METC Podcast - Episode #16 - Podstock 2017

August 17, 2017

A little over a month ago, I had the privilege to attend a very unique conference, Podstock!  Podstock is an annual conference put on by ESSDECK.  Each July, teachers from all over the states come together in Wichita, KS for this experience.  So, if you are anything like me, you may be asking, “What is Podstock?”  According to ESSDECK’s Podstock website, “It’s a tech integration conference.  But it’s more than a conference. It’s learning. It’s conversation.  It’s family.”  After experiencing this three day event, I agree, it is definitely family!

So, while attending my first Podstock, I thought I would try to capture some of the participants thoughts on Podstock as well. I would like to thank each of my guests for sharing their thoughts and ideas!  I also want to thank the ESSDECK family for having us and making sure we were part of the family! If you haven’t been before, it is definitely something worth checking out!  When you get there, be sure to say hello to Kevin Honeycutt (@kevinhoneycutt),  Ginger Lewman (@GingerLewman), Katie Perez (@perezhasclass), Dr. Mike Cook and the rest of the ESSDECK family!!  They are good people!


Episode Guests: Be sure to follow each of them!!

David Hendershot - @HendershotDavid

Ariel Jankord - @MrsJankord

Whitney Burns - @BW_MrsB3

Suzanne Murray - @ArtsySuzanne

Lenell Puchalla - @LenellPuchalla

Rachel Stover - @rae_stover


Also check out Andre Daughty (@andredaughty)


Check out ESSDECK -


METC Podcast - Episode #15 - Summer Institute

August 1, 2017

This is the METC podcast episode 15.  In this episode, I speak with 4 different participants attending the METC Summer Institute. These participants came from all over the state of Missouri.  We had one presenter and 3 attendees in this episode.   Listen to this podcast, as each participant shares out what they learned at this amazing summer event. Each of the guests are highlighted below.  If their Twitter handle is given, please connect with them.  Any resources mentioned in these interviews have also been listed and linked so you can click on them and check them out for yourself.

I want to thank all of you for listening to this podcast.  We greatly appreciate your support.  We hope that you continue to listen.  Please rate us on iTunes or Google Play. If you know of anyone or if you yourself would like to be on a future episode of the METC Podcast, please connect with me on Twitter @jleetechpercent or you can email me at


Episode’s Resources:







This Episode’s Guests:

Guest 1 - George Yates - Fulton Public Schools - @MrYatesFMS

Guest 2 - Emily Libbert - @emilylibbert

Guest 3 - Vicki Mikow - Fox School District - @giftededuc8or

Guest 4 - Jody Fox - 12 years middle & elementary science and gifted teacher


METC Podcast - Episode #14 - Building Resiliency

July 21, 2017

In Episode 14, I have a one-on-one conversation with Krissy Venosdale.  We discuss the power of building resiliency within students and teachers.  Krissy asked a very simple question during her keynote at the METC Summer Institute, "Are you planting seeds or are you mowing down possibilities?" What a great question!  Krissy talks about the importance of letting go of control within your classroom.  Give students some voice and choice in their own learning.  We also discuss the idea that if students are getting things right on the first try, then they really aren't learning.  Everyone has struggles & successes.  This is true for all students, gifted students included.  This is true for teachers as well.  Leaders need to support their teachers through their failures.


Be sure to connect with Krissy!

Episode's Guest:

Krissy Venosdale - Innovation Coordinator - Houston, TX 

~ Twitter - @krissyvenosdale   ~ Instagram - @krissyvenosdale  ~ Blog -


METC Podcast - Episode #13 - Makerspaces

July 17, 2017

In Episode 13, I have a one-on-one conversation with Steve Dembo about makerspaces.  We have a great conversation about how to get started with makerspaces, how to manage them and how to get students making.  Steve shares his experience in this area.  He also provides some tips and tricks.  Steve finally explains what a makerspace isn't!

Be sure to connect with Steve Dembo!

Steve Dembo - Teach42 LLC - @teach42 -


METC Podcast - Episode #12 - Design Thinking

June 22, 2017

In episode 12, I talk with Josh Howard about Design Thinking.  Josh shares key steps in the process to implement design thinking successfully.  We talk about the book LAUNCH and the LAUNCH Cycle that authors Spencer and Juliani have shared.  Josh shares the benefits of infusing the design thinking process into curriculum to get students to be creators and display their growth & understand in purposeful ways.  


Connect with Josh on Twitter.  He loves sharing what he is doing within his district!


Episode’s Guest:

Joshua Howard - Instructional Technology Facilitator


Professional Development Mentioned within Episode:

METC Summer Institute - July 10 & 11 - Liberty High School


SAMR Institute & Camp - July 19 & 20 - Clayton High School


Creating Coders Camp - July 26 & 27 - UMSL - Ed Collabitat


METC Podcast - Episode #11 - FIRST LEGO League

June 13, 2017

In Episode 11, I discuss the benefits of bringing the FIRST LEGO League to your school or community with our local resident LEGO experts.  Krista and Amanda share their experience with running & managing teams over the past couple years.  They share some key statistics about the benefits of students participating in FIRST LEGO League pulled from the FIRST website.  They also share some key tips and ideas on how to get started.  


