On today’s show, Howie and Ryan welcome Kristen Echols from Oklahoma City, OK. Kristen is a home school mother of three that adds a little Disney magic to her lessons. We first learn a little bit about Kristen, which includes how she went to school to become an elementary teacher, but realized that she didn’t love everything that was involved with teaching at a school. She then shares with us how she came to the decision to homeschool her kids and what home schooling actually means.
Kristen then takes us through what she does before a trip to WDW with her kids that integrates the pre-trip planning, like budgeting, into the daily lessons her kids need to learn. She then shares with us the ways she keeps the time down at WDW educational while still having fun and not ruining that Disney magic. This includes how she actually calculates and plans several learning opportunities that can count as classroom days for her kids. We finish off by learning how this family keeps the dreaded not at Disney feelings away until the next trip arrives and how that includes keeping the high engaged learning going.
We had a ton of fun talking with Kristen on this episode and we learned all about home schooling. After listening, we are sure you will agree that this home schooling mother of three is an educational rockstar with a knack and a magic flare for teaching.
Like Olaf, Howie and Ryan are really big fans of summer. So in today’s episode, we are going to talk about what to do with the kids, or yourself, during summer. We all know that Disney is an incredibly fun place to go and play for a few days in the summer, but what if you can’t go or what if you’re going and want to plus the trip with some learning opportunities. Well, we have got you covered for both scenarios.
Howie shares some of his favorite learning opportunities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Ryan will cover the less fortunate ones that are staying home. So from homemade lightsabers to encounters with wild creatures, will help you get your Disney fix this summer and possibly learn something along the way. We hope you enjoy today’s episode and if you do, please stop by iTunes and leave us a rating and review.
On today’s show, Ryan and Howie are honored to have former Imagineer Brian Collins here to discuss his story. Brian has been a Disney cast member since the early 1990’s and helped create magic daily as he worked both on the front line of customer service at the Contemporary front desk and as a Disney Imagineer. Listen to his story as he shares how he started at the ground level and worked his way up to the magical dream job at WDI.
During his time at WDI, Brian was a show writer and worked on classic attractions like Jungle Cruise and The Great Movie Ride to name a few. Brian shares with us some wonderful behind the scenes stories of the teamwork done to pull off the magic and how he loved what he was doing every day, so much so he says he never really worked a day in his time at Disney.
After Brian left WDI, he didn’t stop creating and spreading magic! He founded his own company WDWithMe, whose mission is to share the knowledge he has amassed working for the mouse and helping others be more creative and innovative. Brian also describes himself as a passionate educator and has served on several different college and university faculties. Brian has taught courses on entrepreneurship, marketing, innovation, and product development for theme parks.
Listening to today’s show, we know that you will hear the passion and humor that Brian brings to any task he tackles. There are few places that equal that of Disney when it comes to creativity, innovation, storytelling, and magic, but we all know that it’s the people that really make the magic. Brian Collins is one of those people and what’s even more magical is that he hasn’t stopped spreading the magic beyond the mouse. We hope you enjoy today’s episode as Brian shares with us how to think like an Imagineer!
Summer break is fast approaching and if you are like us here at My Disney Class Podcast, you may already be daydreaming of those warm carefree days ahead. Some of you may even be preparing for that most magical summer destination of all, Walt Disney World!
On today’s show, Howie and Ryan discuss how you can take the weeks or months leading up to your next fairytale vacation and make them have some educational value. I know what you might be thinking, how can there be any educational value in planning a vacation? Well, listen as we go through the whole process from travel to checking into your hotel and we share all the questions, decisions, and real-world educational scenarios, you can work through with your kids.
Who knew planning a Walt Disney World vacation could be such a powerful educational tool? Ok, ok, Ryan and Howie knew and we hope you enjoy the show as we take you through our thought process on how to create these opportunities.
The Disney Driven Life
With Author Jeff Dixon
What a show do we have for you today! Howie and Ryan are incredibly lucky to welcome Jeff Dixon on the show today. Jeff is the author of the "Key to the Kingdom" series, which is a fictional series of four books that follows the adventures of Grayson Hawkes as he attempts to solve a complicated series of puzzles laid out by none other than the man himself, Walt Disney. Jeff recently broke from this series and wrote a book called "The Disney Driven Life". This book is a guidebook that not only guides you through the Magic Kingdom but also guides you through the lessons you can learn from each attraction that ultimately helps you be your best version of you. In Jeff’s own words “ A Disney-driven life is a life where you move beyond being a person loaded with potential and become a person who lives up to that potential.” Jeff has unique and rich experiences that he draws from to write his books. He grew up in Florida and remembers a time before Walt Disney World existed. He has seen it grow and change and he has even worked for the Mouse. In his day job, Jeff serves as the Transformational Architect at The Church @ 434 in Central Florida.
In today’s episode, we visit with Jeff and talk about some of his favorite examples from the book and how they can impact us as educators. We discuss what lessons we can learn from the attractions and how studying a little bit of the history of Walt, we can have a great impact on the learning and engagement of our students. We hope you enjoy today’s episode as Jeff shares how his background at Walt Disney World and his current role as a pastor helped him develop into the wonderful storyteller he is today and how we can become the author of our own and our students own, greatest story.
