I am so happy to partner with Audrey to learn and share as much as we can about international education! While I taught in several international schools over the years, so much has changed since my start in 1990 teaching in Israel. When you add in the disruption of the pandemic and the massive growth of new international schools, it is clear that so much change and adaptation are happening. Both aspiring and current international educators need as much information as possible to make decisions about their careers and lives abroad.
With that said, I am very fortunate that Audrey asked me to partner with her, drawing on some of my skill sets. I am a Positive Psychology fan, so being able to engage many of my character strengths in our EGG endeavor helps me thrive!
Podcasting is familiar to me. In 2007, I met Jeff Utecht at a SE Asia conference where we ran a “birds of a feather” session for instructional technologists. It was very apparent that Jeff and I were birds of a feather, with our focus on pedagogy first and technology second.
After the conference, we discussed trying a new communication tool called podcasting. We were already podcast listeners, so joining in on the fun made sense! We published our first episode of the Shifting Our Schools (SOS) podcast at the start of 2008, bringing on guests well-known in the instructional technology and innovation field.
After a few years, we each moved on to other things. Though Jeff restarted the podcast a few years ago, he also started Shifting Schools, a new consultancy company. :)
My second opportunity to create a podcast came about in 2011 when a classmate from my instructional technology program at the University of Virginia asked if I would like to join him in a new podcast. My classmate was Dr. Mark Hofer of the College of William and Mary in Virginia. We posted our first episode that September, interviewing K-12 and higher education educators.
A couple of criteria guided our efforts in both podcasts. We built our shows around guiding and follow-up questions that unpacked educational theories and practices to see how actionable they were in the classroom.
Other character strengths that connect well with my podcasting journey are Curiosity, Creativity, and Teamwork, along with my CliftonStrength of Input. I have often created online learning modules like WebQuests and resource sites so students and teachers can access materials easily. I am also a serial blogger, having started in 2003, writing for my schools and my Lessons Learned blog. I know it sounds cheesy, but yes, I am a carpenter, and I build. My building also involves community and finding pathways forward when there are differing opinions. The following are two of my “construction projects.”
Our work on the information hub and podcast combine the character strengths and skills of Creation and Curation, Teamwork, and Connection. Our work also engages my gratitude daily as I work with Audrey while contributing as best I can to the international teaching community!
You can find more information about me in my portfolio.