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Tech Talk For Teachers
35 minutes | Aug 10, 2022
Engineering Student Agency and Opportunity
The world needs problem solvers, and providing students with intentional opportunities to engineer solutions to authentic problems in our classrooms is a powerful way to develop these skills in our learners. In many cases, young students are already naturally creative problem solvers. They engineer the world around them every day. If we can foster and encourage this practice in them at a young age, they will not only be more apt to continue being confident in solving problems, they will also develop many transferable skills and be exposed to many potential careers. Christine Cunningham, a Professor of Education and Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, has launched Youth Engineering Solutions (YES) to develop curricula to help the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers become excited about learning. She joins us on this podcast episode to unpack the topic of integrating engineering into K-12 classrooms. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
38 minutes | Aug 3, 2022
Digital Education: Skills and Leadership
When integrating technology successfully into your classroom, it’s important to identify your “why” first. Begin with an educational need or purpose that technology can help you achieve. What standards are you targeting? What goals do you want to achieve? Then ask yourself, are there technology tools that can better help me and my students achieve those goals? If the answer is yes, ask what instructional practices you can effectively pair with that device or program to maximize learning. This learning first and tools second approach will increase the odds of academic success in your classroom. Listen to this episode to hear the perspective of Dr. David Wicks as he shares what he is seeing at the university level when working with pre-service teachers as well as education veterans. Our conversation ranges from integration best practices to technology trends. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
40 minutes | Jul 27, 2022
Neuroscience and Learning
Through new technology and a growing body of research, our collective understanding and knowledge base around neuroscience and the brain has exploded in the past 25 years. Researchers continue to have a better grasp on how educators can create conditions and experiences that improve student learning. Understanding and applying this knowledge is key to strengthening teaching and learning practices in our schools. In this episode, we are joined by Conn McQuinn, a career educator and expert in the area of neuroscience. Together, we explore research and insights around learning and the brain, and we look at how that knowledge can inform education academically, socially, and emotionally. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
37 minutes | Jul 20, 2022
Views From Both the Classroom and District Leadership: Perspectives, Insights, and Understanding
This episode is all about perspective. It’s about recognizing different perspectives, and it’s also about gaining new perspectives through our own experiences or the experiences of others. No matter how we achieve it, a broader perspective is valuable and can bring better understanding and empathy to the conversations we have with colleagues and community members. In this episode, we hear from Ena Rassmussen, a teacher who has gained multiple perspectives by holding both classroom and district-level positions in her district. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
39 minutes | Jul 13, 2022
Happy 100th Episode!
In honor of the 100th episode of Tech Talk For Teachers, two special guests join Rena, Winston, and Paul on the show: Pam Beckermann, a former host of the show, and Dr. Michelle Magallanez, the Director of Special Projects at AVID Center. Together, they recount the history of the podcast, celebrate this milestone episode, and take part in some reflections and projections about their personal careers in education as well as key events that have impacted the broader world of education. The team also announces that beginning on Wednesday, August 17, Tech Talk For Teachers will be getting a new name and splitting into a long- and short-format podcast each week. Tune into the episode for all the details. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
33 minutes | Jul 6, 2022
Blended Learning as a Response to Trauma-Informed Instruction
Students have always come to us carrying trauma from their personal lives. With the uncertainties and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these traumas have become amplified. In an effort to find actionable supports and solutions, Elizabeth Buffington and Conrado Julian have joined together to conduct research about blended learning strategies as a response to trauma-informed instruction. In this episode, we explore the initial connections that Elizabeth and Conrado have found in their collaborative research. Conrado provides context around trauma and how that impacts our classrooms, and Elizabeth brings in ways that blended learning can help teachers address the issues of trauma in our classroom. Together, they help us understand ways that we can support our students emotionally and academically. Our conversation revolves around important concepts like relationship building and student agency. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
44 minutes | Jun 29, 2022
Breaking Down Stereotypes in the PE Classroom
