Sept. 15, 2018

Syncing Physical and Digital Learning Spaces - HoET118

Syncing Physical and Digital Learning Spaces - HoET118

Dr. Robert Dillon has a passion to change the educational landscape by building excellent engaging schools for all students.

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#EdTech Thought

Be Genuine and Authentic

From the first time I entered a classroom I’ve been very intentional about being genuine and authentic with students, or if I’m leading PD, the adult learners in the room.

From the moment I introduce myself, I believe that people get the real me. My passion for being in the classroom is evident and I work very hard to make it clear that I am truly there to support, nurture, and foster a culture where the learners will achieve success.

For me, it’s important to make sure that Ss know this ASAP. I believe that it’s important to say it aloud then let your words and actions prove it. I know my students can figure it out, but of the few things I am willing to spoon feed a student, this is important to me.

The new semester at Rutgers began recently and it’s a time where I might even go a little overboard to let my college students know who I am and what I stand for as their teacher.

I am open and proud to tell them that I am a teacher first. Not a ‘traditional’ professor who might make them by the book I wrote or secretly be using them for research and writing more books. I make it clear that I am a teacher and truly want them to succeed and that I will do whatever it takes to help them reach their goals.

This past week I had to separate conversations with young ladies who I will be working with and both expressed similar sentiments to me about the courses they were taking with me. Without going into too much detail they both experience high anxiety about using social media, whether it’s Twitter, IG, FB, SC, etc.

They knew from the first class meeting that they would enjoy the class and wouldn’t consider dropping it, because of how I presented myself in the intro meeting. I spoke with each student for about 45 minutes after each approached me to express their concerns about social media as social media use is a big piece of what happens in these classes.

I listened to each to understand as best I could about what each was feeling and expressing concerns over. I sought clarification when I wasn’t sure. I truly listened. I was present.

After only knowing me for in-person meetings and 2 weeks of work, each already felt comfortable enough to approach me and have these conversations. They even said they had never spoken so frankly with any other professors they’ve had. One young lady emphatically told me that I was a great teacher and was surprised that she had opened up as much as she did about how she felt.

I was proud of each and when I reflected on each conversation I knew that it was because I saw them as human beings, and not just students – last name, first, ID#…

I was genuine and authentic with each person and it did not go unnoticed for either.

Back in episode 100 my Dad and I talked about the lack of a human element among many administrators in education. For too many, it’s all business, all the time. The same is true for too many teachers as well.

As a social studies teacher, I’ve had more opportunities to examine so many periods of human interaction and have many interesting conversations. Does history repeat itself? Yes. If we ignore the past can set ourselves up for disaster? Yes. We see time and again throughout history that when we lose touch with our humanity we simply lose.

So I encourage you to refocus your energy and make a concerted effort to be more genuine and authentic with your students. We’re all people and our interactions should reflect that sentiment.

#EdTech Recommendation

Partial Credit Podcast

Partial Credit is the podcast that brings together education, pop-culture, and shenanigans! The podcast is hosted by Jeffery Heil (SD), Donnie Piercey (KY), and Jesse Lubinsky (NY).

Twitter: @PartialCreditED

Sesame Street Fighter – as they discussed in episode 2

Featured Content

Dr. Robert Dillon has served as an educational leader throughout the Saint Louis area over the last twenty years as a teacher, principal, and director of innovation. Dr. Dillon has a passion to change the educational landscape by building excellent engaging schools for all students.

Dr. Dillon has had the opportunity to speak throughout the country at local, state, and national conferences as well as share his thoughts and ideas in a variety of publications.

He is the author of multiple books on best practices in learning.

Resources Mentioned:

House of #EdTech VIP

MONICA SPILLMAN – A tech-loving Special Education teacher from Northwest Georgia who wants to help all students learn. And she believes a school should be the best we can make it! EdTech is an awesome way to accomplish both!

Monica has her Masters Degree in the Art of Teaching from Walden University and studied Sociology and Psychology at Jacksonville State University.

She’s a Google Certified Trainer who is passionate about sharing with other educators. Monica has presented a number of great topics including:
  • Sketchnoting
  • G-Suite
  • Social Media for Professional Development
  • Student Creation

Connect with Monica Spillman:







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