In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan are welcome their good friend Brian Collins. As most of you know by now Brian works with us to help bring magic and pixie dust to the world of education. What some of you might not know is that Brian continues to branch out into many other areas of education and technology with several different companies and groups. These groups with Brian are doing so many innovative things that we had to have him on to share all the exciting things coming down the pipe.
For those of you that don’t know Brian, come on what’s that matter with you, just kidding but here’s a quick background on Brian. 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.
We hope that you enjoy our conversation with Brian and if you have any questions or want to connect with any of us, including Brian, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan are getting into the fall spirit and sharing their top ten biggest thrills or scary experiences at Walt Disney World! This is sure to be a wild ride through the spinning teacups of Ryan and Howie’s minds and memories. So buckle up and don’t pick up any hitchhiking ghosts as we take a journey through the scariest experiences at WDW.
By this time in the school year, most of us are really ready for a break and if you’re like Ryan you partake in the Halloween candy that is meant for your students way too much. That’s why we decided to just have a little bit of fun on today’s episode and share some of the scariest experiences that we’ve had in the parks. Now we know what you’re going to say,” Walt Disney World isn’t scary!” but we think you will agree that the experiences that we are sharing in this episode would scare even the bravest Gaston or even a braver Merida. We hope you enjoy this fun break as much as we did and we hope this encourages you to find those moments in your classroom when you can take a break with your students and have a little fun. We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Halloween and like always we’d love to have you join our community over on Educators Who Love Disney Facebook group.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome a wonderful guest that is known for his hard work, leadership, customer service, and for being a guy who understands that developing a successful culture in your kingdom starts with you. Today we welcome none other than Mr. Dan Cockerell former Vice President of Magic Kingdom.
Dan has had one heck of a journey inside and through the Walt Disney World Co. He started in the Walt Disney World college program before his legendary dad begun his career at WDW, though we find out that Valarie, Dan’s wife, beat both of them as she started at WDW 2 years before Dan! Dan then went back to college to finish up at Boston University, graduating in 1991. He then went back to Walt Disney World and was hired as a parking attendant at E.P.C.O.T. which lead him to work overseas at then Euro Disney ( now called Disneyland Paris). From there he went on to work on the resort’s side of the business, working at places like Pop Century. Dan continued to work his way through various positions in the company learning everything he could which lead him to be promoted to Vice President of E.P.C.O.T, Vice President of Hollywood Studios, and then his final position, Vice President of the Most Magical Place on Earth, Magic Kingdom.
Dan retired from Disney in 2018 after 26 years and 19 different positions. Though he was retiring, he was ready to stop working. Dan and his wife Valerie have set out on a new venture and have started their own consulting and speaking business. You can find all the information about his services, book, podcasts, blogs, and more at CockerellConsulting.com or look for links on our show notes page.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan share ways they send stress to Neverland. Though we all would love to say that the profession of education is full of pixie dust every day, we know this isn’t always true. Especially this time of year, when most of us are just coming off of summer break and starting a new school year. This time is especially hectic and as soon as you scratch one item off of your to-do-list, you have to add six more items. If you add the fact that most of us this year are currently starting in a new model with new procedures due to COVID, stress levels are breaking record highs!
In this episode, Ryan and Howie will share the ways they handle stress, which to no one’s surprise has definite elements of Disney in them. We also would like to mention that in no way are Howie or Ryan mental health experts and in this podcast, we are just sharing what works for us. If you are having mental health issues, please seek out help and guidance from a professional.
We hope you enjoy this episode on stress and we know that you are doing great things in the classroom despite the added pressures this year. Please reach out to us if there is any way we could help you or your school and if you looking for a great support group of educators, come join our community of My Disney Class educators on our Facebook page, Educators who love Disney.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan welcome a fabulous gifted teacher from Slidell Louisanna, Monica Finch. Monica studied Gifted education at Northwestern State University and is currently teaching Gifted to 1st through 6th grades at St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana. She does travel between schools to meet her district’s need for those students needing Gifted guidance. She definitely has a very unique story and you are really going to enjoy hearing how she brings the magic to all of her students in all the different buildings and different grade levels.
