Episode 081: Wendy Drexler, Chief Innovation Officer at ISTE

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In this episode of the Meet Education Project, I interview Wendy Drexler, Chief Innovation Officer at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). She shares her thoughts on personal learning environments, her work at ISTE, and also the upcoming ISTE Conference.

Guest Bio:

Wendy Drexler, Chief Innovation Officer at ISTEWendy Drexler, Ph.D., Ed.S., chief innovation officer, has 23 years of experience in education as an educator, leader and innovator in K-12 and higher education. She has taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Her corporate experience includes developing a proprietary learning management system as well as some of the first web-based training programs for global network sales at IBM and AT&T.

Prior to joining ISTE, she served as director of online development at Brown University, where she championed its first online and blended courses. She also launched Exploring Engineering, one of the first massive open online courses (MOOCs) for high school students. Previously, Wendy coordinated the research effort associated with the Title II Enhancing Education through Technology (EETT) grant across 23 school districts in Florida. She also serves on the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) 21st Century Task Force and consults with schools on the design of blended and online learning programs.

Wendy has been an ambassador for the effective integration of education technology throughout her career and ongoing affiliation with ISTE. Her views about technology as a catalyst for connecting and empowering students and teachers to transform learning echo ISTE’s vision and mission. Her wide-ranging experience, knowledge and dedication position her well to advance the organization’s innovation efforts.

Wendy holds a doctorate in education technology from the University of Florida; an Ed.S. in curriculum and instruction, education technology, from the University of Florida, Gainesville; and a Master of Arts in secondary social studies education from the University of South Florida in Tampa. Her doctoral research focused on student use of web 2.0 tools to construct personal learning environments.

Show Notes:

(01:48) Wendy’s background

(06:27) Since your role with IBM and AT&T when you were developing those first e-learning modules, do you believe that things have changed as far as how students have been prepared for those types of jobs or 21st century workforce type jobs? Has there been an improvement, and what sort of improvement?

(08:55) What is your definition of an effective learning environment?

(11:17) What I really like about the concept of this ecosystem is that it really teaches students to be entrepreneurial in their thinking and to allow them to dig deep into the subject matter that they’re passionate about like self-directed learning. Do you find the same benefits in those? Why are these things important?

(13:25) The effective use or implementation of these personal learning environments. Where have you seen it done most effectively, and how can it be replicated, if it can be? And under what circumstances?

(17:45) How do we get to the point where we can be able to leverage this powerful approach to giving students autonomy over what they’re learning and how they’re doing it, in public schools? Are you bullish or bearish on the ability to open up in public schools to do this type of thing?

(21:44) On blended learning and personalized learning. Why do you think these terms should die or be rebranded at some point?

(26:51) What are the one or two innovations that are really getting you excited that you’re really passionate about that the organization (ISTE) is up to?

(30:55) What book has most influenced you and why?

How People Learn by Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning

The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda

(32:21) What about documentaries, do you watch them? And if so, what’s your favorite?

Foo Fighters Sonic Highways

Roger and Me by Michael Moore

(33:00) If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?

John Dewey


Twitter: https://twitter.com/wendydrexler

ISTE website: http://iste.org

ISTE Conference 2015 on June 28th – July 1st in Philadelphia

2015 ISTE Charter Bus Trip by the Highlander Institute & RISTE:

Personal Learning Environments in K-12 – K-12 Handbook on Blended and Online Learning

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