No matter the class or group of students in front of her, Amanda wants them to know her number one theme: “You belong here.” She believes that everyone should get a wonderful physical education experience. She also wants students to believe that they can pursue their dreams and be anything they want to be. She does not want her students defined by stereotypes or the way things have always been done. During our conversation, we explore the idea of growing beyond stereotypes in the context of the physical education classroom and in the role of a strength and conditioning coach. We discuss growing the voice of women in this field as well as the integration of technology in a traditionally offline curricular area. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
37 minutes | Jun 22, 2022
Engage in Creative Coding with Scratch
Scratch is the largest children’s coding platform and online community in the world. This free block-based coding program was created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has become very popular in schools for introducing students to coding as well as for developing creativity, collaboration, and creative problem-solving. Scratch’s philosophy revolves around the 4 Ps—projects, passions, peers, and play—with a 5th P of purpose also woven throughout. In this episode, we are joined by Francisco Cervantes, the Director of Creative Learning at Scratch. He shares background, insights, benefits, integration tips, and future plans for the Scratch product. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
41 minutes | Jun 15, 2022
Grow Your Own Teachers
“Can you think of a better way to be a world-changer than to be working with students?” asks Carla Smith, the Teacher Academy Teacher-Coordinator for the Renton School District in Washington. She poses this question to both challenge and inspire her students to consider a career in education through a program called “Grow Your Own.” The goal of the program is to provide students with opportunities to explore and experience what it is like to be a teacher or paraeducator. The hope is that some students will decide to enter the profession and come back to Renton as teachers and paraeducators. In this episode, we talk about this unique program and explore how it might be a model that other schools can emulate to help address the current teacher and staff shortage. We look at the benefits that it presents to those involved and how it provides opportunity knowledge to the students in the program. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
38 minutes | Jun 8, 2022
Recruiting, Supporting, and Retaining Elementary Teachers
“Try to remember that this is the best job in the world. And no matter how down you feel, somebody in your classroom came to school today because you’re there.” These words from our guest, Dr. Teddi Beam-Conroy—Director of the Elementary Teacher Education Program at the University of Washington—hit on the essence of being a teacher. They reflect the difference we can make and the importance of showing up and giving our best every day. Throughout this episode, we explore the topic of keeping teachers in the profession so that they can continue to do their important work. We talk about the challenges faced by teachers each day, some approaches we can take to make schools a place where teachers want to remain, and specific ways that we can draw and keep teachers of color in the profession. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
38 minutes | Jun 1, 2022
Recruiting, Supporting, and Retaining Secondary Teachers
Nearly everywhere, schools are facing staffing shortages, leaving them with open positions for teachers, support staff, custodial work, nursing, and more. These shortages have led to more work for everyone in the system. In this episode, we are joined by Anne Beitlers, Director of the Secondary Teacher Education Program at the University of Washington. Together, we discuss this ongoing challenge. We explore the causes of this staffing shortage and ways to potentially recruit, support, and retain more teachers in our school systems. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
35 minutes | May 25, 2022
Preparing Students as They Transition Out of High School for a Future Full of Possibilities
"We can make ripple effects, and often change occurs outside of what we’re able to see." These words from our guest, Nichola Fulmer—College and Career Readiness Program Facilitator for Renton School District—reverberate throughout this episode and reinforce the difference that we can make in the lives of our students. Each student comes to us at a different point in their journey, but if we make a safe space for them and listen openly, we can help guide them on their career and personal pathways. During this episode, Nichola helps us unpack the topic of transitioning out of high school and how we can support our students on this journey. We discuss what it means to prepare for life after high school and what teacher support might look like in practice. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
38 minutes | May 18, 2022
Sparking Collective Educator Agency: Reigniting Hope Through Professional Learning
“Educators really are hope dealers. We deal in hope, and that’s what our students rely on us for. It has to start with ourselves.” These words from our guest, Jenn Nagle—Communications Manager at AVID Center—reverberate throughout our conversation about professional learning. During this episode, we explore how we can reignite hope for educators and students by empowering teachers through well-designed, collaborative professional learning. We discuss various in-person and virtual models that can be implemented as well as the need for teachers to work collectively toward mastering specifically identified strategies. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
33 minutes | May 11, 2022
Understanding FAFSA and the Financial Aid Process
