Global Connections in Education

June 26, 2016 @StuartKellyNZ hosts #txeduchat

On the topic of Global Connections!2VRBlsnq

Stuart Kelly (@stuartkellynz) is a Deputy Principal at Aorere College in Auckland, New Zealand. Stuart has a Masters in Education Management (Hons) from University of Auckland and is a Google Certified Trainer. A firm believer in the notion of #oneteam and #oneclassroom, he is constantly trialing new pedagogical practices with his highly enthusiastic students. Stuart does everything possible to ensure that student choice and agency is ever-present in his learning spaces. As head of Aorere Digital, his school’s digital transformation programme,  he has experienced first hand the dramatic ability of edtech to open up classrooms and open up futures for the students of Aorere College and beyond. Committed to ensuring that Aorere College students have learning resources and options as advanced as any students globally, Stuart is quite happy to be seen as a veritable #edtech “nutty professor.” Originally an English teacher and still prominent in the classroom with a committed fail-forward pedagogy, Stuart is also highly active in global edtech, speaking and presenting across Australasia and through his role as founder of #digitaledchat, a leading #edtech chat in New Zealand. Stuart loves nothing better than sharing with educators from around the world.


Understanding Misconceptions

June 19, 2016 @theignitEDteach hosts #txeduchat

On the topic of Understanding Misconceptions



Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and a Master of Science degree in curriculum, instruction and technology. She is certified to teach grades 1-8 in both Texas and Louisiana. She is also licensed to lead schools, though the classroom is where her heart remains.

While she has taught language arts, social studies, science and math, her specialty is elementary math. Throughout her career, Michelle has served in a variety of capacities. She has propelled students to new heights as a classroom teacher and has mentored new educators as a lead teacher and TAP mentor teacher and TAP master teacher. She’s also spearheaded the direction of instructional strategies at her schools as an instructional coach and department chair. Michelle remains a committed educator and hopes to share her wealth of professional knowledge and experiences with teachers, administrators and parents through her original lesson plans and resources. She is The IgnitED Teacher

The Power of Educators’ Language

The Power Behind Educator’s Language as @RoMenendez14 hosts #txeduchat 6/12



Everyone calls her Ro, but her full name is Rochelle Menendez.  She asks, “Ro seems a lot easier, doesn’t it?”

For more than ten years Ro has worked tirelessly in the bilingual elementary classroom to give each child new ways to view their immediate and future reality.  She pushes their thinking globally, making it part of daily work to learn how to be better thinkers, exemplary citizens, and efficient problem solvers. For many years she relates that she was blessed with being the inclusion classroom in her grade level, facilitating the learning of children who needed extra support to face their personal challenges, and in return they offered back a wider vision of what diversity in learning, collaborating, and growing really meant.  During her time in the classroom Ro was honored to receive the 2012 Teacher of the Year Rotary Club of Dallas Award, a distinction she says that she could not have received without the trust and support of all the parents, students, and administrators she worked shoulder to shoulder with.

Ro wanted to widen her reach, and  seek out opportunities to touch the lives of more than just the 20 to 27 students she interacted and learned with in her homeroom on a yearly basis so she worked towards an MS in Educational/Instructional Technology Leadership and Library Sciences from Texas A & M, Commerce. This degree has afforded her the opportunity of calling all the students on a campus her own, and to help them evolve, grow, and mature over the course of their elementary school journey.  She has now been a teacher-librarian for a year, and works each and every day to establish, sustain, and enhance a school-wide reading culture by carefully curating the school’s collection, listening and catering to students’ and teachers’ needs. Ro promotes events and initiatives that spotlight the fun and amazing power of reading, and strives to provide equal access to learning opportunities in the library through after-school activities such as MakerSpace Labs and Library Family Nights.  She says that it is her mission to nurture a love of reading that will result in holistic gains for our students, their families, and the local and global community.  Having students at the end of the year thanking her for “getting me into reading” gives Ro hope that she is on the right track.

As Ro begins her second year, she relates that her mission continues to be providing the reading experience as a gift, not a heavy load, through shared experiences in a safe and inspiring environment.  She will intensify her efforts in Early Childhood Literacy by providing separate Storytimes at the library for children 0-4 years old, to make her school’s future students fall in love with reading before they formally enter a classroom. Ro will continue to find opportunities for students to interact with the global community, face-to-face and virtually, where they can seek a clearer understanding of the world, share their opinions,  messages of hope and well-being to community members near and far,  that will allow them to witness how their words, feelings, and thoughts empower others.

Nurture creativity – Embrace imperfection

Jena Ball hosts #txeduchat
Sunday, June 5th at 8pm Central

The myth of perfection & the gift of being imperfect

Jena Ball is the beloved author and illustrator of the CritterKin book series, and an educator on a mission to debunk the myth of perfection and empower others to ignite and express their creativity.



Jena likes to call herself a connoisseur of imperfection. It’s a phrase she coined in 2013 after discovering that children as young as seven, eight and nine believe they’re expected to be perfect. The realization grew out of work she was doing with a group of third graders in Iowa. Students in the class were extremely critical of themselves, saying their “not perfect” work was, “stupid, broken, bad, ugly, messed up and wrong.” Subsequent visits with elementary school students around the world revealed most children felt the same, and expanded Jena’s list of adjectives to nearly 100.

“What identifies us as human beings above all are the powers that flow from our deep resource of imagination –creativity and empathy. Creativity is fundamental because we create our own lives.” – Sir Ken Robinson

Jena’s answer to the myth of perfection is The Not Perfect Hat Club book and related programs and presentations. Based on the lives of three recovering perfectionists, the book chronicles the characters’ journey as they learn that mistakes are only stepping stones to discovery and they can only be perfect at being themselves.  Jena’s interactive workshops, webinars and keynotes focus on identifying, uprooting and replacing perfectionist mindsets with ways of seeing and being in the world that encourage iterative, lifelong learning. Ideal for educators, parents, and corporate teams seeking to unlock their employees’ potential, Jena’s events:

  • are entertaining and empowering journeys of self-discovery;
  • utilize playful, creative interactions to open hearts and minds;
  • are grounded in neuroscientific and psychological research, which stress the vital role empathy, compassion and creativity play in shaping and maintaining brain health; and
  • leave participants feeling reconnected to their passion and purpose, with the tools they need to maintain and grow that connection.

Prior to embarking on CritterKin, Jena spent more than 30 years crafting features for national publications, developing online courses, and helping small businesses and entrepreneurs articulate and fine tune their messages. She is a passionate, insightful speaker whose humorous, interactive stories make her a favorite with audiences of all ages.

The Value of Mentors

Join #txeduchat on 5/29 as @carrionconnects hosts!



Christina has enjoyed over a decade of experience in education. She has taught both Special and General Education at a Title 1 Magnet school for Math, Science and Technology where she implemented the project based learning (PBL) model. Her most recent role was as Instructional Technology Specialist.

As an instructional technologist, Christina started a district-wide twitter chat, #risdchat. She is a strong advocate for nurturing and growing PLN’s both in education and industry. Christina made the leap to the educational technology world and is now working for a small start up company called Nepris. She is a champion for education and also serves the students and families of her community as a school board trustee.