Bitmoji's and Sunshine | Steve Isaacs


The presenting sponsor of Education is participate lately, teachers from all over have been working together to find new approaches to provide quality remote education participate sister company participate learning presents united. We teach a global gathering place for educators to share distance learning resources as we navigate these strange times for these resources and more visit participate dot com slash on education. If you WANNA create a bit Mogi classroom. Just frigging do it yeah I don't give a damn. Welcome to on education part of the on podcast media network. My name is Mike Wash and Glendarin friends. We have an awesome pod for you today, we will discuss the return to school for many districts, the pros and cons of the bit, Mogi classroom and our guest. This week is amazing educator and friend of the PODCAST Steve Isaacs. So I was just telling you, it's like eighty, four, eighty, five degrees in my house it is hosting. A Sweat Lodge in my office no air conditioning for five days. There apparently, the I haven't really had like proper air conditioning almost all of August. It got it got repaired once and then and then it, and then it stopped working and then people came back a couple three days later and fixed apart, and then they obviously broke something else in the free on all leaked out of the compressor. Answer I guess is the word. So they have to come tomorrow and do whatever they call a leak test to find out where the freon is leaking out, and then they got a refill the Freon and Oh my God and it's so hot so. And I had to I had to do a twenty four hour livestream. Yes that is when you do. I did not sleep for thirty nine hours. I Played Video Games with Steve Lau and and a bunch of other CBI's six and a bunch of other people and raised twenty seven hundred dollars for charity. all in a office that was like twenty or I was going say in Celsius. Twenty, seven Celsius like it was in the mid eighties while the entire time I was streaming that is baking. Hot Yeah that's Super uncomfortable I bet humid to. It was off. Yes. It was pretty bad. So. But but what a what a wild weekend I'm still recovering I'm still like. Feeling a little weird tired and like stuff like that. But you know twenty seven hundred bucks is is a lot of money We launched my mind. Craft Server which is pretty exciting. So I've been working on getting this server ready for a few months now and it's launch. We're GONNA actually put the allow list request in the show no listen friends you WANNA play minecraft and you're an educator and you're listening right now and you just want a place where you can play. Just. Play. Like we've said we say it all the time. You know that the biggest barrier the largest barrier in my mind till educators learning about how to use minecraft in the classroom is that they just don't have the space to play. Come play. You know if you're an educator, the allow list link is in the show notes, click on the allow this link fill out the form I'll take a look at it. You Can Ping me on twitter to tell me that you did it income play minecraft with us we have an awesome set of servers as a creative server in a survival server. It's a ton of fun there's always people on it and there's lots going on there's a discord server as well. You can chat with people So please. Come and play Glenn. Glenn. COMP line. I. Will. I will. I was just thinking about that barrier to entry and that only to. Just the concept of game based learning and I think a lot of times people have experienced. What is the educational side of games and so they see games as an entertainment form which it is but they haven't. Them in this type of form and when you are around other educators in this whether it be in the server or you're actually you know. Take an in videos as far as from Youtube or whatever you're actually doing far as you're going to get ideas. And then those ideas will spawn into what actually fits for your classroom. Your students your specific lessons that you're that you're thinking about. Because that's it. It'll. It will spark those things but without actually going and experiencing, it's really difficult to describe whenever you're. For example my parents if I would ever try to describe minecraft to them, they're not video game people and they have no idea what what they've seen the little figurines whatever I'd be really difficult to explain until you're in the environment doing the stuff, and then in this case, being able to do it with a bunch being able to experience it with a bunch of other educators I think is a great platform you nailed it. I have this. I don't know if there's anything like this in the states and you are a little like thrown off when I told you about it. So I'm assuming that there might not be but so. Antero educators will know what I'm talking about and I'm not sure if this is anywhere in Canada does this. But in Ontario if you are a public service employees of Essentially paid by the government. which you know is is fire utilities all paid all paid from taxes and education is also paid from taxes if you make more than a hundred thousand dollars a year. Your name is published in what they call it the sunshine list. which is I guess to insinuate that you've got it. You've got it made his life is good. Know I got news for people? But anyways. So you know there's always been educators in the sunshine list because you know higher level administrators and stuff like that. you know we'll tend to make you know. Hundreds of thousands hundred, thousand dollars a year, and but this is mostly used to keep like and I was telling Glenn. This is mostly used to keep like public sector executives. Honest. So they don't pay themselves fat bonuses and you know so like the big article that always comes out related the sunshine listen the newspaper is you know the CEO of Ontario Hydro or something like that gets paid like six point, eight, million dollars. Some hospital CEO gets paid like one and a half million dollars or something like that. Right like in those those end up breaking and because it's public. But what happened this year is So it with the combined collective bargaining You know agreement that was started in in the spring. And the new raises that kicked in for educators in. August. Just before they go back to school. What has happened is All of the educators that are what are called, what's called a four in Ontario, which is the the maximum amount of senior years Sewri of service or no it's. Yet ten years at a four. So a four is your level of like extra education. Yeah So this is like your your university credits that you would ensure it credits in Ontario. We've talked about this a little bit before you we talked to what they're called cues in in in in Ontario additional qualifications. So the highest level of the lanes we call it lanes as far as. Your is like the Max level of that, and then ten years is wear the the the pay scale tops out. Okay. So when you're a four at ten years, that's the most you can possibly get paid while all of those a four at ten years now make just over one hundred thousand dollars. Wow that's amazing. Thousands of teachers are now on the sunshine list well congratulations of the. Cheryl's name is now public because she is a four man she's actually sixteen years teaching. So so she makes jess over one hundred grand and it brought up a lot of really interesting conversations between us but also you and I and then between Cheryl and I were talking about it because you know there are tons of educators in the United States that are listening to me now and just screaming. audio. Layer of choice that they've been teaching for twenty five years and take in like university credits like maxed out at multiple a year and still make like fifty five thousand dollars a year. Yeah. Yeah. I mean some states are average salaries still in the low. So. Assists. Yeah. That seems like unbelievable though I know that there are states. California some of the East Coast states that their salary grids would be probably comparable to that. Because