James Sturtevant Hacking Engagement show

James Sturtevant Hacking Engagement

Summary: It is my great pleasure to publish this weekly podcast that supplements my book "Hacking Engagement". Listen and get creative ideas on how to engage students tomorrow! Please visit my website: http://jamesalansturtevant.com/ And...for a cornucopia of teacher empowerment resources, visit: http://hacklearning.org/

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Podcasts:

 Episode 153 Redefine your Normal...Starring Jennifer Burke-Hansen | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2572

Imagine a high school girl from Texas deciding to venture to Denmark as an exchange student. Talk about a culture and a climate shock. I’m describing the young Jennifer Burke-Hansen. What’s interesting about Jennifer is that she became enchanted with this tiny nation of 6 million on the scenic Jutland Peninsula. So much so that she’s resided there for the last three decades and taught high school for the bulk of her stay.Jennifer embodies the growth mindset. She continually pushes herself outside of her comfort zone. Teaching school is hard enough in your hometown. Imagine teaching in a different culture where the students don’t even speak your native language. The challenges of returning to in person instruction this fall is making many anxious. Jennifer is here to help. She’s offering free training entitled How to create your personalized back-to-school reEntry plan! Just click on the link to access. Here’s also a post from her reEnchanting Teaching Blog. The post is titled Redefine your Normal. I love this idea and we talk about teaching in the post-COVID world a lot in this episode. I also love the theme of her blog reEnchanting Teaching. I was a successful teacher, but there were seasons in my career where I had doubts. Jennifer’s blog addresses questioning educators. You’re not alone and Jennifer is here to help.

 Episode 152 Educator Consumer Feedback...Starring Collin Jewett | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3321

I’m going to describe a student. I’ll bet you can picture one similar. This kid seems unenthused by many of the prompts and activities that are issued or done in class. It isn’t that they are incapable, in fact just the opposite. They master directives quickly and effortlessly. Unfortunately, they complete their efforts without much enthusiasm. The student feels stuck in the endless wave of mundane requirements that overpopulate the typical k12 experience. They are disillusioned with the one size fits all approach to education. I’ll bet you can think of a student like this. Picture that young person in your mind. I’ll bet you worked hard to personalize this their instruction to give them room to grow and explore. Such efforts on your part are noble and I applaud you for it. But the fact remains that we probably don’t offer students enough intellectual freedom. We probably don’t leverage curiosity enough.And this dear listener is where Collin Jewett makes a dramatic appearance. Collin was a classic bored student, but he doesn’t come to my podcast to vent. He’ll vent a little, but he’s more interested in helping. Think of Collin as a customer who actually completes a consumer feedback prompt and does so in the spirit of constructive criticism. We can learn a lot from students and former students like Collin if we have the courage and humility to listen.

 151 Create a Positive Assessment Culture that Inspires Growth....Starring Aaron Cook | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2593

I think that every educator has heard the following, “I didn’t do well on this assessment because I have test anxiety.” The fact that every teacher has heard this should be a red flag. Certainly, a bit of test anxiety is healthy—I mean you have to be motivated enough to study. The problem is when test anxiety results in diminished performance. Not only is this stressful and demoralizing, but it also creates inaccurate results. We need to do assessment better. Assessment should be less like judgement day and more like growth events. And this is where Aaron Cook, the Director of Secondary Curriculum and Assessment at the Delaware City Schools in suburban Columbus, makes a dramatic appearance. Aaron is an assessment savant. In this episode, he’ll promote assessing the whole child. My wife and I strive to eat a whole foods diet. We feel a lot better when we’re not scarfing down all of those preservatives that we can’t pronounce. A whole child approach to assessment will be just as healthy. Not only will Aaron’s ideas inspire you to empower your students through assessment, but he’ll also guide you to creating much more accurate probes.

