39 episodes

The digital learning era requires that all participants and stakeholders in K-12 education, especially students, parents, and teachers, are engaged in one conversation around teaching and learning. As we navigate online, hybrid, and in-person learning together, what are the important topics to discuss and what should each group understand? Building the Bridge, a podcast series presented by EdisonLearning, answers these questions in a series of interviews with experts across all areas of education. Episodes touch on blended learning, classroom technology, engagement, and much more.

Building the Bridge EdisonLearning

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

The digital learning era requires that all participants and stakeholders in K-12 education, especially students, parents, and teachers, are engaged in one conversation around teaching and learning. As we navigate online, hybrid, and in-person learning together, what are the important topics to discuss and what should each group understand? Building the Bridge, a podcast series presented by EdisonLearning, answers these questions in a series of interviews with experts across all areas of education. Episodes touch on blended learning, classroom technology, engagement, and much more.

    Ep. 39 – Tackling the Motivation Crisis with Mike Anderson

    Ep. 39 – Tackling the Motivation Crisis with Mike Anderson

    On episode 38 of Building the Bridge, author, educator and consultant Mike Anderson shared his insights on self-care for teachers and parents, drawing upon his book, The Well-Balanced Teacher, and his “Beat Teacher Burnout” online institute. Mike and Dr. Oliver had such a productive conversation with so much left to address that he has returned for a second conversation. The discussion continues by addressing the unrealistic expectations educators often set for themselves before transitioning into topics related to student expectations and motivation. Dr. Oliver chats with Mike about his latest book, Tackling the Motivation Crisis: How to Activate Student Learning Without Behavior Charts, Pizza Parties, or Other Hard-to-Quit Incentive Systems.

    In this episode, we learn how to set realistic and tangible goals, how to approach
    (and avoid) unrealistic expectations for our children just as we must do for ourselves, and why incentive and reward systems don’t always work. We’ll also identify six intrinsic motivators that we can build upon to bolster the success of our students.

    About Our Guest:

    Mike Anderson has been an educator for more than 25 years. An elementary school teacher for 15 years, he has also taught preschool and university graduate level classes. He spent many years as a presenter, consultant, author, and developer for Northeast Foundation for Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping create safe, joyful, and challenging classrooms and schools.

    In 2004 Anderson received a national Milken Educator Award, and in 2005 he was a finalist for New Hampshire Teacher of the Year. Now, as an education consultant, Anderson works with schools in rural, urban, and suburban settings. He is the author of many books about great teaching and learning, including The Well-Balanced Teacher (ASCD, 2010), Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn (ASCD, 2016), and his latest, Tackling the Motivation Crisis (ASCD, 2021). Mike has developed a series of online courses called “The Beat Teacher Burnout Institute.”

    Learn more about all of Mike’s work at https://leadinggreatlearning.com. Follow him on Twitter @balancedteacher

    About the Host:

    Dr. Wendy Oliver is a highly qualified Tennessee teacher and administrator who has pioneered digital learning across multiple states and school districts. She has authored digital teaching standards and developed software that allows teachers to self-assess their knowledge of digital instruction. No matter which hat she's wearing, her goal is simple -- to empower learners. Follow Dr. Oliver on Twitter @oliver_dr

    • 19 min
    Ep. 38 – Small Steps to Beat Burnout with Mike Anderson

    Ep. 38 – Small Steps to Beat Burnout with Mike Anderson

    Award-winning educator, author and education consultant Mike Anderson is the guest on today’s episode, as we continue the conversation about wellness that we started with Danielle Nuhfer in our previous episode.

    Anderson explains that as teachers and parents, we see ourselves as caregivers and, therefore, we may feel that it’s always our job to give care. This feeling can make it very difficult to give ourselves permission to take time for self-care. He provides great detail on the importance of carving out the time to care for ourselves, explaining the benefits this has for our colleagues, students and children. This is a critically important concept to grasp early in the school year, so we can plan intentionally before burnout sets in.

    Additionally, Anderson describes how habits – both bad and good – can build over time. His perspective is that small changes we can stick with are much better than big changes we can’t sustain. Each step adds up and guides us down a path. Listen to the interview in its entirety for some inspiration from an expert who has discovered ways to avoid burnout and take meaningful steps toward self-care and overall fulfillment.

    About Our Guest:

    Mike Anderson has been an educator for more than 25 years. An elementary school teacher for 15 years, he has also taught preschool and university graduate level classes. He spent many years as a presenter, consultant, author, and developer for Northeast Foundation for Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping create safe, joyful, and challenging classrooms and schools.

