Episode 21: Allen Fort -Talking about Rural School Systems and other Education Topics in Georgia

May 15, 2014

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Allen is currently the superintendent of schools in Quitman County, Georgia. He has 39 years of total education experience. He was a teacher, a coach, an assistant principal, a principal, and worked for five years as a GA Department of Education School Improvement and Redesign Specialist.

He feels that he is very fortunate for his opportunities to travel across the state and get to know educators in many different regions of Georgia.

Allen is familiar with the needs of the rural school systems. He has created a rural school system learning group that is comprised of educators from rural systems. He sees this group as providing an opportunity for the different systems to learn from each other on how best to use their limited resources.

As a principal he instituted one of the first ninth grade academies in the state. We talk about his thoughts and lessons learned.

We also talk a little about the challenge of teachers working with kids who have access to incredible amounts of information through Google and other web based solutions. We talk about how when we were kids the teachers had the information or it was in books that they could direct us to, whereas today, the kids can study beforehand and actually know more than the teacher about some topics. This becomes a challenge in that the teacher is often trying to keep up with the kids, but another challenge is that all kids don’t have access. It is quite possible that in the same class there will be those who can and those who can’t access web based information.

I enjoyed talking with Allen and I think that you will enjoy your time listening!

You can find out more information about Allen at www.allenfortga.com

Length 33:27

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Episode 20: Classworks with Kristie Brooks

May 9, 2014

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Kristie is a former special education teacher who eventually became a Special Education Director for a school system. She now is a Georgia Account Executive for Classworks.

Classworks is a web-based tool for assisting students in achieving more during their education. It has tools for assessment and instruction that are used to personalize learning and to support teachers as they help students achieve academic goals.

Kristie and I explore the following questions and many more…

·         How can software programs go beyond the “computer lab” to impact classroom teaching and student engagement?

·         How does Classworks use student data to form individualized plans? How can a teacher use this tool to help with differentiation?

·         What do you think is the greatest challenge for teachers working with kids? How can Classworks assist with these challenges?

Hope that you enjoy the conversation. 

Spend some time at their website or contact Kristie if you have any questions.

For more information go to…

www.classworks.com

or contact Kristie at

KBrooks@classworks.com

Length 26:32

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Episode 17: The ACT with Carl Forbes

April 9, 2014

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Carl has been working at The ACT now for the last eight years and is assigned to both secondary and post-secondary schools.

He helps secondary schools understand what their data is telling them and how to respond.

With post-secondary schools he assists them in looking at the student data with a focus on what admissions and scholarship decisions could be made from that data.

We discuss everything from understanding about the organization known as ACT, what the organization offers besides the college entrance test, what the ACT test scores mean, and what the fundamental differences are between the ACT and the SAT.

Carl states, “The ACT is focused on college and career readiness but also work preparedness.”

He explains the ACT standards and benchmarks and what they mean to an educator, parent, and a student taking the test. As Carl recalls, These components help “you understand what the scores on the ACT tell you about what you are ready to do.”

He also shared that there are ACT apps that students can use with their Smart phones and tablets.

We had an awesome conversation!

I think that you will learn so much whether a teacher, administrator, student, or parent you will want to listen again and then share this podcast with others. You will also want to take time to explore the ACT on the web.

www.act.org

www.actstudent.org

Also look for them on Twitter and Facebook.

Enjoy!

Length: 30:33

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