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Teaching & Learning Center: Podcast

Use this guide as a central hub to all the Professional Development tracks CPTC has to offer

Simon Says EdConnect

Simon Says: Educate!

Welcome to Simon Says Educate, the podcast where we explore the latest trends and best practices in teaching and learning. Join us each week as we interview faculty members and students, and dive deep into the issues that matter most to our community.

Hosted by the Teaching and Learning Center at Clover Park Technical College, the podcast offers a fresh and engaging perspective on all aspects of education, from the latest teaching strategies and classroom technologies, to the challenges and opportunities of online learning, and the impact of education on students' lives and careers.

With Simon as your guide, you'll get an inside look at the people and programs that make CPTC one of the most dynamic and innovative technical colleges in the region. So sit back, relax, and tune in to Simon Says Educate.

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Episode #15

Liquid Syllabus w/Alex Dejean

In episode #15 of "Simon Says: Educate!", Ronald Lethcoe and Alex Dejean come together to discuss the transformative potential of the "liquid syllabus" in modern education. Dive into the conversation as they shed light on how this digital tool can revolutionize student engagement, retention, and overall learning experience. Understand the stark differences between a traditional syllabus and its liquid counterpart, and how the latter offers a more personalized, accessible, and humanized approach to course content. While they address the challenges of adopting this innovative approach, from the steep learning curve to the time commitment, they also highlight the immense rewards. Listen as students become more proactive, feel a deeper connection, and invest wholeheartedly in their educational journey. Join Ronald and Alex as they emphasize the significance of digital literacy, the pivotal role of inclusivity in education, and the ongoing journey of refining teaching methodologies.

Episode #12

Observations Module

In this episode of "Simon Says: Educate!", the TLC team at Clover Park Technical College dives into the Observation module of Base Camp. They discuss the importance of shifting the culture around classroom observations, emphasizing peer-to-peer feedback and growth. Ronald shares insights on giving constructive feedback, while Kristin highlights the significance of post-observation conferences. The team also shares personal experiences and tools that have impacted their teaching practices. Join them as they explore the journey of continuous improvement in education.









Episode #9

Professional Development Base Camp Explanation

In our latest episode of "Simon Says: Educate" we invite you to join us on an exciting journey through the Base Camp Program at Clover Park Technical College. Our hosts delve into "week zero," the introductory phase where faculty members familiarize themselves with the course, understand the importance of land and labor acknowledgement, build partnerships, and engage in enlightening campfire chats. Following episodes are dedicated to deep dives into two-week long modules, each honing in on areas like Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI), Observations, Syllabus Creation, and Professional Development Paths. Through this immersive, gamified journey, we’ll uncover how faculty members transform their teaching practices through engaging activities and reflective practices, all designed to foster collaboration and elevate education.

Episode #6

The Blueprint w/ Brady Hageman

Welcome back to Simon Says Educate! In this special episode, we delve into the Canvas Blueprint with Geoff Cain and Ronald Lethcoe from the TLC and guest Brady Hageman from E-learning. We explain the difference between templates and blueprints, guiding instructors on how to tailor their courses effectively. Brady, our Canvas expert, clarifies that blueprints act as roadmaps while templates are components within them. The blueprint offers diverse homepage templates accommodating different teaching styles, ensuring accessibility and mobile-friendliness. We stress the importance of faculty presence and student engagement in online learning. The blueprint introduces a "Week Zero" concept, where instructors can provide essential information before the course starts, facilitating student orientation. Geoff highlights the value of including instructor photos to humanize the learning experience and boost student engagement. We mention, an open-source AI tool resource for various projects. We recommend exploring it for innovative solutions. We also discuss the new internet search and plugin features in ChatGPT Plus, expanding its capabilities. Lastly, we emphasize the role of campus clubs in fostering community and student success. Brady shares his involvement in the gaming club and encourages faculty to promote club awareness to enhance student engagement and connections. Stay tuned for more insightful episodes of Simon Says Educate!