We first met Monica as she took our online P.D. Magic professional development course and she was so creative attacking each lesson and completed all 25 lessons with so much passion that we knew we needed to get her on the show. Our discussion will of course cover all the unique and creative ways she teaches and pushes her Gifted students to achieve their very best but we will also tackle her thoughts and fears with the upcoming school year with our concerns with COVID and online, blended and in-person learning.
We hope like always that you enjoy Monica’s story as much as we do and we also once again want to thank you for joining our My Disney Class community in our 6th year!
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan are preparing for season 6 as well as preparing for the new school year. First, we wanted to say thank you to our incredible community of listeners that have made the past five seasons of My Disney Class so wonderful and educational. We look forward to a great season 6 with more great guests and lots of talk and love for Disney. Secondly, we know that season 6 and the new school year won’t be like our last five seasons and we wanted to take time in this first episode of season 6 to share some of the ways we are preparing for the new type of school settings and the year ahead.
We hope you enjoy this episode as we discuss the three main options of learning out there, online, blended, and in-person. We look at the plusses and minuses of each choice and then address ways we can make sure to make the best of each situation and keep our students viewing their education in a positive light. We will also share some of the resources we have gathered to help us start the new year and with things like how to make online meets more interactive. We know these are trying times and we love to help any way we can, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to either of us and we will do whatever we can. Also, if you haven’t already joined our very supportive group of educators over on Facebook at Educators Who Love Disney, please do so we can all help each other through this pandemic and the upcoming school year.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome a few of our educators that joined us on our 1st P.D. Magic class at Walt Disney World. Like we mentioned before, we had to postpone our 2020 group due to COVID 19 but reliving some of the memories with our 1st group was an awesome way to remind ourselves how powerful the Disney educator community is. Being that it had been a year since we were all together and since we were all going through this tough period during the pandemic, we thought we would get together on Zoom and check-in with each other.
P.D. Magic is more than just a professional development opportunity, it is also an experience where you walk away with new friends that just happen to work in education and love Disney like you!
We hope you enjoy the last episode of season 5 as we recorded our reunion and the wonderful discussion that took place that night. We talk about everything from the parks, how we dealt with distance learning, and our fears and questions for the future of both education and visiting the parks. Thanks again for listening. Howie and I can’t believe we are finishing year 5!
You, the listener, are so important in what we do and are a key part of our My Disney Class Community. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if we could ever be of any assistance and if you haven’t already, come join our group on Facebook at Educators Who Love Disney.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan look back on this year starting in August 2019 and bring everyone up to our current situation. Ryan and Howie typically love to reflect back on what has transpired over the current school year and with the podcasts, but this year has definitely been a wild ride and disembarking and exiting into the gift shop has some scary question marks! Though trying to stay positive is important and we try to do our best to look back at both Disney and our school year to remember the good times and the lessons learned.
We hope you enjoy today’s show as we cover everything from the NBA experience to Disney + and everything from last summer’s podcast recommendations to this basted pandemic that has turned our educational lives upside down. There are always lessons to be learned if we just take the time to slow down and look at things through different lenses. Remember though reflection is good, but perseverating on the past and things we cannot change can be toxic.
Think of what our good buddy Gusteau says in Ratatouille-- "If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead."
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!
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome Professor Cody Havard Ph.D. from Memphis University. Dr. Havard is a graduate from the University of Northern Colorado with a Ph.D. in Sport Administration. His doctoral dissertation was on rivalry in intercollegiate athletics. 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.
On today’s show, Dr. Havard will share with us his background in education and Disney fandom, which includes incredible amounts of research that he has conducted on how rivalry and fandom shape us as human beings. Most of us know based on our feelings that Disney can have a positive effect on our psyche, but Dr. Havard will share actual data that he has collected that will enlighten us on the science behind our fandom.
Dr. Havard will also share how he incorporates Disney into his college courses and also share the wonderful resources that he and his students are creating that educators can use in their classrooms today to make an impact with their students. We know you are going to enjoy the show today as we dive deep into the data and the science behind Disney fandom.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan are imagining and dreaming of what it would be like to have the parks to ourselves. In these unprecedented times, we are seeing video and images of the parks completely empty. Though these images can be unsettling, to say the least, we wanted to look at it from a positive spin and discuss some of our favorite attractions. Like most of you, our schools are sitting empty as well and we hope that looking and reflecting on the empty parks can help some reimagine and reflect on the positive opportunities our empty schools might be able to give us. We at My Disney Class Podcast, so hope that our schools can go back to normal soon and when they do, we know that they are going to be stronger and better because of the work that you do.