A, but it's also because it is super expensive obviously to live in these places but so I don't know as far as cost of living what what that equals out. Liga being educator and living in right in like Manhattan. Yeah. Yeah. If you were making a hundred grand a year. Yeah. I think a lot of people that live. You know commute in. Jersey or from wherever else? Yeah. No. That's super interesting and congrats tall those educators because maybe thousands maybe one day. The United States. With a different president. Maybe maybe. Possible. I got I went down a rabbit hole thinking about this a little, which is why it's still on here because I was thinking about like the culture of the United States where like like Americans you know the the Monolithic Americans right the royal the royal we let's say once you know transparency and you know everything to be out in the open but also wants privacy and You know not wanting you know to to share you know things like how much people get paid weller example in public education. We do do that too but it's not printed like I mean, this was an interest I went to that art to that link. Man, it's interesting. But, all official government link, we'll put it in the show notes Lavar olive our salaries are public knowledge and I think in some newspapers. Not exactly sure. In some states, they may post the grids or the person, and then what salary they are actually specifically making each year. So you can go look up exactly what I made. You know whatever year because it is public domain as as you describe it, it's very similar in that way I just thought it was interesting and interesting that they call it the sunshine. And they'll be a newspaper every year. There's a newspaper article where they published like the juicy ones. The ones like I said are interested in the ones that. The ONES THEY WANNA like out and make sure people know that you know. So so took a half a million dollar bonus but but still did all of these stupid mistakes. Whatever just thinking about the Mike? This is. You were just describing hospital employees because obviously it's a public sector you know in the United. States it is here in. The United States. And? And Energy Sector that was interesting too I was like, Oh, all of our energy is privatized. So. So that was a little bit foreign, but you know what is interesting? Our highest paid and I would just talk to Nicole about this and I'm sure L. pissing people off when I say this, but I don't care. Our highest public employees in the United States, you know who they are like some of the highest I'd sure that there's somebody thinking of right now but you know who they actually are. College football coaches. Yeah. So. For the University of Alabama. Their head football coach salary in the millions. So it's like it's really weird. And I don't understand that why we couldn't as educators be one, hundred, thousand list you know those kinds of things. Especially, with at the end, like you just described as far as the all those years of service and. Yeah. It's a really interesting thing and. Like I say. I thought it was interesting that our college football coaches are the ones that are. That are the most lucrative careers in the public sector. So maybe someone else will throw out some other public sector jobs in United States that are actually really highly paid, but even our our president doesn't make you know as far as the amount of money that they make I. Think they make a quarter of a dollars. So it's not like a huge salary that they actually make. But it's interesting. Anyway. It's funny when you when? I'm on this I'm I'm in the rabbit hole again, I'm looking at the so the two most the two highest paid public sector employees according to this twenty nineteen were both Ontario. Power Generation Opie G, which is like our our utilities power utility. Scenarios or yeah I guess. So nine hundred, thirty, eight, thousand dollars so not not in the millions. suggests. Be This win be like benefits or bonuses or anything like that? I don't think. Okay and then there's like hospitals I'm seeing crown. which would be like governmental departments University people are all you know, hi Fi figures then yeah, and then there's like a bunch of university people are in the high figures You don't really get into like public school boards. school district people probably till till you get into like the two hundred thousand. So Mike, I was wrong. I just googled K Nick Sabin University of Alabama football 'cause I knew it was a university of Alabama football because I forgot his name can. Eleven point one, million. The second, most highest paid coach I was actually wrong. It's actually a basketball coach for the University of Kentucky. So. Just imagine that to the whole controversy of college football or basketball players and so on and so forth. That get paid nothing except for their college tuition will we're going to pay your education whatever that amount is it's Guy John. Calipari made seven point seven, five, million last year life is good man dude there's something wrong with that I I think it's so wrong. Anyway, it's a different discussion different day but I I thought it was interesting. I should have been a basketball coach. I know. Very highly why? We're going to not let like do anything they're not gonNA let. No one's technicality. GonNa. Stop you from. Then, Ano- nothing stopped. So. Cheryl's on the sunshine. Let's cool. Awesome awesome. So. Yeah. I wanted to talk about. A few weeks ago. I. Legitimately asked the question and I know people probably thought I was being sarcastic and I seriously was it. But I wanted to know what was the buzz about this thing called the bit Moji classroom and the reason why I wanted to do honesty was because a teacher reached out. and asked. They they saw a bit. They saw the bit Mogi classroom and they wanted to. they wanted me to teach them how to set it up and I heard bit Mogi clash from I think in Google classroom. School is at a new LMS have emojis in it. And then I. Then I saw something that someone had posted. That was the bit Mogi classroom thing and I was like I don't even know what that is. I looked at it and I'm like I. I don't understand. I. Guess. So I. Asked what is this and what's the controversy you know kind of like give me some some things. So I think people thought I was being sarcastic because some some people right away like defending it. So. What is he? Because I actually am still like super confused so the best way I can describe it. IS IT IS A. in my mind, it looks like a a a header for a a digital space. A let's call it. You know we used to call him I think I did a a session on this about eight nine years ago when Google slides came out. and. We did a session on creating interactive slides. Right take you to. A. All kinds of different things. So it would be it would be. A an image with a bunch of images inside of it right click here and click it, and it's kind of like a web page. Let's call it a webpage interact with page except in this cage. This header thing that you can put on your website or I guess inside of your LMS to directs you to their syllabus or a welcome message right but the. The cutesy part is that there's a bit Mogi character of the teacher inside of there does that make sense? So it's their classroom like it's A. You since I can't be in my physical space. That's what I'm thinking. That's what these people are saying that can be. They're going to recreate their physical space and kind of this. To deal. With, their emoji character, and then you click here for the welcome message, Click here for the syllabus and so on and so forth. So I didn't get number one. What the controversy was number two why it's so popular like that's the two things I was just like, okay that's not anything except for the little. Bit Mogi character you know as far as adding it into the thing I didn't really think it was something like super innovative but I think a lot of people were spending a lot of time and maybe that was a controversy it was they were spending a whole bunch of time on it. Maybe they. The