My Disney Class podcast

Howie and Ryan visit with teachers, educators and administrators on how to integrate Disney ideals of creativity, innovation, critical thinking, STEM and MakerSpace into classrooms. Twice a month they share why they are passionate about Disney and how their passions has brought them together in this joint mission to help bring ideas for innovation, storytelling, creativity, and the principal foundations of what makes Disney and great choice for projects and resources in the K-12 Classroom. They also talk about the companion website ( that will spotlight incredible educators from around the globe and be packed with resources that teachers can use in their classrooms.
RSS Feed Subscribe in iTunes
My Disney Class podcast




All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 1
Mar 28, 2017

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.

Mar 28, 2017

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.

Mar 15, 2017

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” ( 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” (  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.

Mar 1, 2017

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.   

Feb 15, 2017

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:

Creative Storytellers

Innovative Designers

Memorable Leaders

Blues Sky Thinkers

Empowered Learners

Knowledge Constructors

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:

Feb 1, 2017

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. 

Jan 15, 2017

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.


Jan 1, 2017

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!

Dec 15, 2016

The Imagineering Pyramid author Lou Prosperi visits today and breaks down the process of Imagineering and how you can apply those techniques to other areas, Learn how to apply this to education, as we climb this fascinating pyramid and discover how we can bring the creative energy of Imagineering into our schools and classrooms.

Nov 30, 2016

 In today’s show, Ryan and Howie put on their Santa caps and break out the eggnog as they share their top 10 Disney holiday gift ideas!  If you’re anything like the My Disney Class crew, you maybe running around last minute trying, that perfect Disney gift.  Keeping the whole family in mind and a wide budget range, we have some really fun and educational gift ideas to share with you.  No matter if you’re the maker type or the bling loving type, we have a gift for you.  We hope you enjoy this episode and remember that while it is fun to discuss all the fun Disney gifts out there, the true meaning of this time of year is much more than that.  We at My Disney Class can’t help but pause and reflect this time of year and we couldn’t be more thankful and awed by the wonderful My Disney Class community. 

From Howie and Ryan, we thank you so much for your support and we wish you a very happy holiday and healthy new year!

Nov 14, 2016

Take a trip back to one of everyone’s favorite neighborhoods, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Hedda Sharapan shares what it was like to work with Fred Rogers and how she is carrying on his mission today. 

Hedda is helping to carry on the Rogers legacy through writings, speeches at conferences, developing and presenting professional development materials for people who work with children,

Hedda is also a Senior Fellow at The Fred Rogers Center, where she works to continue the Center’s mission of helping children grows as confident, competent, and caring human beings.

 Join us and discover the wonderful resources and lessons that you can learn about on this episode of My Disney Class but the real value in today’s show is the feeling that you get listening to Hedda. 

Oct 30, 2016

Join Ryan and Howie as they look at the educational topic of “Design Thinking”.  Howie and Ryan share some practical applications of Design Thinking as well as resources that they have found helpful in learning about Design Thinking. 


Howie shares a discussion he caught on tape with educator Thomas Riddle and one of the curators of  Thomas talks about how design thinking is used in his classroom and why he feels that it is important to develop these critical thinking skills with students. 


Listen as Thomas shares how he develops empathy in his students through projects like building a prototype home for the homeless in their community. 


Like always we hope you enjoy the show as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you and we hope you learned a little about design thinking along the way.

Oct 15, 2016

Howie and Ryan welcome a very special guest, Disney Historian and author Jim Korkis.

Jim has had a connection to Disney since very early on when his elementary teacher was none other than Mrs. Disney! 

Jim shares his journey from Mrs. Disney’s classroom all the way to his own classroom, where he taught English and Drama.  He then shares with us how he incorporated Disney in his teaching as well as how he now incorporates what he learned from the classroom in his Disney work today.  

We then take a closer look at 4 of Jim’s 33 books, that he has authored.  Jim is one of Ryan and Howie’s favorite Disney authors and it’s not just because he’s a great storyteller, which he is, but also because he is someone we can trust for accurate Disney history and facts

Oct 1, 2016

Howie and Ryan discuss two more of their favorite attractions, “Space Mountain” and The “Pirates of the Caribbean”. 

 They discuss the history of these attractions they also share lessons ideas that these classic attractions have inspired. 

 Journey through a Space Station on our way to board a rocket.  The attraction Is packed with learning opportunities and inspirations that you can bring into your classroom.  Learn how to bring new ideas to the table about how you can use Space Mountain in education. 

 Next we grab his sword and parrot and heads to the high seas as the captain of our own educational ship. From History to Communication Arts, Pirates of the Caribbean has all the educational ties you need to fill your lesson plans with adventure and engagement. 

 Enjoy our inspirations from these attractions as well as find inspiration yourself for use in your classroom.