We hope that all our listeners are safe and healthy and that you are getting the support you need for not only continuing the learning for our students but also getting the support you need for your own health and mental wellness. Please feel free, like always, to reach out to us if there is anything we can do to help support you. Also if you have not already done so, please consider joining our Facebook group, Educators who love Disney. There is already a good group of educators there ready to embrace you and help support each other and we would love to have you join the group.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome back one of their partners in mouse crime and good friend 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 3rd time on the show, fourth 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.
In today's show, Brian talks about how Himself, Howie, and Ryan all met and how that meeting has led us all to the place where we are now which is joined together in the pursuit of bringing pixie dust to the educational world. Each part of this trio shares some of their favorite memories from their learning escapades together and they share future pursuits as well. Towards the end of today’s show, the topic moves to ideas to help yourself and students stay engaged and creative during the recent stay at home orders we are all living through.
We hope you enjoy today’s show as much as we did making it and if you haven’t checked out Brian Collins and his work, what are you waiting for! Go, run, and look him up, you won’t be sorry.
Like always, please give us a rating and review on Apple Music. We so appreciate the feedback and love to hear from our incredible community. Also do forget to check us out on all our social media outlets, especially Educators Who Love Disney on Facebook.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie are discussing the very shocking and difficult new normal that most of our educational institutions have been thrown into because of COVID-19. As Howie and Ryan have always been huge fans of all the wonderful educators out there and have been honored to have had a small number of them on the show to highlight their stories, we are especially proud of all the educators today as they have tackled this situation with grace, selflessness, and determination to help bring a level of normalcy and continuing learning to all their wonderful students. While we know that there is no replacement for the magical learning environment and community you have created for your students and there is no way to replicate the learning experiences that they get when they are with you and able to collaborate with you and their peers, we wanted to at least share some of our thoughts, plans, and resources with you. This is no way a complete list and we don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we feel that by sharing and working together, we can all get through this.
We hope that all our listeners are safe and healthy and that you are getting the support you need for not only continuing the learning for our students, but also getting the support you need for your own health and mental wellness. Please feel free, like always, to reach out to us if there is anything we can do to help support you. Also, if you have not already done so, please consider joining our Facebook group, Educators who love Disney. There is already a good group of educators on there ready to embrace you and help support each other and we would love to have you join the group.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan are pleased to have Micheal Corbert on the show. For some time now, countries and regions around the world have adopted various initiatives to encourage and support the use of computers in their educational systems. These initiatives have taken many different forms in different countries, some focusing on strategic support for hardware and software-related programs, some on strategies more directly focused on curricular and instructional aspects of computers, some on strategies for the school manager, and others on different approaches to teacher education and support. Regardless of the focus or scope of the initiative, one aspect has become crystal clear and reoccurs in all the studies and that is that the teacher is the key figure in the eventual success of any technology-driven educational initiative
Micheal Corbert is one of those teachers that is pushing his district’s educational technology initiative forward. He has been doing this for 31 years working in the computer lab of his school and teaching such classes as Introduction to computer programming and Digital Literacy. He has even developed his own curriculum involving creative coding and wouldn’t you know as a long time Disney fan, he even finds ways to incorporate his love of Disney in his lessons.
We know you are going to enjoy hearing Micheal’s story and also be encouraged to start using technology in your classroom if you are not already doing so. Like always if you have any thoughts or suggestions about this show or future shows, make sure to reach out to us on social media or email us at MyDisneyClass@gmail.com. Also if you enjoy the show, please write a review and rate us on iTunes as this helps other educators find our show.
Cruising into Spring
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie are cruising into spring by discussing Howie’s recent cruise on the Disney Wonder. Howie is quite the cruising expert, a matter of fact, we could and should start calling him Captain Howie! Though he’s taken many cruises from Princess to river cruises in Europe, Disney cruises are his favorite. I don’t think that’s much of a shocker and with this being his 10th Disney cruise, we thought it would be a great time to discuss why he loves them so much and how we can take advantage of all the great educational opportunities that await us on the seas.
