131 episodes

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/

James Sturtevant Hacking Engagement James Sturtevant

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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/

    130-If you’re Forced to Teach Online due to the Coronavirus–Here’s a Template that Embraces Bloom’s Taxonomy

    130-If you’re Forced to Teach Online due to the Coronavirus–Here’s a Template that Embraces Bloom’s Taxonomy

    Well, for at least the next 2 weeks, I’m forced to teach my class in a virtual fashion. All teachers in the great state of Ohio are in the same boat.

    A few years back, Columbus State Community College commissioned me to create an online version of one of their history classes. It was a tremendous learning experience. When I embarked on that journey, I kept reciting a mantra, Make lessons impactful and engaging. I was able to achieve this throughout the creation process and it’s guiding my efforts over the next few weeks.

    I learned last week that Muskingum, like all higher ed institutions in Ohio, would be closed until the end of March. My experience creating online content gave me a dose of confidence that I could weather this storm. In this episode, I’ll share my template. This template is grounded in Bloom’s Taxonomy and you can use it every week until the crisis eases and we get back to normal.

    • 15 min
    129-How to Prevent Students from Reaching Their Quit Point...Starring Adam Chamberlin and Svetoslav Metijic

    129-How to Prevent Students from Reaching Their Quit Point...Starring Adam Chamberlin and Svetoslav Metijic

    I always referred to February as the Dog Days of Education. The weather, at least for those of us who reside in the northeastern quadrant of these here United States, is pretty bleak. Any newness of the second semester is long gone. As the weather warms, at least just a bit, your opportunities for snow days diminishes and even if it’s still frigid and snowy, perhaps you’ve already used your allotted quota. Spring break, that magical academic elixir, is still a ways off. Students, teachers, and even administrators are starting to get, as my mom used to say, a bit bucky. All of these factors make the topic of this episode a perfect antidote for the February blahs.

    About a month ago, my publisher Mark Barnes tasked me to evaluate some of x10 Publishing’s books. One of my assignments was to assess Quit Point. As part of the review process, I first checked out the Amazon author’s page. I was floored to learn that Adam Chamberlin and Svetoslav Metijic live only 20 miles from me. My old school competes against theirs in sports frequently. Because of our proximity, I was immediately intrigued by these guys. I was further intrigued as I reviewed their book.

    Quit Point is all about how teachers can spot when students are about to give up and then what teachers can do about it. I cannot imagine any educator who possesses an ounce of empathy not being fascinated with this topic. And isn’t mid February a perfect time to take action when the symptoms of apathy are often acute? If you feel that way...and hopefully you do, please give this episode a try and then check out these guy’s book. As you listen to them articulate their ideas, I’m certain you’ll find them engaging, funny, and totally on point.

    • 40 min
    128-Learn Progress Monitoring by Juggling Bean Bags...Starring Ryan McLane

    128-Learn Progress Monitoring by Juggling Bean Bags...Starring Ryan McLane

    The State of Ohio, where I’ve taught my entire career, is not unique. Students in certain classes that the state considers essential are subject to end of course exams. Student performance on these standardized assessments are a key ingredient in their instructor’s evaluation. If you teach one of those classes, you’re hopefully all about progress monitoring. The last thing you want is to get a terrible surprise when your student’s performances materialize. Throughout the semester, you want to make darned sure your kids are on track.

    I was one of those teachers, however, that did not have a state-mandated end of course exam. I taught electives. In Ohio, the alternative for teachers who teach electives is for them to complete an SLO–which stands for Student Learning Objective. You were asked to demonstrate with data that your students grew during your class. Sadly, and I feel badly confessing this, this requirement was a bit of a joke. All you had to do was to give a really hard preassessment. The students would struggle on this benchmark and then do much better on their finals. It was therefore easy to demonstrate with data student growth.

    As a consequence, and once again I’m not proud to admit this, I didn’t do much progress monitoring in my elective classes. I felt really guilty about my past efforts when I began teaching assessment to college students. I was upfront about my slacker efforts in the past and I then became passionate about encouraging my future educators to frequently monitor student progress regardless of their curriculum.

    To help in this endeavor, I brought in a guru. Ryan McLane was a high school social studies teacher, the principal at a middle school, the principal of an intermediate building, and now he’s an elementary principal and the district director of special education. He’s also the author of Your School Rocks. He’s observed, managed, and conducted progress monitoring at various levels and in diverse subjects. He also does a magnificent PD on progress monitoring. My students loved his presentation, but more importantly, they felt empowered. They’re now anxious to answer the following questions in their upcoming job interviews:
    How do you know if students are learning?
    What are you going to do for those who struggle?

    These are important questions for any teacher–particularly if you teach an elective. Ryan will talk in this episode about how elective teachers can become progress monitoring officinados. And before you start wondering, This is a podcast on engagement. What does progress monitoring have to do with that? Stay tuned. Ryan is all about engagement. He’s going to explain how you can take a concept that seems dry and clinical–progress monitoring, and make it engaging and empowering for students and teachers.

    • 37 min
    127-Maybe, You Should Become an Instructional Coach...Starring Michael Brilla

    127-Maybe, You Should Become an Instructional Coach...Starring Michael Brilla

    When I was in my early 30's, I got the 7-year-itch. NO, NO, NO...not to split from the lovely Mrs. Sturtevant, far from it. I was questioning my commitment to education. I was an ambitious competitive young guy. My college peers were climbing corporate ladders. They were wearing suits to work and bringing in some serious bank. They seemed so much more adult.

