NCCE is proud to announce that Richard Snyder has joined the Tech-Savvy Teacher team as our Tech-Savvy Librarian-in-Residence! We are thrilled that Richard will be joining us as a model teacher-librarian, helping our professional learning community grow to engage all of the great professionals that serve students throughout our region, country and world!
To help you get to know Richard better, we asked him to sit down with the Tech-Savvy Teacher team to discuss his workflow, technology tools and philosophy related to educational technology. Enjoy!
Name: Richard Snyder
Location: Seattle, WA
Current jobs: Teacher-librarian (Lake Washington School District, Kirkland Middle School), NCCE Board of Directors, Seattle Pacific University (adjunct faculty for department of education)
Current computer: Surface Pro I
Current mobile device(s): Nokia Lumina 1020
One word that best describes how you teach or work: Checklist
What apps/software/tools can you not live without?
Share with us a time when you failed in your teaching or learning pursuits. How did you persevere?
One year I attempted to go with a progressive grade in my English classes. At mid semester, students who were doing well should have a “C,” which would (eventually) turn into A. Sounded like an amazing idea in July. By the end of September, it was a huge mess. After many meetings with admins, colleagues, and parents, I made my grading work for me that reflected my students’ skills and growth.
OneNote: I’ve used it daily, maybe hourly, since 2008. I have notebooks for work, vacation, recipes, home information, and classes I’ve taught. It works because you make it work the way you want it to. It matches my organizations style (reasonably structured, yet fluid) and I can have it with me across all devices.
What browser do you use regularly?
I am all Internet Explorer: currently on IE 9 at work, and then using the Windows 8.1 version on phone.
What is your best time-saving trick?
It’s simple: restart your computer at the end of every work day. Restarting daily covers a multitude of sins.
What are your most valuable classroom/work routines?
Get kids to do the work for you (especially useful when in a 1-to-1 environment). Passing out papers? Have kids get a buddy to come pick up a paper for them and themselves. Teaching tech skills? Have kids who “get it” raise their hands. Tell them to find a student not raising his or her hand and teach them. Lost? Check a friend’s screen to see where you went astray and get back on track.
What is your favorite avenue to connect with social media?
When you are not living the glamorous work life, what do you like to do in your spare time for fun?
I like to travel. I am going to France and Norway this summer and hoping for Bhutan next spring break. I enjoy cooking anything and everything. My specialty is pizza and paella. I enjoy being with be with friends and family (karaoke gets rather rowdy, but always a good time!). I also enjoy gardening. Our small garden box is bursting with lettuce and chard at the moment!
What are you currently reading?
Re-reading Cinder (Marissa Meyer) to make questions for Battle of the Books. It is a great sci-fi retelling of Cinderella from a Seattle author. The series is fantastic!
Who are your influences in the education community?
I am influenced by librarians who share their practice and are deeply involved in their community. I respect anyone who gets up (physically or digitally), says “here’s what I do.” It reminds me to share what we do so that we can find more ways to impact our students and colleagues.
Any parting thoughts you would like to share with our readers?
I was hired to teach a tech class for teachers at a local university. In preparing for the class, I was chatting with a friend who is in higher ed. I just wanted some feedback on developing a vision for my graduate students. My friend’s advice (which works for all situations in education) was “tell them to be fearless.” I think that should be our motto when working toward being educational leaders and tech savvy people. Be fearless. Try things. If they fail – try them again. If they are successful – tell someone else about it and help that person be fearless, too.