To kick 2017 off on a bright note, I’m excited to share a new side project I’m taking on: I have been appointed to Farmingdale State College’s Science, Technology & Society Advisory Committee through 2019. Science, Technology & Society is FSC’s largest academic program, and in their continued effort to provide the most relevant coursework to prepare students for the realities of today’s workforce, they are reworking the curriculum and program with input from an advisory team.
After my first podcast chat with Chris Nesi of the House Of Ed Tech, we realized we didn’t touch upon one of my favorite ed tech things: Ed Tech Bridge! We reconnected, this time with my pal and #EdTechBridge co-founder, Steve Isaacs, and had a great conversation about the importance of connecting educators with ed tech companies (and vice versa).
This past Tuesday I spoke at the Open Access Symposium 2016 at Stony Brook University. It was an honor to represent Flocabulary at my alma mater and chat about education technologies.
I participated on a panel, moderated by my wonderful librarian friend Laura Costello (whom I met during her time at Columbia, but is now at Stony Brook), with two brilliant folks in the education space: Brian Sweeting of Columbia University’s Teachers College EdLab (where I have spoken a handful of times over the years), and Claudia McGiveny of Stony Brook University Libraries.
Chris Nesi and I have crossed Twitter paths for quite some time. Given my love for Twitter and proximity to New Jersey, I’ve come to get to know many wonderful NJ educators over the years, both in person and online. Chris was someone I had connected with digitally, but not much more than a few tweets. I was so grateful, then, when he asked me to join him on his awesome podcast, #HouseOfEdTech. What’s more, we got to talk about two of my favorite things: podcasts and education technology!
Since Day 1 of my new gig, I’ve had ISTE on the brain. It’s a behemoth conference of 16,000+ educators, and I was leading up my company’s efforts on its booth presence, programming, and parties this year. I’ve been MIA on the blog for the past month or so mostly because working on ISTE has been (happily) consuming my life. It’s a huge investment of time and money. While I wasn’t able to attend in person, my heart burst at the photos, videos, and happy tweets that from educators stopping by our booth.
Like many yuppies trying to find stable ground 5 years ago upon entering the workforce in a shaky economy, I’ve had an interesting path in my short career. From entering grad school, my plan was to work in public or academic libraries, and I achieved that, albeit in a per diem or poorly-compensated capacity.
After a couple months of settling into my new role, I’m happy to share a recent article I wrote for USC Rossier Online.
I have experienced the power of a PLN through my own community work in ed tech. Twitter is the head honcho, but there are other tools available to expand your network, and each has its own unique elements that make collaborating and connecting within them different. The article shares tips and tricks for Slack, Voxer, and Google+ Communities as new outlets to nurture your PLN.
I was fortunate enough to write an article for Noodle Education on social media tools for educators. This was exciting for me to get a ~byline~ in an education publication (it’s been a few years since that happened), but more importantly, I was able to give a shoutout to a handful of special educators I’ve met through my community work in ed tech.
I saw an interesting image on Twitter earlier this week that got me thinking about classroom design, shared by Tom Murray, the Digital Learning Director for the Alliance for Excellent Education:
— Tom Murray (@thomascmurray) January 14, 2016
I was recently exhibiting at FETC, and one glaringly obvious takeaway was that pedagogy and technology are evolving at an exciting pace, and teachers are eager to embrace this progress. Awesome! But how can this same evolution be applied to the physical space where students learn—in the classroom?
As I explored the expo hall, there was no shortage of classroom furniture vendors, but it was hard to discern how many of them could truly impact student learning. After all, changes in classroom design can influence learning and development by 25%.
The way students learn today is vastly different from a mere 10 years ago, let alone 10 decades. Yet classroom design has been stagnating since, well, forever. What gives?
A recent op-ed article from The New York Times gave me some pause. “Reinventing the Library,” although well-intentioned, leaves me feeling like I can’t help but go on the defense. Bear with me, here.
The article argues that librarians today wear more hats than they previously did. Which is true! I have played the role of social worker, travel agent, and babysitter more times than I can count during my five years serving the public. And while our library staff does our best to help patrons, we always remind them that they would be better off consulting a professional to solve the aforementioned types of issues. (Unless they’re leaving their kids in the library for hours on end, then we give them a stern talking to. Pro tip: Please don’t do that.)
What sparked this post was one comment in the article: “[T]he role of librarians could be drafted by diversifying their mandate, but such restructuring must also ensure that the librarians’ primary purpose is not forgotten: to guide readers to their books.”
Bone, let me pick you for a bit.