Monday, April 17, 2017

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Katie Garner

WHEN:  April 17th, 2017
TIME:  4:00pm Eastern

Katie Garner uses brain based research and practices to help children read.  Connecting with Katie can be done in a variety of ways but a good place to start is her website:

A little bit more about Katie:
Katie Garner, M.Ed. (author of the best selling book, SECRET STORIES®—Cracking the Reading Code with the Brain in Mind!) is an internationally known educational speaker, author and literacy consultant with twenty five years of combined classroom experience and a passion for infusing neuroscience into early literacy learning. Her "backdoor-to-the-brain" approach to phonics skill mastery via the affective “feeling” domain shifts the paradigms associated with early literacy skill instruction, gaining national recognition with the No Child Left Behind, Reading First, and RTI Initiatives. As a featured and keynote speaker at education, reading and early childhood conferences across the United States and abroad—including an ongoing keynote series at the Vulnerable Learners Summits with North American literacy leaders, Dr. Richard Allington ("What Really Matters for Struggling Readers") and Dr. Anne Cunningham (National Early Literacy Panel “NELP” Report)— Katie shares "brain-changing" strategies for boosting early reading instruction with the latest neural research showing how our brains learn best. Her practical and proven methods for bringing neuroscience into the forefront of literacy learning have been shared in both lecture and panel discussions at Harvard University and MIT as part of the Learning and the Brain Conference and Research Consortium and are the subject of an upcoming professional development book series.

Connect with Katie:  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Coffee with a Geek Giveaway

The Coffee with a Geek series has always had a mission of bringing, "in the trenches" educators' thoughts and ideas to a wider audience.  I have been so grateful to know that educators' from all over the world have watched the videos.  I have been thinking that it would be nice to somehow show appreciation for my guests and viewers.  I was excited to learn about Amazon's new Giveaway option.  You can now create your own personalized giveaway through various criterion. 
So with Rachelle's interview I am giving this a try by offering 10 Kindle copies of the 
#EduMatch: Snapshot in Education (2016) book by Sarah Thomas, in which Rachelle writes a chapter.  .  Hope you like this idea.  Any feedback you would like to offer would be wonderful!

This is my first attempt at this so I hope I didn't make it too hard.  I will try again with my next interview and hope to make a different type of giveaway so stay tuned.

Good Luck and THANK YOU!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Interview with Rachelle Dene Poth

Video Link:  HERE

I'm really looking forward to chatting with Rachelle Dene Poth.  Here is Rachelle's Bio:

"I am a Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology Teacher at Riverview Junior Senior High School in Oakmont, PA. I am also an attorney and have a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology. I have presented at conferences such as ISTE, FETC, PETE&C, PSMLA and additional local edtech and foreign language conferences. I am the Communications Chair for the ISTE Mobile Learning Network, a Member at Large for Games & Sims, the Innovations and Resources Co-Chair for the Teacher Education Network and the PAECT Historian.  I was recently selected as the 2017 Outstanding Teacher of the Year by PAECT (the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications in Technology, the PA affiliate of ISTE).
I am an author, I wrote chapter 3 of the Edumatch book “Snapshot in Education 2016”, and my chapter on Blended Learning. I am a contributing author to the upcoming publication “Gamify Literacy” from ISTE. I also blog regularly, several publications I am happy to guest blog for.I continue to look for opportunities to highlight student work and student voice."

Want to connect or follow Rachelle?

Twitter @rdene915

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Thoughts on VR and Education.

Over the past 10 years plus I have been very keenly following Virtual Environments, Gaming, and Education.   (My work in OpenSim can be found HERE)  One of the individuals that inspired me from the beginning of my education/gaming awakenings, was Philip Rosedale, the Founder of Second Life.  An early video of him explaining Second Life can be found below.  (Rosedale would leave his brain child Linden Labs aka Second Life a few years later)

Video from 2010- Philip Rosedale talks about Second Life

What spurred my curiosity the most was the possibility of letting students create within a virtual world simulation.  Letting them explore certainly can have huge learning potential, but to me, giving students creation tools within a virtual world is where the real rubber hits the road, educationally speaking.
So as an educator when I started seeing the VR technologies bubble to the surface of common use technologies, I was certainly excited and intrigued.  And when I got my first, second, and most recent look at Occulus Rift... I was blown away by the realism and immersion of this technology.  My breakdown of VR can be found HERE.  One of my concerns though was that VR wasn't allowing for creation.  It was going to be a visual experience as it was being rolled out in early stages.  A good example of this is Google Expeditions.  I am a big fan of Google Expeditions, but it doesn't allow for the end user to interact with the environment let alone create.  

However, I have recently discovered two VR platforms that are looking to jump into the immersion experience and allow for creation and collaborative creation. 

Which brings me back to Philip Rosedale.  The current CEO of Linden Labs-  Second Life Ebbe Altburg is about to release its next stage of Virtual Reality: Project Sansar.  What I like about this virtual reality project is the ability to create.  Check out their promotional video below.

Interestingly, one other competing programs is called High Fidelity.  Guess who the driving force behind this platform is?  Philip Rosedale.  Here is a peek of High Fidelity below.  

I'm really excited about the future of VR and especially the possibilities of creating.  Its a way off I think, but I am excited!   Thanks to Philip Rosedale, Ebbe Altberg, Snowcrash, and Ready Player One  for inspiration.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Fanny Passeport

When:  Wednesday March 1st, 2017

Really had a fantastic chat with innovative educator Fanny Passeport.  Fanny has an interdisciplinary background (agriculture, ecology, ethnology, pedagogy and later technology).
She is currently the whole school EdTech Coach at Mercedes-Benz International School. (India)
Her favorite PLNs are: ISTE, the Google Trainer community and Common Sense Education.
I came across Fanny's really fantastic ISTE Standards for Students Thinglink and connected with her to talk about that and MORE!

To learn more and connect with Fanny:
Twitter @fanny_passeport

Tools that Fanny recommends in the interview
Sketchnotes- Sylvia Duckworth

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Matt Miller

Had a fantastic interview with Ditch That Textbook's Matt Miller.  In this interview I asked Matt about his background in education, his amazing website, his recent Ditch That Textbook Summit and more.  If you are not following Matt on Twitter or his website, what are you waiting for! 

He is totally inspiring!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Online Learning Specialist Robin Sullivan!

Robin Sullivan is an Online Learning Specialist and Instructional Designer at the Center for Educational Innovation at the State University of New York at Buffalo.  She is also the Director for The Tools of Engagement Project.

In this interview I asked Robin about her thoughts on Online Education in general and about its future!  She is a wealth of information and talent.  It was such an honor to learn about her projects and endeavours.

Check out my interview below!