 Episode 150 Creating a Local Learning Experience...Staring Brent and Molly Watson | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2513

I went to grade school in a small town. Our school was right on Main Street in the town center. A few of my most vivid memories were the brief class excursions into town. On various days, we visited the post office, the dairy, the glass blower, and the bakery. I had no aspirations to be a postman, a dairy farmer, a glass blower, or baker. Regardless, I loved these field trips. It got us out of the stale classroom. It unveiled to us how products that we regularly consumed were produced and distributed. I loved these experiences and my classmates did too. We’d cheer every time a new scenic detour was announced. Those experiences happened 50 years ago. And here, dear listener, is where Brent and Molly Watson make their dramatic appearance. Brent and Molly have created the Garden Learning Lab. It’s an awesome community resource. It’s exciting and humbling to think that in the year 2071, some old-timer will be waxing eloquently about the trip they made to the Garden Learning Lab all the way back in 2021.

 Episode 149 Get your Students out of their Bubbles Courtesy of the American Exchange Project...Starring David McCullough III | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2561

The bubblefication of the United States is much written about and much talked about. We tend to live around, interact with, watch media outlets populated, and are entertained by...people who think like we do and probably look like we do. That’s too bad, because while bubbles can feel safe, they are also limiting. The scary part of our bubbles is that they are reflected in our schools. Many American students learn in monochromatic settings. Their peers largely look like they do and probably think like they do as well. Youth should be a time of healthy exploration. What can be done? Today I’m going to talk to David McCullough. He has an interesting idea on how to get students at your school out of their bubbles. His creation, the American Exchange Project offers a 10-14 day summer experience for graduating seniors. It’s like a mini gap year. Students will live and experience, for a brief time, a community that’s different than their own. This experience is:FreeOpen to All

 Episode 148 Utilizing Assessment to Bond with Kids...Starring Layne Neuhart | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2561

This seems like a totally incongruent title. How in the world can you use assessment to forge strong relationships with students? And yet in this episode. My guest and I will attempt to answer this question. The key is student revision based on teacher feedback. Two tech tools that are instrumental in this process are the Google extension Mote and an app called Voxer. Both will be featured in this episode.Educators need to stop conducting assessment as an event and transform it into more of a process. Students learn so much when they go back and fix and improve. Successful revisions typically take a healthy collaboration between students and teachers. That, dear friends, is fertile ground for relationships to evolve. To help in this interesting exploration, I conscripted one of my students. Layne Neuhart is a wonderful person. She has a bottomless intellectual curiosity and is a blast to interact with. She’s going to be a champion at forging positive relationships with the lucky students that will one day be in her language art class.

 Episode 147 Do your Kids Know CRAP about Evaluating Online Resources...Starring Kaylie Callihan and Josh and Hilgenberg | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2534

The attack on the capitol should be a wakeup call for educators. We have a moral obligation to help students evaluate online sources. Perhaps through our efforts, kids will develop a healthy skepticism about all sources. Unfortunately, many contemporary adults have trained their young to reserve their skepticism only for those sources that emanate from the other side of the political divide. Contemporary media literacy should encourage a healthy skepticism toward all sources.

 146 Moving Past COVID...Starring Ryan Mocarski | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2400

I’ve always been fascinated as to how calamities, such as war, lead to innovations that benefit humankind long after the conflict abates. WWII, for example, sponsored all of the following:AntibioticsRadarJet AircraftComputersSatellitesThe old adage Necessity is the mother of invention could be applied to each of these quantum technological leaps. In each case, one side in the conflict was attempting to develop advantages that would lay waste to their enemy. The unintended consequence, however, was that these inventions vastly improved civilian existence after the conflict. I could not fathom my life without any of these WWII byproducts. This realization got me thinking. I wonder if the catastrophe of COVID will spawn better ways to educate kids. To help explore this rhetorical question, I tapped a former guest, Ryan Mocarski. 5 years ago, on Episode 31, Ryan promoted the idea of self-directed learning. In this episode, we’ll speculate about transitioning out of COVID.

