Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2020 a Year In Review!

Yes, 2020 was quite a year.  When you're a blogger you have the opportunity to reflect on your year based on the posts you create.  My goal for every year is to interview a person at least once a month.  Once the Covid Pandemic hit, honestly I ran into a rut.  Partially it was due to the increased demands and changes that are part of my job as a technology integrator.  The other part is was just a small feeling of depression.   I'm guessing we all went through a mixture of emotions.  Needless to say, I found inspiration and energy from my social media friends and eventually got back into the swing by interviewing some fantastic people educators and artists.  

Here is my chronicle of interviews for the 2020 Year.  Hope you'll enjoy the amazing people that I get to talk to.  Their work and ideas are truly inspirational and motivating!


Technology Guru Ryan McGinnis-  Ryan has an amazing grasp of the latest and greatest of EdTech.  I loved chatting with Ryan about all things tech and ways to engage learners.

Music Education Teacher and Musician- Dr. Jill Reese.  I loved chatting with Jill about her work and her wonderful Ukulele YouTube Channel.  Jill really embodies innovative education and highly engaging best practices.


Educator and Technology Expert Mamta Narula:  The Pandemic hit worldwide so this was the first opportunity to talk to Mamta from India from a Global perspective.  She is a wealth of ideas and knowledge for Edtech!


Artist Fiona Fei:  The virtual world, Second Life has always amazed me.  While the educational possibilities have never materialized, there is an explosion of amazing Artistic Talent.  Fiona is one of the finest Artists I have met!  So honored to chat with her via Avatars surrounded by her work!  


Teacher and Author Rachelle Dene Poth:  Rachelle is such an innovator on so many levels.  She is the first 2nd Time Guest on this project and it was well worth it.  She is so knowledgeable.  She was the perfect guest to talk to after my Covid Break!  


Educator and Artist Tim Needles:  Tim is a fellow NY State Educator and amazing talent.  I love getting Tim's thoughts and ideas about Art, Education, and Remote learning.  He is a true Rennaissance Man!


Professor of Education Dr. Sam Fecich.  What a great way to end the #CWAG year with such an upbeat and positive educator, author and podcaster.  Sam's energy positive attitude is so contagious.  Fun and inspiring interview.


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Dr. Sam Fecich


When:  December 9th, 2020

To Listen to the Audio Version:  Click HERE
To Watch Rumble Version go HERE
Apple Podcast Version HERE 
Listen to Audio only:  HERE

Scanning the amazing educators on Twitter always brings me to amazing educators. Dr. Sam Fecich (@Sfecich) always brings some thoughtful posts and commentary. I reached out to chat and was so happy to discuss the state of education, educational technology, and pre-service teacher prep. A little about Sam in her own words: Professor of education at Grove City College. She is the Author of Edumagic a Guide for Preservice Teachers Co author of Edumagic Shine on a guide for new teachers Host of the Edumagic podcast And she is a Pumpkin spice latte fan !

Video Recorded using Zoom
Editing done with Apple's iMovie
Bumper Music by Andrew Wheelock

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Tim Needles


WHEN:  October 28th, 2020

Podcast Link HERE

In time of trouble and strife, seek comforts and inspiration in the arts. I had a great conversation with artist, educator, and author, Tim Needles. I connected with Tim through ISTE's STEAM PLN and was amazed at his work and innovative ideas. A little bit out Tim in his own words: Tim Needles is an artist, educator and author of STEAM Power: Infusing Art Into Your STEM Curriculum. He teaches art/media at Smithtown School District, is a TEDx Talk speaker, and his work has been featured on NPR, in the New York Times, Columbus Museum of Art, Norman Rockwell Museum, Alexandria Museum of Art, Katonah Museum of Art, and Cape Cod Museum of Art. He’s the recipient of ISTE’s Technology in Action Award and Creativity Award, NAEA’s AET Outstanding Teaching Award, and The Rauschenberg Power of Art Award. He’s a National Geographic Certified Teacher, PBS Digital Innovator, an ISTE Arts & Technology and STEM PLN leader, NAEA ArtEdTech interest Group leader, and Adobe Creative Educator and Education Leader Emeritus. He’s active on social media at @timneedles. @TimNeedles on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tiktok

Get Tim's Book! HERE

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Rachelle Dene Poth

iTunes Podcast URL HERE  Spotify HERE

A Coffee with a Geek first!  I am going to interview an amazing educator for the 2nd time!  Rachelle Dene Poth is an amazingly dynamic teacher, presenter, and author!  I'm going to ask her about her edtech adventures since the last time we chatted and discuss her new book, Chart a New Course:  A Guide to Teaching Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s WorldI'll also ask her about her ideas and thoughts regarding solutions for schools as we navigate through the challenges of a pandemic.  

A little about Rachelle in her own words:  "Rachelle Dene is a Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology Teacher at Riverview Junior-Senior High School in Oakmont, PA. Rachelle is also an attorney with a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law and a Master’s in Instructional Technology. She is a Consultant and Speaker, owner of ThriveinEDU LLC Consulting. She serves as the President of the ISTE Teacher Education Network. Rachelle is the author of four books, ‘In Other Words: Quotes That Push Our Thinking,” “Unconventional Ways to Thrive in EDU” and “The Future is Now: Looking Back to Move Ahead,” Rachelle Dene’s latest book is with ISTE “Chart A New Course: A Guide to Teaching Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s World is now available. Follow Rachelle on Twitter @Rdene915 and on Instagram @Rdene915 . Rachelle has a podcast, ThriveinEDU available at https://anchor.fm/rdene915"

How to connect with Rachelle:

Friday, May 1, 2020

Coffee with a Geek Virtual Interview with Fiona Fei

iTunes Podcast Link HERE
I've always said that in times of trouble or strife, seek comfort and inspiration in the arts!  I thought it would be a great time to chat with Artist Fiona Fei.  Fiona does most of her work in the virtual world program Second Life.  For educators, Second Life is a free virtual world program that is really designed for adults.  Within this platform are various educational groups and really creative spaces.  One area that I have seen a lot of growth in Second Life is the area of arts.  There are many artistic exhibits that are free to explore and usually meet the artists.  One of the great things about these exhibits is that they are immersive and organic.  I really think that K12 education could use virtual environments  to let their students create.