In this show then, Howie captains us through the deep waters of cruising and helps make sense of all the many activities that are available to someone going on a cruise. We will look at onboard activities like live shows, fine dining opportunities, parties, and different youth clubs. We look even further into one of these opportunities that’s just for kids and is packed with educational gems, if you are like Ryan and Howie, you will be wishing you were a kid again just to get the chance to explore!
Howie also takes us through off-board excursions. These are the opportunities, some of them at an additional cost, that happen while the ship is in port. There are many many choices and they do depend on where you are cruising to but no matter what your destination is, we are sure you are going to find opportunities to explore culture, foods, nature and much much more.
We hope you enjoy today’s episode and we hope that it has encouraged you to look at taking your next cruise keeping the educational opportunities in mind. Though you won’t see Ryan out on the seas anytime soon, you never know, you may just run into Captain Howie!
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcasts, Howie and Ryan welcome Dan Zehr, teacher, and host of the extremely popular Star Wars podcast called Coffee With Kenobi. Howie and Ryan have known about Dan’s work for some time and have been really interested in learning more and then after Ryan met him at the Disney Indy Meet, they learned that not only was he an incredibly genuine guy but the amount of projects and impact he’s having in both the educational and Star Wars Fandom circles is incredible! So Dan may not be a droid but he’s definitely the guy you’re looking for if you want to be inspired to bring your content to life in meaningful and engaging ways.
Not only is Dan the host of Coffee With Kenobi, a podcast that seeks to examine the Star Wars universe through a critical lens but he is also an English teacher at the high school level. He finds critical thinking in mythology and storytelling fascinating, as it helps us to understand more about our culture and ourselves. Dan has a Master’s in Teaching and Learning and loves film, as well as literature. He is also a member of The Rogues ( as Blue Leader ), a network of educators from Star Wars in the Classroom. Dan lives and teaches in central Illinois with his wife and three boys.
On the show today you will hear all about how Dan inspires students in his classrooms to make their learning meaningful and personal to them. He shares several of his classroom projects and philosophies that are sure to inspire you to stretch your teaching and practices hopefully will encourage your students to reach for the stars. We will also hear about Dan’s podcast, his passion for Star Wars, and some of his side projects like STEAM into Star Wars and a commercial he did for Target. After listening to this episode we feel strongly that you will agree that the force is strong with this master of teaching, Jedi Dan Z!
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcasts, Howie and Ryan are talking about Howie’s recent trip down to Miami for the FETC conference. The Future of Education Technology Conference head to the shores of Miami Beach to soak up some sun and valuable education technology solutions. FETC is turning 40, so what a great way for them to celebrate this birthday than down in the electric city of Miami.
This conference is also an awesome way to network with a community of thousands of educators who share common challenges and have the opportunity to present unique solutions. FETC seeks to maximize the potential of educational technology by providing attendees with more than 600 sessions, workshops, and diverse learning opportunities.
Howie was gracious enough to head all the way down south of Walt Disney World to share a whopping 5 sessions! His sessions and workshops included dealing with apps in the classroom and how to evaluate them. Howie also discussed one of his most trusted workshops called Edmagineering Classrooms which he takes his participants through a brainstorming process that allows them to take their ideas for theme park attractions and turn it into a pitch for their fellow educators. Howie’s next session was 20 Disney projects for your classroom that were each based on the ISTE standards. In this session, he took participants through many of these lessons and how they can be implemented in the classroom. Howie’s session titled STEAM, STEM and the magic of Disney movies and the one he did on podcasts were also big hits.
We hope you enjoy today’s show recapping FETC and the incredible presentations and participants that Howie was able to interact with at FETC in Miami. Please keep the ratings and comments coming, they help us be better and help to grow our wonderful "My Disney Class" community.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcasts, Howie and Ryan welcome back a friend, a Disney expert, an author, and an all-around great guy, Mr. Jeff Dixon. 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. If you want to know more about Jeff and hear the discussion about one of his other books not in this series called The Disney Driven Life, go back and have a listen to Episode 18 from season 2.
