A Gap Year for Teachers???

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My friend and comrade Sung Lee writes so eloquently about a gap year for educators. SOUNDS GREAT!

My book “You’ve Gotta Connect” is all about how teachers can forge strong relationships with students. You can also listen to me dialogue about bonding with students onnumerous podcasts.

I love doing professional development. If you’re interested, here’s my email: pjsturtevant@gmail.com

 

The Hack Learning App is Now Available on iTunes

My friend and comrade Mark Barnes, the dynamic entrepreneurial educator from the great city of Cleveland, released his Hack Learning App on iTunes yesterday. This dude is fascinating, so check out his work.

I call it Education’s 1-Stop Emporium!

My book “You’ve Gotta Connect” is all about how teachers can forge strong relationships with students. You can also listen to me dialogue about bonding with students onnumerous podcasts.

I love doing professional development. If you’re interested, here’s my email: pjsturtevant@gmail.com

People from the U.K. are Just Better at Conversation

I’ve interacted with a number of Brits visiting or residing here in the great state of Ohio, USA. To a person, they’ve mentioned how tired they get of hearing the following, “OOOO…I love your accent. It’s charming!”

Believe me, Americans have said worse to foreigners, but it still comes off as patronizing. Actually, it’s not! I believe Americans suffer from a deep-seated inferiority complex when it comes to the UK. The great engineering Roman Empire saw the ancient Greeks as revered parental figures. So it is with the British-American relationship. We say we love your accent because we’re too intimidated to say anything else because we’ll sound stupid!!!

Americans need to get over this, and here’s why. The French have their food and wine, the Italians their physical beauty, the Germans their engineering, and the British…HAVE THEIR HUMOR. This wonderful attribute makes conversation with most natives of the British Isles intoxicating! Of course I’m painting with a broad brush, but it’s certainly been this Ohioan’s experience. Because the UK is so talented at conversation, it produces the planet’s most compelling, inspiring, and entertaining chat shows.

That’s certainly been my experience on 3 British podcasts:

The Pivotal Podcast with Paul Dix and Kevin and Mulryne #72

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Inspiration 4 Teachers with Kelly Long #16

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The Middle Way Society UK with Barry Daniel #54

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Thanks again to my British friends!

My book “You’ve Gotta Connect” is all about how teachers can forge strong relationships with students. You can also listen to me dialogue about bonding with students on numerous podcasts.

I love doing professional development. If you’re interested, here’s my email: pjsturtevant@gmail.com

How About Using Podcasts to FLIP Professional Development?

Over the past 6 months, it has been my great joy to appear on 10 podcasts. These wonderful conversations have afforded me the opportunity to thoroughly explain my ideas to a boundless audience. Podcasting has been a blast,and I’ve made so many cool friends in the process. I’ll be vacationing in Colorado with one of my hosts, Sung Lee of Inspiring Educators, in a few weeks. How’s that for the power of podcasting? I BELIEVE, however, podcasting has great potential to revitalize, transform, liberate, and elevate professional development.

I’m a veteran teacher who has endured 30 years of PD. The lion’s share of these experiences have been droning exercises in direct instruction. Ironically, many of these marathon lecturefests have promoted the opposite…”Differentiate your instruction. Teach to diverse learning styles. Consider flipping your classroom. Incorporate technology.” Has anyone else noticed the hypocrisy?

Since my book was published, I’ve conducted a lot of PD. I always get the audience doing, and interacting, early and often. That’s the way my message makes an impact. I’ve enjoyed these experiences. I love meeting people. Nothing can replace being there, shaking a hand, sharing a laugh, reading a nonverbal communication, and chatting in the hallway during a break.

But, contemporary professional development involves a lot of travel and expense. ENTER THE PODCAST! Jonah Weiner of Slate recently published an article promoting the amazing potential of this remarkable form of communication.

Today, my most recent podcast interview was published…Episode #72 of the Pivotal Podcast.

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The Pivotal Podcast is out of the United Kingdom. A few months ago, I visited their website, and listened to an episode. I was hooked! I loved the way these British dudes interacted with guests. I contacted them, and was invited on the show. The ONLY cost involved in this endeavor was time. I sat in my classroom in Sunbury, Ohio USA and interacted with these fascinating guys via Skype. I’ve always loved British humor, and these two did not disappoint. They asked me about #cheekynandos. I was totally lost! Listen to the episode if you’d like to solve this hashtag mystery. Just a decade ago, this simple process of being interviewed by someone 5 time zones removed would’ve been SO expensive and complicated.

Central Office types in charge of professional development might be wondering…So, why do podcasts represent a unique opportunity? Well…how about utilizing podcasts to FLIP professional development? That’s right, have participants listen to an intriguing program before the PD session. Then, once you all congregate, engage in enriching and compelling activities based on the program. There are a few websites dedicated to flipping professional development. However, I’m promoting using podcasts to achieve this. Podcasts embody what the internet does best:

  • Eliminates distances
  • Connects people around the globe
  • Provides valuable resources at little, or no cost

I’ve been involved in professional development that involved a book study. This is the same idea without the expense of buying the book! I’ll wager many podcast interviewees (like me) would be so honored someone was utilizing their appearance, they’d be happy to join the discussion via Skype or Google Hangouts. I’d also be willing to share engaging activities that go along with the broadcast. I’ll bet I’m not alone.

Here’s a simple activity one can do with any podcast. I teach dual enrollment World Civilization. My favorite flipped lesson is the Socratic Circle. We do one such circle on the siege of Tenochtitlan (the Aztec capital). The students listen to the In Our Time Podcast, then come to class raring to discuss!

Using podcasts in professional development has great potential in terms of enlightenment and engagement. Additionally, because most podcasts are free, scarce financial resources are preserved!

My book “You’ve Gotta Connect” is all about how teachers can forge strong relationships with students. You can also listen to me dialogue about bonding with students on numerous podcasts.

I love doing professional development. If you’re interested, here’s my email: pjsturtevant@gmail.com