Gillian Judson @perfinker Featured Blogger
Gillian Judson (@perfinker) teaches/writes/researches in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University in B.C., Canada, co-directs the Imaginative Education Research Group (IERG), and coordinates Imaginative Ecological Education (IEE) research and practice. Her work is primarily concerned with the role of imagination in all learning. She also investigates how an ecological and imaginative approach to education can both increase students’ engagement with, and understanding of, the content of the curriculum but can show it in a light that can lead to a sophisticated ecological consciousness.
Gillian writes on a range of educatonal topics but especially about imagination, creativity, wonder, story, and ecological/place-based teaching practices. She is author of the books Engaging Imagination in Ecological Education: Practical Strategies For Teaching (Pacific Educational Press, 2015) and A New Approach to Ecological Education: Engaging Students’ Imaginations in Their World (New York: Peter Lang; 2010). She most recently co-authored a book called Imagination and the Engaged Learner: Cognitive Tools for the Classroom. (New York: Teachers’ College Press; in press).
She has also edited the book Teaching 360°: Effective Learning Through The Imagination (Rotterdam: Sense Publishing, 2008) and co-edited the books Engaging Imagination and Developing Creativity in Education (Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press; 2015) and Wonder-Full Education: The Centrality of Wonder (New York: Routledge; 2013).
She started a blog in 2016. Learn all about imagination-focused practices (K-post secondary) at imaginED: education that inspires.
Oskar Cymerman | @CrushSchoolSpy Featured Blogger
Oskar is a Science, Engineering, and Learning How to Learn teacher and an author of the Crush School Book Series.
His professional interests are brain-based teaching and learning, flexible seating (#StarbucksMyRoom founder), social-emotional learning, social justice, and using technology to enhance learning.
He is also a fan of the Jedi order (and uses DA FORCE frequently), ninjas, and the superhero in all of us. He is on a Quest to Change the World because he can. We all can.
Rita Wirtz | @RitaWirtz Featured Blogger
Modeling the art and craft of teaching reading for 47 years, Mrs. Wirtz taught language arts, speech and reading at all levels preschool-adult, including penal. She served as Pre-school and K-6 Principal. Rita was also a Curriculum Consultant, ESEA, Title I Program Evaluator and literacy trainer. At the university level she taught school administration in the Bilingual Cohort at CSUS and National University, Sacto. Mrs. Wirtz also taught all reading courses for Chapman University for many years in Sacramento and Placerville, Ca., and mentored student teachers. On the national level she was a well known motivational Keynote Speaker and Seminar Leader. Most importantly, Rita walked the talk, teaching with teachers in more than 500 K-12 and special needs classrooms. Rita authored books, publications and Pre- YouTube, videos were filmed by San Diego County Office of Education. Calif. ASCD authored companion book guides, and Calif. school districts correlated her basic skills instruction with State Standards. Mrs. Wirtz' newest book is Reading Champs! Teaching Reading Made Easy, a review of the basic building blocks of English and Reading. Rita is currently teaching in a multi-age, fully incuded preschool, ages 2-8. Find Mrs. Wirtz on Twitter @RitaWirtz, Facebook and website- www.ritawirtz.com.
Rae Pica | @raepica1 Featured Blogger
Rae Pica has been an education consultant specializing in the development and education of the whole child, children's physical activity, and active learning since 1980. A former adjunct instructor with the University of New Hampshire, she is the author of 19 books, including the text Experiences in Movement and Music and, most recently, What If Everybody Understood Child Development?: Straight Talk About Bettering Education and Children's Lives. Rae has shared her expertise with such groups as the Sesame Street Research Department, the Head Start Bureau, Centers for Disease Control, the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues, Gymboree, Nike, and state health departments throughout the country. She is a member of the executive committee of the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences and is co-founder of BAM Radio Network, where she hosts Studentcentricity, interviewing experts in education, child development, play research, the neurosciences, and more on teaching with students at the center.
Chad Ostrowski | @chadostrowski Featured Blogger
After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree In Biology, Chad Ostrowski or “Mr. O” as his students fondly call him, set his sights on education. He was chosen as one of only 50 individuals in the state of Ohio to be granted the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship through the Ohio STEM Learning Network. Through this fellowship, he received his Master’s in Science Education and gained intensive training and expertise in STEM education, Problem Based Learning, Inquiry-based instruction as well as other cutting-edge educational research and modern pedagogical theory.
Ostrowski has since presented research at the NSTA National Conference onProblem-Based Learning in the Gifted Classroom and Continues to develop and research modern innovative educational practices. Chad has been teaching Middle School Science in a high needs urban district for 4 years. In that short time, due to his dedication to teaching, innovative teaching methods and educational leadership he has been named Science Department Chair within his building, Building Leadership Team member and District Co-chair of Middle School Science Curriculum.
It is through these foundations that he has created and developed the The Grid Method - Mastery Learning System in order to synthesize his knowledge of best practices in education into a system that allows ALL of his students to meet and exceed their potential.
Chad has now left the classroom to shre his innovative practices, techniques and strategies with educators all over the country. He does this through speaking at conferences, providng teacher development and workshops, as well as producing blogs, and videos.