 145 The Legacy of a Lesson...Starring Ty DeLong | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2253

The best thing about social media is that it keeps you connected with significant people. It’s kept me connected to many former students. I’m going to talk to one today. Ty DeLong was a student in my Economics class almost 2 decades ago. Ty lives in Nashville. He’s a software engineer. He’s a devoted husband and father. I’m really proud of him.A few years back, I ran into Ty’s parents at a local store. My wife and I caught up on the doings of Ty and his siblings, but at one point in the convo, his parents mentioned the positive impact of a lesson from my class on Ty’s life. WOW–that thrilled me. Today’s episode is going to be on that lesson, why and how it impacted Ty, and the incredible responsibility and potential for every educator whenever the bell rings each period and each day.

 144 Middle School Science Teacher Shane Neiffer Explains HOW to Make Your Class Enthralling | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3608

Last week was exhilarating. My wife and I had become determined to install a subway tile backsplash in our kitchen. I thought to myself, There’s no way I’m going to pay someone to do that. I’ll learn how and do it. Of course, I went to the greatest educator in the world–YouTube. I watched a number of how-to videos, gathered my courage, and then installed that backsplash. It was a profitable and empowering exercise. I love my new backsplash and the experience gives me confidence to take on more such challenges.Are you willing to gather your courage and try something new in your classroom? Covid has forced us to adapt and take risks and wouldn’t you agree that there have been experiences over the past few months that have evolved you as a teacher? I’ll wager that when this crisis abates that you’ll find yourself teaching differently than before Covid. Times such as these afford you the opportunity to try new things and take risks. And this, dear listener, is where Shane Neiffer makes a glorious appearance. Shane is a middle school science teacher in Eastern Pennsylvania. She’s developing a sparkling reputation as an innovator. She takes a subject that many students dread–Science and makes her class the one her students are gabbing about around the dinner table that evening. In this episode, we’ll talk about exactly HOW she does it. It’s one thing to hear about someone doing something, but it rises to a whole new meaningful level when they demonstrate. Think back to my subway tile backsplash example. Without YouTube, I’d have been lost. That is the magical thing about what Shane has done for you in this episode. You simply must navigate to my show notes and then access the link to Shane’s Resources. This doc is a student engagement roadmap. She indicates the objective and then provides the tool to fix it. She’s compiled 30 different tools that can be utilized to achieve the various objectives she has listed. This is a powerful resource that I’m going to apply in my classes next semester. I challenge you to take a look and NOT find something that you’re going to use tomorrow. That is why in the title of this episode the word HOW is in all caps. Shane, like YouTube, gives you the how. This is a magnificent resource for Covid and beyond. If you’re an administrator and you're looking for PD for your teachers, Shane would be an excellent choice. I definitely see instructional coaching in her future. But after having said all those wonderful things about her, I would be remiss if I left out the most important part–she’s a really neat person. I’ve known her for a grand total of two weeks and I feel like I’ve known her most of my life. This woman is a technocrat and a highly engaging person. That dear friends, is a wonderful combo. I love this interview!

 143 Helping the Technologically Disadvantaged Student...Starring Jalen Wells | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2422

Covid has forced educators to take portions of their instruction, or all of their instruction, online. It’s quite an adjustment for all concerned. But imagine, and perhaps you’ve faced this, that a significant portion of your student’s home technology setup is inadequate, or non-existent. What do you?In this episode, we’ll ask Jalen Wells this question. Jalen teaches history at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland. Many of his students have such technological obstacles. Covid has multiplied exponentially this digital divide. Jalen will talk about what his school has done and what he has done to help these students.

 142 Four Ways to Dramatically Improve your Next Zoom Call...Starring Bernard Johnson, Christian Manna and Emily Montgomery | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2809

The first time I was a participant in a Zoom call, I was so impressed. It felt so futuristic. I thought highly of it and was excited to do another.Covid however, like with many things we treasure, wiped out this euphoria. Zoom calls sprouted up everywhere. I grew to dread the dreaded Zoom call invitation. Here are some reasons why:They’re too many participants.They’re not engaging.They’re too long.Most are time and place bound.In this episode, I’ll offer a remedy to each of these problems. Here are four objectives that I follow in my engaging Zoom call quest:small intimate experienceshighly engaging preparation and discussion prompts30 minute call limitrecorded and made available to non-participantsI’d like to take each of these objectives and go into a bit more depth

 141 Veteran Music Educator Robert Trocchia Takes us to the Mountaintop | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4154

