Here at EdTechTeacher, we take pride in the fact that all of our Instructors and Presenters have been experienced classroom teachers as well as dynamic speakers. Not only do they have a wide array of knowledge in their field, but they also possess insights into the future of education. This summer and fall, we want to introduce you to our EdTechTeacher instructors and some of our EdTechTeacher iPad Summit Boston Featured Speakers in a new series called #ETTchat.
Craig Badura, the Integration Specialist for Aurora Public Schools Schools in Nebraska, has presented on the importance of digital citizenship and mobile devices at conferences across the country. In 2014, he was named one of the Top 10 Digital Citizenship Bloggers by Common Sense Media. Currently, he serves on the board of the Nebraska Educational Technology Association, is the founder of #edcampcentralNE, and co-founded #digcit & #iOSedchat on Twitter. We are thrilled to have him joining us as a featured presenter in November!
Q: What is your role in educational technology today?
A: I like to look at myself as a catalyst for my teachers. I am privileged to work with some pretty amazing K-12 educators and to be able to sit down with them and plan a project. To have that spark to reinforce or bolster something they are doing using educational technology is a pretty awesome experience!
Q: What was your professional journey to get you to where you are today?
A: If someone would have told me twenty-five years ago that I would be teaching teachers and students how to use technology in their classrooms, I never would have believed them. It’s amazing to think of the changes that have happened in educational technology since I began teaching 16 years ago. I remember writing a grant to get a cart of orange iBooks for my social studies classroom in the summer of 2000. After that, I’ve never really looked back. It was a really neat transformation that took place in my classroom. The learning environment in my classroom went from “sit and get,” to “creation based” with the new technology. I truly believe it made me a better teacher. I really had to think outside the box on how I was going to integrate these tools into my daily lessons. That passion for the use of technology in the classroom has led me to where I am today. I love to share with teachers and collaborate on ways to use the various technologies they have available to them in their classrooms.
Q: What is the #1 piece of advice you have for teachers looking to bring iPads and other devices into their classrooms?
A: Be prepared. Too often I see school districts throwing money at technology with no concrete plan on how to best utilize the technology in those classrooms! I would encourage teachers to work with their integration specialist/technology coach (if their district has one), or to harness the power of Twitter and hashtags like #iosedchat, #ipaded or #ettipad. One can gain a tremendous amount of knowledge and get some great ideas on how to best integrate their devices from teachers all over the world. Of course, Pinterest is a great option as well!
Q: What is your favorite tech tool or app today?
A: I am really enjoying working with some of the Adobe apps right now. Adobe Voice is so easy to use and allows for a ton of student creativity. I really like the feel of Adobe Slate as well. The thing I really like about these apps is that they smash easily – students can combine a number of projects all into one! So many opportunities exist when we use iPads to provide opportunities for student creativity. It takes the student thinking in your classroom to a whole other level!
Q: What comes to mind when you think of the classroom of the future?
A: More student autonomy and inquiry based learning environments. I truly believe that our role as educators is changing more so than it ever has in the last 150 years in education. We are no longer the sole source of knowledge in our classrooms. Yes, we are the experts, but our role needs to shift from a “sage on the stage” to a coaching role. Helping, challenging, guiding and collaborating with the students in our classrooms.
Q: What are you up to for the rest of the summer or this fall before the Summit?
A: Getting in as much golf as possible before the cooler weather arrives! My whole family loves to golf, and it is so much fun being out on the course with my family. I have a few presentations for school districts here in Nebraska, so that will keep me in focus and tuned up for #ettiPad !
Craig will be speaking at the EdTechTeacher iPad Summit in Boston. His session, “App Task Challenges,” will give teachers ideas and examples on how to seamlessly integrate technology into their curriculums. To meet the needs of his teachers, he came up with the idea of creating “App Task Challenges” and challenge based activities during his professional development. Come learn how Craig utilizes this strategy with his teachers and be ready to participate in some of the challenges that he will have for you!