Coffee With A Geek PodcastSep 29, 2021
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Tony Spence
Episode Website: HERE
My first interview with an Educator from the great state of Wisconsin. Tony has had a variety to roles in education and discusses his ideas for Edtech from a variety of perspectives. A little about Tony in his own words: Tony Spence joined the Waterford Graded School District as the Superintendent in July 2022. Waterford Graded is a K-8 district in Wisconsin with more than 1,500 students, the 3rd largest K-8 in the state. He was previously the Chief Information Officer at the Muskego-Norway School District in Muskego, Wisconsin. In his role, he supervised and coordinated the district's technology operations and staff, as well as oversaw library media, instructional technology, personalized learning, information technology, data analytics and development, and marketing and communications. How to connect with Tony Twitter @twspence
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Sylvia Escobar
I had a really great conversation with Texas powerhouse educator and administrator Sylvia Escobar. A little about Sylvia in her own words.
Sylvia Escobar was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. She has a BS in Biology, MS in Computer Science, MEd in Educational Leadership, and is currently working on a Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus on STEM. Serving twenty-three years in education, Sylvia has taught math, technology and engineering and been a campus Director and Assistant Principal focusing on STEM and early college initiatives. She is currently a STEM Specialist at the Region One ESC. Sylvia is a champion for equity in STEM education and Computer Science. Outside of the workplace, she is an animal lover and animal rights advocate, a gamer, and an avid movie and music buff.
You can find her on X (Twitter) at @hngrstrike
Coffee with a Geek with Special Guest Mary Howard
Coffee with a Geek with Special Guests: Margie Wright and Nick Fargnoli
Educator Nick Fargnoli and Administrator Margie Wright have been using their podcast and blog, Toasted to inspire people to challenge themselves to work through failure to achieve successful outcomes. Each episode takes a deep dive into using failure as a Superpower.
A Little about Margie:
Rochester, NY native who subscribes to astrology as a science, loves a great story, is a creative soul, proud mom, and diehard Buffalo Bills fan. This is year 29 in public education, currently a district level administrator in Western, NY.
A Little about Nick:
A resident of Naples, NY, Nick is a professor of English at a local college. He is also a musician, an education consultant and father of 3 wonderful boys.
Twitter @MargieWright_ ,
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Therese Willkomm
What an amazing educator to start my 2023 interview season off. Therese Willkomm is an incredible educator who helps people by creating Assistive Technology tools to help improve their lives. She uses everyday materials from old election signs to velcro.
A little about Therese in her own words: "As you know 85% of assistive technology does not involve an electronic device. My new book makes stuff and love people does not involve any electronic device. It’s about the over 2000 different devices that I’ve created for individuals with disabilities. I still think it’s worth the interview to get people thinking that technology does not have to involve electronics.
I’m known nationally and internationally as the McGyver, McGyvett, or MacGyver of assistive technology, for my five minute approach to fabricating assistive technology solutions for use at home, in the community, the workplace, and school. Also, only 25% of assistive technology is related to education . I know that word technology makes people think that we’re talking about electronic. I also don’t use Twitter, or social media. I have never watched Star Trek or Star Wars. However, I have created and posted over 1800 assistive technology maker videos on YouTube. My passion for making assistive technology for individuals with disabilities in five minutes or less is because people should not have to wait for what they need and the fact that assistive technology has such a high failure rate. Therefore learning rapid fabrication and rapid prototyping enables rapid trial, and error in creating the most appropriate solution for a specific challenge. Here’s some more information about my new book.
“Make Stuff and Love People - Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes Book III. It is the most comprehensive assistive technology makers book available with over 1500 images including QR codes to 500 “how-to“ videos and resources. https://www.amazon.com/Assistive-Technology-Solutions-Minutes-Book/dp/0989326217"
Also check out her amazing YouTube Channel: HERE
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jordan Villanueva
So grateful to have social media guru Jordan Villanueva join me for a conversation about how to use the power of technology to promote ideas and empower opportunities. She is a true wealth of insight and knowledge about creating quick videos to express both big ideas and useful ideas. Make sure you check her out on all of her social media platforms. You'll thank me!
