Jeff Utecht is an educator, consultant, podcaster and author. In his heart he will always be a 4th grade teacher. Jeff has been a keynote speaker and presenter for the past 13 years having presented in 20 different countries and has helped to upskill more than 50,000 educators. Jeff’s passion and purpose to prepare students for their future, not our past drives his love for learning and education.
Trenches story: first year teaching. Graduated in ‘99, first year of state mandated testing in WA, as 4th grade teacher. Got job in high-social economic area. The next year, moved across state to school that was 99% FRL. School fed all meals, He brought students laundry home to wash. Shock. Didn’t know how to get out of it. Spent more time doing CR mtg than anything else. Home visits. Figured out how to take a mental mindset of being raised by 2 teachers who were upper middle class. Found mentors. Got tech grant there. Kids learned to network computers. What did it mean to be in the trenches? What did that really mean.
What are your thoughts on students having cell phones in the classroom? Has been an edu tech consultant since ‘09. Did Microsoft research for them back then. Edu tries to hold on to traditional ways. F. example, calculators that became watches. We fight the tech. The grant he got in ‘00 was getting 1 computer for every 4 kids. Top priority is safety for kids to call parents in case of an emergency. For better or for worse… Do you have school resource officers have convos around cell phone policy? It’s education’s responsibility to talk about proper cell phone use.
What are your thoughts on blocking sites from students at school? around idea that we believe students are bad, you’re setting up an “us vs. them”. They’ll find a way around it. CIPA- child internet protection act: Federal govt says only porn, hate sites, gambling. PEW internet research. MS/HS kids- 2014 & 2022. #1 site was FB in ‘14/’15. ‘22 was YouTube & TikTok. article on this topic: see link). The majority of students use video as a learning tool. Shifting Schools talks about media literacy. Does kid know when to pause, take notes? Kids know genres of video on TikTok. We have to learn their culture. We shouldn’t fight against it.
If you could only have students visit one website, what would it be? He’s talked at the UN about Wikipedia; he says we should trust it. We have to understand if we can rely on that page.
What is Blended Learning? what we were doing b4 pandemic. Edit button is there for everyone. Link to free pdf “How to understand Wikipedia in 3 links”. There’s a way to understand how to use it. Every page on Wikipedia is rated A,B, C, D, F. 4th graders made one about a monument in their city.
Why is Blended Learning the future of education? we’re past it and headed to a high flex (hybrid) model. Has been used in colleges for a while. We have to be thinking about how we engage students one to one. You have to build for internet first, CR after. Parents are saying “I should be able to take my students out for a week and they can do the work”. We can talk about what it looks like for t’s at difference. There’s a lot of social pressure for educ to be different for our kids. How do I make sure kids who are out can learn? The pedagogical switch in our brain is missing.
Where do you see K-12 Education going in the future? true inquiry-based, t’s need to rethink how they use their time. If I make an instructional video, I want kids in CR watching it also. They can translate it too. We need to get to a mindset where it’s different, not more.
Can you talk about your podcast Shifting Schools? He’s a google certified partner. Started podcasting in 2007 when he was teaching in Bangkok and China. Podcast has 240 episodes. He and Trisha interview teachers, leaders, do miniseries like STEM, Makerspaces, data jobs. He has talked about intersection b/w data, art, collaboration.
Out of everything? goes back to 2 essentials ?’s #1:How am I using the world as my curriculum? What does that mean for me? Am I preparing students for their future or my past? Click To Tweet
Where can ppl find you online? http://www.jeffutecht.com/
Social: @jutecht most places they do live webinars there.
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