January 26th, 2012

LISTEN: Dave Makings, College Of Southern Idaho Education Technology Professor

( Click here to download the podcast )

Dave Makings is a professor of Education Technology at the College of Southern Idaho. Since 1981, he’s been working with aspiring teachers on how best to use cutting-edge technology in their classrooms. It all began for Makings and his class with Bank Street Writer, an early word processing model. Thirty years later, he teaches students about Adobe Connect, a web-conferencing software; ThinkFinity, a math and science lesson plan database; and Blackboard, a curriculum delivery system — among many other technologies they can incorporate to become better teachers.

Interestingly, Makings grew up on a farm and initially studied zoology, but found himself working for decades in the education technology arena. How did that life path unfold? The answer, within this interview, is very interesting.

The state of Idaho is doing some forward-thinking things with education right now, too: mandating online learning and allowing teacher evaluations to have parent input. Makings addresses both of those topics, as well.

We hope you enjoy this discussion with Professor Makings. Next week, our guest will be Alan Blankstein, the President of the HOPE Foundation, who will be talking about his transition from “high-risk” youth to a collaborator with multiple districts to make sure their schools get it right.

Visit our archives and/or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes!

For more examples of how teachers can incorporate technology into their classrooms, we encourage you to check out our report from 2011 about Mooresville, NC:

Thanks for listening, and we hope you keep coming back!

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Great stuff LM. So great to hear something on the reform front from a state that isn’t usually reported on or from given demographic data. It got me thinking about other worthwhile reform efforts away from the usual suspects. Open High School of Utah has a great deal going on at a school level. They are not just a virtual school, but something far more out-of-the-box. And Utah’s State Office of Education just announced an exciting effort where e-books could push out the traditional textbook. So even though not dealing with typically underserved populations, there are some cool things going on in various corners.

Need to amend my hasty last sentence in my previous post: even though not dealing with typically underserved populations at the rate others do (demographics show a huge increase in various subgroups throughout the intermountain west), there are some cool and replicable things going on in various corners of the country. Thanks again Learning Matters!

Very interesting! You should also interview Senator John Goedde, chair of the Senate Ed Committee and sponsor of these bills. It would be great to hear his perspective on why these reforms are important.

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