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July 29, 2015

#ETTchat: “My classroom is a lab.” Get to know Larry Reiff
Here at EdTechTeacher, we take pride in the fact that all of our Instructors and Presenters are experienced classroom teachers and dynamic speakers. They not only have a vast 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.
Larry Reiff
Larry Reiff
This week we talk with Larry Reiff (@mrreiff), a Humanities teacher at Roslyn High School in Roslyn, NY. As an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Google Certified Teacher, he understands that 21st-century students absorb and integrate information very differently than previous generations. His work unit on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet has been featured on Apple’s website along with his iBook, If Shakespeare Could Tweet.   Q: What is your role in educational technology today? A: As a High School Humanities teacher, I’m on the front lines of educational technology.  My classroom is my lab.  I share what I learn there at conferences, blogs and on social media. I’ve worked with both large and small companies to give them feedback on how their technology works in my classroom.   Q: Interesting that you call your classroom a lab. Could you elaborate on what you mean by that? A: Most of history's greatest discoveries have been made in laboratories. A lab is a place where we ask questions and search for answers. I want my classroom to be a place where my students make their own discoveries.   Q: What was your professional journey to get you to where you are today? A: Teaching is my second career.  I worked in Technology PR & Marketing for almost 10 years before switching.  Even though I left the business world, I never lost my move for tech.  In the summer of 2010, my superintendent handed me an iPad and I was off and running. By November of the same year, the district piloted them in my senior classroom.  Since then, I’ve figured out new and exciting ways to use the iPad to bring classic literature to life, especially Shakespeare.   Q: What is the #1 piece of advice you have for teachers looking to bring iPads and other devices into their classrooms? A: Start small and start slow.  It’s the only way to fight that feeling of being overwhelmed by the infinite possibilities that the device offers.  
Larry Reiff, #ettchat, EdTechTeacher
Infographics created in Keynote by Larry's students
Q: What is your favorite tech tool or app today? A: I love Keynote.  Most people think of it as just a presentation tool, but it can be used for so much more. I use it for infographics and creating interactive widgets for multi-touch books.       Q: What comes to mind when you think of the classroom of the future? A: A classroom that is much more interdisciplinary. The real world isn’t broken into 40-minute segments, so why is high school?   Q: What are you up to for the rest of the summer or this fall before the Summit? A: A few conferences, designing a new broadcast journalism course for the fall, and spending time with the family. Larry will be speaking at the EdTechTeacher iPad Summit in Boston on November 17-18. His session Creating Digitally Curious Classrooms will answer: What does a digitally curious classroom look like? Does breaking the day down into 40-minute segments prepare our students for the world outside of our schools? Digitally curious classrooms don’t limit themselves by subject area. When students combine literature with art, music, history, philosophy, and anthropology, they begin to establish connections between the world around them. Introducing iPad into his classroom allowed his students to explore these connections while meeting all of the CCSS standards. The session will demonstrate how teachers can foster digital curiosity and create life-long learners. Learn more with Larry this summer Come Learn with me this Summer (7)