My Quest To Teach

June 20, 2016

What I Learned from #EdCampMagic 2016

What I Learned from #EdCampMagic 2016

Sarah Thomas, Tammy G. Neil, William Jackson

“It’s about sharing.” @sandramc59
as stated by Sandra McConnell about the
recent @EdCampMagic, this statement
can be applied to all EdCamp across the
globe, sharing resources, sharing
knowledge, sharing best practices and
sharing the love of teaching.

The involvement of teachers in professional
development opportunities drastically
improves the teaching ability of teachers.
Teachers learning from teachers helps to
solidify the value of teacher to teacher
sharing of best practices, applying creativity
and innovative uses of technology and
understanding better the cultural dynamics
of the diversity in our schools and classrooms.
The goal is to “share” with each other,
sharing knowledge whether it is one year of
teaching  or over 30 years, everyone can
contribute, everyone is respected and everyone
is valued.

#EduMatch meets at #EdCampMagic

Attending #EdCampMagic allows for teachers
of diverse experiences, generations, cultures and
demographics to  learn from each other. Everyone
is valuable in their contributions because there is
no one way to teach children. The curriculum may
be the same but, the presentations and applications
are diverse depending on the availability of
technology and teaching resources.

The educational curriculum’s of this nation are
embracing more technology, but districts are
struggling with the implementation of the
combining of diverse teaching abilities with
the complexity of integration  of tools, platforms,
differential instruction and
the diverse learning styles of children.

#EdCampMagic sessions provided a snapshot of the
experiences of teachers and their application of
tools, platforms and instructional materials that
help to teach students. Teachers helping teachers
in the learning of how to be a better teacher for
their students.

Elisha from Jacksonville, Florida and
Sarah Thomas of @Edu_Match #EduMatch

Attending and presenting at #EdCAmpMagic allowed
me to share my teaching experiences and application
of Social Media, STEAM (Science Technology
Engineering Arts and Mathematics and the social
responsibilities of digital content. Several times it
was stated that if school districts are not
implementing some type of Social Media
instruction they are missing out on
unique teaching opportunities. Social Media is so
ingrained in our students lives that they (students)
are being done a disservice if they are not talking
about the morality and ethics of Sexting,
Cyberbullying, Cyberporn and Cyberstalking.
These are the new and much needed areas that fit
into a STEAM / STEM
environment because it involves technology and

As I stated, I had the attending teachers respond
to me during our discussions about Social Media,
“our digital devices can be our best friend or
worst enemy depending on the type of content
that is developed and posted.” Thus leading into….

Elisha student with Duval County
Public Schools and William Jackson
@wmjackson educator, blogger, speaker
and community activist

What I Learned from #EdCampMagic

1. Teachers are “smart creatives”
adapting diverse instructional elements
to apply in the instructional environment
of their schools and classrooms.
*because our students are diverse in so many
ways, teachers should have diverse strategies
to apply to make learning relevant and applying
to the students cultural, economic and societal
*no one said it would be easy that is why teachers
need to know their students so they can apply
the correct teaching style to their class and
modify it when necessary.

2. Teachers are “innovators”
*teachers are given digital devices to
integrate in their classrooms, but are not
taught how to implement in teaching and
learning for students.
*with innovation comes integration and
modification to fit the classroom environment.

3. Teachers are “models for learning”
*if teachers are not excited about learning
their students will not be excited.
*setting the atmosphere is important, if the
students see the teacher excited the students
will be also.

4. Teachers are “thought leaders”
*teachers inspire life long learning and how
to apply learning to real life situation.
*the art of thinking is related to rational
understanding and how to apply new learning
to relevancy and relevancy to combining
previous knowledge with new knowledge and

5. Teachers show the connections between
“generational learning”
*teachers guide learning from the past to the
current and the future.
*how learning is connected across generations
and demographics.

6. Teachers model how interaction is done
for students
*When teachers teach teachers their is an
embracing of strategies that can
be applied to dynamic classrooms.
*students must be provided time to teach
each other and promote peer to peer
instructional opportunities.

7. Teachers talk to each other
* how they talk about each other and the
interaction between teachers serves as a
role for students to model.
*teachers should share as a means to build
professional development opportunities and
as a support system.
*students should understand that teachers
talk and share information on everything
that affects learning.

