Meet a Tech-Savvy Teacher: Jeff Crews


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Jeff CrewsJeff spent the early part of his career teaching 7-8 grade science and also served as the district technology coordinator. His students were involved in outdoor education projects (Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks), Odyssey of the Mind, Science Fair, and Expedition Club (a year long club that culminated with a week long trip out of state). Jeff’s experiences led him to The University of Montana where he served as the assistant director on the NASA EOS Education Project. This project was responsible for disseminating NASA remotely sensed imagery and other geospatial data to K-12 educators around the state of Montana. Jeff also served as the assistant director of science and technology projects within the Division of Educational Research.

Jeff currently spends his time running Beyond the Chalk as well as serving as adjunct faculty for Lesley University where he travels to different location around the country to teach masters’ level classes to teachers pursuing an advanced degree. Jeff will be presenting at NCCE’s Tech-Savvy Teacher Google Summit this year as well as 1 workshop and 2 sessions at NCCE 2017! Session information is listed at the bottom of this post.

Name: Jeff Crews
Location: Lolo, MT
Current job(s): Education Technology Integration Specialist (Beyond the Chalk)
Current computer: MacBook Pro
Current mobile device(s): Motorola Droid
One word that best describes how you teach or work: Passionately

Show us a screenshot of your mobile device’s home screen!

What apps/software/tools can you not live without?

Google Maps, especially when traveling. Google Keep, “keeps” me organized. All of the main Google Tools! Google Cardboard, I love where this technology is going.

Share with us a time when you failed in your teaching or learning pursuits. How did you persevere?

The first time I presented at a conference, I was two years into my science teaching career. The minute I got in front of everyone I started asking myself what I knew about science the seasoned veterans in the audience didn’t already know. I was incredibly nervous and did not do well. Now I present to others all the time. I hope everyone attending my workshops can come away with at least one new thing.

Other than your phone and computer, what gadget can you not live without?

Google Cardboard and all of my shop tools (love to make things in my spare time).

What is your favorite organizational tip, app or advice?

Build relationships with the people you serve, whether students, teachers, community, all of the above.

What browser do you use regularly?

Chrome all the way…

What is your best time-saving trick?

Make a list and check things off. Get up and move every half hour. Your body needs to move.

If you had $1,000 to spend on classroom tools and wanted to make the greatest impact on student learning, how would you spend it?

Can I leverage those dollars with a local foundation to possibly double it? Right now, thinking like a science teacher, I would probably purchase some codable robots. Lots of potential for science concepts to be taught through coding.

What is your favorite avenue to connect with social media?

Twitter using Hootsuite. You can aggregate multiple social media platforms in one place. @crewsertech

When you are not living the glamorous work life, what do you like to do in your spare time for fun?

Spend time with my family, hike, fish, hunt, and build things or tinker in the garage.

As a tech-savvy teacher, what everyday thing do you feel you excel with/at versus other teachers/administrators/mentors?

I feel like I bring a passion to my teaching. I like to make things fun, I love the thought of “joyful” learning and work to make that a goal in my teaching. Learning should be a joyful endeavor.

What is the best teaching advice you have received?

I have had some great mentors in my life. The best advice I have received from them is to value education and continue to be a learner. The more educated you are the more opportunities that will become available to you.

What are you currently reading?

How do you measure your life. How Children Succeed. A Little History of the World.

Who are your influences in the education community?

Wow, so many. Twitterverse is so rich with educators doing amazing things in their classrooms. If you are not on Twitter you need to join. You don’t have to post anything, just follow as many teachers as possible.

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