controversial views should be doing this other thing whatever my be so. I didn't I didn't know one thing or the other, but I definitely want it to bring it up because I didn't know if you had heard hit number one and number two I was like. I don't even know like you know this summer actually this year. Has, about this year, glide. Just me throughout the world. Has Been? Insane and a whole bunch of other additives as you know. People have used all kinds of other. Descriptive adjectives to describe this year and the things that have gone awry. You know and then I, we haven't even had a presidential election. Yeah. Has it even come In. Dude I. Already the beginning of the year, the COVID everybody having to leave school then. All of the things that then occurred towards the end of the year and all of our you know black lives matter movement, and now all of us kind of reframing kind of rethinking everything that we ever did and and we're in a good way and going like we need to be better people, which is just amazing. I love that out of all of this crap has come all of this. Good. As as really started it legitimate movement that feels different than anything else as far as in the past. But yet. There's this bit Mogi controversy of this thing and I don't I don't care about if you decide to go and do that now I'll tell you what though I'm not going to be helping anybody with this. This is not something that's on my top of my priority list. People want to go ahead and explore how to create engaging lessons. In, and make sure that they get student voice and choice health game based learning, whatever might be there like passionate about how do I teach in a virtual setting discussions? How do I manage all of these things? Yes. Let's talk about the same, but it just seemed Kinda like Like. A side conversation. There's a there's a station that or a channel that I watch TV this kind of reminded me of this, but I call trash. TV. Do you ever watch Bravo. Channel. Bravo well. So we have Bravo. It's the same or not but I'm sure it is. Okay. So Anyway, Bravo is is Glenn Irvine's Pets like no, not a pet peeve my. My dirty secret. Let's call it. I watched tons of shows on Bravo right yes ed their trash. I'm telling you right. It is trash TV to the ultimate thing. and. This felt like one of those topics where we like to get distracted about things where it's like Nah, let's redirect their things to lease the really important things that are actually going on right now that are right in front of our faces including the topics that we're about to talk about just a sec instead of kind of sight. But many people like me Still Watch Bravo. And still want the bit mode you classroom and what a Taco. Whether For or against it so Anyway. I wanted to make sure we brought it up but I really we really go anywhere. But it's I think we do this a lot sto. Don't you think we'll do this a lot in education we get. We get distracted really easily by really stupid things. And even we by the distraction I, even call it this week we've been tend to put our money and time and investment in these weird things that truly. Will never make a difference student learning or student connections didn't relationship those kinds of things. But we we tend to, and maybe it's a human nature thing. That's the reason maybe why Bravo TV. So so popular, it's a human nature that we want to see this. Train wrecks. People yelling at each other crazy. It's all. Gypsy wedding show on Bravo. Probably Real. Housewives is. Yes I. Watch many of those shows but anyway dog the dog. Dog Show competition probably. Like the actual competition but The people the people? Yeah. That's high quality high quality. So we'll go you learn something about today. Great. So. Let me. Let me talk representing. You want to create a bit Mogi classroom. Just frigging. Do it. I don't give a damn. What do I really don't and you know what? To The idiots that care what other people are doing just please stop. Caring about what other people are doing with their frigging bit Mogi classrooms, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter to you. If they think that their students will love it who the health here's why do we care about? Why is this? The Shit that we choose to care about I don't understand. I don't understand why we decide that. This is where we needed. This is the hill we need to die on is Boji classrooms give your freaking heads a shake people. It doesn't matter. Your Bit Mogi classrooms don't make them but please don't go be a keyboard warrior on twitter about it. Doesn't matter. It just matters. So little you guys you guys down there you have the most consequential election in human history It doesn't matter to you either it matters to the whole freaking world on what happens this fall. And so if I have to listen to one more knucklehead, Taco bit Mogi classrooms like it's the it's going to end someone's class or in any possible way, affect your class which it's not. I'm just GONNA lose it. Because it just doesn't matter. Just let people do the exams. This, whatever this is I want to say it's nonsense. I just just don't care. And you shouldn't either it's just like you know have tons of other things if people wanNA. Do If people want to decorate their classrooms like Harry Potter classroom. Remember. That cares what do you care? What do you care and I'm sorry if that makes you feel bad because you don't have twenty rand by. But it's like. Let them just go do it. Matter to you. I'm sorry. I God I. Hope That Lady Excuse Dig our heels in about. When there are so many there's so many things going on in this absolu- dumpster fire of a year. I mean the Bit Mogi classrooms needs to be at the bottom of your list of priorities. Not. Even there like like. Let's. Recalibrate you're priority list if you're tweeting about how bad bit Mogi classrooms maybe they're bad. You know what don't do it then? Just don't do it. We okay now. We're. GonNa lose it. Talking about things that do matter whole bunch of schools. are either have already started 'cause there's been schools that already been instantly shutdown or are about to start like we are. And a lot of school boards. Have made decisions whether or not they're going to. Go back fully, are they going to have some sort of hybrid model or are they gonna go virtually and I wanted to talk about it? Because in my local district, they decided to go ahead and the the local school board to. Go full face to face. Start. And it was based upon our governor basically gave back the local control to or back give back local control and said We're GONNA give you the latest data we're going to support your decisions and in other words by supporting them as a financially. So whatever types of equipment to make sure that this happened safely, etc and so on. So forth. And they decided to do that and my goodness if felt like. I've I've talked to several colleagues and and of course, my wife works to and it felt like. kind of we like with somebody punches you hard in the gut. And it hurts for an extended period of time where you feel Kinda sick for a while every time you kind of think back to like Oh what is this actually going to mean and so definitely, anxiety levels are up. So we're kind of looking. Okay. Let's look throughout the country because in Minnesota we don't start like you guys until after this Labor Day. So there are places throughout the country that have already started some of them. Will you know like we talked about in previous podcast for example, Georgia where they had to shut down in Georgia? We have another article here that I have a Nebraska where a bunch of teachers got sick and enough teachers got sick that they had to shut the school down. There's no there's not an teachers we have to shut it down. And so it brings a lot of anxiety and and you didn't go you guys were like super. You're kind of like me like you to like my wife doesn't have a problem going out now a little bit but I still like. I'm in my house many of us and you didn't leave either. No. We NBA talked about on the podcast. You were asking me like, where do you