Sep 13, 2016

Join Ryan and Howie as they welcome an old friend Jerry Johnston back to the show.  The self proclaimed three Caballeros have a huge announcement of a new partnership between My Disney Class and Buena Vista University. Howie, Jerry, and Ryan will be offering a graduate level class through Buena Vista University that will help participants bring the Magic of Disney into their classrooms and schools.  Oh and by the way, this online class has a special field trip.  Yep you guessed it, we are going to take a week long field trip to the most Magical classroom of all, Walt Disney World!  Listen as we discuss what is going to make this class so special as well as what the course will cover and how an on-line class works.  We wrap this show up with Jerry sharing some of his experiences of taking students down to WDW.  He shares how some of his students thought that a mouse couldn’t teach them anything and by the second day they were confessing how wrong they were.  We hope you enjoy this show but more importantly we hope you will consider joining us on this unbelievable opportunity to earn graduate level credit by learning from a very special mouse.

Sep 1, 2016

Join Howie and Ryan as they discuss two of their favorite attractions, the “Haunted Mansion” and “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.”

Discover what they love about these attractions, and ways to integrate the concepts into several lessons that have been inspired by the attractions.

What can we learn about the 999 haunts that reside in the Haunted Mansion? What is the Pepper's Ghost? Learn how to teach lessons on the magic of the properties of light, reflection, and refraction.  

Howie and Ryan then tackle the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and share ways you can bring this lovable bear into your classroom to teach a wide variety of topics that range from elementary all the way up to high school.  

Aug 14, 2016

Howie and Ryan interview the author of the book "Walt Disney World for Teens and Tweens", by Tim Brooks.

Tim’s book shares his book that is a guidebook for teens and tweens and  addresses the issue of finding the educational value of a trip to Walt Disney World.  In this episode we explore the reality that a lot of families with teens find themselves in and that is leaving for vacation to the most magical place in the world in the middle of school, sports, and many other commitments of the teen’s demanding life. Listen as Tim gives advice from his book and his personal experiences on how to handle these situations.

Jul 31, 2016

Welcome to Season 2 of My Disney Class Podcast.  

 10 ideas to bring Disney into your classroom.

We are thrilled to be bringing the Magic of Disney to your classrooms for another year.

 Howie and Ryan discuss ways to capitalize on that renewed energy from the summer and utilize professional development in a way that is more meaningful to you and your students.

 Come along with us as we discuss several ideas for the coming new school year and share some of the tools that can help you implement those ideas when you go back. Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho it’s back to school we go!

Jun 15, 2016

Join Ryan and Howie today as they welcome Troy Cockrum as the Director of Innovative Teaching at Little Flower School in Indianapolis, IN. He shares his educational journey as the creator of the Flipped Learning Network, developing and writing a curriculum model dealing with the process of executing 20% time and becoming his own Star Commander.

Jun 1, 2016

Join Howie and Ryan as they tackle the roles of Edmagineers ( educators + imagination + engineers ). They turn their sights to the once great Innoventions / Communicore to dream and share how they think Innoventions could be great again.

 Ryan and Howie discuss what there once was and NEW potential to bring the education back to Innoventions and making this attraction a must do again for great edutainment!  Become a “Edutainer” and discover new ideas for Educational Professional Development that could be implemented into your school.

May 16, 2016

Join Howie and Ryan as they welcome special guest Tim Wilhelmus, who serves as the Innovation, Curriculum and Technology Specialist for Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation.  

Tim discusses how ideas like positive messaging and intention, professio0nal development and Disney ideals  can be transferred over to your classroom or school. Learn how a PD program called “Lessons From A Mouse can transform your school

Listen as Tim talks about how you can take these lessons to your students and staff and why they just might make your classroom the happiest place on Earth.

May 1, 2016

“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”.  Actually we hope you are looking for Ryan and Howie as we have an episode of MyDisneyClass that is out of this world! In this episode Howie and Ryan celebrate May 4th, or should we say May the Fourth be with you, by looking at ways educators are bring the power of the force into their classrooms.  “Fear is the path to the Dark side” and we have nothing to fear here.  We look at several sites and lesson plans that will help you integrate star wars into your classroom.  We run the full “Podracing” course covering everything from character development in English to Politics and everything in between.  Howie and Ryan also share what Disney books they are currently reading and what they are enjoying about each of these books.  We hope you enjoy the show as we go into Hyperdrive covering all these awesome Star Wars activities and of course “ May the Force be with You” as you try some of these in your classrooms.

Apr 15, 2016

In today’s show Ryan and Howie welcome Professor Jerry Johnson from Buena Vista University.  Jerry is an innovating educator that has captured the Magic of Walt Disney world and crafted it into a college course that spans all disciplines.  As a passionate   educator, he has rich history in media and media development.  He continues to work in media as an assistant professor of digital media at Buena Vista University.  It was here that Jerry teamed up with Henry Hardt professor of business law and finance.  Together they designed and developed a course titled “Storytelling with Walt Disney.”  This soon grew to include a travel portion of the course where students traveled for two weeks with Jerry to learn on Walt Disney World property from actual Walt Disney World Cast members.  They called this the the  “Disney Single” and later boosted this to a “Disney Double” which included a trip to Disneyland.  They even have done a “Disney Double” and plussed it by ending with a Disney cruise. Can we call this the “Disney Trifecta?”  If you are like Howie and I, right about now you are registering to be a student at Buena Vista!

1 2 Next »