Episode #3

Disability Services 

In Episode 3 of Simon Says Educate, we welcome Melissa Medina, the manager of Disability Services at Clover Park Technical College. Our focus in this episode revolves around accessibility awareness and how we can better assist students with disabilities in their learning journey. Melissa elaborates on the role of Disability Services, explaining that it's designed to overcome barriers faced by students with disabilities by providing appropriate accommodations to ensure accessible education for all. Melissa also brings her background in education to the table, discussing her experience working with a diverse range of students in the K-12 system. We delve into the responsibilities of faculty in providing timely accommodations and maintaining universal curriculum designs. Melissa further explains the concept of Universal Design for Learning, urging faculty to ensure their course materials are as accessible as possible to a broad population of students. Lastly, we discuss the services provided by the Teaching and Learning Center in helping faculty make learning materials accessible. We touch upon the options for professional development units for faculty who undergo the state boards accessibility training.

Episode #14

Inclusive Syllabi w/Diane Follett

In episode #14 of "Simon Says: Educate!", join Ronald and special guest Diane Follett as they navigate the world of inclusive syllabi in education. Dive into Diane's personal journey from studying Russian to her passion for teaching English as a Second Language. Uncover the significance of creating a welcoming syllabus that fosters a sense of belonging and community within the classroom. Join them as they shed light on the transformative power of inclusive education and the importance of personal connections in the learning process.





Episode #11

2023 OER Faculty Institute Sneak Peek w/Charity Davenport

In this episode of Simon Says: Educate!, Geoff welcomes Charity Davenport, an Instructional Technology Specialist from Pellissippi State Community College. Charity shares her journey from being an ESL instructor to becoming an Instructional Designer. She explains her dissatisfaction with traditional textbooks, leading her to create her own OER textbook, and the challenges she faced during the process. The discussion revolves around the importance of accessibility in OER and how it benefits all students. Charity emphasizes the need to create a culture of accessibility and flexibility in educational resources. Her presentation at the upcoming OER Faculty Institute will delve deeper into her experience and offer practical insights for faculty looking to embrace OER in their teaching. 







Episode #8

OER Implementation w/Dion Alexander

In the eighth episode of "Simon Says: Educate", we interview Dion Alexander from the mathematics department at Clover Park Technical College about his experiences with open education resources (OER). Alexander discusses his journey from being a student to an educator at the college and highlights his decision to adopt OER in his courses. Citing affordability and accessibility, he discusses how he effectively integrated OER in three courses and is now working on his stats class. Alexander strongly advocates for OER adoption and advises other educators to transition gradually, keeping the process manageable and beneficial for students.



Episode #5

2023 CPTC Faculty In-Service Reflections

In episode 5 of "Simon Says Educate," we discussed the faculty in-service event at Clover Park Technical College. We reflected on the unique and engaging nature of the in-service. Faculty members were invited to present on topics they were passionate about, sharing their knowledge and experiences with their colleagues. The presentations covered a wide range of subjects, from playing the drums to container gardening and even hand massages. What made this event even more meaningful was the emphasis on connecting these presentations to teaching practices learned through professional development. We were impressed by the sense of community and collaboration among the faculty. It was refreshing to see both full-time and adjunct faculty actively participating and building connections. This inclusivity fostered a supportive environment where everyone's expertise and passions were valued. The event also provided an opportunity for cross-divisional and cross-program faculty to interact, which is rare due to the spread-out nature of our campus. Looking ahead, we aim to improve the event by allowing more time for reflection and discussion on incorporating the showcased teaching practices into individual classrooms. We recognize the importance of these conversations and the value they bring to our teaching community. Overall, the in-service was a great success, with highlights including meaningful discussions, exploring the beautiful campus, and enjoying a delicious lunch together. We are excited about the future of this event and the continued growth of our teaching and learning community at Clover Park Technical College. Simon Says: Check it out!

