The OG International Education Podcasters: Meet Dan Taylor and John Mikton of the ISP (Ep 42)

What happens when you speak with two leaders in the field of educational technology? You learn a lot! We were fortunate to speak with Dan Taylor and John Mikton, who, in their spare time, host the big dog of international education podcasting, The International Schools Podcast.

Dan has been involved in the Google for Education community since 2006 and is the director of AppsEvents, a PD provider. He has trained educators across the globe from El Salvador to Vietnam. Dan is the co-host of the International Schools Podcast with John Mikton.

John currently serves as the Primary Technology for Learning Coordinator at the International School of Geneva – La Châtaigneraie. John’s journey as an educator has spanned across international schools in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Of those years, 18 have been in school leadership roles, including positions as IT Director, Director of eLearning, Head of Education and Media Technology, and Deputy Principal. In addition to his coordinator role, John also works as a trainer and course designer at the Principal Training Center – Teacher Training Center and serve as a coach for the Faria Education Group. John is the co-host of the International Schools Podcast with Dan Taylor of AppsEvents.

We asked the guiding question “what does technology use in teaching and learning look like post-pandemic and what it might look like going forward?” John and Dan responded with so many helpful insights! 

Here are a few: 

  • The pandemic was an example of the power of disruption to bring about change and innovation

  • A focus on well-being has emerged

  • We have the technology for the subsequent possible need to go virtual, so going forward, the focus is on the plans, structures, connections, and policies to support the students, teachers, and parents. 

  • There has been an expansion in online schools, as well as in hybrid and blended learning. 

  • Dan and John feel it is still early in the process to say where we stand with Generative AI. Schools must assist teachers with learning how best to leverage its use in the classroom while staying on top of AI-generated plagiarism. Teachers also need to be prepared to educate students to be “communications and media literate” and to be able to recognize deep fakes and fake news generated through the use of AI. This is a big change that is occurring very quickly. We need to make it a priority to grow our understanding. We cannot be too complacent, the way we were with social media, so we must make the time to provide PD on this topic for our teachers. The driving question should be, what is the “value add” of schools when we have GenAI? 

  • Personalizing professional and personal learning are still critical goals for schools.

  • Lessons learned from hosting the International Schools Podcast: Look to start your own podcast; it’s a great way to share your ideas, and with today’s technology, it’s not that hard! It’s important to decide what your focus will be. And as a host, you learn so much - “free PD,” as John says!

  • There are concerns about social media and how the algorithms build on hate to lead to more divisive behaviors. However, on a constructive note, social media can help grow one’s professional brand. 

  • There are also concerns about the ongoing teacher shortage, especially with the ever-growing number of international schools. 

Dan and John then reversed the course of the interview to ask us questions about the Educators Going Global podcast. We had fun comparing notes as podcasters!

This episode was recorded on November 12, 2023.

John’s Contact Information: LinkedIn | Beyond Digital

Dan’s Contact Information: LinkedIn | AppsEvents 

Categories: Recruiting | Trends | School Life | Technology

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