For most of this episode, Ryan and Howie are discussing Jeff’s latest book in the Kingdom series titled, Kingdom Chaos. Jeff describes the characters and the plot of the story where a controversial President Tyler Pride and his family board a monorail at the Transportation and Ticket Center for a trip to the Epcot Resort. When the monorail arrives at Epcot, the president and his family are gone. A national crisis instantly explodes across the Disney resort. The president has been kidnapped. And if the president is missing at Walt Disney World, who better to find him than the man who knows Walt Disney World better than anyone who has ever lived, Grayson Hawkes?
Kingdom Chaos is definitely a political and ideological thriller, an action-adventure, mystery, and, also, a story of how faith and politics sometimes clash. Like Dixon's past novels, Kingdom Chaos can best be described as "faction," a weaving of fact and fiction set in the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida. The places and locations are real, and the novel builds on events from the life of Walt Disney and the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. The sights, the sounds, and the secrets of the themed resort all become a part of solving the mystery and trying to save the president of the United States.
Howie and Ryan end the episode discussing one of Jeff’s many other projects which happens to be something all three of us are passionate about and that’s improving and advancing education. Jeff gives us the details on a brand new Charter school that he helped to visualize and develop and he now sits on the board of as board president. The school is called “Creative Inspiration Journey”, School and you are going to want to hear what Jeff says about their mission and vision for the future of education!
As always, we hope you enjoy this episode and we encourage you to drop us an email if you have any comments or questions. Also, please head over to iTunes/ Apple Music and gives us a rating and review. Your reviews help us improve the show and help get the message out that our show exists. Thank you.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie discuss Disney+ and streaming services and their role in the classroom. Disney+ is an on-demand, ad-free streaming service that Disney fans have been waiting for. On the first day of its launch, November 12, 2019, more than 10 million people signed up. Disney+ has tons of movies and shows available to stream from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. This content includes new original programming exclusively to Disney Plus, like The Mandalorian!
Whether or not you are as crazy for Disney+ as Howie and Ryan are, you still will want to hear how teachers are using streaming services to enhance learning. Ryan and Howie also address copyright and how free use applies and where it doesn’t apply and how to follow copyright when using streaming services in an educational setting. We hope you enjoy today’s episode and find ways you can bring your lessons to life with a few of these resources we mentioned. Please share with us the resources we didn’t mention or ways you used the ones we did over on our Facebook group, Educators who love Disney.
Today on the show, Howie and Ryan welcome a wonderful educator that harnesses his passion for Disney into incredible classroom projects that ignite the creativity in his students. Our guest is Mr. Tim VanSwol, Tim began his teaching career in 1994 at Manteno Middle School and has been there ever since. His first classroom assignment was 8th grade Science which he did for six years. In the year 2000, he made the move to teaching 6th grade Social Studies in addition to Science. After a few years, his school population grew to a point he needed to become a full-time Social Studies teacher. This was a great move for him as he is a history enthusiast and enjoys the challenge of bringing history to life for his students.
In addition to teaching, Mr. VanSwol has embraced his love for sports as a coach and as the Middle School Athletic Director over the years. He has coached girls and boys basketball at various grade levels as well as coaching Middle school track and field. Tim is also a lover of music and enjoys volunteering his time as a supporter of Manteno Bands, Chorus, and Show Choirs. During his free time, he enjoys reading, traveling, and researching topics for the DubDeeDub Revue podcast as an amateur Disney historian.
You’re going to love hearing about Tim’s passion for Disney and how he has taken that passion and developed several Disney themed projects that have inspired his students to plunge into the magic of History and ELA. Tim discusses three of his best projects and talks us through what inspired them. He also walks us through how he implemented them into his course work and how they deliver the content to his students in a highly impactful way. Today’s show is just another example of the incredible educators out there and how Disney is helping them to bring magic to their classrooms.
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie discuss the theming of some of our favorite places to eat on Walt Disney World property and how they can inspire us to learn. Who doesn’t like to eat at places like Casey’s Corner and Columbia Harbor House but did you know that there are more than hotdogs and fish to enjoy in these establishments? When you stop and take a break from the hustle and bustle, you can find the little details and story that the Imagineers have diligently and purposely placed there for you to find. When you do find these details that help tell the story, the story will often envolve the history of our wonderful country or other cultures from around the world. It is these artifacts that will lead educators to a brand new world of learning.
Howie and Ryan will show that when you take inspiration from these artifacts, you will find yourself inspired to bring some wonderful lesson planning back to your students. Ryan and Howie will also share how they looked at the theming of some of the restaurants and then how they found resources online to help support bring that inspiration back into the classroom. So grab a snack, turn on the podcast, and then find some inspiration in some of the magical eateries that we love at WDW!
Today on the show, Ryan and Howie welcome a Motivating, Engaging, Technology guru, and Connected educator to the show, Jonathon Lee from EducationPlus, METC, and St. Louis RPDC (Regional Professional Development Center). Jonathon is a Google Certified Trainer currently traveling all over the state of Missouri providing training on how to integrate technology tools into instruction. Jonathon has presented at METC, Innovation Institute of Springdale, KySTE, MAESP, and ISTE. He is an ISTE certified trainer and educator and previously taught in the Brentwood School District as a 5th-grade teacher within a 1 to 1 Chromebook classroom. Jonathon is also host and creator of three educational podcasts. METC podcast, Podsquad, and METC minipod, all bring quality educational technology training to your ears on either weekly or monthly schedules.
We are pleased to have Jonathon on the show as he discusses some of the latest technology training he is doing. What the challenges are for those looking to help facilitate change in our schools and the challenges for those that are working to change their practices. Jonathon gives us some great insights on how we can move the change needle just a little bit each day and avoid some common pitfalls of technology integration. Jonathan has a great perspective as a result of all his travels to vastly different districts throughout the state of Missouri and we think you will agree that this is extremely valuable for all of us to hear and to consider as we look at the big-picture issues and successes in education as a whole. We know you will enjoy today’s episode as Jonathon shares his educational story and current journey in motivating, engaging, and connecting educators with and through technology.
Service Learning with Pixie Dust
In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan discuss service-learning. As the temperatures dip and the leaves begin to change color, we often find ourselves becoming more and more reflective of our service to others. Though we strive to have service at the top of our priorities throughout the whole year, it doesn’t hurt to use this time around Thanksgiving to take some inventory on, not only our personal service but also on how we develop this reflective practice in our students.
Service-learning is an important part of education and is grounded in experiential learning, it’s learning by doing. Service-learning differs from “pure” experiential learning in two ways. First, the goal of service-learning is to direct the learners into practical settings where the primary motivation is service and the second is that the learning takes place in two ways. As the students take part in the experience and as they reflect upon what happened during the experience and as a result of it. Howie and Ryan discuss both these ways that they experienced this with students, teachers, and Disney. For example, Parkway’s Food pantry, Howie’s church and Disney’s steps to service-learning.
We hope you enjoy today’s episode as we reflect on service learning as a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen our school and local communities.
Today on the show, Ryan and Howie welcome an extraordinary guest to the show, Lee Cockerell. Lee is the former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World Resort. As the Senior Operating Executive for then years Lee led a team of 40,000 cast members and was responsible for the operations of 20 resort hotels, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, a shipping and entertainment village and the ESPN sports and recreation complex in addition to the ancillary operations which supported the number one vacation destination in the world.
Lee has written four books, Creating Magic, The Customer Rules, Time Management Magic, and Creating Career Magic. All of which are packed full of golden nuggets that will be sure to inspire and encourage you to develop habits that will lead to a vast growth in your teaching or educational field. They can also be great sources for your students as they grow into their roles of leadership and future paths. One of Lee’s major and lasting legacies was the creation of Disney Great Leader Strategies which was used to train and develop the 7000 leaders at Walt Disney World. Many of these strategies are shared in Lee’s books mentioned above but today we are lucky enough to have him on the show and sharing his wisdom with us and how these strategies can help educators and students both achieve the greatness we are all capable of.
We know you are going to love today’s show as we hear stories and lessons that Lee has learned over his wonderful career in customer service and leadership roles. Lee is a marvelous storyteller, would you expect anything else from a Disney rockstar, and very passionate about making a positive impact on the world he lives in. Lee is a man that does what he says he’s going to do and shows time after time again that he lives by the advice he gives.