Hello and welcome to yet another blog in our EdTech Superhero series: Teaching and Technology with Michael Bartlett
Our latest EdTech Superhero, Michael Bartlett, is the Director of Technology and Marketing at Twenty First Century Charter Schools Inc. Michael Bartlett has a degree in Elementary Education and has previously taught K-5 Art, 3rd grade, and 1st grade before moving into Administration. Currently, he has been working in an administrative role for 15+years in Arizona, United States.
Are you ready to find out more about him?
Teaching and Technology with Michael Bartlett
1. What’s the first thing you do to get your day going?
Every day, the first thing I do is get up and read my Bible. After that, I pray over the day ahead.
2. What’s your go-to meal for breakfast and tea or coffee?
My go-to meal for breakfast is usually Greek yoghurt with granola and fruit added. However, on some days I have a soft-boiled egg and toast. Depending on the time of the day I will also have a cup of tea or coffee.
3. Which artist or song best describes your working style?
The song that best describes my working style is Mousetrap by Royal Crown Revue
There is a recurring theme throughout the song, just like my days have repeating elements, however, there are continued interruptions that change the focus while the objective of the day still flows behind the scenes.
4. Are you team Google or team Apple & why?
For schools, I would say team Google. In the education space, I appreciate the Google platform and what it offers schools and teachers. It provides smooth functionality for the basics of what we do in the Elementary and Middle school Realm. I appreciate the controls we have through the Google Admin Console.
I do enjoy the functionality of my iPhone and what my MacBook offers in native apps and functionality. However, I ultimately use Chrome on my MacBook for work purposes.
5. Can you tell us a little about your journey in education? Where did your interest in education begin initially?
I have always taught. I had several opportunities in my youth that enabled me to recognize and reinforce natural skills in education. As a Boy Scout, I loved teaching younger scouts new skills. I volunteered throughout middle school and high school at the local Zoo, educating children and adults about animals. In high school, I also volunteered in my previous elementary school’s Art class.
“ I volunteered throughout middle school and high school at the local Zoo, educating children and adults about animals. In high school, I also volunteered in my previous elementary school’s Art class.”
I pursued a degree in Elementary Education. I taught K-5 Art, 3rd grade, and 1st grade before moving into Administration. While in the working world I realised that my love of teaching was not reserved for children. I realised that I loved supporting people in general toward positive growth. To date, I have spent 15+years in school administration.
“While in the working world I realised that my love of teaching was not reserved for children. I realised that I loved supporting people in general toward positive growth.”
Early in my career, I became an instructor for Intel Teach to the Future. As a teacher and administrator, I became a go-to person for my colleagues on “tech questions”. I seized opportunities to speak with our IT department about ideas and workarounds any chance I got over the years.
Eleven years into my career as the founding Principal of a small charter school I got to make the decisions regarding the Edtech we utilised and monitored how it was used. Currently, I am consulting with small charter schools, assisting them with integrating digital assessment systems, 1:1 tech initiatives, program and system integrations, as well as teacher and administrative coaching.
6. What inspires you the most in the Edtech space?
The thing that inspires me the most about the Edtech space is the technology that truly brings our world into the classroom. Students who can construct their understanding and assimilate the knowledge will develop a deeper longer lasting understanding of the concept.
“I love seeing Edtech elements used to provide students with a multimodal experience of the concepts…”
I love seeing Edtech elements used to provide students with a multimodal experience of the concepts, where the student becomes the explorer and the teacher takes on the role of a guide.
7. What do you think educators can take away from the past 2 years in their dealings with the challenges that have arisen through the pandemic?
I think the test scores dropping in the last couple of years has reemphasized the value of solid teacher-led instruction and peer community. It showed us that the need for human connection cannot be overlooked and should not be undervalued. We have incredible technologies that allow us to connect to the world in diverse ways, however, we have seen it become a barrier to true human interaction.
“…we must remember that in Edtech, education comes before technology. We do not refer to the space as TechEd”
We need to actively ensure that the focus stays on the learning we are wanting to deliver and not on the wow factor of the technology. I feel coming out of the pandemic, our teachers are more technology literate. However, we must remember that in Edtech, education comes before technology. We do not refer to the space as TechEd.
The tech should assist in deepening the learning. If it does not enhance the learning of the lesson, then it should not be used. I have seen too many lessons where using technology becomes the focus and the learning objective is not met due to the misappropriation of time and focus.
8. What is your Mantra for the year?
My mantra is Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
“ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
More about Michael
Thank you very much, Michael for your time and for sharing your journey with us. I hope educators alike enjoy this read as much as we did.
If you’d like to find out more about Michael Bartlett visit his LinkedIn profile.
If you found this article interesting, read more of our EdTech SuperHero series here, a series that was inspired by International Women’s Month. I’m exploring the themes in our greater series to draw attention to the role we all play in creating a better and safer world for our students to learn and grow in.
If you would like to have a chat with me about the state of education in your school, globally, or would simply like to share some tools and tips with other educators, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on LinkedIn, as I’d love to have a conversation with you.
Team Mobile Guardian