Showing posts from 2017

Coffee and Culture- Black Mirror

For the New Year, I have decided to write a post from time to time on issues that have to do with Arts, Culture, Education, and/ or Technology.  For now, I'm going to call it "Coffee and Culture".  My goal is to highlight these issues with brief reviews for some food 4 thought discussion. With that said, here is my first installment. If you are a Netflix Subscriber and you are looking for some really thought provoking viewing, I would highly recommend watching the Series " Black Mirror "  * Now let me warn you right now *.  This is not for children and it often explores, as its title suggests, the dark side of technology and the dark side of humanity.  Season 1, Episode 1, is probably the most difficult to take on, so you may want to skip that episode at first.  (It might help to digest that one later).  The series is really a darker-up to-date version of The Twilight Zone, so you can watch the episodes in whatever order you would like. So how does th

The #CWAG Year in Review 2017

I had an amazing year of interviews and learning.   I have linked my videos to the amazing people I have had the pleasure of talking with this year. January:  Matt Miller:   Matt's work with Ditch That Textbook is becoming quiet legendary.  His thoughtful contributions and DTTB Summit provides a treasure trove of resources and ideas.  Video Only February Fanny Passeport :  I came across Fanny's work when I stumbled across her website  that had the ISTE Standards for Students explained within a Thinglink.  She has a kind hearted manner about her but is fearless in her #edtech adventures!  Video Only    March: Rachelle Dene Poth:   Had a chance to meet Spanish/ STEAM Teacher, etc. Rachelle at ISTE 17 and she is just as inspiring in person as in this interview.  Tons of great ideas!  Video O nly April Katie Garner :  Author and Educator, Katie , has a lot of great ideas for getting students reading!  Not limited to #Edtech, Katie shared a lot of great ideas. 

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Mike Drezek

Had a great #Edtech Chat with Technology Integrator Extraordinaire, Mike Drezek.  I have gotten  to know Mike over the years in his role as Technology Integrator for Lake Shore Central Schools .  He is undaunted in his quest to push the boundaries of edtech.  Mike has helped his district and teachers integrate tech tools ranging from virtual environments to multimedia tools.  He is always willing to help and share, which makes him an indispensable part of the my Professional Learning Network.  He was recently honored with NYSCATE 's  Lee Bryant Outstanding Teacher Award .   Bio:   Michael is a Technology Integrator for Lake Shore Central School District. He is entering his 4th year in this role and 14th year teaching. Michael serves on the District Technology Committee and Western New York Technology Integrators’ Forum Advisory Panel. He is a Google Certified Educator Level 1 and 2, Microsoft Innovative Educator and Trainer, 2016 Apple Teacher with Swift Playgrounds Design

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Kyle Kitchen

WHEN:  Dec. 7th WHERE:  Youtube Live TIME 4:-4:30pm Easter.  Or watch later I really enjoyed my conversation with Canadian Technology Integrator, Kyle Kitchen. Last Spring, I got to see Kyle's Keynote presentation at the Canada Connect Conference and was really impressed with his passion for getting students creating! A little about Kyle in his own words:  " I am a teacher with the District School Board of Niagara and have been a tech integrator for the past 7 years. I am a Maker, coder, speaker, Google Educator  My main goal  is to always instill passion, creativity and curiosity into learning while creating ." How you can connect with Kyle: Twitter @thekylekitchen Youtube spotlight: This interview is going to follow the Wheel of Geekdome Format.  Not sure what that is?  Tune in and find out!   Link:  HERE

Moments from #NYSCATE17

Check out this magical moments from the NYSCATE 2017 Conference in Rochester NY Tweets about #NYSCATE17 @spiffwhitfield

Coffee EDU at #NYSCATE17

I will be hosting Coffee Edu Sessions on Monday and Tuesday Mornings at NYSCATE. Stop down for some free coffee and good conversation and sharing.  Riverside Lounge Resources from Day 1 Sharing HERE Resources from Day 2 Sharing HERE

