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May 12, 2022

EdTech Heroes: 20 Tips for Educators from Our First 20 Episodes!

Jarrod Rice
Content Lead

In 20 episodes of EdTech Heroes, we’ve hosted teachers, administrators, and EdTech and video innovators and experts from around the globe! The through line from each guest: first and foremost, they are educators. 

Each guest has shared invaluable tips, tricks and advice for how educators can utilize technology to maximize the learning in their classrooms, no matter what it looks like. So we’ve compiled some of our favorite thoughts from each episode!

Read below👇 to learn more and subscribe to EdTech Heroes on your favorite podcast app to be the first to hear our new discussions!

Episode 1: Take an entirely new approach to teaching💡

In the first episode of EdTech Heroes, Kareem Farah of Modern Classrooms Project discusses how teachers can connect, engage, and learn new ways to empower students through exciting educational content. How is it done? Through self-paced learning and mastery-based grading.

Listen to the full recording below to learn more!

Episode 2: Add video to add options 📽

Kyle Niemis knows from experience that educational technology should make teachers' lives easier and learning more fun for students. That’s why he embraces organized chaos and student choice!

"The whole [choice] journey started for me with video lessons and giving kids a choice there. [...] When I recorded myself and just said, 'Hey, listen. You can watch this video of me versus me teaching,' and they watched the video in class, which seemed very weird at first.

That is the smallest, easiest way to do choice because you just tell the kid, 'Hey, listen. You're getting the same lesson, but you can watch it at two times speed. You can watch it at half speed. You can fast forward. You could pause.' They have choices in how to get the content. So if you're looking for a not-overwhelming way to introduce choice in the classroom, that's where I began my journey."

Listen to the full episode here!

Episode 3: Discover different types of classrooms and their value 🏫

In this episode, Kasey Bell, CEO of Shake Up Learning, talks about how we can shake up our new normal. Whether you are a self-professed techie or a newbie, she shares advice about bringing asynchronous learning to the face-to-face classroom, the importance of the EdTech mindset, and the dos and don'ts of integrating EdTech intentionally.

Watch the clip below!

Episode 4: Achieve success with simplicity of video ⭐️

Henry Mann of Screencastify says the goal of EdTech is to simplify teachers' lives so they can be better teachers and increase student learning. Listen to much more on how video plays a massive role in doing so here!

''We value simplicity and ease of use more than almost anything else [...] because we know teachers have to put all this together. So the simpler we can make it, the more clicks that we can remove from the navigation between different applications, just makes a teacher's life easier and makes them more effective and be able to get to the outcomes they want for their students. 

“When we can do that and reduce the amount of time that a teacher needs to spend thinking about what tools they're going to use and how to use those tools, teachers and students benefit.”

Episode 5: Involve students’ learning preferences 🙋

In this episode of EdTech Heroes, Nef talks with Susan Rivers, Executive Director and Chief Scientist at iThrive Games, about how EdTech games can better teach social-emotional skills in a low-risk and more engaging way while still sticking to the curriculum map.

"Ask [students] interesting questions that you're genuinely curious about. And then listen to what your students have to say. Think about what they have to say and say, 'Hey, what would it be in this classroom to create an experience that addresses or takes into consideration things that you want to learn about? Let's make that happen because through design we learn.'"

Learn much more from Susan's episode here!

Episode 6: How to prioritize professional development 👩‍🏫

Sarah Margeson, Coordinator of Connected Learning at Tippecanoe School Corporation in Indiana, has used the pandemic to help differentiate professional development at her school system through the use of webinars, how-to guides, and one-on-one classroom visits. 

Hear Sarah talk about the school culture that has made it OK for teachers to ask for help, the importance of connections, and sustainable education in the clip below!

Episode 7: Video at the international level 🌏

Ola Brorson, an English teacher in Sweden, talks about how technology’s dynamic capabilities are changing what education looks like today. He also discusses how he uses technology to connect his students with other students worldwide and the importance of using technology to learn with your students.

“One kid would explain, ‘I'm sorry that I can't do this on my Chromebook. I used my phone instead.’ That’s problem-solving. I think people these days are used to the video format, and we should do that in school.

“I think school is super focused on academic skills, but not everyone works at universities. There are other jobs. If students are not very strong at written English, but they're good at speaking, or with their hands, or they can use props or whatever, [using tech] allows them to show their skills.”

Learn more from Ola here!

Episode 8: Transform your classroom into a creative space 💻

Thom Gibson of New EdTech Classroom is a two-time teacher of the year educator and 10-year classroom educator, teaching middle-school math, science, robotics, and YouTube video production. Listen to his advice for turning classrooms into creative spaces below!

Episode 9: How to use technology for deeper learning 🤔

Kim Nidy, Director of Technology at North Canton City Schools, says that instead of trying to implement a bunch of different tools to promote engagement, we should shift our mindset and focus on promoting deeper learning using the right pieces of technology.

"I think you don't have to have these shiny, flashy things to get deep with learning. Some of it may not even be technology-related. A piece of it [technology] may just literally be a conversation in the classroom, and then, maybe the discussion feature in the LMS can lend itself to continuing that conversation later.

“So it's a mix. It's, 'What do I need, at this particular time, to get to that learning and engagement?' And it may not start out with technology; technology may end up swooping in later and aiding it."

Listen to more here!

Episode 10: Survey students about the best tech tools 🛠

In this episode of EdTech Heroes, host Nef Dukes chats with Dr. Jesse Fidelio Garza, the Technology Integration Coordinator at Los Fresnos CISD. Jesse shares valuable tips for teachers interested in creating introductory videos and encourages them to “sharecase” their content across various platforms.

