and are truly amazed at the power of this tool. 
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Enjoy!

Length: 13:36
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Episode 42: First Year Teaching with Mrs. Melanie Knight

January 8, 2015

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Mrs. Melanie Knight is a first year middle school teacher at Wheeler County Middle School, in Alamo, Georgia. She is a graduate of Brewton Parker College’s education program and teaching is in her family tree. She is the daughter of teachers; her father was also a superintendent of Wheeler County Schools as well as her grandfather.


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As of the interview, Mrs. Knight is in the middle of her first year of teaching.  She uses many instructional strategies, small groups, individual practice, integrated technology, word walls, and other techniques to help the kids get the content. When I asked her where she learned to use these she credited other staff in her school as important mentors.


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I had the great fortune of watching her teach. Not only does she have good command of many strong instructional strategies but she also emphasizes a need to develop the students’ understanding of content and academic vocabulary. She uses TIPS (Terms Information Pictures and Sentences)…this is an adaption of something she learned from Learning in the Fast Lane by Suzy Pepper Rollins and what she has been taught by other staff members to develop the students’ understanding of vocabulary. 


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Mrs. Knight emphasizes the need to create engagement. It is quite noticeable as the kids are up and working and part of the class. They are not passive, but active.


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 She also has developed an excellent rapport with the kids. She commented, “I’m strict but friendly.” When you walk in her class you are automatically aware that it is a bright and cheerful place to be. She noted, “I use bright colors to help me create a welcoming classroom.”


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When I asked her what has been most helpful for her during her first year in teaching she responded, “Help and support from the school staff and family members.” She continued, “It is helpful to have someone to talk to…to talk things out.”


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She is a big fan of Pinterest and finds that the social media tool is a great help for getting ideas and support for working with the kids.


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I asked her what advice she would give to someone who is getting ready to find their first teaching position and she replied, “Be open to new ideas…Be open to learning…learn from everyone around you.”


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Mrs. Knight’s energy and focus on the kids is wonderful!

Enjoy!

Length 29:28

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Episode 33: Six Apps for the Classroom with David Lockhart

September 16, 2014

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David is a high school teacher at North Atlanta High. This summer we met at the Georgia Virtual School Symposium in Athens, Georgia where I had the chance to attend his awesome class titled,

…30 Apps in 30 Minutes.

David has always had an interest in Tech… he says, “I found something that I was good at…”

In our interview we focus on four points…

1)      His 6 favorite apps

2)      The cost of apps (In a word…cheap!)

3)      Engaging!

4)      Ease of use…

David advises…in looking for apps, “Find what works in your classroom…and then find an app that will help you. If it doesn't work…then adjust.”

Most importantly…David comments, “Don’t be afraid!”

He has amazing advice for apps to use and why as well as how to find the best apps.

I know that you will find this episode brain food!

Here are the 6 Apps that we talk about and their websites.

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1)      TouchCast   http://www.touchcast.com/

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Google Drive  https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2424384?hl=en

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3)      Symbaloo http://www.symbaloo.com/home/mix/13eOcK1fiV

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4)      Weebly https://education.weebly.com/

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5)      Tackk https://tackk.com

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6)      81dash http://81dash.com/

Follow David on Twitter @ld112265

And read his blog at www.edtechspeeddating.com

Seasame Street Song, “There’s An App for That! Find it at www.sesamestreet.org or on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhkxDIr0y2U

Enjoy!

Length 30:37

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Episode 30: Twitter in the Classroom with Leslie Houck

August 13, 2014

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Like most people I taught myself how to do Twitter… but I wanted to make sure that I did it right! I had the chance to take a class titled Twitter 101 and many of my questions were answered.

Leslie Houck is a Social Media Specialist with the Georgia Department of Education who has a background in communication and journalism and says , “I kind of fell into social media as a job.”

Leslie gives advice for educators who might be afraid of using Twitter primarily because they only hear about the bad situations that have happened.

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Leslie comments that Digital Citizenship 101 should be taught in every class to all kids and to the staff. She noted that New York City Schools, Facebook, and Edutopia have recently released examples of these guidelines for schools to use.

No matter what, she emphasizes that it is important to “be smart with our on-line reputation.” Make sure that you pay extra close attention to this part of the interview as she makes many points that help to address the use of social media in the classroom and as a professional educator.


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We also talk about Twitter etiquette, RTs, MTs, follows, Favoriting,  the restriction of 140 characters, creating a handle, the list function, and of course the # Hashtag!


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I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn about Twitter from Leslie and I know you will, too!



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Check out the links below to some of the resources she referenced.

Enjoy!

 

Length 55:58

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