My name is Joshua Hanna and I am originally from the Quad Cities, USA. Both my undergraduate and masters are in Science Education. I taught for many years as a science educator, including serving as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Iowa Science Education Board of Directors as well as on the pioneering committee for the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council, before becoming a Technology Integrationist for the University of Northern Iowa’s College of Education. I have also served as one of two Co-Lead teachers that helped to create Muscatine, Iowa’s first alternative school program for underserved area youth. The program had a design-based focus with emphasis on social innovation and cross-sector collaboration, locally and internationally. In this capacity, I was both a school leader and classroom instructor. I have successfully constructed, implemented and led in the development of media production programs for four different school districts, two of which are international programs-including in my current role where I serve as an educational technologist and teacher for the Saudi Aramco Expatriate Schools in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I have directed teams of students in the creation of content for many organizations and nonprofits on the local, regional and international levels. My design-based approach to the classroom utilizes the UbD framework, infusing collaboration and blended learning into lessons while pairing students with real clients and authentic opportunities. Over the years, students involved with my media production classes have received many accolades, recognitions, and awards, as well as tackling a wide array of projects including:
Filming and interviewing internationally renowned author, Tracey Kidder, to design a web resource guide for the book, “Strength in What Remains”
Awarded by Governor of Iowa, “Best Partnership” in state for Community Main Street Projects in “Merge Main Street Project,” Aesthetically highlighting local merchants in Iowa's award winning downtown of Cedar Falls, Iowa
Working alongside local television networks in creation of media spots and commercials for regional and local nonprofits
What I have learned from being a Technology Coach
The role of a school technology coach or technology team has never been more important. Without, many schools fumble in their technology integration initiatives. Unbalanced in their priorities and technology goals, many schools leave technology integration up to individual teachers, and often the technology rich classroom looks no different than the technology deficient classroom.
Technology is the great equalizer. It levels the playing field for learning and places the collective knowledge about the world within reach for those who would not have it otherwise, enhancing and enriching learning opportunities for both students and educators alike. The challenge for teachers everywhere is to leverage technology so that it becomes a tool for creation and not just consumption.
In a digitally connected, networked world, students with the click of a few buttons can look up the answers to many traditional questions posed in classrooms today. If you can find the answers online, there is no room for critical thinking. However, classroom projects designed to ask open ended questions, promote critical thinking, and allow the learner to assimilate or accommodate information in a way significant to them. Thus it is the responsibility of technology coach to not only assist teachers in their integration of technology in the classroom, but to also provide support in helping develop their curriculum and projects. This includes the creation of resource guides and tutorials, one-on-one conferencing and goal setting, and providing scaffolded professional development opportunities through PLC’s.
More important now, then perhaps any other time is for schools to consider their image, branding, and marketing strategies. In the age of transparency, it is important for school leadership to not only support teachers in the classroom but also create opportunities for teachers to share their classroom practices and lessons. If great educators cultivate memorable experiences with their students, how much more meaningful is it for a school if those experiences and stories are shared throughout the community? Capturing great stories that happen within the classroom is important. It serves as a reflection piece for teachers to grow in their pedagogy and also as a way for schools to be transparent with their classroom lessons and projects. Click below for a brief example of a fun teacher math lesson I recently had the pleasure of capturing.