In the fall of 1979, I was a freshman in a college dorm trying to adjust to my new surroundings. One thing that I’ve always done to ground myself has been to play the music that I love. I grew up in a small town in Southeastern Ohio that was not diverse. And yet, my musical taste was totally urban. I loved the Isley Brothers and the Brothers Johnson and Earth Wind and Fire. One transformational afternoon, I put on some of my jams, which inspired a guy a couple of doors down to walk to my room, pop his head in, and then joyously proclaim, “I can’t believe you're listening to these jams. I didn't think anyone on this floor loved the Isley Brothers.” That guy was Vince Trocchia and a lifelong friendship evolved from this initial interaction. In October of that magical year, Vince invited me to his house for dinner. I eagerly accepted. I was treated to a magnificent Italian meal and met Vince’s wonderful family. I was so intrigued by his dad Robert.Robert was the iconic local music teacher at Fairfield Union High School in Breman, Ohio. His choir from a small Ohio town:Performed in many of the great cathedrals in the western worldAppeared on nearly fifty TV showsAnd was named one of the top high school choirs in the United States.It was evident from the moment that I met him how much Robert loved his life. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my future at this point, but his example impacted me. I viewed him as immensely rich. This evaluation had nothing to do with his stock portfolio.Robert is now 86-years-old. You would never guess that when you listen to his powerful voice. He seems exactly the same to me as he did forty years ago. When I learned that Robert authored a book about teaching, I knew that I had to get it and that I had to have him as a guest on this podcast. Mountaintop Moments is a wonderful book for any teacher, at any grade level, teaching any subject. Embrace the message of this wise sage!

 141 Veteran Music Educator Robert Trocchia Takes us to the Mountaintop | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4154

In the fall of 1979, I was a freshman in a college dorm trying to adjust to my new surroundings. One thing that I’ve always done to ground myself has been to play the music that I love. I grew up in a small town in Southeastern Ohio that was not diverse. And yet, my musical taste was totally urban. I loved the Isley Brothers and the Brothers Johnson and Earth Wind and Fire. One transformational afternoon, I put on some of my jams, which inspired a guy a couple of doors down to walk to my room, pop his head in, and then joyously proclaim, “I can’t believe you're listening to these jams. I didn't think anyone on this floor loved the Isley Brothers.” That guy was Vince Trocchia and a lifelong friendship evolved from this initial interaction. In October of that magical year, Vince invited me to his house for dinner. I eagerly accepted. I was treated to a magnificent Italian meal and met Vince’s wonderful family. I was so intrigued by his dad Robert.Robert was the iconic local music teacher at Fairfield Union High School in Breman, Ohio. His choir from a small Ohio town:Performed in many of the great cathedrals in the western worldAppeared on nearly fifty TV showsAnd was named one of the top high school choirs in the United States.It was evident from the moment that I met him how much Robert loved his life. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my future at this point, but his example impacted me. I viewed him as immensely rich. This evaluation had nothing to do with his stock portfolio.Robert is now 86-years-old. You would never guess that when you listen to his powerful voice. He seems exactly the same to me as he did forty years ago. When I learned that Robert authored a book about teaching, I knew that I had to get it and that I had to have him as a guest on this podcast. Mountaintop Moments is a wonderful book for any teacher, at any grade level, teaching any subject. Embrace the message of this wise sage!

 140 Formative Assessment that’s Engaging and Relevant...Starring Aurora Dollins, Brianna Pasco, and Alex Staton | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1875

Formative assessment is not done enough. I believe that part of the problem is that teachers simply don’t know enough about it, or how to do it. I was unclear on both of these counts a decade ago. It makes me sad to think of all the students who matriculated through my class before I became aware of this powerful tactic. Hopefully, this episode will inspire and enlighten you. I finally have students joining me once again. Aurora Dollins, Brianna Pasco, and Alex Staton are students in my Assessment class at Muskingum University. I love interviewing Education majors because they have a unique perspective. They get what it’s like to be a student, but they are constantly evaluating how they will utilize approaches and tools once they become instructors. 

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