Nicole is a Curriculum Educational Technology Facilitator in Alberta, Canada. She has been using Discovery Education for many years. She shared “I have used Discovery Education since it was called United Streaming (yes, that’s a long time!). I continue to see the value and impact of the variety of resources found in Discovery Education. In my position as Curriculum Educational Technology Facilitator in my school division, I get to meet with teachers and administrators often and enjoy hearing the ways that they are using DE in their classrooms and staff meetings. A district-wide employee newsletter goes out weekly and in it I highlight 3-4 DE resources and/or virtual learning opportunities. I also sit down with teacher PLNs to highlight specific lessons and materials.”
What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
Since I no longer am in the classroom on a regular basis, I’ll share what I do when I host meetings and/or workshops. There’s a lot of information that is shared and digested so I ensure that my meetings and workshops use an Activator, allow for Dialogue and Discussion and end with a Summarizer. My ‘bible’ to create this engaging learning experience for participants comes from Laura Lipton and Bruce Wellman’s Groups at Work: Strategies and Structures for Professional Learning. Using this format, I always have 100% engagement and active learning.
How are you involved in education other than your official role as a K-12 educator?
I blog often of my experiences, my learning opportunities and share leading research, etc. at https://ottomat3ch.wordpress.com/. I work with other Consortia around the province of Alberta and offer professional learning to other school divisions. And I currently am Vice President of the Educational Technology Council of the Alberta Teachers Association and a committee member of the Alberta Technology Leaders in Education Pro Learn group. Both support teachers and IT personnel. Provincially, I have the opportunity to be part of the Alberta Education Stakeholder Technology Committee and Jurisdictional Technology Contact group which gather a variety of educational groups from K-20 together to look at research, inform and provide educational technology support.
When you’re not working where are we most likely to find you?
I’m a busy Mom of two teenagers and Wife who makes her rounds to rinks, alleys, and fields. My children are involved in rep Soccer, 5 pin bowling, and rep Hockey as after school activities. Then there’s Junior High and University homework that pops up every once in awhile. As a family, we like to travel and have visited parts of Europe, western U.S. and Canadian provinces. As for down time, my husband and I PVR all TV shows and love to watch NCIS, Saving Hope, Timber Kings to relax.
What is your most memorable experience with the DEN?
I have a few but the most recent one was meeting up with Dean Shareski, Steve Dembo and other DEN members at Iron Works BBQ in Austin during the TCEA Convention and Exposition at the beginning of February.
What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?
I love digging deep into the Discovery Education resources – there is such a variety of media there! My favorite is to use the Advanced Search and look for a song, audio or sound effect that can be embedded in a presentation or to introduce a topic/activity. Or even have a student listen to a chapter from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” while following along with a digital/print copy of the book.
Why did you become a teacher?
I do so love to learn, create, explore, imagine and discover things in a collaborative nature. And in the learning environment, I get to do that daily!
How do you start your day?
I’m an early riser, 4:45am – 6am is my workout time Monday through Friday. Then it’s a quick hop into the Infrared Sauna to relax and read morning emails. From there its getting me and the rest of the family ready for school and work.
What’s something new that you’ve recently learned?
Tabata – new exercise regime for me. Work hard for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds in 4 minute time slots.
What’s your favorite SOS to use with students?
My favorite SOS to use with both students and staff is 3 Truths…1 Lie. It is always fantastic having participants really pay attention to a video segment, song, audio file or reading passages in order to analyze the main concepts and provide evidence for support. There’s always great discussion on one or two of the statements that I provide.
What are you reading or something on your to-read list?
I have a few books on the go, but one that I will be starting to read is Tony Wagner’s Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World.
What brings you joy?
Quiet personal time with either an episode on Netflix or an ebook in Overdrive.
How can others connect with you?
https://about.me/nlakusta has all my social media info there