get? have. Groceries delivered. You know we're trying to do everything that we possibly can, and it was giving me you like I talked about before I was really getting anxious and really angry at people that weren't wearing their masks back before the mask mandate happened here in Minnesota and. Now, we're going to go back to a place in our school has a four hundred plus students per class, and we have four grades. So we have more than sixteen hundred students in a building One hundred teachers specific features hundreds more personnel whether it be administrative. We're talking about assistance pair professionals, custodians the our awesome amazing cooks and. Bus Drivers. At everybody else says associated with the school. And we're all going back and it's like. An and at this point Mike if we look back at the data for March, you know when we decided to just go virtual, you'd have the whole of the country was moving towards that There was weightless cases. Zinc, it was like, Oh, my God. Okay. There was weightless cases that we we were trying to do everything. We could this summer and stayed away from everybody we did all the things we were supposed to do. And I'm feeling. Much worse now than it wasn't this spring it exciting. I don't underside. Don't understand how it's possibly safer now than it was in March so so What is crazy as you start feeling anxious for yourself but then you really start thinking. What about my kids? You know like your own the kids? Your students, which you can call your kids to, and that's I totally get that too. But your own kids where you're like, what should we do? You know and I know a lot of parents are pulling their kids and just saying we're just GONNA go virtually we can't. We just can't do this for pre existing conditions at the parents may have where the kids may already have or whatever might be. Talk about a really crazy. We knew coming as far as the decisions to be made we just didn't know. How we would actually start feeling So as the week start coming where we have basically a few weeks before the start of the school year. It's a I, can already I could. Sense the tension of the educators. But I think even our kids are going to be very amid, it's going to be like a Hazmat type of environment you know. Ed and those parents or the community members that think that it's going to be. What normal school was like, which was a caring? wonderfully wonderful community where we share you know and and and and you basically become a family you know type of thing it's going to be very sterile very procedurally based very much rule based kind of very strictly enforced kind of things combined and and it's not going to. Those those greats things that are part of normal type of school. Some of those things will still be there, but it'll be really difficult. You know there's going to be like we talked about the hugs and the and the even a handshake or fist-bump with with students or you know or or getting close to them and being like, Hey, you know I'm here to support you know those type of things going to be very Opposite of that. Too. Exactly. Yeah. So and then you know. Getting together and feeling good feel whatever might be I just it seems crazy seems off but I guess I will be reporting from the frontlines I'll be telling you how it actually. I wanted to make sure that we included in our show notes to clip from this Florida governor and Co basically says something to the effect of he says that if our students are a symptomatic, he's the governor of of the state. This guy's just ridiculous. Actually, this is not the governor. This was the. It was either the governor or the the Department of Education Delete of the Department of Education in. Florida. He said if the student is get symptoms, he gets covert. Sorry. I just clicked on the link video has been removed. Okay. So if he gets if he if the student is gets covid rights. and they are ase symptomatic after twenty four to forty eight hours. He said twenty four hours we're going to send send them back to school. It's going to be okay. Because Kids are fine. He said kids are fine that we've the to be okay. Whatever might be and so much of the data's now saying, we just don't know enough and you know we definitely don't know why we don't know. We've we. We stopped in March and said, yeah maybe we should take a pause here. And we don't have the data because we haven't got these large groups of people these young kids together yet. So talk about I mean it'll be definitely be were definitely gonNA. Get data. You know I made were definitely going to have some data. We're definitely going to have some some an experiments for many of us as far as you can. Transmit. It's are or can they transmit it to each other? Will they get really sick? Can Kids die at a higher rates? You know those kinds of things it seems like, wow. It's like the last type of. The last people that we would ever want to experiment with you know especially when we know so little. Pretend, we know a lot, but we really don't, and that's what does it all the experts that bigs experts they always said from the beginning they said. We will compare this to other things because we know of these types of of viruses, these corona viruses, but we don't know this specific ones what its inner workings until. It starts kind of going throughout the you know as far as the country or the world. Sorry. So really scary and I know some other people are feeling the exact same way it just know that. Hey right here with you. I mean if you wanted to let us know about what's happening within your school district or anything that you feel you know crazier that's happening or no mask. At least we have mask mandates at our school. We're going to be doing some I mean I know that our administration is going to be working tirelessly to try to make it as safe as possible. So I don't blame them at all. They're amazing. They're going to do everything within their power. To try to keep us safe as we possibly can. I don't know if it's GONNA be enough because we're we're going to do the one thing that we shouldn't do which is. Be By, each other. When they when you're walking down the sidewalk, it reminded me of that's time Mike and then I'll let you go at talk up. Sorry. You were talking one day you're walking down the sidewalk and it was probably in May I think April or May, and you were walking with your kids or with Cheryl and someone was walking towards you and they didn't move just a little bit over because they didn't give you your six feet. You were uncomfortable even though you were outside whatever my because you knew you should be uncomfortable. because. That's one thing that at least we know that if you're not, if you could stay a good distance away from each other. You you probably are going to be safe writes. This is the exact opposite is like. Let's put us all into a building again. And then let's see what let's. Let's see if the mask. Type of things will go in and protect us, and by the way we don't we're not doing a blended or sorry. Kind of a off and on type schedule where we could have for the students in and then half of the students out, you know it's going to be the students. The students will be at the school. The all of students so The spacing. Those things like oh tough. Man I'm I'm I have insane levels of conflict with all of this and I'm scared I'll be honest in a lot like hundreds of different ways. I mean Cheryl's a kindergarten teacher. They are not reducing class sizes in -Tario. She is going to be in class the same class she's ever had. With twenty five ish kids little kids. WHO. Touch each other an play around with each other, and some of them will not know how to follow instructions they're learning them. There is no Katie three mask mandate, and so none of those kids are going to be wearing masks or or at least not be forced to wear masks. Well, and so she has to be in that. So that's That's That's Cheryl and then there's Jacob Jacob it was supposed to start kindergarten this year. He's super excited. So I mean I you know he is one of those kids that loves. Other