On today’s show, it seems like Ryan has bumped his head pretty hard as he actually suggests changing the show name to My Universal Class. Listen in as Howie tries to talk some sense into Ryan and get him back on the magical path. As the debate continues, you will hear several points and counterpoints to which is better Universal Studios or Walt Disney World. Hopefully, you will enjoy this light-hearted comparison of both parks and learn a few things about that other park called Universal Studios. To end this April Fools episode, we will share information we have found on the educational programs that Universal offers. This is no joke and the educational opportunities seem to be really engaging and very rigorous. Some of the topics include Your Classroom in motion, Storytelling, and Our Weather. We hope you enjoy today’s episode, as we discuss something out of the Disney universe, but we think it has wonderful educational connections.
Ryan and Howie are excited to welcome, all the way from his home planet of Tatooine, Thomas Riddle to the podcast. Ok Thomas may not be from Tatoonie but with the level of force and good that he has been bringing to education, we wouldn’t be surprised. Thomas has been in education more than twenty years and has served as a teacher, coach, principal, adjunct college professor, educational consultant, textbook publisher, and served on the South Carolina Department of Education. If this wasn’t enough Thomas regularly conducts professional development and instructional methodology at all levels across the country.
On today’s show, Thomas shares with us how he and his long-time friend Wes Dodgens were able to partner up with Lucasfilm,Ltd. to create “Adventures in Learning with Indiana Jones” (indyintheclassroom.com). Indyintheclassroom.com provides teachers with interdisciplinary curriculum and lesson ideas based upon Dr. Jones aka Indiana Jones. In 2012, Thomas and Wes launched a sequel to Indiana Jones called “Star Wars in the Classroom” (starwarsintheclassroom.com). This site provides engaging lessons in all subject areas using the power of the force found in Star Wars movies.
We hope you enjoy today’s show as Thomas takes us through ways to incorporate the movies that we love into our classrooms.
Join Ryan and Howie as they jump into the Timekeeper’s time machine and dream about what it would be like to experience some of Walt Disney’s greatest moments. We can’t help but think that this could be something educators could build upon and make a lesson out of. Imagine what the students could discover by pretending to go back in history to meet or observe a historical figure or event.
Howie and Ryan share some points on Walt’s timeline that mean something to them. Howie talks about Walt’s failures in the beginning, Disney’s Folly- Snow White, and Walt’s trip to Orlando in 1965. Howie does a masterful job of taking us back to these particular times and sharing some little known facts about these events. Ryan shares some of his favorite Walt moments that include; young Walt and family moving to Marceline MO, Walt’s trip to South America, and the informational video shot about E.P.C.O.T.
Enjoy the 15th episode of season 2 as much as we enjoyed traveling back in time and sharing our thoughts about Walt’s life. Walt is, after all the inspiration for both Howie and I in creating My Disney Class and of course we hope he inspires you as well to create your own classroom magic.
Ryan, Jerry and Howie, discuss the NEW ONLINE Disney Class “PD Maigc: Edmagineering The Future of Professional Learning. It is offered through Buena Vista University and Educators can receive 3 Graduate Credit Hours for taking the class.
Discover the five core values in the class and how they integrate into your curriculum:
Blues Sky Thinkers
Join us and discover the layout of the class and how to bring Disney ideas and content into your classroom.
Link here for additional and registration information:
Join Howie and Ryan as they discuss Disney projects to use in your classroom. Explore with us new ways to integrate, critical thinking, innovation, web literacy, storytelling, conspiracy theories, patents, research, communication, curiosity and collaboration.
A sample project includes taking a trip to Walt Disney World. How much does it cost, how will you get there, where will you stay, how much do tickets cost, what are the alternatives.
Discover projects that are interdisciplinary and engaging. We hope that you enjoy these experiences as much as we do.
EPCOT International Festival of the Arts
Join Howie and Ryan as they discuss EPCOT’s newest festival, The International Festival of the Arts. This inaugural festival is a collaboration with Disney’s Theatrical Productions and will highlight guests favorite music and Broadway talent. There will also be galleries that feature two of Disney’s most prominent artist, Mary Blair and Herb Ryman, as well as current Disney artist. All the arts are covered in this festival, including the culinary arts! Not only can you see and experience all this great art but guests are able to take workshops and learn some of these trades right along side the experts.
To honor the arts in this episode, Ryan and Howie share some of their favorite places to find art and art techniques in Walt Disney World and the resorts. We hope that you find joy in these experiences as much as we do. We hope this episode does the A in STEAM, justice and helps shed some light on the Arts in Disney.
Join Ryan and Howie as they bring in the New Year by exploring educational opportunities at two of their favorite parks. In today’s episode Howie and Ryan will list their top 5 free, non-attraction, educational experiences at both the parks. Howie tackles his favorite park Animal Kingdom and Ryan tackles his, E.P.C.O.T. We cover everything from 60 different species of aquatic life, watching veterinary procedures, to the educational opportunities of talking with cast members. There is always something to learn at Walt Disney World if you just take the time and know where to look. Discover these educational gems with us as we welcome in 2017 and as always we wish your coming New Yyear is filled with joy and magic!