A little about Fiona in her own words:  I am classically trained in oil painting and electronic media. Much of my early years were spent painting landscapes and portraits using oil paint on canvas. However, I developed a love for non-photorealism over the years as an artist. 
In continuation with my love of non-photorealism, I now produce Chinese ink-brush art in Second Life and exhibit my work around the grid.

Ways to connect with Fiona:

For Second Life Users who want to visit Fiona's Exhibits

The Worldling Cradle ~ Fantasy Faire

La Maison d'Aneli - ShuiMo Blossoms By FionaFei

Chuanghu (Windows) - FionaFei Exhibit - GBTH Project

Friday, March 6, 2020

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Mamta Narula

Listen on iTunes Podcasts:  HERE

I had the great opportunity to listen to Mamta Narula at last year's NYSCATE Conference.  Mamta agreed to be a participant in our Fab 5 Presentations.  The catch?  Mamta was in India!  She was fantastically patient and we connected with her from across the miles through Google Hangouts.  Her presentation was a fantastic success.

So it is with great enthusiasm that I will have the opportunity to talk more with Mamta about her vast experience in educational technology.

A little about Mamta in her own words:  "I am an educator from India and I firmly believe that learning is a continuous process and learning should be shared. I have a keen interest in exploring and using Technology tools in Teaching. I regularly incorporate tech tools in my teaching and share it with other educators also."

How to Connect with Mamta:

Youtube Video:  HERE

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Dr. Jill Reese

LISTEN HERE on iTunes Podcasts

DATE:  February 14th, 2020

I am really honored and excited to chat with Dr. Jill Reese.  She's  is not only a Music Education Professor but has an amazing Youtube Channel that she uses for Ukulele Instruction.  She can be seen around the College town where I live, having Ukulele jam sessions!  I can't wait to talk to her about education, her use of edtech, and Ukulele playing!

Here's a little about Jill in her own words: "Jill Reese is Associate Professor of Music Education at The State University of New York at Fredonia. She earned degrees in Music Education from Temple University (Ph.D.), University of Michigan (M.M), and Michigan State University (B.M.). She taught vocal/general music in the public schools of Michigan, and early childhood music in Michigan and Pennsylvania. She presents and publishes research nationally and internationally on topics including technology, improvisation, early childhood music, general music, and ukulele. She is the founder of Fredonia Ukulele (an intergenerational community ukulele group) and a YouTube channel that provides over 100 original ukulele play-along videos for teachers, students, and amateur ukulele players and has over 49,000 subscribers and over 14,000,000 views since 2015. She was awarded the 2017 Fredonia College Council Award for Community Engagement for facilitating community ukulele and early childhood music experiences through community-university partnerships. Her solo-authored book, Navigating Music Learning Theory: A Guide for General Music Teachers was released in August of 2019 through GIA Publications. Her co-authored book, Q & A for MLT: General Music Perspectives, is under contract with GIA Publications and is projected for publication in 2021."

Ways to Connect with Jill:

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Ryan McGinnis

iTunes Podcast Link HERE

Really looking forward to interviewing friend and colleague Ryan McGinnis.  Ryan is a really dynamic technology integrator for CA Boces in the Southern Tier of New York State.  He truly is a great source of pedagogical and innovative best practices.  Can't wait to chat with him about his thoughts on upcoming technology trends and big ideas.

A little about Ryan in his own words:  "3rd year as a Professional Development Coordinator (Technology Integration), newly appointed CA BOCES Data Protection Officer, spent 10 years as classroom teacher (5th, 2nd, STEM), 2 years as an Elementary Principal."

Ways to connect with Ryan:

Twitter: @RyanMcGTech

Work Website:  HERE

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Coffee with a Geek 2019 in Review

It's that time of year when we look back and reflect on the year and hopefully set goals and resolutions to improve our lives, both personally and professionally.

I'm so thankful for all the people that sit and chat with me and discuss their thoughts and ideas around education.  I find it so beneficial to hear from others to gain much needed perspective.

Anyway, my goal for this year and the past is to talk about education matters that are important, with trendsetting educational leaders.  So here is my year in review.

Guest/ Topic
Youtube Link
Dr. Shantel Scott- Teacher and Technology Innovator
Jennifer Gonzalez- Cult of Pedagogy  Need I say more?
Rabbi Michael Cohen- Edtech Leader
Canada Connect Conference Interviews

Scott Merrick- Virtual Environments ISTE PLN Leader
Mike Tholfsen- Microsoft Edu 
Luke Nifaratos- SAM (SMART Approaches to Marijuana)
Black Mirror Support Group- Awesome Group of Educators discussing pop culture
Kirsten Lewis- 3rd Grade Teacher Extraordinaire
Create-a-thon Winning Students- Creative Students!
Katharine Birbalsingh- Headmistress of the Michaela School
Kristen Swanson- Educator and Entrepreneur (Edcamp, Slack)