Rethinking Learning Episode #6
Shelly Sanchez Terrell is an international speaker, adjunct professor, and the author of three books. Her newest book is Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom. Her most rewarding role is being the mother of Savvy and Rosco the pug.
I connected with Shelly on Twitter long ago and met her in person around eight years ago at the ISTE conference. I love her energy. At ISTE in San Antonio this year, I had the honor of meeting her beautiful daughter, Savvy. In fact, Savvy interviewed me — actually Shelly asked the questions. It was so much fun so I asked Shelly if I could have a conversation with her. Her podcast is episode #6 and when I listen to it, I remember the smiles and giggles we had when I was with Savvy. I captured some excerpts from the podcast and added them in the post below for you.
Why are you so passionate about digital learning?
One of the reasons why I am so excited and passionate about digital learning is because of access. Now with the Internet and so many digital tools, students around the world especially so many who do not have the opportunity to learn, now can learn so many dynamic things because of their access to tools. Now if students want to be a scientist, doctor, or inventors, they can actually talk to innovators in those fields. I find that really exciting.
Why is social media so important for educators?
One reason is that our learners use social media. I think to be able to teach them the skills they will need to prepare learners for their future, we need to experience these skills ourselves. For many educators, social media is scary which is really a good thing. We have to think about the things that we tackle like imbalance or getting addicted to social media. We need to know how to handle that or decide what and what not to post, publish and share. I shared Rosco the Pug who connected with others like you so it made it personal for me and comfortable for others to share online. All of that really helps us with our learners’ journeys. Another great thing about social media is that you get to connect with other educators around the world that really inspire you. That’s the way we met and many other educators who I eventually met in person, presented with, interviewed, and even created conferences with.
The world is in love with your daughter. Can you explain why you share Savvy on social media?
I wrote about sharing so much of my daughter’s life in my book right now. Some people might question that, but Savvy had a digital footprint before she was born. For me being on social media, I thought it was important to start her digital footprint early. There is no way of avoiding what people were going to know about her because I was always on social media when I was pregnant. Another reason is that our learners today start their digital footprint before they are born. For most of them, people announce they are pregnant on social media like I did. Our children especially those really young or not born yet have no control over what people write, say, or what pictures they put up on social media about them.
I thought it was really important to put positive information up there about my child. Because I shared her digital footprint early, you and other great people followed and connected to her even before you met her in person. She is making people happy with her presence right away before she has to tackle any negative activity on social media. I love sharing her not only virtually but face-to-face with people who I love. I took a picture of Savvy interviewing you at the Badge Summit before ISTE 2017 in San Antonio.
We have to mention #edchat since you are a co-founder. What a difference #edchat has made for so many. Can you tell me how #edchat started and about its impact?
Tom Whitby @tomwhitby is a fun guy who wears Hawaiian shirts. So in 2009, I asked him to guest blog. One day he direct messaged (DM) me about an idea and asked me “How can we make Twitter into a much bigger conversation.” I suggested the hashtag #edchat. We asked Steven Anderson @web20classroom to help us organize #edchat. So in July 2009, we co-founded the Bammy winning education chat, #Edchat, which has inspired over 400 education hashtags!
I was honored to be included in the 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers. Can you tell us about the book and the challenge?
The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers started about the same time as #edchat in 2009. When I jumped onto Twitter, I was just so excited and inspired by so many educators that I met. I wanted to share my ideas. So part of that was the 30 Goals Challenge. Since I saw how powerful social media and crowdsourcing knowledge was in my life and professional, I really wanted to test what the possibilities were. Even though I had been blogging a couple of months, I decided that I’m going to try and accomplish the challenge goals starting in January. At first, I was going to try to do one small goal as a challenge in the classroom of something you could accomplish in a day. I invited other educators to join me. Since then over 10,000 teachers have joined this challenge. Trying to do all 30 goals in one month was too much, so now it is spaced out throughout the year. The book takes some of the 30 initial goals and the others are the ones I thought would be the most enlightening for teachers. We have free online conferences now where teachers share their experiences, a Facebook group that is free to join, and a lot of ways to support each other.
I just got your eBook: Learning to Go and love the lessons you share and the format. Can you tell the audience about this book and the design?
I have very good friends in Oxford who are like a second family to me. I was there and had just run a MOOC on designing digital books. I was getting frustrated with the way digital books were designed. Most were PDFs and not very interactive. Now with technology, you can do so much. So when I was in the shower, I thought of Learning to Go. It includes lesson plans to bring in your own technology and mobile learning, but the way that it is designed is to test the boundaries of what a digital book could do. So even offline, it is almost like a website. Instead of a table of contents, it has a content map that is accessible on every page. If you want a lesson plan, you can click on each circle that has a link at the bottom of the page. It’s very interactive. It’s also designed in a way like a mind map and not linear. My dream, when I get a chance, is to create a textbook in the same format where teachers and learners can access content where it matches what they need to learn best.
I hear you just finished writing a new book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom. Please tell us about this book.
My new book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom, is coming out either end of August or beginning of September. It was going to come out earlier, but he publisher got very excited about the missions so we ended up making more of those. So we decided to add more material to it. I’m working with the HackLearning series, and it’s been great since they let me do a lot with it. It goes back to the concept of the 30 Goals. There are small goals to inspire teachers to do mission minded learning. If we are given a goal every day or regularly throughout the year, then we feel good if we achieve them and strive to accomplish more. This book is for students with 10 EdTech missions. Each of the missions has a mission card that teachers can give their students digitally or they can print them out. Students can earn badges for accomplishing the different missions. The missions have to do with meaningful ways to use technology. These address the way students already use technology and where they might not be very responsible or do not have a purpose for. For example, being an amateur journalist. We see this problem with fake news and how to be responsible as a journalist knowing what ethics are involved. Students broadcast their own news, walk through the steps as an investigative reporter doing interviews, and get footage around the news. There are so many things students do in the missions to be able to learn those roles.
Make sure you visit Shelly’s updated blog at TeacherRebootCamp.com and I’ll end with her mission statement…
“Let’s collaborate on strategies for engaging all our students through effective instructional methods and technology.”
Shelly Sanchez Terrell is an international speaker, elearning and digital learning specialist and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching, Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT, and Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like UNESCO Bangkok, the Venezuelan-US Embassy, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, EduTECH Australia, and HUPE Croatia. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, NPR, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, MOOCs, and webinars. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her latest project is the creation of Edspeakers to enrich the field of education with passionate voices (spoken and written) from those of diverse experiences and backgrounds.
Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Savannah Duncan-Sanchez and Rosco the pug.
Slide Presentations and Keynotes- Slideshare.com/ShellTerrell
Hack Learning book
Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom