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My Disney Class podcast

Howie and Ryan visit with teachers, educators and administrators on how to integrate Disney ideals of creativity, innovation, communication, 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 (www.mydisneyclass.com) that will spotlight incredible educators from around the globe and be packed with resources that teachers can use in their classrooms.
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May 15, 2021

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome Kevin Roughton. Kevin is a middle school history teacher at Jurupa Middle School in Jurupa Valley CA not too far from Disneyland! He is an educational speaker, author, and was also selected as an Outstanding Middle School Educator of California Counsel For The Social Studies.  Let’s just put it this way, he’s a great educator and he’s on a mission to share his experiences and Disney and gamification to help better our profession. 

In the show today, you will hear how passionate Kevin is for his students and for the educational profession. He explains how he has been working on creating a classroom that is fully immersive and engaging to students while still providing a challenging curriculum that inspires his students to not just be observers of history but actual participants. From day one in his classroom, students are shown how they are historians as Kevin has created a theme and story, masterfully, that is carried throughout the school year. Kevin also shares with us how he fell back in love with Disney, specifically Disneyland and the Imagineers that make the magic. He talks us through this journey and how it has shaped his instructional practices. 

Through this journey of improving his practice, Kevin decided while listening to an Imagineering presentation, that he should write all of what he has learned and gleaned from Disney down in a book so others could benefit in their instructional practices. This book is near completion and should be available this summer. The title of the book is Teach With Magic. Use Disney Imagineering Techniques To Make Your Classroom The Most Engaging Place On Earth! 

Both Howie and Ryan got a sneak peek at his book and we can tell you that you are not going to want to miss this opportunity to hear Kevin share what he has learned from Disney through his actual life stories and experiences in the classroom.  

We hope you enjoyed hearing Kevin’s story as much as we enjoyed talking to him and like always make sure you leave us a review in Apple Music or wherever you listen to this podcast and also come join in on the fun and share your educational experiences with us over on our Facebook group, Educators Who Love Disney.

 

May 1, 2021

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie are dreaming of those lazy summer days just around the corner but with that comes the reality that school is not out yet. The last month of school can be really challenging for us educators and also for our students! In this episode, Howie and Ryan discuss activities, tips, and lessons learned that will hopefully help you tackle those last few weeks of school and leave you with enough energy to enjoy that well-deserved Disney vacation. 

We all know that Disney has the ability to wow its guests and captivate customers for decades. Did you know that Disney’s return rate for visitors to its parks is around 70%, that’s incredible! Don’t you wish we could get 70% engagement and loyalty from our students, especially in the last few weeks of school? Well, in this episode, we will take a look at some of the things Disney does and try and see if we can apply those techniques to our classrooms to make those last few weeks of the school year just as engaging and enjoyable as the rest of the year. 

We hope you enjoy today’s episode and we hope you know that the My Disney Class community is always here to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Whether you need help with a lesson plan or idea or you are just looking for someone to listen and support you, we are here. While Ryan and Howie will be the first ones to tell you they don’t have all the answers, they will definitely try to bring Magic to you in any way they can.

Thanks again to all our listeners and remember to leave feedback on iTunes / Apple Music and join our community of Disney-loving educators over on our Facebook page, Educators Who Love Disney.

 

Apr 15, 2021

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome Jaime Williams to the show. Jaime is originally from Albertville, AL.

Her research interests are in the areas of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources with a primary focus on how personality characteristics, especially aggression, can have a detrimental effect on a firm or on other people within an organization. Her dissertation is titled, “The Inclusion of Aggressive Personality as an Antecedent of Abusive Supervision.” As that isn’t impressive enough, Jaime is a big Disney fan too! This puts her high on our list of course of educators that are doing incredible things that we think you need to hear about.

On the show today, you are going to hear Jaime talk about how she uses Disney in the classes that she teaches at the University of Mississippi. That’s right, in her spare time, insert cough and chuckle here, she is an instructor in the Business School at the University. We think you are really going to enjoy her examples and reasonings to why Disney is such a great model for teaching business and HR concepts that her students need to learn so they can be successful in the corporate world. Being the Disney fan she is, Jaime has some really good examples that she’s backed up with loads of research and facts that even us veteran Disney fans might not have known about!

We loved hearing her passion for education and had fun discussing her Disney fandom as well and we think you will too.

Shereceived her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, History, and English from Ashland University and an MBA at the University of North Alabama. She is currently finishing up her Doctoral program at the University of Mississippi.

As always remember to keep the conversation going over on our Facebook group Educators Who Love Disney and don’t forget if you like the show or any of our episodes, head over to Apple Music and rate and review our podcast. This helps get the word out to other educators and we would love to continue to grow our wonderful community.

 

Apr 1, 2021

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie look to help educators who are still teaching remotely or may teach remotely from time to time. On the March 1st show, Howie and Ryan tried to tackle the difficult task of teaching in the new normal of social distancing, face masks, no group work, etc. that educators all over the world are trying to adjust to. They attempted to take a couple of their hands-on lessons from their book Designing Disney Inspired Classrooms and convert them to lessons that could be done in these new conditions all while still keeping the engagements, expectations, and fun at a high level.  They both hope they achieved that and if you listened to the show, they hope that you walked away with a couple of ideas or at least a feeling that your not alone in these struggles!

On today’s show, Howie and Ryan pick up with this idea of teaching in a new normal and adjusting lessons to fit new restrictions. This time they tackle updating lessons to be taught in the virtual world remotely, both asynchronous and synchronous. They again choose lessons from their book, this time a few new ones, and attempt to modify them to be done remotely through Zoom or whatever online platform you use. Ryan also speaks about his personal experience teaching the last year all virtual and is open about the successes and failures he experienced. 

We hope you enjoy today’s episode and we hope you know that the My Disney Class community is always here to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Whether you need help with a lesson plan or idea or you are just looking for someone to listen and support you, we are here. While Ryan and Howie will be the first ones to tell you they don’t have all the answers, they will definitely try to bring Magic to you in any way they can.

Thanks again to all our listeners and remember to leave feedback on iTunes / Apple Music and join our community of Disney-loving educators over on our Facebook page, Educators Who Love Disney.

 

Mar 15, 2021

In today’s episode, Ryan and Howie welcome back author and friend Lou Prosperi to talk about his new book Telling Your Story the Walt Disney World Way.  This is his third book in the series that started with The Imagineering Pyramid and was followed by The Imagineering Process. Before writing these books, Lou worked in the game industry for over ten years as a freelance game designer and writer where he worked on the creation of a role-playing game called Eathrdawn.  Currently, Lou works as a technical writer and instructional designer for a large enterprise software company where he creates technical documentation and training for software applications.  Lou is a long-time Disney fanatic which started when he and his wife spent their honeymoon at WDW in 1993.  Lou’s first book, The Imagineering Pyramid, has been a huge success and you can learn more about it and Lou’s story on a previous episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Season 2, Show 10. Also check out Season 4, Show 2 to hear all about Lou’s second book in the series, The Imagineering Process. 

On today’s show though we are discussing Lou’s third book and it’s all about communicating effectively. We all know the importance of communication and why we as educators need to be the best communicators possible and why we need to work with our students to become the best communicators possible. But did you know that the Imagineers have principles and techniques that they use daily to make the theme park experience the best possible experience that their guests can have? We all know and love the way Disney tells stories and know that they are the King of theme parks when it comes to the immersive story that each park draws us into but the story just doesn't tell itself. There are many intentional things that have been done by the Imagineers that help bring that story alive and help the guests move through the story. Lou has masterfully and understandably broken down these techniques used by Imagineers and teaches us how to apply them to our lives and communication skills. 

We really think you are going to enjoy Lou’s tour of his book and around Magic Kingdom, as we make stops at various landmarks in the park and learn what Imagineers are trying to communicate and how they masterfully execute that communication through smells, sounds, visuals, theming and much much more! 

Thanks again to all our listeners and remember to leave feedback on iTunes / Apple Music and join our community of Disney-loving educators over on our Facebook page, Educators Who Love Disney.

 

Mar 1, 2021

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie look to tackle the difficult role of the educator in our current situation due to the pandemic. Already a year into living with quarantines, masks, social distancing, and the root of it all, COVID, educators have been looking for ways to keep their students and themselves safe while still keeping the wonderment and awe of learning going for our students. 

Howie and Ryan have always been strong allies of the hands-on, real-world, problem-based, design thinking, approach to creating learning opportunities for students. Heck, they even wrote a book, Designing Disney Inspired Classrooms, that is packed with hands-on lesson ideas inspired by the most magical place on Earth, Magic Kingdom! We all know the importance of this style of learning for our students and how impactful it can be but how do educators create and implement these types of lesson plans with today’s COVID restrictions? What about if the school is teaching remotely? All these questions were bothering Ryan and Howie and in today’s episode, they look to tackle a couple of the hands-on lessons from their book and talk through how they can be reworked to still be engaging while meeting the safety requirements that may now be in place due to COVID.  

We hope our attempt at trying to work through these real challenges that we educators are facing daily and understand that we don’t have all the answers but starting and having these conversations, we know that we as educators will pull through and deliver the incredible educational opportunities our students are used to and deserve. 