kids loves to play with them and be around them and be social very social He will. You know he's good with the mask. He's super comfortable wearing one we are going to ask him to wear it all day every day we're going to ask his teacher to help us. Help her help him. Yes. Where the mask you know it's not required, but it's strongly suggested. So so that's I'm scared for Jacob Ben. I'm scared about all of that and then there's Isaac who did not do well with distance learning. It's not for him. He does not have HE NEEDS A. In with like in him, he needs a he needs a class he needs. Appears to be successful? He is a very good student. He was not a good student in remote learning. So you know we know that like like so both Jacob and Isaac would be allowed to stay home like they're they've given every parent and option you can stay home. If you want, you can not send your kids to the physical school they will be taught remotely by teachers. By we know that that's not the best for either of our kids in terms of like their education sure both of them I think need teachers now and then there's an so like I'm scared about all of that and then, and then there's me and this is like the like super weird part is that. I can do every single thing, right? Right, yeah. I. Can wear masks when I go to the grocery I, I literally do not leave the House I work from home. I'm in an office I have very little contact with people. And I could still die of this damn thing. because. I could get it from Cheryl. Or Jacobs or Isaac who got it from someone else? I can do everything right and I could still get sick. And? Die That pisses me off more than anything that that and I'm the most vulnerable in our whole family. You know because I've had like like I i. don't like diabetes or anything like that, which makes you vulnerable but I've had You know I've had bronchitis a couple of times I've had long You know lung issues and stuff like that, and and that that makes your lungs weaker and that makes it. So I am the most vulnerable person in this whole family and I could do everything right and I could still get sick same thing with our any of our other vulnerable members extended members of families. So it's their parents his parents are at in the grandparents. And we can't see Cheryl's parents anymore. They've been living at Cheryl's parents house we Cheryl and our two kids are at Cheryl's parents house right now because our house is like eighty eight degrees right now. And I've been staying here and they've been there and they wouldn't be if this was September, they wouldn't be able to do that or at least. I. Don't think they should do that. I. Mean we've I mean I. Guess I'd be fine with letting their their there. There are their own people they can make decisions but like once we're back to school I don't think our kids should be coming in contact with their grandparents again I think it's too dangerous. So. Laser. Like at multiple levels. This is scary as hell. And I'm not I'm not happy about it even though like and then. The last piece of this before we before we move on and talk to our guest is is the idea that like? I mean, we live in Ontario Canada and we don't even live in Toronto we live in a an hour and a bit north of Toronto. In Ontario Canada, we do not live in Miami Florida I know we do not live in La. But all of my friends, a lot of my friends. Are Americans most of my social circle. Is American you and Steve and these people I talked to you I talk to every day my best friends are all Americans. and. My thoughts in my opinions of covert are clouded by the American experience even though it is completely different. Yes. Then here and I should be significantly less scared than I am in some ways. Yeah. You know we have a very small amount of cases in my region. Maybe like ten or twelve. If that they're all like contained. They're all contact trace. You know like the the actual director, the regional health director for our whole I think I've said this before is my next door neighbor. He, he lives right beside us. So like I know if things are bad because you know right there. So, but I but I but I still have this tension because everyone I talked to is American. and and but you know, so I keep having to remind myself Mike. It's it's probably going to be okay There are like hardly any cases in our area at all you know Sheryl where Cheryl teaches a little bit worse but even then it's not like substantially worse. So I mean I. M. You know we're all GonNa try to figure out what the hell to do. We will listen in in eight weeks. We'll be back here and China voted, and we'll. We'll see what happens I guess. Or not. Yeah. I mean we'll see God dark. Let's. Let's let's lighten the load a little bit when we friends when we come back. One of our best friends. Steve is will join us so stay tuned. All. Right everyone. Welcome back to the podcast our guest. This week doesn't really need it introduction, but I feel so socially obligated to offer one anyways Steve Isaacs joins us on the podcast this week he's a educator one of the finest educators on the planet from new. Jersey's. And he is You know I spend more time with Steve Isaacs than I do with my family these days. anyways. Welcome. Welcome to the podcast Steve Thanks Bye Glenn Good to you guys I'm actually surprised that you came onto the show being how much time you spend with Mike. Yes especially after the marathon of like being with each other for really long periods of time at least virtually. How long was that? Steve? How long did we spend together? That was twenty four hours straight my like without I? Mean we both did it we? No No, no no. NAP IN. No. Maybe an occasional bathroom break or run downstairs to get you know another something to drink or a snack but we were together for twenty four hours straight. Games we've. Besides playing games. Tell us about it. Raising. Money raising money. Yeah. Yeah we raise we raise twenty seven hundred dollars for extra life charity, which is a charity that. Supports Children's hospitals specifically So we raised twenty just under twenty, seven, hundred dollars, which is pretty awesome. Had A lot of big donors. Yeah. had. A lot of other. Don't like just a Lotta people came out and donated Glenn even donated We had a lotta a of great donors. Harkat or donated mark donated. Thank you. Mark My Dad Grandma deb. She took it. She took it. And she overtook Steven Reid who was ridiculously generous as well. Yeah we had. People are just I. Just love when you see the heart that people have when you're doing something like that because he was really tremendously generous. A lot of the donations and people really really were were excited to help and behind the cause. So that's really special. What a reminder that? Community can be found in any kind of place in any sort of way and that it's like when you when you do something meaningful to people. four people or with people You know they respond when you kind of say. Okay. We're trying to do this now. Can you come in be part of that and so we've been you and I have been streaming almost every day since since March. Almost. Every day we took, we've taken a little time off, but not very much not much and you know building up this great. You know professional learning community on the participate twitch stream and then so when it comes time for us to say listen, we want to do this thing. we want to raise some money. We WanNA play emily it's like At least while think about who state like Bradsher cler stayed up with us almost the whole time yet uh, mark on ankles stayed up with us, quite bit Eric Lowlier, Eric. Layer doing I mean he hurt Leitner was probably with us as much as he could have took a short sleep then had to teach a professional development thing you know for seven hours and then jumped right back on and was llamas till the end. Amanda. I. Think you might have mentioned her but like up at like four in the morning with us after probably going to bed after midnight. It was great. Becky was with US allot. And just so many people pop it in Deirdra stopped in deirdre stream from the