Steven Anderson calls himself "... a Dad, learning evangelist, educator, speaker, and author". We call him a TechnoTeacher too. As a former classroom teacher and Director of Instructional Technology Steven is highly sought after for his expertise in educational technology integration and using social media for learning. As @web20classroom he regularly travels the country talking to schools and districts about the use of Social Media in the classroom and how they can better serve students through technology.
Steven has been a presenter and keynoter at several national and international educational conferences, including ISTE, ASCD, FETC, WISE, VSTE as well as numerous state and local conferences.Steven is the author of 3 books: The Relelvant Educator: How Connectedness Empowers Learning, co-authored with his good friend and social media maven, Tom Whitby, The Tech-Savvy Administrator, part of the ASCD Arias series (available from ASCD), and Content Curation: How To Avoid Information Overload, part of the Corwin Connected Educators Series. He is also responsible in helping create #edchat, a weekly education discussion on Twitter that boasts over 500 weekly participants.
Steven has been recognized with the the 2009 and 2011 Edublogs, Twitterer of The Year Award, a "Top 50 Educational Innovators" award from the Center For Digital Education, a Microsoft Heros of Education award, along with a 2013 Bammy Award, recognized worldwide as the Educational Emmy, for his work with #edchat.
As you can probably tell, we were thrilled to be able to interview him.
TT: Why did you initially decide to become a teacher?
SA: I knew from a very young age I wanted to be a teacher. I have picture of me at 4 years old giving all my teddy bears a test with some coloring books I had. Throughout school I had very influential teachers that showed me how powerful and rewarding profession it can be. However, for the longest time I didn’t know what kind of teacher I wanted to be. I thought for a time I would be a music teacher/band director. Then I took classes in Elementary Education. I finally landed in Middle Grades Education and there I found my passion. Middle Grades are, in my opinion the best years to teach kids. I had some of the best years teaching science and math to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.
TT: How did you move from being a classroom teacher to being a consultant/writer?
SA: Technology had taken a strong hold in my classroom. I embraced it as something necessary but also as something that had the potential to change the way students learn. But I felt there was a lacking of understanding with my colleagues and I wanted to change that. I pursued many opportunities to help train and direct teachers and educators to understand the role that technology plays in learning and how they can leverage its power in a positive way. I am very fortunate enough to have had many opportunities worldwide to share my love and passion for teaching and learning with (and without) technology and now I get to do that full-time.
TT: How have you gained your following on social media do you think? Top tips?
SA: I get asked a lot about how I got however many of thousands of followers on Twitter and other sites and the frank answer is I don’t know. I didn’t set out to have a certain number and I don’t even look at the number of followers hardly ever. Just like many opportunities I’ve had I’m fortunate that many people like to hear what I share. My tip is don’t worry about how many people follow you or how many people you follow. Its about quality and learning, not quantity. Put efforts in finding great content and sharing equally great content with others.
TT: Why do you think it is important to grow as a teacher/ share your ideas with others?
SA: Sharing is a key part of education. Think about everything you learned throughout the course of your life. Odds are it wouldn’t be the same had someone not shared something with you. A piece of knowledge, a resource, a method, something to help you get closer to the answers you sought. As teachers and educators we need to embrace sharing as an important part of our own personal, professional learning. And social media and digital technologies has made that so much easier. Now we can share and consume at our own pace at our own time. There really is no excuse now not to do it!
TT: Which are the top pieces of work you'd like us to share in this blog and why?
The Relevant Educator: How Connectedness Empowers Learning - Co-Written with my friend Tom Whitby, we explore why being connected through social media is important for educators to stay relevant in the classroom. We are provocative for a reason. We truly believe that if educators do not embrace connectedness, they can not survive in the classroom. (Available From Corwin Press)
Content Curation: How To Avoid Information Overload -With the amount of information students and teachers have access to, finding, vetting, organizing and sharing the best is important. In this book I lay out the curation process, the tools to make the most of it and why sharing what we gather is important. (Available form Corwin Press)
The Tech-Savvy Administrator - One of the things I’ve noticed with school leaders is they are responsible for purchasing technology and later evaluating the use of that technology in the classroom yet they have little knowledge of the use of technology themselves. I wanted to provide some easy ways for school leaders to integrate technology into their daily work. It’s filled with practical tips for communicating, collaborating and more.
For more information on Steven, please follow the links to explore what he has said and what he is saying now!
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This is where Jules and Nic will post articles, links to interesting sites and things that we think our TechnoTeachers will like.