    In 2004 Anderson received a national Milken Educator Award, and in 2005 he was a finalist for New Hampshire Teacher of the Year. Now, as an education consultant, Anderson works with schools in rural, urban, and suburban settings. He is the author of many books about great teaching and learning, including The Well-Balanced Teacher (ASCD, 2010) and Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn (ASCD, 2016). Mike has developed a series of online courses called “The Beat Teacher Burnout Institute.”

    Learn more about all of Mike’s work at https://leadinggreatlearning.com. Follow him on Twitter @balancedteacher

    About the Host:

    Dr. Wendy Oliver is a highly qualified Tennessee teacher and administrator who has pioneered digital learning across multiple states and school districts. She has authored digital teaching standards and developed software that allows teachers to self-assess their knowledge of digital instruction. No matter which hat she's wearing, her goal is simple -- to empower learners. Follow Dr. Oliver on Twitter @oliver_dr

    • 17 min
    Ep. 37 – Mindfulness Practices for Educators and Parents with Danielle Nuhfer

    Ep. 37 – Mindfulness Practices for Educators and Parents with Danielle Nuhfer

    Mindfulness is a topic of great importance as we cope with our surroundings and all of the changes that have taken place over the last 18 months. Normally, we begin to discuss burnout among educators as we approach Thanksgiving, but after the past two years, many educators and parents are already feeling quite worn down to begin the new school year. In this episode, we hear from Danielle Nuhfer, author of the new book The Path of the Mindful Teacher: How to choose calm over chaos and serenity over stress, one step at a time, and dive right into mindfulness strategies to support better self-care and wellness.

    Danielle discusses the little things that we can do – for parents, students and teachers alike - to practice mindfulness. In this interview, we learn that the buildup of small practices of mindfulness can have a tremendous impact over time. She also points out that self-care does not have to be something extravagant. It can be something simple that helps us to clear our heads and be present in the moment. Tune in to hear her advice and how we can “choose calm over chaos” one step at a time.

    Learn more about Danielle’s work at https://teachingwell.life

    About Our Guest:

    Danielle A. Nuhfer, M.Ed. has been teaching for 20 years, studying mindfulness for 10, and combining those fields for five. She is the founder of Teaching Well. As an ICF-certified coach and Mindful Schools instructor, Danielle provides teacher wellness coaching and other services to time-crunched teachers trying to find time for self-care. The Path of the Mindful Teacher is her first book. Danielle lives on a small urban homestead in Pennsylvania, US, with her husband, two young sons, a dog, a rabbit, and lots of honey bees.

    About the Host:

    Dr. Wendy Oliver is a highly qualified Tennessee teacher and administrator who has pioneered digital learning across multiple states and school districts. She has authored digital teaching standards and developed software that allows teachers to self-assess their knowledge of digital instruction. No matter which hat she's wearing, her goal is simple -- to empower learners. Follow Dr. Oliver on Twitter @oliver_dr

    • 12 min
    Ep. 36 - Key Findings to Successfully Address Digital Inequity with Dr. Vikki Katz

    Ep. 36 - Key Findings to Successfully Address Digital Inequity with Dr. Vikki Katz

    What does it mean to be under-connected? On this episode, Dr. Vikki Katz shares insights from a recent research report on the levels of technology access and internet connectivity in U.S. households. Dr. Katz and Dr. Wendy Oliver discuss the recent paper, Learning at Home While Under-Connected: Findings from a National Phone Survey of Parents during the Pandemic, which Dr. Katz co-authored with Victoria Rideout.

    You’ll hear how “under-connected” is defined, how lower income families have supported each other during the COVID-19 pandemic, what parents have learned during this pandemic year-plus, and the compelling evidence that digital inequity prevents social equality. As students have engaged in online learning, parents have gained a great perspective on their children’s strengths and how to help them flourish as students. Further, families have engaged in “digital teamwork,” helping one another navigate new technology. While we still have a long way to go in creating digital equity, you won’t want to miss this conversation that highlights some of the positives families have experienced.

    To read the full paper, visit: https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/reports/learning-at-home-while-underconnected/

    Access many more resources, including a survey to find out if the families in your community are under-connected, at: https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/collections/learning-at-home-while-under-connected-project/

    About Our Guest:

    Dr. Vikki Katz is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Information, and Affiliate Graduate Faculty in Sociology, at Rutgers University. She conducts research with children growing up in low-income and immigrant families. Dr. Katz examines how working class, low income, and immigrant children and their families adopt and integrate technology into family routines and learning experiences. She also investigates how parents and children manage interactions in U.S. social institutions, including schools, healthcare facilities, and courts.

