In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome an incredible panel of super guests to discuss the future of theme parks and education. In today’s episode, we have former Imagineer Steve Alcorn is an American entrepreneur, engineer, inventor, author, and teacher best known for his involvement in the theme park industry. As a co-founder of Alcorn-McBride, he was an early pioneer of computer peripherals. In 1982 he joined Walt Disney Imagineering (then known as WED Enterprises) as a consultant, where he worked on the electronic systems for Epcot Center. During his two years with Imagineering, he designed show control systems for The American Adventure, wrote the operating system used in the parkwide monitoring system, and became Imagineering’s first Systems Engineer, heading up mechanical, electronic and software systems for the Journey Into Imagination ride.
Also joining the panel is our favorite partner in Disney education trouble and mischief, Brian Collins. Brian was a Disney cast member since the early 1990s and helped create magic daily as he worked both on the front line of customer service at the Contemporary Resort and as a Disney Imagineer. During his time at WDI, Brian was a show writer and worked on classic attractions like Jungle Cruise and The Great Movie Ride, just to name a few. This is Brian’s 4th time on the show, fifth if you count a Retro Replay of one of his earlier episodes, and if you are looking for more of his background story then you definitely want to check out episode 20 of season 2 or episode 12 of season 3.
Rounding out this assembly of superhero guests is our new Disney friend and recent guest, Dr. Cody Havard from the University of Memphis. Dr. Havard is currently an Associate Professor of Sport Commerce and the Coordinator of Research in the Kemmons Wilson School at the University of Memphis. He is the Director of the Bureau of Sport and Leisure Commerce and the KWS Coordinator of Research at the University of Memphis. Dr. Havard is also an avid Disney fan himself and uses Disney as a valuable learning tool in some of his college courses. For more information on Dr. Havard’s research and instruction, check out episode 20 of season 5!
We know there is a lot of uncertainty these days and we are all longing for the days when we can get back into the parks and escape from reality. We also know that many educators are struggling with envisioning what our profession, buildings, students, etc. will look like when we return. We hope you enjoy and find some comfort in our assembly of some very creative and knowledgeable friends to help discuss what this new normal will potentially look like.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan are discussing the opportunities that teachers have for getting professional certifications. There is no doubt that educators are lifelong learners. We are constantly trying to set a good example for our students and improving ourselves both personally and professionally is just one way we do that. Going through a certification process can do so much more for educators than giving them a banner to put under their name in an email. No matter what certification process you go through you are going to discover new teaching strategies that you can take back to the classroom and make changes to your teaching and curricula to better suit the needs of your students. In addition to the hours spent teaching in the classroom, much of teachers’ time is spent on student evaluations, curriculum development, and other paperwork. The certification process can help teachers to become better at planning their time and staying organized. This ultimately makes teachers more efficient and gives them extra time to focus on students rather than the paperwork. These are just a couple of the benefits of going through a certification process.
Ryan and Howie will discuss a few of the certification programs out there that they are familiar with and share the pros and cons of each one. One of the programs that they are both currently going through is the National Geographic Educators Certification program. They discuss this one in detail and share their successes and struggles as they are getting close to finishing.
We know that there are many certification choices out there and because of time, we were only able to mention a few. We hope you find this episode useful in a basic introduction to what the processes are like and why you may want to consider doing one.
One thing that Howie and Ryan do know is that no matter what educators choose to do to help them professionally, they all demonstrate a commitment to excellence!