Episode 38 – John Sowash

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JOHN SOWASH is an educator, freelancer, presenter, husband, and dad. He is also the author of The Chromebook Classroom, which you can check out at http://chrmbook.com.

In this conversation, John describes how a dead end in his high school context launched him into the business of teaching teachers – a true passion. You’ll hear him explain why the Chromebook is so much more than just a web browser – it’s a creation tool as well. You’ll also hear about the personal habit that keeps him on track, some great edtech tools to consider using, and much more.

Check out The Chromebook Classroom on Amazon!

Follow John:

Find the highlights from our conversation at the timestamps below:

  • 0:52 – John describes his education context and background: starting as a high school science teacher, leading a big edtech transition in his school, began sharing his learning in a blog, and today enjoys helping other educators.
  • 3:32 – A very low moment: when John’s superintendent was suddenly fired, the project he was investing in was suddenly dropped. This dead end led him to venture out on his own, focusing on professional development resources for educators.
  • 6:36 – What excites him about education today: the ongoing commitment of teachers.
  • 9:24 – Speaking about his book, The Chromebook Classroom, John reminds teachers that Chromebooks are so much more than “just web browsers” – they’re creation devices, too.
  • 13:26 – John shares about another passion outside of education: serial entrepreneurship. Some ventures crash and burn, while others work well. And there’s always more to learn.
  • 15:12 – A personal habit that contributes to his personal and professional success is leveraging his email inbox as a reminder and task list.
  • 18:17 – Twitter recommendation: @JakeMillerTech.
  • 19:15 – John recommends two edtech tools worth using: Canva and Screencastify.
  • 22:25 – Book recommendations: Start with Why by Simon Sinek and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
  • 24:01 – John has a few favorite podcasts to share: the first is The Chromebook Classroom – a podcast series he produced as a way to share additional stories that couldn’t fit in his book, Reply All by Gimlet Media, Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn, The Gary Vee Audio Experience by Gary Vee, and This Week in Google by TWiT.
  • 26:17 – A YouTube channel to check out that isn’t strictly education-related but does demonstrate some incredible strategies worth trying on Google Sheets: Ben Collins.
  • 29:16 – Although he doesn’t have much time for TV or movies, John’s latest pick on Netflix was Nailed It.
  • 30:20 – We sign off on our conversation and John shares the best ways to follow him and receive more of his content online (see above).

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Follow the podcast on Twitter @TeachersOnFire and on Instagram @TeachersOnFire.

Song Track Credits

  • Intro: Relax (by Simon More)
  • Outtro: Starley – Call on Me Remix (by DJ Zhorik)

Listen to this episode on YouTube and subscribe for more episodes!

Episode 17 – Caterina Rylance

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CATERINA RYLANCE is a middle school languages teacher and ESL coordinator at St. Theresa Catholic Middle School in Sherwood Park, AB, Canada.

Still in her second year of teaching, Caterina talks about how her writing at survivingteaching.org became a healthy outlet for her to reflect on the mix of frustrations and victories that come with becoming an educator. A Ukrainian folk dancer on the side, Caterina shares about the joy she finds in learning new languages and bringing the rich diversity of other cultures into her classroom. She also describes a personal habit that contributes to her success and gives us some great recommendations for books to read, Twitter accounts to follow, an edtech tool to use in the classroom, and more.

Follow Caterina on all these great platforms!

In this episode, Caterina discusses …

  • 1:06 – her current teaching situation
  • 3:00 – challenges she encountered in her first year of teaching, and how blogging formed part of a healthy reflective solution
  • 4:52 – her work with languages, cultures, and the pride she takes in helping to build the mosaic of the country
  • 6:18 – some of her other personal passions: learning new languages, travelling
  • 7:31 – a personal habit that contributes to her success
  • 8:29 – an educator to follow on Twitter: George Couros
  • 9:13 – an edtech tool to try using in the classroom: Pen Pal Schools
  • 9:47 – a book recommendation: Teach Like a Pirate, by Dave Burgess
  • 10:27 – what she’s watching on Netflix right now: Timeless

Song Track Credits

Intro: Relax (by Simon More)
Outtro: Starley – Call on Me Remix (by DJ Zhorik)

LISTEN to this episode on YouTube and SUBSCRIBE for more episodes!

Episode 13 – Adam Moler

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ADAM MOLER is a middle school history teacher at New Richmond Middle School in New Richmond, OH, USA.

In this conversation, Adam speaks openly about what it was like to address some authentic doubts he was having about his own practice. He credits a solid PLN on Twitter and some inspirational reading as the key resources he looked to for the exciting reinvigoration he has experienced in his teaching over the last year, with more ideas and higher goals planned for the year ahead. He also talks about one of his true passions outside of education and shares some great recommendations for books to read, Twitter accounts to follow, and more.

Follow Adam Moler on Twitter @Moler3031 and visit his blog at molersmusings.wordpress.com.

In this episode, Adam discusses …

  • 0:56 – his current teaching context
  • 2:03 – a challenge he experienced and learned from in his teaching practice
  • 3:59 – one of the reasons he is passionate about the state of education today
  • 5:09 – another passion and source of renewal outside of education
  • 6:18 – a personal habit that he lives by
  • 8:09 – a Twitter account to follow: @EdTechTiff
  • 9:25 – an edtech tool (Flipgrid) that he loves using with students (and some non-edtech tools as well)
  • 12:16 – two solid book recommendations: Teach Like a Pirate (by Dave Burgess) and Learn Like a Pirate (Paul Solarz)
  • 13:15 – podcast and YouTube recommendations: Essential Tennis (on YouTube and iTunes)
  • 14:19 – his classic Netflix taste: Friends

Song Track Credits

  • Intro: Relax (by Simon More)
  • Outtro: Starley – Call on Me Remix (by DJ Zhorik)

LISTEN to this episode on YouTube and SUBSCRIBE for more episodes!

Episode 4 – Adam Stefiuk

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ADAM STEFIUK is a high school teacher and acting vice principal at the Energetic Learning Campus, part of the North Peace Secondary School in Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada.

In this interview, Adam shares his solution to the challenges he faced with classroom management early in his career. He also tells us what excites him about the new BC curriculum and gives us some great recommendations for edtech tools, books, YouTube channels, and more.

Follow Adam on Twitter at @Adam6foot6.

In this episode, Adam discusses …

  • 1:07 – his current teaching situation
  • 2:30 – a challenging moment in his teaching career
  • 5:12 – a passion in education
  • 6:47 – a Twitter recommendation
  • 8:40 – more about his unique school environment: the Energetic Learning Campus
  • 12:12 – If he wasn’t an educator …
  • 13:40 – a key to his personal success
  • 14:41 – a favourite edtech tool
  • 17:02 – a book recommendation
  • 18:46 – a favourite YouTube channel
  • 19:54 – what he’s watching on Netflix

Song Track Credits

  • Intro: Relax (by Simon More)
  • Outtro: Starley – Call on Me Remix (by DJ Zhorik)

LISTEN to this episode on YouTube and SUBSCRIBE for more episodes!