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!!

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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.


METC Podcast - Episode #6 - LEGO in Education - Part 2

April 26, 2017

Episode #6 - Lego in Education - Part 2

Show Notes

In this episode, we continue our conversation on the benefits of using LEGOs in our education setting.  Amanda and Krista share some of their favorite success stories from their experience with children and LEGOs.  They also give us some great tips and tricks to help manage your LEGOs and keep them organized.  Be sure to connect with them through Twitter and seek them our for any assistance as you begin thinking about bringing in these fun, educational blocks into your classroom.


FIRST LEGO League Championship in St. Louis - Check out the Live Feed April 26-28, 2017


Episode Guests:

Krista Rouse - LMS - Blackhurst Elementary - @MsRouseInTheLIB


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


METC Podcast - Episode #5 - Lego in Education - Part 1

April 21, 2017

As I think back to my childhood again, I try to think about all of the fun I had with Legos.  However, I don’t know if I had any Legos as a child.  So, instead I fast forward to each holiday I get to visit with my niece and notice how engaged she gets whenever she receives a new set of Legos.  I often hear that the attention span of 10 year olds is about 30 minutes and that as educators we should switch up our setting/activity/assignment around that time frame to accommodate their attention needs. However,  I have personally observed my 9 year old niece work for HOURS on a Lego set.  The engagement, determination & problem solving skills she demonstrates while building with her Legos is amazing!  Once she is finished, she always rushes out to show and explain her final product.  This is what we, as educators, want all of our students to feel like within our classrooms.  We want them engaged in their learning.  We want them to build important skills like problem solving, perseverance, and creativity.  Getting them to build with Legos accomplishes these goals.


In this episode I talk with two Lego in Education experts, Amanda Morris & Krista Rouse, about the benefits of using these fun little pieces within their learning environments.  Krista within the library setting and Amanda within her classroom talk about all of the benefits they have seen by bringing the power of play with Legos into their educational settings.  They share a lot of different ideas, so be sure to check out the show notes at the website mentioned below.


Episode Guests:

Krista Rouse - LMS - Blackhurst Elementary - @MsRouseInTheLIB


Amanda Morris - 3rd Grade teacher - Monroe Elementary - @msmorrislearns for the Show Notes.


METC Podcast - Episode #4b - Google Certification Part 2

April 14, 2017

In Episode #4a, we talked about the first two levels of Google Certification.  Once you have completed Google Certification Levels 1 & 2, you may begin thinking about continuing your Google journey.  You have two options, Google Certified Trainer and Google Innovator.  

These two certifications are for those Googlers who want to take their training to the next level.  In this episode I talk with Stephanie Filardo and Nick Cusumano about why one would want to pursue these certifications and how they have affected their lives/careers.  The conversation then goes into some tips and tricks that will be very helpful to those seeking these certifications.  Be sure to connect with these two Innovators!

Episode's Guests:

Stephanie Filardo - @i3algebra -

Computer Science & Web Design at St. John Vianney High School


Nick Cusumano - @edtech4theatre - -

Director of Instructional Technology at Fort Zumwalt School District


Episode's Show Notes