    I've always been goal-oriented, which was fine for the first few years in teaching when I was still figuring out the job. But my early 30's I found myself wondering, Can I be satisfied doing this till my mid-50's?

    I've always been a person of action and so I determined it was time to take some. I left Education to become a salesperson in the private sector. I reasoned that I possessed a good skill set for sales. I was right, but guess what? I was miserable in my new role. On my hasty exit from my classroom, I totally failed to inventory the wondrous positives of being teacher. I was a popular guy in my school and I loved my students. The first 5 minutes of every class was always devoted to bonding. I would describe what was going on in my life and the students would share about their existences. I totally took this magnificent bond with my students for granted. In the private sector, no one cared what I was reading, what workout I was doing, or what I made Mrs. Sturtevant for dinner the previous night. Instead my interactions were highly transactional.

    After a 1-year sales gig, I hightailed it back to the classroom. It was so good to be home. It was a magnificent learning experience that I still value and it helped me become a much better and more content educator.

    But my early frustrations with teaching were certainly not unique. Let's face it, teaching doesn't possess many extrinsic motivators. I don't know that that is necessarily a bad thing. Merit pay has never really delivered on its mythical promises. But there are darned few career advancement opportunities. You could become an administrator, a head coach, a department head, or a guidance counselor. If you're ambitious, you must content yourself with creating the best classroom experience for your students. That's wonderful objective, but perhaps, we need some more options.

    And this dear listener is where my buddy Michael Brilla walks on the Hacking Engagement stage. Michael is a passionate social studies teacher who's been on this program before. He starred on Episode 105 promoting StoryMaps as a marvelous platform. I loved his energy and I utilize StoryMaps every semester, even with my college students. Michael is creative and ultra-approachable. His students just love him. So why in the world would he leave his magical classroom and assume a new role? Please stay put dear listener and learn the what, the why, and the how. Who knows you might come up with an idea to explore this new year.

    • 36 min
    126-Joce McBurney-Buell Will Make you Feel a Lot Better About the Future of Education

    126-Joce McBurney-Buell Will Make you Feel a Lot Better About the Future of Education

    I once had a veteran colleague lament about the state of teaching. He meditated, WIth all the that they're making us do, if I was in college today, there's no way I'd major in Education. Apparently, he's not alone in this sentiment. If one searches "Decline in Education Majors", one will find plenty of evidence that many undergrads feel exactly as my colleague expressed. Here's a link to 2019 Forbes article which relies heavily on data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Over the past decade, Education has suffered the largest exodus compared with other majors–a decline of 19%. While I'm sad that declining numbers of young Americans consider teaching a wonderful career path, this phenomenon does create wonderful opportunities for potential teachers. In the future, jobs may be easier to secure. Teacher pay may have to increase because of supply. This episode will feature one of these aspiring teachers–Joce McBurney-Buell.

    Last summer, I traveled to Muskingum University to meet with the my dear friend the outgoing Department Chair Rae White. In the midst of our day, she invited me to lunch in the gymnasium which was hosting freshmen students who were also being oriented to campus. Rae and I plopped down at a table full of young people to break bread. Seated beside me was a young woman who seemed to know a lot more about Muskingum than an incoming freshman. As you probably guessed, Joce was my table neighbor and was about to embark on her junior year. She was on campus that day to help ease freshmen with their significant transition from home and high school. As we interacted, I was thrilled to learn that Joce is an Education major. As I observed her and interacted with her, it became quickly apparent that this young women had it going on. I just knew–and it's been confirmed by future interactions, that she was destined to present to my Intro to Education students, which she did last week, and appear on my podcast, which is this episode.

    We'll discuss her goals and motivations, but what really excites me is what Joce represents. Students such as her point to a bright future in American education. The young people that I interact with in the Education major are excited, driven, and passionate about the calling. Don't get too discouraged about the Forbes article. There are some magnificent young teachers on the horizon.

    • 32 min
    125-The Remind App is Transformational...Starring Taylor Clemons, Rader Felumlee, and Macy McAdams

    125-The Remind App is Transformational...Starring Taylor Clemons, Rader Felumlee, and Macy McAdams

    2 years ago, I was teaching high school and our building principal setup the Remind App for our staff. I must confess that at first I found the app annoying. The flurry of messages I was receiving from our fearless leader was invasive. Granted, many of the messages were germain to being a teacher at our school and some of them were essential such as, We're on a 2-hour delay and Don't forget, I'm observing you tomorrow. Grudgingly, I began to acknowledge the value of this new mode of communication and collaboration.

    This fall, I embarked on a new education journey as an adjunct at Muskingum University. I decided to give Remind a try with my students. I quite simply embraced the old cliché, When in Rome, do like the Romans. Over the past decade, I'd experienced the frustration of unrequited emails sent to students. Young folks aren't big fans of emails, but they text the hell out of one another. Remind embraces this proclivity. The messages come through the recipient's device as a text and the receiver can then respond. But Remind isn't just a group thing. Teachers can message students or parents individually and then carry on conversations just with them.

    On its surface, Remind may seem like it's ripe for inappropriate communication between students and teachers. If those anxieties are stirring in you, please visit this page to read what Remind has to say about its commitment to security and protecting students.

    To help describe how this app works from the student perspective, I conscripted some of my current primary sources. Taylor Clemons, Rader Felumlee, and Macy McAdams are my current students. These magnificent future teachers will also speculate on how they'll utilize this app in their eventual classrooms.

    • 22 min

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