On Thursday, February 4th, teacher and instructional coach Sam Kary will host a live, high-impact webinar open to all educators. Kary brings a refreshing perspective on edtech by delivering content through the lens of an educator. He has a diverse background in the education space as a middle school humanities teacher, Google Certified Trainer, and National Geographic Certified Educator. He began teaching 10 years ago as a Teach for America Corps member in Richmond, Calif. and has worked as Lead Instructional Coach at Breakthrough Collaborative in San Francisco.
According to Kary, “Teaching can be humbling, and I had a lot to learn. I struggled with all the things that teachers often struggle with when they first start teaching: how you teach a wide range of learners, differentiate instruction, engage students, and get them to be excited about learning. Over time, that brought me to education technology as a strategy to achieve a variety of the goals that I felt were elusive and difficult to accomplish without the right tools in hand. I started slowly bringing technology into my classroom and midway through my career had an epiphany moment that rejuvenated my passion for teaching. I realized that technology could dramatically transform what I was doing and help me reimagine my practices and do things that were exciting students and exciting me to come into class.”
Kary felt that if other teachers could learn about the capabilities of different tools and, most importantly, how to make them effective in a real classroom setting, they’d be enthusiastic about exploring new ideas. That’s what led him to start his YouTube channel, The New EdTech Classroom. He has since created an online course called the 21st-Century Classroom because there was a strong demand from the audience to understand the bigger picture, the blueprint around how to do curriculum design and develop lessons that were technology-integrated but have a pedagogical focus in mind.
“I think this moment in education is an opportunity for us to transform educational practices,” said Kary. He hopes that out of the current upheaval, educators can grow and change to genuinely meet the needs of the modern student.
The focus of the webinar will be how to run a successful edtech pilot at your school. You’ll learn how to look at specific processes around evaluating whether or not you ultimately want to purchase a program.
Soundtrap was an early, enthusiastic supporter and eventual partner in Kary’s work. “They recognized what I was trying to do with showing the pedagogy involved in using a tech program. That was very valuable,” said Kary. He has used Soundtrap in his own classroom for several years. In the fall of 2019, Kary did a CUE conference presentation about amplifying student voice that featured podcasting in the classroom. Kary also uses the collaborative recording of Soundtrap to help students deal with the rigors of the pandemic. “I thought that it was essential to have some authentic assignments for students to express what living through this historic moment was like for them, kind of like a time capsule, and to be able to share that with their peers and the community,” he shares.
In the webinar, you’ll also explore the use of a program, how your team of teachers can try it out, and report back about its overall impact. You’ll learn how to look at strategic issues you might be trying to solve, such as increasing engagement or providing authentic learning and helping develop a strategic plan that might involve something innovative like podcasting.
Webinar Date: Thursday, February 4, 2021, at 4 p.m. PST with host Sam Kary
Visit – New EdTech Classroom for live streaming of the event.