Connect with Jordan Villanueva
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Nefertiti Dukes
Nef Dukes is an artist, teacher, and videographer! I came across Nef's work virtually through her Screencastify job. She creates fantastic, easy to understand, videos on how to use Screencastify for amazing education based projects. She's a wealth of information and a fascinating person. A little about Nef in her own words: "Nefertiti Dukes is a former humanities teacher. After leaving the classroom, she took her passion for technology to Screencastify where she helped other educators harness the power of technology. Now, you can find her espousing the benefits of technology to improve workflows, save time, and communicate more effectively". Connect with Nef: Twitter: @niftynef Website: EdTech Heroes Podcast
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Lise Rasmussen
Most times my guests come from my Twitter Feed. My guest this week is no different, however, I thought I would take a little different spin this time. Instead of an "in the trenches" educator, I thought it would be helpful to get some insight from someone within the Technology sphere. Lise Rasmussen is a Cloud Solution Architect with Microsoft. Also, she hosts the WITGirls Podcast. (Women in Technology). I really wanted to get LIse's perspective on Women in Technology, thoughts about the future of Technology, and her day to day work. Lise is an amazing example of how you can pursue new careers in technology with passion and focus.
A little about Lise in her own words: I work as a Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft. My focus technology is the Power Platform in Microsoft 365
Ways to connect with Lise:
@sharepointbabe on Twitter and Instagram
Coffee with a Geek with Guest Cristen Magaletti
I came across Cristen in one of the Adobe courses about Creativity. Cristen offered a lot of great tips and ideas on how to embed creativity into your lessons and projects. I reached out via Twitter and she responded right away and was gracious enough to chat with me about creativity, her experiences in education, and her ideas for improving pedagogy. She has an incredible breadth of experiences as a learner and teacher.
A little about Cristen in her own words: Cristen holds a B.A in Political Science with a minor in World Religions from Boston University, a M.A. from New York University in Secondary Social Studies Education, and dual certification in Social Studies and Exceptional Student Education. She was born and raised in New York and has been a full-time teacher since 2007. After teaching for eight years in the New York City public school system in the Bronx, she moved with her family to South Florida and where she teaches Social Science and Social Entrepreneurship courses at a private school in Palm Beach County. She has extensive training in curriculum design and instruction and has worked with many teachers in professional development throughout her career.
Ways to connect:
I’m an Adobe Education Leader (AEL) and an Adobe Master Teacher. As a part of this community, I have been a contributor to many lessons on their edex.adobe.com platform.
Blog contributor to GoGuardian:
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jennifer Vandiver
As many of you know, I've been fascinated with the potential of Virtual Worlds for educational purposes. Once a proud member of ISTE's Virtual Environments Network PLN (PLN no longer exists!) I have been an advocate for virtual environment possibilities. As of yet, there has been limited progress towards moving forward on a large scale. Recently there has been renewed interest in virtual world education specifically in Second Life with the Virtual Worlds Education Consortium. (VWEC) This group has been creating an Education Hub in this virtual world.
I thought it would be a great time to chat with Jennifer Vandiver who is doing research on virtual world education for her Doctoral Dissertation. Here is our interview conducted in Second Life.
A little bit about Jennifer in her own words. "I currently live in Indiana and work as an adjunct psychology professor for Ivy Tech Community College where I teach mostly introduction to psychology courses. My degree background includes psychology, sociology, and philosophy. I am currently working on my doctorate in educational psychology. I have been a resident in Second Life for nearly 9 years and have been fascinated by all aspects of the virtual world. My dissertation is interested in the experiences of educators who teach in Second Life at the post-secondary level."
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Melissa Dean
I had a fantastic interview with Math Teacher Melissa Dean. I came across Melissa on Twitter, when one of her former students Tweeted about how much Melissa inspired her. Twitter can still offer positive feedback so I thought it was worth checking out Melissa's Twitter Feed. I wasn't disappointed. Melissa is a powerhouse classroom teacher but also is a Podcaster, blogger, and author. Her book, Unravel School: Reimagine Classrooms, Reinvent Assessment, & Revive Learning is now available on Amazon and other book sellers. I really enjoyed chatting with Melissa about Math and More.
A little about Melissa in her own words: Melissa is a grade 7 teacher in Southeastern Manitoba, Canada. She has been a classroom educator for 20 years, spanning grades 1 to 12. She is passionate about assessment and grading reform, and mathematics education. In her spare time, she enjoys drinking coffee, running, writing and baking sourdough bread.
