July 28, 2015

#ETTchat: Dr. Reshan Richards
Here at EdTechTeacher, we take pride in the fact that all of our Instructors and Presenters have been experienced classroom teachers and dynamic speakers. They not only have a wide array of knowledge in their field, but insights into the future of education. This summer and fall, we want to introduce you to some our EdTechTeacher Instructors and iPad Summit Boston Presenters and  in a series called #ETTchat.
Reshan Richards
This week we talk with Dr. Reshan Richards. Reshan is the Director of Educational Technology at Montclair Kimberley Academy in NJ and the founder of Constructivist Toolkit, LLC. Reshan is one of the creators of the Explain Everything app and co-author of Leading Online: Leading the Learning, Leading by Learning. An Apple Distinguished Educator and member of Mensa, Reshan has an Ed.D. in Instructional Technology & Media from Teachers College, Columbia University.   Q: What is your role in educational technology today? A: These days I am working with current and future teachers who are enrolled in a Master’s or Doctoral instructional technology and media program at Teachers College, Columbia University. I also am one of the co-founders of an app called Explain Everything, so I work hard to help our team make good decisions around how EE can be used now and in the future by teachers and learners of all ages.   Q: What was your professional journey to get you to where you are today? A: It’s been slow and steady. My first job out of college was as a 5th grade math teacher and tier-1 tech support guy. I eventually got interested in the intersection of teaching and technology, and I let that become a focus when I was getting my master’s degree. After that, I returned to a school as a full time technology integrator which then evolved into my becoming an ed tech director at a large private school in New Jersey. I recently completed my journey there as I shift more of my time and energy towards higher education research and teaching, and, of course, app-related shenanigans!   Q: What is the #1 piece of advice you have for teachers looking to bring iPads and other devices into their classrooms? A: Always put the students needs and goals first in any decision making process. When that is clear, and the work is aligned in such a way, it’s easy to justify and much more difficult to get lost in the process.   Q: What is your favorite tech tool or app today? A: I have gotten back into a GarageBand swing these days. I’ve been writing really awful 8-bit video game music.   Q: What comes to mind when you think of the classroom of the future? A: Technology is used to strengthen teacher-student relationships and interactions around learning,  and not replace the relationships or interactions.   Q: What are you up to for the rest of the summer or this fall before the Summit? A: It’s been a busy summer of travel and conferences, and in September the manuscript for the second edition of my co-authored book is due. It started as a self-published, multi-touch book for iBooks but has since gotten picked up by a publisher and will be released in print hopefully in the Spring of 2016. Reshan also sat down with Greg Kulowiec this week to chat about the new features coming in Explain Everything 3.0. Reshan will be speaking at the iPad Summit in Boston November 17-18th presenting on Explain Everything & the Qualitative Formative Assessment Toolkit: How do you capture and evaluate the process of learning? Design and media creation tools enable students to demonstrate their understanding in ways that static worksheets, paper and pencil activities, and even skill-based applications are not able to do. There are four simple media creation processes that are possible on any mobile device: making photos, taking screenshots, filming videos, and creating screencasts. These processes form the Qualitative Formative Assessment Toolkit (QFAT). While connecting research with practice, participants will become familiar with case studies and examples while engaging in hands-on activities that are intended to help make connections between student-created artifacts of understanding, visible thinking, and formative assessment for learning. Learn more about his and more sessions at ettipad.org/Boston ettipad-footer