Hello, my name is Randy Rodgers. I have been in public education for 26 years, including 11 in the elementary and middle school levels, and was once even fortunate enough to be named Birdville (TX) ISD secondary teacher of the year. The past 15+ years have been in the instructional technology field, beginning with a decade in Birdville, in the enchanted suburbs northeast of Fort Worth. In the spring of 2012, I loaded up the family and moved to south-central Texas to embark upon a new adventure as the Director of Digital Learning for Seguin ISD (Go, Mats!).
A lot has changed since I learned basic programming on a Commodore Pet back in the 80s. Unfortunately for a lot of students, many classrooms have changed very little in that time (or much, much longer). They are ready for us as educators to get with the program and teach like we live–surrounded by and dependent upon technology. I am completely psyched by the unstable nature of technology! It is completely opposed to sitting still, and the changes that happen in the technology world affect everything else in our profession and beyond. That is why I do what I do–to help teachers keep up and see where they and their students fit in with all of this evolution occurring around them. I want to equip educators to use technologies in powerful ways, and to enable students to create, innovate, invent, and imagine amazing possibilities.
Professionally, I have presented workshops and keynote addresses at TCEA regional and state conferences, ISTE, Tech & Learning Live (formerly Tech Forum), TLA, CAST, TECCSES, Dention TiA, RRR, and more. I have consulted with districts on technology integration, maker tools, and using Web technologies in the curriculum. In my spare time, I am working on my PhD dissertation in educational technology assessment, go fishing whenever possible, and cheer on my kids in soccer, band, robotics, etc.
Need a Presenter/Speaker/Trainer?
I am very passionate about technology’s potential to engage kids and revolutionize classroom practice, and I’d love to talk to your staff about it! If you wish to reach me about speaking or consulting (Web 2.0, maker technologies, creativity and innovation, 21st Century Skills, multimedia tools, flipped learning, general technology integration), you may reach me via this blog, by email at randyrodgersits <at> gmail <dot> com, or through Google Voice, at 817-601-5585. I’ll do my best to keep folks thinking, laughing, entertained, and challenged, and help to create a positive revolution – – you’ve been warned! References are available, of course. Thank you for visiting, and I look forward to hearing from you!
The topics below are examples of recent or upcoming workshops, keynotes, or PD sessions. Contact me for additional topics or information.
The Student Maker–The past decade has seen the rise of the maker movement, which celebrates the spirit of individual creativity, imagination, and inventiveness. Schools are now embracing this trend that is only slightly about the “stuff” created, and more powerfully about the cognitive and social skills involved in innovating and making something new: design, prototyping, product testing, problem solving, revision, etc. This session will explore options for promoting the maker mentality and providing maker opportunities for students and strategies to get maximum benefits out of these experiences.
Thinking in 3D–3D printing is becoming more commonplace in homes, businesses, and schools as the market grows, applications expand, and prices fall. The potential benefits of these devices for learners is only starting to be understood. This session will look at tools and resources needed to begin a 3D prototyping program and examine ways such a program can foster critical student competencies, such as creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving.
Programmed to Succeed–As demand for graduates skilled in computer sciences continues to soar, the need for graduates who can create original programs, web tools, and mobile apps leads the way. While not every student in our schools will be predisposed to become the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, every student can benefit and should be exposed to basic skills and principles of computer coding. Leave this session with hands-on experience with several free tools to teach students basic computer coding and computer science and ideas for implementation in your school curriculum.
Futureproof: 10 Things Your Kids Should Do Everyday–Maker spaces, coding classes, robotics, and STEM initiatives all have in common a maker’s mentality that is of critical value for our students’ future success. Join this session to explore practical strategies to infuse the entire curriculum with inquiry, creativity, higher-level thinking, student-driven questions, and more, with or without technology.
- June 6-7–CFISD Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships–Featured Speaker
- Jun 9–TCEA Region 7 Conference
- June 19-22–Maker Camp, SISD
- July 18–TiA Conference, Denton ISD
- July 26-27–CFISD Digital Learning Conference
- August 14-18–CFISD