Thanks again to all our listeners and remember to leave feedback on iTunes / Apple Music and join our community of Disney-loving educators over on our Facebook page, Educators Who Love Disney.

Feb 12, 2021

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome Dave Bakker, co-founder, and COO of Pocketlab. Pocketlab by Myriad Sensors is a group of sensors created to collect data wirelessly. When you use them in your classroom with your students you can create lab reports, analyze data, and watch your students view and collaborate about the data in real-time. Currently, there are three options of sensors. There is the Voyager which can be used to collect data like motion, altitude, light, magnetic fields, and more. The Air that can measure carbon dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and light. Last but not least is the Pocketlab Weather which temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, altitude, heat index, and dew point. 

Dave talks us through each of these sensors and why his company was driven to create them for the classroom. He also shares with us several different examples of how they can be used with students to spark engagement and help them understand the data that we as teachers are expecting them to analyze and draw conclusions from. 

Dave also discusses with us the birth and upcoming opportunities for a very special conference called Science is Cool (ScIC).  Back in March when people were first staying at home with the start of the pandemic, Dave and some of his colleagues were looking for a way to provide professional development in STEM to teachers while COVID-19 kept many of them at home. The result was a virtual conference called ScIC (Science is Cool) that has attracted tens of thousands of science teachers and education professionals from around the world.  They have even hosted big-name Science celebrities like Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and others that have come on to help inspire and share with the science education community. Dave shares with us some of the latest info and guests lined up for the next ScIC conference that is coming up on April 1st, and that’s no joke!

Don’t forget to check out the links in the show notes to get more details on the conference and the sensors available from Pocketlab.  Also, don’t forget to join our community of incredible educators over on Facebook in the Educators Who Love Disney group.

 

Jan 31, 2021

Howie and Ryan continue their conversation looking at E.P.C.O.T. and its inspirations for the classroom. On the January 1st show, Ryan and Howie had great intentions and ambitions to travel around the entire showcase and discuss each pavilion but they got so inspired by the great pavillions found in World Showcase that they only make it about halfway around World Showcase lagoon. In today’s episode, the goal is to finish our trip around World Showcase and stop at each of the remaining pavilions.

There is so much educational greatness in all of the Disney World property but the cultural richness and unique opportunities that World Showcase has are pretty special. As we continue our tour through the different pavilions, Howie and Ryan will share some of their initial thoughts of each pavilion and what makes them special in their minds as educational gems. 

We hope you enjoy our trip around the different pavilions as Howie and Ryan stop at each one and discuss what types of inspiration they draw from each of them and how they would apply that to education. Thanks again to all our listeners and remember to leave feedback on iTunes / Apple Music and join our community of Disney loving educators over on our Facebook page, Educators Who Love Disney.

 

Jan 15, 2021

Students Assemble with Cody Havard, Ph.D.

 

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome back to the show, Dr. Cody Havard from The University of Memphis. Those that remember, we had Dr. Cody on the My Disney Class Podcast back in Season 5 Episode 20. We strongly recommend that you go back and give it a listen as Dr. Cody does a great job talking about his passion for Disney and how Disney fandom has an impact on our lives and interactions. 

Today on the show though Dr. Havard is here to discuss his newest published paper titled “Students Assemble: Acclimating to College using the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” This can be found in the Journal of Undergraduate Research but Dr. Cody has set up a special link just for our listeners to access and read the paper. He has also included some other valuable resources as well, so make sure to check out the link in our show notes so you don’t miss out!

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the characters that play out their storylines inside of it are extremely popular right now in our society. Dr. Havard has recognized this in his students and discussions he has had especially in his course, Being a Fan of Disney. In this episode, Dr. Cody explains how he developed this idea and why he believes this can be a powerful tool not only with his college students but also with students in elementary, middle, and high school. 

We think you are really going to enjoy hearing Dr. Havard discuss how he has analyzed each character of the MCU and then how he helps students draw connections to the characteristic traits of those characters with the character traits they have. There is definitely a Hulk size value of educational and social-emotional content in this episode. So unless you are an emotional Iron Man, we think you are going to agree with us too that Dr. Havard has knocked it out of the Universe with this paper and lessons. Don’t forget to check out the links in the show notes to see all the wonderful resources Dr. Havard has put together for us and also don’t forget to join our community of incredible educators over on Facebook in the Educators Who Love Disney group.

 

Jan 1, 2021

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan continue their conversation looking at E.P.C.O.T. and it’s inspirations for the classroom.

On the December 1st show, Ryan and Howie had great intentions and ambitions to travel around all E.P.C.O.T. And discuss each attraction, but they got so inspired by the great attractions in Future World that they only covered that part of the park.

In today’s episode, the goal is to make it around World Showcase and stop at each pavilion. Will they make it all the way around, you will need to tune in to see! 