minecraft education team. Gosh. So I had a few students that was really really fun. Yeah few former students that or so it's interesting I used to. My wife and I used to own a computer training and gaming sour and we built talk about Community Right Mike. So there I mean we created this amazing affinity space for these kids in a town that had nothing to do twenty plus years ago and these kids have such fond memories of those days in the few of them jumped in the stream. One of them we had on on voice with us for a while and. Heartwarming for big time pretty incredible. We? Yeah so pretty exciting we've raised so much money and. Had, so many people, but you know. So, let's talk about the streaming for a little bit I guess You know we've been doing this thing every day. And you know you had this idea I think we both had the idea of the same thing at the same time kind of thing, and it was it worked superwealthy. Work together on it you were kind of trying to teach your kids yet. I'm trying to teach adults and you know we can kind of do both. Don't always in my like my my passion was always to both reach students, but also bring in educators and kind of do that co learning. But it did it started out like I think when I thought I was GONNA be home for two weeks. They sort of made a commitment like all stream every day for those two weeks. So it will provide something that's worthwhile for all my kids that that coincides with what we're learning because we've been focused on content creation and when he said that Mike, you reached out to me and said Hey let's do this together and we started planning. and. Two weeks became the rest of the school year became the whole summer, and now we're just trying to figure out how to keep going but just alter the hours to keep accommodating our schedule but. You're right. So having kids and adults learning and that whole idea of what professional development could look like great and that's kind of I think our mission. I think twitches still a really new space to many people don't even know what it is and. Talking about adults. Yeah. I'm talking about kids because kids know what it is and for that space to be a place where you can like you said. have live. Professional Development in this case, it's super awesome. It's game base learning And you can basically that only watch something by interact with it too. So that's that's kind of like the when I was trying to explain twitch to my wife. It was actually difficult because it was like. It's kind of like TV, except you actually talk to the people that are doing the things, she's like Oh. That's weird. Yeah, and I'm like, yeah, it is kind of weird but I was like but it's Kinda. Cool. Then to because then you are actually having this dialogue between you and the person now in. Most cases it's it's with video games but now it's expanded to everything I. mean the channel over the streams are huge variety of different things and why not education. So tell us more about that because that's really interesting as far as that avenue for people. For you guys to have taken basically a bad situation and turned it on its head and then been able to say, okay, we're going to use this though we have a a bad situation. We're GONNA use this stream or this ability this channel to be able to go at in and and deliver professional development. I mean, that's yeah. That's what we're trying to do now. I was waiting I was giving Mica Chas. I figured he might want to jump in but I mean Mike says it great Mike always talks about how we're trying to change the paradigm of what professional learning might be like. Now, it works out perfectly for us because we both have this mindset about the importance of. Learning communities and learning together and building community That's always been something I've been excited about like you go back to the twitter chats and such rate, and that also makes me think of right now the East Sports Edu. I way back. You know I was involved when they started the chat and then it was kind of a slow growing chat. And then they just recently moved to twitch and it's the perfect space for that and just like you said, Glen the fact they have like four people kind of having a conversation, which is a little more exciting than just throwing out q one q two, three, q four, q five. and. Then the chat is lively and it it also allows it to to morph into whatever it supposed to that day and I think that's what Mike and I find a lot is that we might start somewhere and we're GonNa go where the audience kind also US rate like they're inactive part of of what we're GONNA end up doing It's really it's really interesting and you know and we're not I. Mean will be the first to tell you very often that we're tinkering around learning. While we go hopefully modeling what learning could look like all about constructivist learning. So we're big again and that's where that community comes in. We've had times where we were working on something and. We had a little bit of a block and somebody in a chat says you know Oh. Why don't you try this and boom? It helps gets us on the path and and then we felt like we were all in it together and that kind of thing. Yeah we you know you want. People to feel like they're part of something and when when people feel like they're part of something you know agency like. So we frame all these things whereas we talk about with students. Right we talked about agency with students. We talk about you know engagement for Sudanese we talk about letting our students learn. However they want whenever they want. Right we talk about our students you know feeling empowered. You know why? In the hell don't we think that any of the stuff applies to adults. I mean, it's just rid. Of course it does it all applies to adults I. mean adults need to feel agency in their learning adults need to feel engage they need to feel empowered. They need to feel like they can express what they've learned in whatever way they feel like they can, and so you know when we build a platform on on participate where people can. You know type and discuss and like read people's thoughts and then respond to those thoughts or we have a video where people can watch and then share and talk or we have a podcast where people can listen and then and then you know disseminate that information or share it or then go back to one of those other sources and and continue the conversation I mean. This is what adults want, and I mean the the idea just one more thing. The idea you know you know of of twitch is that you know twenty years from now our students are going to be. Are adults and they are going to be completely comfortable with the way we're doing things now. So we're we're building you know this kind of structure for the future. Yeah. Did you see on Brian Sanders tweet today? It was something like know I have a new a new model for professional development. You know it's called a teacher tinker time you know or something and the the the premise was, let's give teachers time to to play and explore them. Whatever I think that really gets at the heart of what we're trying to do as well. 