BETHANY PETTY is a teacher, coffee fanatic, and 2017 EdTech Digest School Leader Finalist. She writes about thoughtful uses of technology in education at http://usingeducationaltechnology.com/ and is also the author of Illuminate: Technology Enhanced Learning.
In our conversation, Bethany recalls the challenges around teaching students not much younger than her. She discusses the main message of her book, Illuminate, and the ways that her passion for history plays out in and out of the classroom. She also talks about coffee, the importance of exercise, and some of her top picks on Twitter, edtech tools, and more.
Follow Bethany online here:
Find the highlights from our conversation at the timestamps below:
- 0:54 – Bethany describes her current context in education. It’s her 11th year teaching high school Social Studies in southeast Missouri. It’s her school’s 5th year in a 1:1 Chromebook environment, and she’s excited by the innovation she’s seen over these years. She’s also an adjunct instructional technology instructor at a local junior college.
- 1:36 – She recalls the challenges of being an anxious rookie teacher not much older than her students. Initially, she made it her mission to control her class. Over time, she realized that authenticity, transparency, and humor can all go a long way toward building learning relationships in the classroom and creating an optimal learning environment in the process.
- 3:44 – We talk about the heart and main message of Illuminate: helping educators at all technology levels use technology intentionally and purposefully in ways that support the learning of their students. It’s not about the technology – it’s about the learning. Why are you using it? What do you hope learners to gain from it?
- 7:36 – Even out of the classroom, Bethany’s passion is Social Studies. A self-professed history geek, she enjoys watching history documentaries and learning opportunities wherever they present themselves.
- 9:04 – One personal habit that Bethany relies on is exercise. It’s always been a part of her life, and when she’s in her exercise routine she feels like she has a good handle on things, she’s more alert, and more present. She also admits to a strong coffee addiction, often consuming eight or nine cups in a day!
- 10:30 – On Twitter, Bethany recommends following legends @AliceKeeler and @HollyClarkEdu. Both of these educators tell it like it is and will keep you thinking with practical advice and provocative insights.
- 11:07 – An edtech tool that Bethany calls indispensable for her Social Studies classroom is EdPuzzle. Follow EdPuzzle on Twitter @EdPuzzle.
- 11:52 – A fictional book series that has really drawn Bethany’s attention lately is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Follow Diana on Twitter @Writer_DG. For a solid educational read, check out Ditch That Textbook: Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your Classroom by Matt Miller. Follow Matt on Twitter @JMattMiller.
- 12:56 – Looking for an interesting podcast to add to your commute? Check out Ladies, First with Natalie Gonnella-Platts. Follow Natalie on Twitter @YankeeBean to learn more.
- 13:38 – On YouTube, Bethany recommends the very fun Epic Rap Battles of History. Even if you’re not teaching Social Studies, it’s a blast at any age level.
- 14:25 – When she’s got no energy left for anything productive, Bethany is watching the Once Upon a Time series.
- 14:54 – We sign off on this conversation, and Bethany gives us the best ways to follow her online and get to know more of her great content! See above for contact links.
Song Track Credits
- Intro: Relax (by Simon More)
- Outtro: Starley – Call on Me Remix (by DJ Zhorik)
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