To Connect with Melissa:
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Silky Vyas
I'm so honored to have Silky Vyas as my first guest of the 2022 year. I've been following Silky for a long time on Twitter and she shares fantastic ideas and resources. Her background is incredibly extensive so it was a real challenge to keep my interview under 30 minutes. However, she has a great way of crystallizing big topics into more manageable parts. An asset for any teacher.
A little about Silky in her own words:
Silky Vyas is presently the EY and PYP ICT Coach and Head of Information Services at Shen Wai International School, Shenzhen.
She is one of the board members of SENIA (Special Education Network and Inclusion Association) Shenzhen Chapter.
She is an ISTE Certified Educator and has more than thirteen years of teaching experience in International Baccalaureate schools, she collaborates with teachers to integrate technology and information fluency skills into the IB curriculum
She coaches the classroom and specialist teachers to use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences for all students and empower them as independent learners.
She is passionate about new technology tools for making teaching and learning compelling, relevant, and with rigor. She is also keen on exploring the uses of immersive and assistive technology tools that are meaningful, engaging, and interactive.
Follow Silky: Twitter @silkyjay
Cofffee with a Geek Interview with Al Kingsley
This month's guest comes from across the Atlantic Ocean! Al Kingsley (https://alkingsley.com/) offers some of his amazing insight into his 30 year journey of Edtech expertise.
In this episode, I ask Al about his vast experience, his recent presentation at the NYSCATE 21 Conference, and his new book, "My Secret #EdTech Diary". Al's insight carries across the miles and translates into almost any educational enterprise.
A little bit about Al in his own words: Al Kingsley has spent the last 30 years in the EdTech space and 20 of those as a school trustee and governor. He is Group CEO of NetSupport Ltd, an internationally acclaimed EdTech vendor, and has lived and worked in both the UK and US. His latest book, My Secret #EdTech Diary, released in July under the imprint of John Catt Educational Publishers. He is an expert in digital strategy, security, and education technology."
Al's vast experience and kind hearted analysis is so refreshing in today's fast paced Edtech landscape. What an honor to chat with him.
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jim Manly
It's a huge honor and a pleasure to interview a longtime friend Jim Manly, the Superintendent of Kipp NYC. Jim and I grew up together in Fredonia New York, and after high school we went our separate ways. Both of us took a circuitous route to education. This is a great way to connect across the miles!
Jim was featured in the 2010 movie, The Lottery when he was a Principal for a Success Academy Charter school in NYC. I'll ask him about his journey through education, his lessons learned over the years through his experiences and background, and we may even chat about "The good old days" of our youth!.
A little about Jim and his background: Jim Manly serves as Superintendent of KIPP NYC, a network public charter schools (18 schools as of summer 2021) in New York City. Jim came to KIPP NYC in 2015 with 30 years of experience in K-12 education. He previously worked with the national KIPP Foundation as the Senior Director of Instructional Leadership with KIPP Co-Founder, Dave Levin. From 2007 to 2014, Jim was the Founding Principal of Success Academy Harlem 2 Elementary, which became the top performing school, public or private, in Harlem District 5. He has an additional ten years of leadership experience as Principal of Manhattan Charter School, Assistant Director of Teaneck Community Charter School, and Executive Director of Teach for America in Washington, DC. Before entering educational leadership, Jim was a New York City public school teacher, earning Teacher of the Year in 1998 at M.S. 321X. Jim earned his B.A. in English from Union College and his Masters of Public Policy from The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard"
Really enjoyed catching up with Jim and keeping track of his successes and vision for the future.
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Bryna Moritz
Bryna Moritz is a young and energetic Superintendent at Pine Valley Central School, in Western New York. A rural district, Bryna was a year into her superintendency when the Covid Pandemic hit. I ask Bryna about her vision of leadership during that trying time and her thoughts on moving forward into the future.
A little about Bryna's background: After starting her education in Law, she soon discovered a passion for teaching. She received her Bachelors degree at SUNY Fredonia. She then got her first teaching job as a 4th Grade Teacher at Sherman Central School. She went on to have several administrative positions at Sherman ending with the K12 Principal. She is now in her 3rd year as Superintendent at Pine Valley. She has completed a circle from Kindergarten student to Superintendent at Pine Valley.
