I can't believe it- I'm on a podcast(or two)!: June 4, 2019

If you've been reading my blog, you know that having my own podcast is one of my big dreams!

If there has ever been a edupodcast junkie, I am it!

Ever since discovering podcasts in January 2018, I have sprinkled almost all my drives with stories from other educators via podcasting. I love the fact that I can learn each day as I drive to work or other errands. If you want to learn more about all the marvelous podcast PD there is and its impact, read my May 15th post: The Power of PD

So when fellow SBTS, @MrsLanghorne started her podcast, I was both excited and slightly envious. I loved how she had taken a #leapoflearning and started this new venture. I also loved how she used her podcast to highlight the accomplishments of her staff @McLeanHS.

If you haven't listened to her show yet, you should. (I'm not just saying that because I was on this week's episode.) She is truly amazing and the staff at @McLean High School is doing phenomenal work.

Having listened to many, many podcasts, I had built being on and having my own podcast up. I wasn't sure I was up to the challenge.

What did I have to share?

If I made a podcast, how would I do it? I was sure it would be complicated.

I had so many questions!

So imagine my surprise when Nishi Langhorne, the host of Invitations to Learn, took out her microphone, connected it to her school computer and opened Audacity. When we first started recording, I kept looking at the sound waves on Audacity. But as our conversation evolved, it became easier. We were just two new technology specialists reflecting on the year and we happened to be recording it. It was such a great opportunity to share some of our accomplishments, challenges, and tips. Our conversation was a great recap of a year I have loved and I was so happy to share my school's successes with Nishi!

What were your successes this year?

We first discussed successes during the year. I started off sharing how I found an amazing way to reach my kindergarten students using icon literacy. I shared this revelation on my home page post. Then, I shared how proud I am of my staff for doubling their Twitter use after our Tweet and Eat breakfast training. Last, I shared how my staff has learned to use Flipgrid to amplify student voice and how students have embraced using this tool. To learn more about my Flipgrid journey, check out my post from April 23, 2019.

What were your challenges this year?

Next, we talked about challenges. I discussed how being part of the master schedule was initially challenging since I wanted to get into classrooms more But throughout the year, I had found more ways to reach out to students. One of those ways was through teaching in the master schedule and exposing my students to creative ideas which they shared with their teachers. This led teachers to want to try new things. I also discussed how during the first month, my brain was in overload and felt like it was going to explode with all the trainings and new things to learn. I was so eager to share as much as I could at first. My early weekly technology tips were so full of ideas and very comprehensive, but they didn't take into consideration how much time they took to view. After discussing this with Jason Covey at SBTS Management, I refined these tips into quick view infographics using Google Slides. I learned that LESS is MORE!

What tips do you have for a new tech specialist?

Afterwards, we talked about tips for a new technology specialist. My first tip was to get connected! As the only person with your position in a building, it can make you feel isolated. But, through attending EdCamps sponsored by @NoVaEdChat and participating in weekly #NoVaEdChats on Wednesdays at 8 PM, I had built up a Professional Learning Network or #PLN and I have learned so much from all of them. In my February 9th post, I shared some of the great ways social media and being connected have influenced me. My second tip went back to the LESS is MORE idea and how new technology specialist need to be mindful of that idea as they share new ideas. Nishi shared a great story from her days @RockyRunMS, where her principal said whether you move a half step forward or five steps forward, just move forward. Our goal is to encourage that growth mindset.

Why are tech coaches important?

We concluded the show by sharing why tech coaches, like us, are needed. We discussed how busy teachers are and how content changes all the time. Likewise, technology changes quickly. I described how as tech coaches, we act as matchmakers, pairing up the technology that best matches the content and gives students the opportunity to do more. We both love us some @shakeuplearning with Kasey Bell. We want to help teachers leverage technology to go past average to greatness, as @JimmyCasas shares in Culturize.

After taping with some other SBTS who watched my interview, we reflected on the process and shared questions about how to make a podcast happen. I love how open Nishi was to sharing this process with us. It made a previously daunting task seem approachable and manageable. She also offered to help during the process and was encouraging and supportive.

So, making my own podcast? Yes, I can do this...

I have all summer to plan and figure out my niche and format. Who will be my audience? What will make my podcast different? These are all questions swirling in my mind. I know based on my staff feedback that many of them are interested in more asynchronous professional development- could I address that? But I also want to highlight some of the amazing things staff and students in my building do every day- maybe I could fit that in too,

Luckily, I have some time and plenty of learning opportunities ahead this summer. Looking forward to ISTE19 in June, Classy Videos course and WISSIT 19 to help me form my vision. Who knows where all these journeys will lead me? But for now, I present to you my first appearance as a guest on a podcast...

Special thanks to @VirtualGiff for sharing how to making these fun Friendmojis- check out her blog post: The 4Cs and Friendmojis to learn how to do this.

Listen to more of Nishi's awesome podcast, Invitations to Learn, on Apple Podcasts and subscribe to her on iTunes so you know when her next episode is released on Tuesday mornings.

Her Podcast website: sites.google.com/view/invitations…earnpodcast/home

Her Twitter handle: @MrsLanghorne

Or Two!

Also this week, I am excited to share that on this week's #EduDuctTape season finale, I was one of the featured "success stories" at the 18:30 mark.

Here is the video I submitted to share all the great things I learned this season on the #EduDuctTape Flipgrid.

But please check out the entire episode as well. There are so many great people to add to your #PLN.


Check out my Techy Lab Blog Archives @Techy Notes