Policy, Voice and Privacy

Join #txeduchat host @RafranzDavis

Sunday, April 26th at 8pm Central


For a sneak peek into this topic, take a look at Rafranz’s latest post on the issue.

Rafranz Davis is an instructional technology specialist for a Dallas/Fort Worth area school district. As an advocate for passion-based learning, Rafranz uses her experience as a secondary math educator to help teachers integrate technology using innovative teaching strategies aimed at empowering students to be autonomous learners. As a writer and speaker, Davis frequently draws upon her background as a parent and woman of color to offer ideas and insight into how technology can be used in schools to not only break barriers but to provide opportunities and instruments for diverse learners’ voices. Her first book, The Missing Voices in Edtech: Bringing Diversity into Edtech (Corwin Press, January 2015), challenges schools to not only face inherent challenges of lack of diversity in decision making but also take steps aimed at changing it.

Ways to inspire others to become “Connected Educators”

@SVicGlass hosts #txeduchat at 8pm Central

on Sunday, April 19, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 7.02.18 AM


Shaina Glass is an Instructional Technology Specialist of Raymond Academy in Aldine ISD, in Houston, Texas. Shaina is an enthusiastic lifelong learner and educator that believes that children learn best by being creative, innovative little free spirits! Having taught primarily 4th grade students for the past 10 years, her goal is “to continue to provide students with endless opportunities to explore and learn creatively BEYOND the walls of a classroom!”

Shaina is a newbie to the instructional technology role but has successfully flipped her classroom the last three years in a title one school in Aldine ISD. Shaina LOVES integrating STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Mathematics) into the lives of every child. As an iTech, she continues to learn and collaborate with other educators through her PLN (via Google+, and Twitter) where she advocates for more Art and Technology integration opportunities for minority students in urban schools and communities.

She truly believes that Art and Technology integration is the key to helping children express their understanding of concepts within my classroom. Creatively educating students utilizing STEAM is her ultimate goal, which will help all students become successful 21st century learners.



Ways to Give Students SUPERPOWERS!

Join #txeduchat when @KristenSwanson hosts

on Sunday, April 12th at 8pm Central

From Student Superpowers

Do you sometimes wish that you could whip on a flowing cape and pick up a magic wand? That you could wave it once over your classroom full of students and have them become masters of all that they need to know?SuperHero Kid

We’re teachers just like you, and we know that teaching is a difficult, yet rewarding profession. The biggest “wins” come when we can see our students grow and develop as independent, engaged learners. We’ve developed this text to provide you with practical changes that help you cultivate learning superpowers in all of your students.

With careful instructional design, students can hone the superpowers necessary to master whatever they encounter! It is our job as teachers to create classrooms and learning experiences that empower struggling students that who aren’t good at the game of school, especially those who lose confidence under the pressure of grading and testing. How many talented learners have been labeled by their faults instead of their strengths?

While we cannot solve all of the problems that exist outside of our classrooms, we can provide a safe haven within which they can learn while they are with us. We can establish classroom rules that forbid criticism and social abuse. We can encourage and empower with every word that we speak. It is only for the hours of school, but it can encourage growth and learning in deep and fundamental ways.

ABOUT Kirsten Swanson, EdD.

Kristen Swanson helps teachers design meaningful, interactive curricula at the local and national level. She has taught at the elementary level, served as a regional consultant for Response to Intervention, and worked as an educational technology director for a public school district in Pennsylvania. She holds a B.A. degree from DeSales University, two M.A. degrees from Wilkes University, and an Ed.D. degree from Widener University. Kristen is currently an adjunct in the DeSales University instructional technology M.Ed program and a senior technology leader for BrightBytes.Kristen_BW

In addition to her experience as an educator, Kristen is also passionate about meaningful professional learning. She serves on the board of the Edcamp Foundation, a nonprofit organization designed to facilitate local, grassroots professional development. She has shared her ideas and expertise at ASCD conferences, TEDxPhiladelphiaEd, TEDxNYED, and Educon. She has also been published in academic journals, including Literacy Learning: The Middle Years and the Journal of Reading, Writing, and Literacy. She is the author of Professional Learning in the Digital Age: The Educator’s Guide to User-Generated Learning and Teaching the Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards.

Kristen is active in the educational technology sphere. She is a Google Certified Teacher, Twitter Teacher, Edublog Award Nominee, and avid blogger. She strongly believes that rigorous curriculum fosters meaningful technology integration, and she is also interested in the learning opportunities provided by asynchronous learning.


Authentic Learning with @kylepace

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Join @kylepace on #txeduchat

Kyle Pace, an Instructional Technology Specialist who has worked with K-12 teachers in his current school district to provide instructional technology professional development for the last 11 years, has prior experience in the elementary classroom. Kyle currently holds a Master of Arts degree in Education with an emphasis in Educational Technology. Kyle champions to support teaching and learning with meaningful technology integration using a multitude of technologies.
Kyle Pace

Kyle is a keynote speaker and presenter at education conferences such as ASCD, EdTechTeam’s Google Apps for Education Summits, Learning Forward, ISTE, FETC, Staff Development for Educators, and individual school districts around North America. Kyle has also organized all five annual EdcampKC “unconferences” since 2010.

As part of his ongoing commitment to professional growth, Kyle is also a Google Certified Teacher.  In January 2013, Kyle was named as one of Education Week’s 2013 “Leaders to Learn From” and joined the other honorees in Washington, D.C. to receive recognition from Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

Kyle has a strong passion for sharing with teachers, administrators, students, and parents about the impact that educational technology can have on adult and student learning.

Learn Like A Pirate with @PaulSolarz

Paul Solarz hosts #txeduchat 
Sunday March 29, 2015
8-9pm Central

Learn like a pirate

Learn like a pirate

Paul Solarz has been teaching 5th grade at Westgate Elementary School in Arlington Heights, Illinois, since 1999.  He advocates for student-centered teaching practices and a focus on 21st Century skills attainment.  Fortunately for Paul, his school and district administration have given him the autonomy to take risks and be innovative over the years. This has led to his unique style of teaching and the motivation to share his strategies with the broader education community.  Paul recently published his first book entitled, “Learn Like a PIRATE,” which helps teachers improve collaboration and discover practical strategies for creating a student-led classroom in which students are inspired and empowered to take charge of their learning experience.  Check out the Learn Like a PIRATE website with additional resources at www.learnlikeapirate.com/

Paul Solarz


Recently, Paul was named a Top 50 Finalist for the Varkey GEMS Global Teacher Prize, which ultimately was awarded to amazing educator, Nancie Atwell!  The Global Teacher Award seeks to do for education what the Nobel Prize has done for science, literature, and peace.  He was also named the 2014 Educator of theYear by ICE (Illinois Computing Educators) for his work with integrating technology effectively in his classroom.  He earned his masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Illinois State University and is a National Board Certified Teacher.  He also earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Winona State University in Minnesota.


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