Watch the clip below!

Episode 11: Prioritizing student choice in the classroom ✅

Screencastify’s Katie Callahan shares why student choice and voice is so important in the classroom. And listen here for the entire episode with the Screencastify Squad.

''When students were able to make choices based on their strengths or interests, they were more likely to be engaged. So I would do things like using choice boards, where students got to choose how they were assessed. Some might choose to make a Google Slides presentation. Some might create a video. Some might draw a comic strip if they like drawing.

“And giving students that choice and that ownership over their learning, I think, is important, and showing students that you value their voice also keeps them engaged. So I would do things like Socratic seminars, which are pretty much entirely student-led discussions where they're helping each other gain a deeper understanding of a text,'' explains Katie, a customer experience associate.”

Episode 12: Personalize learning to empowers student voices 🗣

Michelle Hearn, the Technology Instructional Coach at Middletown City School District, talks about the essence of instructional technology, the benefits of sharing classroom experiences with other teachers, and the significance of personalized learning. Listen below!

Episode 13: Use tools that work regardless of subject matter 📚

In this episode, Heather Esposito, District Teacher Technology Coach at Cherry Hill New Jersey School District, discusses the best tips for using tech in classrooms, encouraging student engagement in class, and finding the best tools no matter the subject. 

“We came together — preschool teachers through 12th grade, guidance counselors, and assistants — thinking about and learning from each other about how one use in the classroom could also translate to another use. 

“One of our top creators is a guidance counselor. She uses Screencastify for everyday morning meetings, and in these meetings, they talk about what National Day is, she gives some SEL (social-emotional learning) tips, and they reinforce different positive aspects of life.

“I decided I have to celebrate these folks for everything that they're sharing because it's truly a testament to how one tool can be utilized in so many different ways, not just with remote or hybrid, but moving forward to help not just students but parents.”

Listen to Heather’s episode here!

Episode 14: Building community by building video content 👋

Ron Carroll of Chicago Public Schools shares valuable advice for all the teachers who still might feel hesitant to ask for help and encourages them to give technology a chance because “practice makes permanent.”

Watch the episode with the CPS Manager of Instructional Technology below! 

Episode 15: Give your students a choice in the classroom 👏

Natalie Conway, a teacher and instructional coach at SYS Education understands that as long as you take your students to the end goal — whatever that is for your classroom and subject — they can have a say in their education.

"It's not that you need to design your lesson or unit in five different ways. That's really not what it is. It's designing paths and choices. So, the person who's the vegan is gonna dive into your vegan meal, but your meat-eater might take a scoop of that too. And that's okay because it's delicious. 

So, it's thinking of it in terms that everyone's free to make that choice. And of course, kids are going to make some great choices for themselves and, maybe, some not as great successful choices, but that, in and of itself, is a learning experience. If we can walk them through that, it's really valuable for their self-efficacy and their growth."

Listen to the full episode here!

Episode 16: Achieving extreme differentiation in the classroom 👉

In this episode of the EdTech Heroes podcast, pioneer of the Flipped Class Movement, Jon Bergmann discusses the benefits of flipping classrooms, what mastery learning is all about, and why students should have more control over their learning. 

Watch the clip below!

Episode 17: Accommodate different learning styles 😎

Jake Miller, host of the Educational Duct Tape Podcast, stresses the importance of self-paced learning and the different styles that students possess. 

''We're letting the student progress through the information at the pace that works for them because they're all different. They all have different styles of learning. 

“I found when I do it in my classroom ... that frees me up to move around the room. That frees me up to build relationships with my students; that frees me up to support students who are struggling. That frees me up to ask questions for deeper learning of students, and to do some of that formative assessment through discussion and things like that.

“So whenever we can take video and utilize it to bring some flexible pace into our classroom, it's hugely beneficial.''

Listen to the complete episode!

Episode 18: Convert students’ studying into a process 📖

Mandy Adams of Franklin Public Schools joined EdTech Heroes to share why teachers should use video in their classroom and its benefits in helping students to learn and demonstrate how they understand the material. Listen to the episode below!

Episode 19: Keep it simple with your tech tools📱

In this episode of the EdTech Heroes podcast, CEO of Chromebook Classroom, John Sowash discusses the future of education, how to prepare students for the world, and the tremendous benefits that technology offers to both students and teachers.

"I'm a technology person. I like tech. I find it entertaining and interesting, but I'm also just a very practical person. Look, I taught in the classroom — you've got 30 kids in front of you, and you're teaching a lesson,” Josh said. 

“You've got that critical moment where it's either going to work, or it's not going to work. And it's got to perform. It's got to be simple. The directions have to be accurate. And so, simplicity is essential. There are a lot of tools out there that look great. And maybe they would do great things, but if they're too complicated or the process of getting my students signed up for them and connected with them is too complex, it doesn't even matter."

Listen to more from the episode now!

Episode 20: How to get started with video in the classroom 🎬

Filmmaker, photographer, and former educator Al Thomas knows the value of creativity, how to introduce it into the classroom, and why it's more important than ever to teach students creative thinking.

Watch the episode below to see Al take a deep dive into how any student can become a creator!

Begin your journey with video!

Subscribe to EdTech Heroes for more great discussions with educators. And install Screencastify free to begin your video journey today!

Jarrod Rice
Content Lead

Here to help every user get the most from Screencastify.