'cause you know people were playing along with us. They're learning with us. You know I mean when you think of people like Amanda and the amount of time she's dedicating to spending you know with us and and and and feeling I think pretty pumped about what she's learning and then you know expanding upon and that that's refreshing to us I mean to me like I feed so much off of that. So you know I think. You know we have this especially right now we're we're talking about things like remote learning and a flipped bottle and things like I don't really want to just talk to. Nobody and put out a video and then have my kids watch that. It might. Be Effective for delivering content but not for exciting me about the process and all that so. I. Think that's what we're. Think. That's what's been super cool and I, think we kind of new that it could be I. think we're seeing it grow and I think we're I. Think the more people that start to kind of get exposed to it because like you said, Glen twitch is noodles. In a lot of times a lot of ways. It's just as easy as hey, there's a link on twitter if I click on it, maybe I'll end up there. You know because that's really all it takes. To to find us. But you're right even today and that that might be a good segue to the the game study stuff. But Matt Farber was funny because. You know he's done a gazillion webinars and things, and before we got today, he said I've never been on twitch what do I have to do and Not, just you know just be there like you're on zoom or whatever, and let's do our thing. Yeah, the the barrier to entry is super low for this so I mean what? You don't get to do anything. You got to do what you've normally done, which makes it so easy to Mike Mike. Send you a link and says Click this camera on in your mic on and you'll magically be on twitch. Your Star. What else is going on Steve? What else you got I know, but the audience does. So let's let's share all the other stuff that's been happening because there's a happened in in the past and what do you got going on in the future because you if there's one thing about Steve Isaacs friends if you if you've never met. Circum- across some or interact with them. He's he's always doing stuff. And there's always lots going on in this world so because you should definitely share all the cool things that are happening. Yes. So thank you. Again this this Cova thing. A lot of like interesting. Opportunities that and it's funny. There are a lot of tweets earlier about people saying things like they didn't want people talking about covid. Presenting opportunities I don't know if you remember that and made me try to watch what I said or something but. But I see it as the the the unanticipated outcome is, is some positive positive things, right? So kids were stuck at home. And you know I've been involved in sports and things and we. Early on Eric, Lightner at started with with him having this idea to do a minecraft Cova build challenges so. He set up like a flip grid environment and then we he invited me and Cathy into tourists to work with him, and we added a number of challenges. So ended up with six of these challenges, and then we Mesa who was also looking to kind of shift their thinking at this time to like building community and looking at competition and things differently. So we partnered with them and created this great worldwide challenge which really he was neat like we got a ton of entries but then. The folks that they're associated with in Mexico City and Mexico and Mexico got very interested. In fact, we almost had you. Doing some of the video content I remember. that. And we so the. The the. The affiliates in Mexico got very excited and we got I think like Gosh. It might have been like thousands or seventeen hundred or something entries from Mexico for for that challenge. And that was like this second running of it essentially exclusively for Mexico and then that led us to. To the micro face off which and Mike Spin with us all way with participate you know supporting the streaming and all that. But we did the The the neigh- SAF minecraft face off which was again we had now the NHL interested in engaging their fans at a time when they couldn't go to games. So we did a number of minecraft bill challenges around hockey and got some also great Grecu on entries like Arenas with playable hockey games in them and stuff. And then we moved onto what was called the minecraft masters, which was kind of modeled after like the Lego masters or like some of the like robotics type competitions and we. Open it up to entries from around the world and the the idea was going to be to take representatives. The top four. Teams from different countries were going to represent their countries in the this live minecraft masters event and. Turned out. We had. A team for Mexico, the UK Egypt and Israel were the four that made it to that part, and we had four rounds of live. You know know. Shout casted minecraft. Goodness with all sorts of different. Challenges that also dealt with redstone and commands and command blocks, and the final one was two teams creating fully playable games in a span of. Three and a half hours they had a few days to plan it, but they had to start fresh for the live event was fun we. Mike was. Behind the wheel of all the production and we had a really good time and it was neat to work with these teams because some of them you got to know I mean we worked with the same teams for like the four weeks of that part. And then now coming up. We have a big project with the Rube Goldberg Foundation So I had been doing a lot with my students creating rube, Goldberg Machines, and both fortnight creative and minecraft, and I always tweet out student work and I was for a while just tagging Rube Goldberg because they've Rube, Goldberg, machines and. Rube Goldberg's granddaughter Jennifer George Who runs the Rube Goldberg. Reached out essentially to kind of like, ask for some some guidance because what they wanted to do. It was their dream to take they do this physical? Have you ever seen? It's so neat. The Physical Rube Goldberg challenges that are out there that families participated in this year I mean really amazing and every year they do one and it's a pretty big deal and they generally speaking have alive culminating event with the top teams. But they also wanted to a digital one, and of course, the timing couldn't be better for that. So we're now once again with Nathan participate doing. A whole school, it's going to spend the whole school year we're doing in the fall we're having a number of livestream sessions were GonNa talk about simple machines and Talk about how we might be able to make functional simple machines in minecraft and each week. After one of those sessions, it'd be a contest for people to submit something that utilizes that individuals simple machine, and then from January to April will be the full blown online competition where teams will submit full on Rube Goldberg Machines with him. And you know so they'll be doing it both in some teams will do the physical one, a number GonNa get all these teams to do the digital version in minecraft. So th ridiculously. It's GONNA be Great. So. Excited about that. The building a roof girl machine is hard. You know just normally building it in my craft as you've had students who built them in there. It's just unbelievable. So. Pretty excited about that. It's GONNA be It's GonNa be wild. Would you say Rad Maybe It might be read. It's an inside joke. You'RE GONNA have to go to twitter dot. TV. Slash inside participate. It's ready to learn more that saw twitch dot TV SLASH TWIT DOT TV slash. So I I also alluded to Earlier and then just we went onto this other stuff but we're right now doing our second. Game study which. Allows us to watch Mike play a game and? The way you said that sounds so funny. and. But you know but now but it's been. It's neat. So so so essentially Mike is each time Mike has been playing the game. So the first one was con home which might hadn't played. A lot of educators have used Khan home in really neat ways in the classroom including powder vaasie and. And Jonathan Spike and others, and they both join us for that six week thing and we even had the one of the developers join us for a couple of sessions and she was great and that was really neat. So Mike's Playing the game and we're getting insights from the developer and talking about it and at the same time eight in the nascent criticize manner, we lead a discussion in the game based learning community and participate. So basically each week we play live for an hour and talk about it while it's going. and. Then also have the ongoing discussion. So right now we're doing in the woods and that's a really neat game, a lot of mental health. Topics and seal kind of stuff and in a very in an interesting approach, it's a neat game. I think Mike Probably. Got Into it a bit today. I. I think I'm about where you are. You know from the time that I've played so far? And now we'll be playing discussing and kind of his take on like the book study