My #NYSCATE17 Presentations and Resources

Hi Everyone.  I will be 3 formal presentations and then 2 CoffeeEDU Sessions.  Hope you can join me.  Here are my resources and presentation links. Session 1:  Sketchnoting/ Visual Notetaking Presentation Slide:  HERE Resource Page HERE Session 2:  Fabulous 5 Presentations Presentation Slides:  HERE Session 3:  Google Educator Group Mashup Resource:  Mashup

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Monica Burns

GUEST:  Monica Burns WHEN:  Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 TIME:  1:30-2:00pm Platform:  Youtube Live!  Link HERE Had a fantastic first interview on Halloween with Monica Burns.   A little bit about Monica: Dr. Monica Burns is an EdTech and Curriculum consultant, author and former New York City public school teacher. She visits schools across the country to support PreK-20 teachers to make technology integration meaningful and sustainable. Monica’s website helps educators place tasks before apps by promoting deeper learning with technology.   How to connect with Monica.   Twitter: @classtechtips I will be tapping into Monica's expertise as well as discussing her books!  Can't wait!!!

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jennifer Casa-Todd

WHAT:  Interview with Jennifer Casa-Todd WHEN:  October 11th, 2017 TIME:  4:30pm-5PM WHERE:  Youtube Live:   HERE Last April I attended the Canada Connect Conference in Niagara Falls and watched a fabulous Keynote by Jennifer Casa-Todd.  Her presentation was very inspiring because it focused on the empowering uses of educational technology and social media for students.  I will be talking to Jennifer about her thoughts on Edtech as well as her new book, Social Leadia! A little bit about Jennifer in her own words:   Jennifer Casa-Todd is wife, mom, and a Teacher-Librarian at Cardinal Carter CHS in Aurora, a former Literacy Consultant for the York Catholic District School Board,  and the author of the book, Social LEADia. She also is a grad student, and a food-loving, book-loving Ukulele player-want-to-be. She loves to hang out with her family--playing cards or hiking, and enjoys curling, golfing, reading, and writing. She is passionate about showing teachers and students ho

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Annie Holmquist

WHAT:  Coffee with a Geek Interview with Annie Holmquist WHEN:  Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 TIME:  4-4:30pm YouTube Live:   HERE I have been a big fan of  Intellectual Takeout , which offers readers thought provoking posts about culture, education, entertainment, and so much more.   Often they post out about education issues which always pique's my curiosity and interest.   Annie Holmquist  is a leading contributor to the site and often posts on educational topics.  I'm really looking forward to hearing Annie's insights on education and writing for such a unique website.   Can't wait! A little about Annie in her own words:   Annie is a senior writer with Intellectual Takeout . In her role, she assists with website content production and social media messaging.   Annie received a B.A. in Biblical Studies from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. She also brings 20+ years of experience as a music educator and a volunteer teacher – particularly with inne

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith

WHEN:  Tuesday August 8th, 2017 TIME:  4-4:30PM Eastern Time Direct Link Want to win a Digital Copy of the Book?  Check out the Amazon Giveaway HERE  I'm really looking forward to talking to Holly and Tanya about their amazing new book The Google Infused Classroom. Preview their  latest Book " The Google Infused Classroom " : A little bit about Tanya and Holly: Tanya Avrith M.A. EdTech is a passionate educator; from Montreal Canada, now living in South Florida. She is a Google Certified Innovator and Apple Distinguished Educator. With deep roots as a teacher and pedagogue, Tanya consults with schools to help plan and execute large scale deployments and professional development plans for digital citizenship, technology integration initiative and organizational development in schools. Tanya is currently the Director of Educational Technology at Grandview Preparatory School in Boca Raton, Florida. Connect with her at: Twitter:  @TanyaA

Google Tutorial- Creating a Personalized Feedback Sticker for your Students.