So the first great question that needs to be answered is, what pavilion is the “right” pavilion to start your journey around the showcase? Though we are aware of the great debate this is between Disney fans, Ryan and Howie take no sides and by default are going to start their journey in Mexico. 

 

We hope you enjoy our trip around the different pavilions as Howie and Ryan stop at each one and discuss what types of inspiration they draw from each of them and how they would apply that to education. If for some reason Ryan and Howie don’t make it around to all the pavilions, you can bet they will pick this discussion up again and finish off E.P.C.O.T with a bang. Thanks again to all our listeners and remember to leave feedback on iTunes / Apple Music and join our community of Disney loving educators over on our Facebook page, Educators Who Love Disney.

 

Dec 15, 2020

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome to the show an incredible 4th-grade teacher in the Hernando School district, Brooksville FL. Howie and Ryan were lucky enough to meet Nadia as she attended the first cohort to go through the P.D. Magic experiential trip to Walt Disney World. Nadia, as well as everyone in that group, thoroughly impressed Howie, Brian, and Ryan as they all were willing to put themselves out there, have fun, and share with each other. This made the first P.D. Magic trip a huge success and one that changed each of us for the better!

Nadia talks about her last year and a half and how she has been implementing Disney with her elementary school students. You will love hearing about how she has implemented global perspectives and engaging Disney motivations with her school’s new Cambridge program. She also discusses some of the challenges of teaching in a COVID hybrid world and how she feels that these challenges are helping her students turn into the next digital creative generation. 

We hope you enjoy today’s show and our discussion with the wonderful Nadia King! Please keep the conversation going over on Educator’s Who Love Disney Facebook group and like always we would love any feedback you have. Please like and share our podcast on Apple Music and any other media platform you use.

 

Dec 1, 2020

EPCOT FUTURE WORLD OF EDUCATION

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie are discussing how they might approach creating lessons out of EPCOT attractions.  In the show today we get a peek inside the workings of both Howie’s and Ryan’s mind and boy can that be scary! It all starts with a nightmare that Howie had that an upcoming book on EPCOT was due to the publisher and no ideas were coming to mind on how to create lessons for one of our favorite parks, EPCOT.  This leads Ryan and Howie to the content of today’s show which is how we approach each attraction from the start. What’s the first impression of an attraction? What educational inspiration does this attraction give us? What’s the story? How can we take that story and use it to our advantage to create an engaging and inspiring lesson for our students? We will take a look at these questions and more as we walk around EPCOT in today’s discussion.

So as we walk and explore EPCOT for educational gold, which we found a ton, our inspiration took us to many places from the Sciences to History and even poetry.  Howie and Ryan even got so carried away that they only made it through Future World. Look for a future episode where they continue their walk around EPCOT gaining educational inspiration around every corner and churro!

 

Nov 15, 2020

Ryan and Howie welcome an extra special guest to the show, Mark DiBlasi.

So, who doesn’t like playing board games?  Many families regularly play board games when they gather together and many play board games when they gather for parties and such, but did you know that many educators are now using board games in their classrooms.  So on today’s show, we are looking into how and why we should consider using board games in our classrooms. Here are five of the many reasons that board games can be a useful tool in the classroom.

Nov 1, 2020

 

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan are discussing how teachers can help students who are struggling with hidden hurdles. We all know that everyone has something they are dealing with and nobody’s life is perfect. We all have struggles, but how do we as teachers address all these struggles with everything else going on in school and when our students often keep these struggles to themselves? 

In today’s show, Ryan and Howie are discussing stories of some of their former students and family that have such struggles and how they as teachers, parents, family, etc. can help.  They also discuss some general classroom routines and procedures that you can use as a teacher to help all your students, even when they haven’t shared their hidden struggles with you.

Also, they bring on a very special guest at the end of the show that shares his personal experience as a current 5th grader with a genetic eye disorder called Stargardt. Cooper is Ryan’s nephew and he has  decided to come on the show to talk candidly about his hidden struggles and also about how he recently raised nearly $4,000 for the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Cooper and My Disney Class all hope that researchers will find a cure for this and all the eye diseases out there!

We hope you enjoy this show and hope that this show serves as a reminder that all of us are carrying around hidden struggles and sometimes the simple act of kindness can make all the difference.

Oct 15, 2020

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.

 

Oct 1, 2020

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.

 

Sep 15, 2020

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.

Sep 1, 2020

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.

 

Aug 15, 2020

 

 

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!

 

Aug 1, 2020

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.

Jul 15, 2020

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.

Jul 1, 2020

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."

Jun 15, 2020

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.

Jun 1, 2020

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!

 

May 15, 2020

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.

 

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