Be sure to connect with Krista and Amanda  on Twitter.  They are excited to help others in getting started with their own team.  


Episode Guests:

Krista Rouse - LMS - Blackhurst Elementary - @MsRouseInTheLIB


Amanda Morris - 3rd Grade teacher - Monroe Elementary - @msmorrislearns


Benefits of FLL

- Core Values


- Getting girls involved

- Engaging students in learning

- Being a team

- Potential Patent for research project

A 10 year study shows:

- 88% FLL alumni are more interested in going to college

- 98% FLL alumni have improved problem solving skills

- 95% FLL alumni have improved time management skills

- 76% FLL alumni have improved communication skills


Helpful links mentioned within Episode:

STL Article on Robotics

First Impact Website

First Impact Infographic

First Team Basics

First Core Values

First Products/Pricing


METC Podcast - Episode #10

June 5, 2017

Within this episode of the METC Podcast, I have a conversation with Samantha Nieman.  Samantha has been working in some early childhood classrooms at Immanuel Lutheran School in St. Charles, Missouri.  Samantha talks about her experience of coding with early childhood students.  She talks about how excited they get when they complete coding activities.  Samantha brought her students to the METC Student Innovation SHOWcase this past February and were a HUGE hit!  The METC conference attendees loved watching these students complete different activities all centered around coding.  Samantha and I talk about how easy it can be to teach students this basic skill.  She explains ways to connect it to early childhood curriculum.

Samantha shares all kinds of ideas throughout this episode.  We have copied them below in case you want to learn more about them.  We have also linked the article Samantha referenced within the episode.  Be sure to check it out.  Also be sure to connect with Samantha on Twitter as she is moving to West Bend, WI soon!  


This Episode's Guest: Samantha Nieman - Immanuel Lutheran School in St. Charles, MO - Early Childhood


Complete Show Notes -


METC Podcast - Episode #9 - BreakoutEDU

May 26, 2017

Within this episode of the METC Podcast, I talk with Debbie Fucoloro from St. Margaret Mary Alacoque School.  Debbie and I talk about an educational activity that is on fire, BreakoutEDU.  BreakoutEDU requires students and/or teachers to work together to solve problems.  BreakoutEDU offers an engaging experience for all involved.  The challenges work on skills like critical thinking, communication and perseverance.  Activities can be tied into all subject areas and reach all age levels.  


Debbie shares her experiences with BreakoutEDU.  She shares how you can tie these challenges into your curriculum.  I discuss with Debbie why BreakoutEDU has been so popular.  We talk about the different skills that students focus on while completing a breakout.  Debbie shares some great resources that provide everything you might need to get started!  Many of the sites and groups are mentioned below.  Try your hand at your own Breakout soon!


This Episode’s Guest:  Debbie Fucoloro - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque School, PreK-8

  • Technology Coordinator/Instructional Technology Specialist

  • Works in their Innovation Lab

  • Twitter - @debbiefuco


BreakoutEDU website


Digital BreakoutEDU website


BreakoutEDU Facebook Group


BreakoutEDU Google+ Collaborative


Search BreakoutEDU on Pinterest to find a TON of resources!


METC Podcast - Episode #8 - Novel Engineering

May 19, 2017

 In this episode, I talk with Tina Lauer about a great topic, Novel Engineering.  Novel Engineering combines design thinking to your curriculum in a process that engages your students in many different key skills.  Find more information about Novel Engineering below.  Reach out and connect with Tina if you are interested in learning more and/or have questions as you begin thinking of using Novel Engineering within your classroom.


Topic Introduction:

Novel Engineering was developed by Tufts University Center for Engineering Education and Outreach and combines reading and engineering in a way that increases students’ literacy in a variety of subject areas.  As part of Novel Engineering, students create projects based on problems they have identified in novels or other content area reading selections.  The characters in the novel (or real-life people in non-fiction selections) become the “clients” and students must design prototypes that will help solve the problem(s) they have identified.

Episode’s Guest:  Tina Lauer  

  • Instructional Technology Specialist - City of St. Charles School District & Adjunct Professor at Lindenwood University

  • Contact via e-mail:

  • Twitter: @tnalau

Save on METC Summer PD Opportunities!!

Locate a METC event at

Register for any METC event happening in June or July

Enter Promo Code - METCteacher17

Receive 25% off your registration!!


METC Podcast - Episode #7 - Teacher Appreciation

May 12, 2017

In this episode I celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week by recognizing the 5 most influential teachers that I have been blessed to work for or with over my educational career.  Without any of these teachers, who knows where I would be within my career.  Each one of these educators has modeled leadership all while taking me under their wing to mold me into the educator I am today.  


Even though Teacher Appreciation Week is coming to an end, it is never too late to show your appreciation for the teachers that are responsible for making you the person you are today.  If you would like to share a story of a teacher that changed your life, add a comment to our Podbean account, Google Play or within iTunes.  You can also tweet out your appreciation using the #METCpodcast.  As we continue to celebrate our educators on future podcasts, we may share any stories that have been shared with us.  We look forward to hearing who the influential teachers are in your lives.