I have been working with a fantastic school that is in the process of integrating the GSuite (Formerly Google Apps for Ed).  I was showcasing Google Classroom and how teachers can create assignments using a Google Doc.  It occurred to me that it might be fun to create a personalized feedback method using the build in Google Drawings Tool that works within Google Docs.  Here is what I came up with!

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Teacher- Vickie Morgado

Date:  July 6th, 2017 Time:  4-4:30pm Eastern Please join me as I learn from amazing educator Vickie Morgado.  I was Vickie do a presentation at the Canada Connect Conference .  I was not only impressed with the content of her presentation which showcased using tech tools in her elementary classroom, but how seamless she incorporated technology, including linking up to her classroom via Skype.   A little about Vickie Vickie has been an elementary educator in Ontario, Canada for 16 years. She has taught multiple grades and worked as a technology coach. Vickie believes in empowering her students to take charge of their learning to create positive change in the world becoming agents of change. She holds a Masters of Education in Curriculum Studies from Brock University and has presented throughout southern Ontario at various conferences including BIT (Bring it Together), OAME and Connect as well as internationally at ISTE 2015. Vickie is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE)

ISTE 2017 Coming Soon

Doing my best to keep up with all things ISTE17.  Beyond my twitter feed, I am trying to capture some higlhights, especially poster area student presentations.  Below is some quick interviews/ videos.

Interview with E-Learning Expert- Dr. Liz Hardy

Over the past few years my work has led me to explore the potential and pitfalls of Online Learning.  It is a very new and trending industry and examples of both good, bad, and ugly abound.  As a matter of fact, I found lots of the E-Learning/ Online Learning Courses that I came across that were very dry and dull.  In essence, lecture style teachers were simply bringing their lecture style into an online platform.   While some teachers are certainly brilliant orators, I found that this was limiting the power of e-learning technologies. So in my research, I came across the work of Dr. Liz Hardy.  Liz's work has been laser focused on making Online Learning, engaging and powerful.  Liz is in New Zealand, so our time zones were difficult to schedule an interview, so she kindly answered my questions via Google Docs.  Here are her insights into the future and possibility of Online Learning and education. Bio:   Dr. Liz Hardy is the founder of, which shows online

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jen Giffen

Watch the Interview Streamed Live   HERE Recently I attended the Canada Connect Conference , in Niagara Falls Ontario.  It was a really engaging conference with lots of good sessions and fantastic presenters.  During the presentation I did with colleague, Melanie Kitchen, I had a great conversation with Jen Giffen.  Jen had a lot of great ideas of her own and I could tell we could have talked edtech for a lot longer.  So I asked her to come on the #CWAG Program and tell me more.  I will ask her about the conference and her thoughts on the state of Edtech in Canada and in the schools she works with.  Can't wait to chat. Here is a little bit more about Jen: Jen Giffen currently works as a Digital Literacy Resource Teacher with the York Region District School Board, just north of Toronto, ON.. She earned her B.Ed (I/S English and Mathematics) at Queen's University and her M.Ed (Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning) at OISE at the University of Toronto. She is a S

Gaming and Gamification Part 3: Tangential Learning- The Trojan Horse Every Teacher/ Parent Needs to Know About

Many of us have learned about the story of the "Trojan Horse".  A good summary of the story can be found HERE  (Shmoop) This story came to mind when I heard about the concept of Tangential Learning.  Many educators I have talked to have not heard of this concept, and yet, I would argue EVERY educator and parent should know about it.  So in a nutshell, what exactly is it?  Well the classic definition is this:   Tangential learning is the process by which people educate themselves on a topic when it is presented in a context that they enjoy ( source ).   A really great video on the concept can be viewed below:   ****There is a 4 letter word in this video*** For Parents and Teachers its worth watching anyway. I experienced tangential learning as a child watching the cartoons and movies.  How many of you remember Bugs Bunny Cartoons?  These cartoons featured Al Capone type Mobsters, Beethoven Musical Selections, and Napoleonic adversaries galore.  It wasn't until ye

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

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. Here is the link to the Giveaway:  

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 a

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

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 Thinglink

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!