    Dr. Katz serves on the Board of Directors for the National Center for Families Learning and the Advisory Board for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting-Public Broadcasting Service (CPB-PBS) Ready to Learn Program, which supports development of educational media targeted at preschool and early elementary school-aged children and their families to promote early learning and school readiness. She advises numerous PBS affiliates on creating and adapting content for immigrant families with young children, and for families who have inconsistent internet connectivity. Learn more about her work at https://vikkikatz.com/

    About the Host:

    Dr. Wendy Oliver is a highly qualified Tennessee teacher and administrator who has pioneered digital learning across multiple states and school districts. She has authored digital teaching standards and developed software that allows teachers to self-assess their knowledge of digital instruction. No matter which hat she's wearing, her goal is simple -- to empower learners. Follow Dr. Oliver on Twitter @oliver_dr

    • 23 min
    Ep. 35 – SEL for All with Discovery Education’s Rachel Barrachina

    Ep. 35 – SEL for All with Discovery Education’s Rachel Barrachina

    Continuing our series of episodes centered on social-emotional learning (SEL), Dr. Oliver welcomes Rachel Barrachina, a digital content coordinator at Discovery Education.

    Rachel and Discovery Education collaborated with community and corporate partners in April 2021 to create the Social-Emotional Learning Center, a library of digital resources that support the integration of SEL and wellness into classroom core instruction. In this interview, you’ll learn how and why SEL is for everybody, why it matters, and how it can be integrated into the curriculum. You’ll also hear about the various resources the SEL Center provides and the importance of this curated service for different grade bands for students, resources for educators, and resources for administrators.

    Learn much more about the resources references in this episode:

    Discovery Education: https://www.discoveryeducation.com/

    Social-Emotional Learning Coalition: https://selcoalition.org/

    About Our Guest:

    Rachel Barrachina is a Digital Content Coordinator at Discovery Education.  Rachel is devoted to producing high-quality and engaging curricular resources to ensure all students, and especially children of color, receive an equitable education. Previously, she was a 4th grade ELA teacher in Hartford, CT, and high school Earth Science educator in Washington, D.C.  She earned her bachelor's degree in Geoscience at Skidmore College and her Master's degree in Education Advocacy and Policy at Georgetown University. Her experience in federal education policy and classroom teaching continues to support her work at Discovery Education.

    About the Host:

    Dr. Wendy Oliver is a highly qualified Tennessee teacher and administrator who has pioneered digital learning across multiple states and school districts. She has authored digital teaching standards and developed software that allows teachers to self-assess their knowledge of digital instruction. No matter which hat she's wearing, her goal is simple -- to empower learners. Follow Dr. Oliver on Twitter @oliver_dr

    • 23 min
    Ep. 34 – Mental Health Literacy with Christina Broderick

    Ep. 34 – Mental Health Literacy with Christina Broderick

    As we continue our series covering all aspects of social-emotional learning (SEL), Dr. Oliver interviews Christina Broderick, founder and CEO of IgnitEDU. Christina is a Licensed Social Worker, a Psychotherapist, a Certified School Social Worker, and an Adjunct Professor, who is passionate about ensuring mental health and that it becomes a priority for all.

    In this episode, Christina shares the importance of mental health literacy, how to approach mental wellness, and how we can support students holistically with respect to their mental health. Given the challenges all students have encountered during the pandemic, as well as the ever-present challenges and stresses kids face, this is essential content for all educators, parents and caregivers.

    About the Host:

    Dr. Wendy Oliver is a highly qualified Tennessee teacher and administrator who has pioneered digital learning across multiple states and school districts. She has authored digital teaching standards and developed software that allows teachers to self-assess their knowledge of digital instruction. No matter which hat she's wearing, her goal is simple -- to empower learners. Dr. Oliver is currently the Chief Learning Officer for EdisonLearning. Follow Dr. Oliver on Twitter @oliver_dr and learn more about EdisonLearning by visiting https://edisonlearning.com/

    About Our Guest:

    Dr. Wendy Oliver is a highly qualified Tennessee teacher and administrator who has pioneered digital learning across multiple states and school districts. She has authored digital teaching standards and developed software that allows teachers to self-assess their knowledge of digital instruction. No matter which hat she's wearing, her goal is simple -- to empower learners. Follow Dr. Oliver on Twitter @oliver_dr

    • 16 min

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