8. Teachers learn how to apply standards to lessons.
*the elements of learning objectives
*instructional resources and even assessments
must be applied to effectively create a
holistic learning environment for students.

9. EdCamp is growing across the nation to
encourage teacher to teacher professional
*sharing best practices
*educational networking
*applying standards to the learning environment
* increased diverse learners in the ever changing

10. EdCamp allows teachers to inspire each other
* all teachers need inspiration
*continued training
*building of self-confidence and self-awareness
of what students can accomplish.

William Jackson, Kanteasa Rowell,
Dene E. Gainey

EdCamp communities are growing and
expanding across the nation. There is a new
paradigm shift for professional development
where the focus is on the educator and the
student. EdCamp Rocks!!!!!

Resources on Twitter:


May 12, 2016

Finding Your Voice on TED Talks

Finding Your Voice on TED Talks
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TED – Technology – Entertainment – Design

“TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas,
usually in the form of short, powerful talks.”

This is where Technology, Entertainment and
Design converge in dynamic conversations that
have grown globally.

Speaking at TED or TEDx; independently run TEDx
provides an opportunity for people of all cultures,
genders, life styles and educational backgrounds to
share their stories and empower their voices.

The value of storytelling, the importance of a
personal story is seen as speakers share their passions,
loves, fears, dreams, humor and life experiences.
Even the personal action of a contribution
that could contribute to global change. A paradigm
of conversation of cultural and historical value.


TED Talks allows for innovative and personal dialogues,
providing unique and transformative content that grabs,
caresses, massages and even attacks the senses and in
some cases the sensibilities of those listening.
Capturing the visual, auditory and multi-dimentional
gateways to a persons psyche to grab the attention
of the listener and allow for an exchange beyond cognitive.

The voices in TED – TEDx are authoritative, commanding,
passionate, and engaging. Combined with the emotional
displays of the human experience that allows for bridging
differences, to shed light on personal similarities,
cultural blending and building connections that show
we – the human race are a race of people united by more
than just blood, skin, tissue, and other physical
attributes. We each have a soul, shared by the ether
of the universe.

Our minds cannot be limited by the amount of melanin
that dictates the shades, hues, and color variations
of our skins. As human beings we are more than this,
by way of TED Talks there is a connection that borders
on a matrix of inter-connective energies. Our skin, Our
voice helps define our individuality and amplifies our
connection to the diversity of the human
race and the human experience.


It is impossible to list all the TED – TEDx Talks so my
connections are from several that have connected beyond
my mental interpretations, one of the most powerful is
the “The Danger of A Single Story,” by Chimamanda Ngoze
Adidchie, I introduced this to my students in my
Educational Technology class and had them write a blog
about their interpretations and connections to it.

Nigerian authors such as Adidchie, Chinua Achebe,
Wole Solinka can be thought to share similar
experiences across cultures. Each of us has a single
story, but our stories are interconnected with broad
intersections either by personal meetings or the
engagement through Social Media platforms.
Blogging and the Connection with Achebe and Soyinka

The beauty of Adidchies presentation shows the
magnificent use of connecting the dynamics
of race, color, social order and societal expectations.
One of the lessons shared is that no one should allow
one person, one group, one entity to tell their stories.
Each of us has a responsibility to tell our own story.
Adidchie’s ability to share her personal story to allow
connections to others is truly a work of artistic expression.

Each of us has a story that is important. Each of our lives
are filled with lessons of value, and each of us has a
purpose driven life if we only embrace it and charge after it.

TED Talks allows the human experience to be shared, unfiltered,
unashamed and undeniably needed to bridge gaps that try to
keep us (humans) separated as a race of human beings. Our
diversity is powerful and can solidify unification and provide
solidarity beyond the differences that make us unique.
We are not a collection of random beings, but a complete
organism that cannot survive alone. We need our collective
cultures, communities and human environments to survive.


TED – TEDx is creating historical documentation of the human
experiences that unite us and bring enlightenment and
illumination to the power of the human spirit. The
conversations continue to change the traditional cognitive
structure of reasoning and perception of people of color
and culture.

Globally we must embrace these talks in order to strengthen
humanity as a global community. Take the time to engage
in TED Talks to learn about the stories that make the human
life important.



Apply to Speak at TED in Jacksonville

TEDx Jacksonville, Florida

My Favorite with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Blog at

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