Notable info: Her Mother, Kim Moritz is also a superintendent and past guest on the Coffee with a Geek show. (She was my second interview!)
Connect with Bryna:
Twitter: HERE @brybooth
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Stevie Frank
Stevie is a really dynamic 5th grade teacher who puts podcasting to work with her students to create magical learning!
I had a great conversation with her about her favorite cup of coffee, her podcasting work, and even her bucket list.
A little about Stevie in her own words: Stevie Frank just finished her 12th year of teaching. She’s currently teaching 5th grade Humanities at Zionsville West Middle School. She’s department chair and one of the equity coaches for her school. Her passions include news literacy with critical thinking, social justice, and podcasting!
Ways to Connect with Stevie:
Youtube Version HERE
Rumble Version HERE
Coffee with a Geek Interview with JaVonda Tucker
This month's guest is the ever inspirational JaVonda Tucker. I started following her on Twitter and have really enjoyed reading her thoughtful comments and successful school strategies! With her contagious optimism and vision I feel she is a school leader to watch! I will ask her about her educational journey, her thoughts on leading through a pandemic, and her future goals and ideas.
A little about JaVonda in her own words: JaVonda Tucker is from Chesterfield County, Virginia. She is a graduate of Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Grand Canyon University. JaVonda holds degrees in Criminal Justice and Administration and Supervision. Currently, she is a middle school assistant principal with Dinwiddie County Public Schools. She is the proud mom of a son.
How to follow JaVonda:
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jamie Ellman
This Month I was able to chat with another Tech Savvy History Teacher. Jamie Ellman was recently showcased in Edtech Magazine discussing her favorite edtech tools for history. I'm looking forward to chatting with her about a range of issues from her favorite tech tools and thoughts on education!
A little bit about Jamie in her own words: "As a Level III instructor/leader, I started my career in education in 1993. I have taught for 17 years, and am currently teaching US and World History at Johnson High School in Buda. Last year, I taught AP US History and World Geography History at the best high school in New Mexico - nationally ranked, La Cueva High School. Prior to teaching at La Cueva, I taught 8th grade US History for six years at Eisenhower Middle School-- another one of New Mexico’s best schools. My first teaching experience was at Longmont High School in Colorado where I taught 9th & 10th grade English, Police Academy, World Geography, and multiple senior English electives. It was in this first job of mine where I began my involvement in curriculum and instruction design. In addition, I also hold a Master’s of the Arts in Teaching."
Ways to Connect with Jamie
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jonathan Redeker
Great edtech interviews and commentary over a good cup of coffee... Coffee optional.
I had a great opportunity to chat with Technology Coordinator, Jonathan Redeker from Goshen Central Schools
A little about Jonathan in his own words: "Helping educators learn and grow is a passion which drives me to think differently, lead boldly, and grow continually. The fast-paced, ever changing age of acceleration of our modern culture effects our young people in tremendous ways and I am inspired to help teachers and leaders reach students in new ways. I consider myself an "educational disruptor" through my focus on using instructional technology, rethinking pedagogy, and implementing effective leadership strategies. I believe that educational technologies, STEAM initiatives, and cross-curricular lessons can change the world and build empathetic young people. Join me in moving from "best practices" to "next practices."
Ways to connect:
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Alicia Blankeship
DATE: February 13th, 2021
TIME: 9am Eastern
As usual, my main source of interview inspiration comes from my social media feeds. Especially Twitter. This first interview of 2021 is no different. I have been following Alicia Blankenship for quite some time and enjoy her thoughtful posts and analysis. She is an "in the trenches" teacher so I really wanted to get her perspectives from field! A little about Alicia in her own words: A literacy educator who uses her education and experience to improve the literacy and skills of her students. She began her career teaching 2nd grade and has taught at the primary and secondary level.
I really enjoyed hearing Alicia's thoughts on education, Literacy, and making a difference during a Pandemic.
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Dr. Sam Fecich
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 !
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Tim Needles
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
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Rachelle Dene Poth
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 World. I'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: Twitter and Instagram: @Rdene915 Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachelledenepoth/ Blog: www.Rdene915.com Podcast: https://anchor.fm/rdene915 Books: bit.ly/Pothbooks