type idea but. But why not game says a form of media and literature and such? Do you guys ended up discussing obviously the educational aspects of it of how are you going to apply it? To a classroom gave a good question there. Because right now we have. Zach. What's Ex last name? Hurts me and I think Zach Clarkston Zach Cartman who has written curriculum around the game and uses it in the classroom. So we have his insights there. We have a Doctor Matthew Farber who? Is All about game based learning and he was the one who initially Recommended it, and we have Dr Kelly Dunlap who is a clinical psychologist and college professor who uses games extensively in her teaching. So. Yes. So the idea is like, where can these and these are our? It's funny I say deep games because they really are but. But you know they allow for a lot of you know. Really. Important conversations, and again, it's like you know we we we look at these novels and we talk about. The setting in the theme and the plot and the characters characterization and all of those things and. They all apply. So beautifully to some of these games. So you know we're just using it as a form of media. It's funny. What I've liked about the game studies both Games is that I guarantee you there are people that have played both of these games in just like jammed through them went and them in not thought anything about. The stuff that we're talking but and that's what's so great about having you know Paul and John and and then Kelly and and and and sack on is that is that these people are thinking deeply about these games and and there is depth to these games. The funny thing about both of these Games is that they're they're also fairly short You know we played through gun home in in just under six hours. And Rangel playthrough night in the woods in about the same amount of time But the but the actual depth of the content is is astounding to be completely honest. We I mean, even just in the the the the stream we did today I mean there was like it was like Inter relational parental. Yes. You know relationships there was You know designer choice as as far as how characters are are received There was a lot of talk about you know the the the the main character herself and like tons of tons of really deep interesting questions that are worth talking about, and you can see why a game like this is better called a a an interactive novel than almost anything. True, there's there's tons of depth to this game, which is amazing. That is interesting when you bring that up to about the type of game like I think we've moved in such interesting directions with what a game can be in terms of the way it is experienced You know because even think of like I, remember when I first played any of the Telltale Games Like walking dead I mean I felt like for me. I was involved in the story and the narrative rather than just consuming it. But yet, it wasn't a whole lot of action. It was a lot of. Thought and decisions and the decisions sometimes don't even really matter that much. But you know we talked today about how that does give the player agency just being able to be involved in those decisions and. But I do think it. Like I said, I mean the some of the topics that you can get into with a Lotta Games. Is really meaningful. It might be a it's probably a good way for a lot of people to explore some of these tougher topics and you know empathy and and and relatedness when it comes to like mental illness like I. think There's a lot of people who. Can Relate to what these characters are going through and it kind of opens up this thing like you know. I'm always thinking that I'm you know alone in this struggle and You know when we can open find an avenue to open up that dialog and we gotta do it carefully I. Mean it's really great that we have somebody like Kelly involved and I think you have to be careful as an educator, not just open up these. Big Topics without thought. Without possibly the support you need but but if done properly, it's it's really I mean it will definitely powerful. So often Steve in schools when we talk about social emotional learning or anything of these ten, a very important but deep topics. I think a lot of districts reach out that have reached out in the past to kind of these canned curriculum things and often that those things are are quickly rejected by our students because they can see right through them yet they already know fake. And it's it's very difficult and also to for the educators. Because they don't believe in either. So when you don't even believe in your expected to deliver something. It's really difficult and and that's the times when I think. Things like obviously we've done it in the past with like literature and now adapting that to you know when when you have these English teachers, he's literature teacher teaching these wonderful. Concepts in these novels but then relating it back to the students is lives in those are powerful moments. Those exact same moments are happening within these games and that's the part where if you can pull. Those items and then be able to have those deep discussions with the kids in class. That's really the essence of flake fantastic teaching and learning. But in this case to using an actual game as you just described as a As not only an art form but as a educational tool and I think that's where at if people are listening to the pocket, they're like, I never could see a video game. You know as this kind of thing where it could be used for those purposes but my goodness it in so many cases it can and the kids. Relate to it to. Dismiss. It's more like, Hey, yeah, I wanNA talk about that more. Let's. Let's discuss that then. It becomes then the conversation about them not the game anymore which is exactly the kind of stuff that we. are expected as educators to to to that to check in with their kids, but it's Zuber plex difficult to do. I don't know if there's a question there but. I was hanging onto your every word Glenn Because I. Agree One hundred percent, and I think it comes down to the truth that we can use games to text I. Think we've always been talking about how it's just a different form of media, and like you said, if that's what if we're able to reach our kids. Better that way that's you know that's where we need to be be be be providing an opportunity. You know it doesn't mean we're not going to study literature, but it's it's a very valid form of. Of Narrative that you know in text that. And Art that should be. Really leveraged in that way for sure. So Steve, if people want to connect with you that aren't already connected with you on social media or they want to learn more about you in the things that you're actually working on because there's so many amazing things that you just. talked our about how can they connect with you? So absolutely. Twitter I mean that's my my second home or my first time. It's at Mr under like Mr Underscore Isaacs. I S. CS on twitter. Awesome thanks so much. Ben, thank, you guys always good to be here. Thanks for listening to on education. My name is Glenn Irvine by Co host is Mike Washburn on education is part of the on podcast media network. You can listen to this show and many others by great educators like Monica, Burns, Mike Mattera Tissue Richmond, and many more visiting on podcast media DOT COM. WanNa get in touch with US check out our website on education PODCAST DOT com. You can tweet us at on Education Pod Mike is at Mr Washburn on twitter and I can be found on twitter at herbs. Spanish. You can find this on facebook by visiting FACEBOOK DOT com slash on education pod. We're also on instagram at on Education Pod. If you're enjoying the show and think others were to, we would be thrilled if you shared it with them, please leave us a rating or review an apple podcasts or Google podcasts. Would you leave a rating? A gives a rankings boosts. This helps others discover the show we want to thank our presenting sponsor participate for supporting US CHECKOUT PARTICIPATE DOT COM to learn more about them. 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