Debbie Tannenbaum is a School-Based Technology Specialist in Fairfax County, Virginia who is in her fourth year in this position and twenty-second year in education. She shares with me how much she loves learning as a speaker, coach, and author. Debbie is passionate about helping students and teachers use technology as a tool for creation to activate and amplify learning.
Your WHY – let’s talk about your passion for transforming learning
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be an educator. Not only do I love learning, but I love helping others learn. I was the one in front of the Raggedy Anne chalkboard, teaching my sister, her friends, cousins, and even some stuffed animals. My younger sister had a learning disability and I remember wanting to help her learn in better ways. Later in high school, I got involved in leading services at my synagogue for preschoolers and loved that too. But when I discovered technology in my first year of teaching, that changed everything.
Why are you so passionate about integrating technology in the classroom?
I remember during my first year of teaching being exposed to the power of technology in the classroom. I was working with our school’s computer teacher and discovered Scholastic.com and the Trailblazer Hall of Fame. Students got an opportunity to nominate a famous African American to the Trailblazer Hall of Fame. As I introduced this activity to my students, magic happened. They were so excited about using the technology not only to learn but to share their ideas with an authentic audience.
A lot has changed in the past 20 plus years since that happened, but I continue to be amazed every day by the opportunities that technology provides our students. Technology offers both students and educators opportunities to learn that were not possible without this technology. I love helping both students and educators discover this and empowering them to use technology in transformative ways. As a lifelong learner, I love this stuff and there is always something new to learn. It is exciting and brings the world to our students.
Your Book “TRANSFORM- Techy Notes to Make Learning Sticky”
My book was published on my 46th birthday, isn’t that cool?
TRANSFORM is an acronym and each letter of the word is one chapter in the book. This book is my story. It begins with my teacher’s journey and tells how I began teaching behind closed doors, in a world of isolation, where teaching was truly a struggle at the beginning. Then, I share ways that we can revisit technology’s role in education and amplify learning using technology tools. Afterward, I discuss ways that we can empower and nurture student agency and voice.
It continues with my connected educator journey. This part focuses on how you, as an educator, can use technology to empower yourself and make your learning sticky. I share tips on making connections beyond your school, finding your PLN, sharing your voice, and even how to reach beyond your expectations. The book ends by having educators look at ways that we can maximize learning’s impact. I wrote it sharing my framework and hope that by sharing my framework, it can act as a model for yours.
Coaching, speaking, consulting…
In May of 2021, I also began my business, TannenbaumTech LLC. As part of sharing my voice more, I decided to start presenting more. I am so honored to have had the opportunity to speak at virtual and face-to-face conferences for both keynotes and concurrent sessions. This has led to me doing tech coaching with colleagues as well as educational technology consulting. I love working with educators and helping them discover the magic of technology.
This spring, I am completing my ISTE certification journey. This fall, I was selected to be one of the 20 recipients of a NASA cohort and received a scholarship to begin my ISTE certification. After this, I want to spend time building up my leadership skills and see how I can promote more innovative and job-embedded professional development. I am always learning and love the process of growing and leveling up.
More info and contact information about Debbie
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/groups/tannenbaumtech and https://www.facebook.com/debbie.l.tannenbaum/
I hope you enjoy the podcast and post for this episode with Debbie Tannenbaum. It was fun to know how much Debbie and I had in common. Make sure you check out more of the Rethinking Learning podcasts and posts by clicking on the logo below or going to https://barbarabray.net/podcasts/
Check out the resources, questions, and links that go with Barbara’s book, Define Your WHY by clicking on the image of the book below.