Episode #2

Professional Development

In this episode of Simon Says Educate, we delve into the importance of professional development for faculty members and its impact on enhancing student learning experiences. We discuss various challenges faced during our pilot professional development program and our plans for refining the program in the upcoming year. We emphasize the critical role of passion in teaching and the support provided by the Teaching and Learning Center to our faculty. Furthermore, we explore the concept of badges as a means of acknowledging faculty achievements in professional development, motivating them to continue their growth and learning. We highlight the potential of the Teaching and Learning Center as a haven for experimenting with innovative teaching methods, cultivating a sense of camaraderie among faculty, and exchanging effective strategies across different disciplines.





Episode #13

Observations with Tiffany Smith

In episode #13 of "Simon Says: Educate!", join the conversation with Tiffany Smith as they delve into the intricacies of the observation process in professional development. Discover the importance of mentorship, community building, and ensuring teacher agency. Learn about the concept of "teaching circles" and how it fosters a supportive environment for educators. Dive deep into the challenges and rewards of observations and the significance of building trust and clear communication in the process. Join them as they explore the journey of continuous improvement in education.





Episode #10

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion w/Jovan McCoy

In the latest episode of "Simon Says: Educate," we continue our exploration into the comprehensive Base Camp Program at Clover Park Technical College. Our hosts engage in a vibrant dialogue with Jovan McCoy, discussing their experiences at various equity-centered conferences, and how they've inspired new initiatives back at the college. The conversation then delves into the significance of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI), and how it's interwoven into the very fabric of the Base Camp Program. This episode showcases the power of a collective voice within a learning institution, likening it to a harmonious symphony where each unique instrument plays a crucial part. The focus is on developing a culture of inclusivity that empowers and values every member of the academic community. Our hosts and guest also touch on the exciting launch of the DEI module and the immense potential it holds for creating an inclusive learning environment. Upcoming initiatives, such as the summer series on race titled "Doing Race and Undoing Racism," and the much-anticipated Courageous Conversations, are also highlighted. These initiatives represent the ongoing commitment to challenge and tackle systemic issues while fostering a sense of belonging and shared understanding.

Episode #7

Open Education Resources w/Jennifer Snoek-Brown

In this episode of Simon Says: Educate!, we have Geoff Cain from Clover Park Technical College and Jennifer Snoek-Brown, the OER Librarian at Tacoma Community College. Jennifer explains that OER refers to freely available and openly licensed resources for educational purposes. We discuss the advantages of OER, including cost savings for students and the creative freedom it offers faculty. Challenges in finding relevant OER and the need for support and compensation for faculty in creating and adapting OER are also highlighted. We mention the upcoming Open Education Resources Faculty Institute at Clover Park Technical College as a valuable professional development opportunity.


Episode #4

Accessibility w/ Brady Hageman

In this episode of Simon Says Educate, we invited Brady Hageman, the LMS administrator for the college, to share insights on enhancing the accessibility of online courses through platforms like Canvas. The primary issue tackled during this conversation revolves around the common challenges students face when logging into Canvas. Brady suggests proactive solutions such as logging into their email first to help alleviate the problem of password expiry. We discussed the implications on students and the need to simplify processes for a seamless user experience. Shortening login credentials and promoting the use of copy-paste were among the highlighted strategies. Furthermore, we stress the importance of harnessing existing resources like the accessibility report, as well as learning from fellow educators who've mastered the art of creating compelling and user-friendly Canvas courses.










Episode #1

Introduction to the Podcast Hosts and the Podcast!

The first episode of Simon Says: Educate!; a podcast exploring the world of teaching and learning at Clover Park Technical College. In this episode, our hosts discuss their backgrounds, interests, and motivations for creating the podcast. They share their thoughts on staying up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in education, including social media, blogs, and podcasts. Additionally, they discuss their excitement for exploring topics such as gamification, open pedagogy, and the future of higher education. Finally, they share valuable resources for educators and students alike. Join the conversation and gain valuable insights to inspire your own educational journey.