As the costs of postsecondary education continue to rise, students and families often must seek funding opportunities to make college more affordable and accessible. Our guest, Tariq Habash from the U.S. Department of Education, provides valuable insights into accessing available funding. Most importantly, he reminds us that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is “the single best thing that a student or family can do to make college more affordable because it unlocks so much additional aid that’s out there.” This application is due June 30 each year. Join us for this episode as we explore how students and families can unlock doors to educational opportunity through FAFSA and the financial aid process. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
39 minutes | May 4, 2022
The Wonder of STEM and Robotics in the Elementary Classroom
Technology and computer science are becoming foundational components of our modern world. We see them in nearly every aspect of our lives: shopping, communication, school, work, banking, and even applying for a job. Since tech is so important, we need to make sure our students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to be innovators in this field. Computers, technology, and coding are no longer “extras.” They are essentials. In this episode, we are joined by Bryan Miller, Global Partnership Manager at Wonder Workshop. Together we discuss how the Wonder Workshop robots Dash, Dot, and Cue can be used to both introduce students to computer science and coding and also to stretch them into developing their SEL and critical thinking skills while solving real world problems. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
33 minutes | Apr 27, 2022
Digital Equity, Beyond Device Access
Digital access and digital equity are not the same thing. While digital access is having the physical access to an adequate computer and Internet access, digital equity goes further and explores the experiences and opportunities that students have in those digital spaces. It also prompts us to ask some important questions: Are enabling conditions, supports, and systems in place beyond infrastructure to make sure that schools and teachers can implement rich learning experiences for students? Do these experiences honor student needs, interests, and motivations? Join us as we unpack this topic with Dr. Beth Holland, Partner of Research and Measurement at The Learning Accelerator. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
34 minutes | Apr 20, 2022
Supporting Students Even When They Walk Out Our Classroom Doors
Students come to us in a wide variety of situations—many of which are out of their immediate control. They also come to us with often overlooked assets that we should leverage in the process of helping them grow. To provide the necessary support that students need to be successful, school systems need to work together and with families. This often starts with meeting basic needs, like reliable food and shelter, and grows from there toward supporting academic, personal, and career success. In this episode, we gain insights from our guest, Michele Starkey, the Title I McKinney-Vento Liaison in her district. Michele provides us with insights about programs and supports that are available for students and families. This awareness is often the first step in helping students and families in need. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
36 minutes | Apr 13, 2022
Exploring the Crossroads of Assessment, Student Choice, and Grading: Stories From a High School Science Class
In this episode, we are joined by veteran science teacher Mark Peterson. Mark is committed to living a life in beta, always seeking to improve his craft as an educator. In our conversation today, we explore the crossroads of assessment, student choice, and grading. We ask the hard questions, look for solutions, and reflect on Mark’s experiences as a science teacher striving to empower his students and make learning meaningful. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
39 minutes | Apr 6, 2022
What Does It Mean to Live a Life Full of Possibility? A Conversation with AVID CEO Thuan Nguyen
Our students come to us from so many different places. They have different backgrounds, different lived experiences, different interests, and different talents. To provide personal meaning for each learner in such a diverse group, we need to provide our students with a wide variety of possibilities and experiences, so they can each find their own passion and path forward. Each one of them deserves to discover what a “life full of possibilities” means for them. In this podcast episode, we explore this idea of possibility and how we can open up the world for our students, with AVID’s new CEO, Thuan Nguyen. We discuss keys to unlocking possibility, including the fundamental need for strong relationships, mentors, and breadcrumbs to possibility, as well as the role of teachers in this process. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
41 minutes | Mar 30, 2022
Online Learning: What People Think It Is, What It Actually Is, and What It Can Be
The sudden exposure to distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has simultaneously increased people’s awareness of online learning, given them some insights into what it is like to learn online, and led to misconceptions about what an intentional and well-planned online learning program can look like. In this episode, we are joined by Jeff Plaman—the Online and Digital Learning Specialist for the Minnesota Department of Education—and we dive into this topic of online learning. We explore the current status of online learning programs, discuss some misconceptions, and consider the potential benefits of a well-constructed online program. Visit AVID Open Access to learn more.
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