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Coffee With A Geek Podcast

Coffee With A Geek Podcast

By Andrew Wheelock
Talking edtech with amazing leaders
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Coffee with a Geek Interview with Bryna Moritz

Coffee With A Geek Podcast

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jennifer Vandiver
As many of you know, I've been fascinated with the potential of Virtual Worlds for educational purposes.  Once a proud member of ISTE's Virtual Environments Network PLN (PLN no longer exists!) I have been an advocate for virtual environment possibilities.  As of yet, there has been limited progress towards moving forward on a large scale.  Recently there has been renewed interest in virtual world education specifically in Second Life with the Virtual Worlds Education Consortium.  (VWEC) This group has been creating an Education Hub in this virtual world. I thought it would be a great time to chat with Jennifer Vandiver who is doing research on virtual world education for her Doctoral Dissertation.  Here is our interview conducted in Second Life.   A little bit about Jennifer in her own words.  "I currently live in Indiana and work as an adjunct psychology professor for Ivy Tech Community College where I teach mostly introduction to psychology courses. My degree background includes psychology, sociology, and philosophy. I am currently working on my doctorate in educational psychology. I have been a resident in Second Life for nearly 9 years and have been fascinated by all aspects of the virtual world. My dissertation is interested in the experiences of educators who teach in Second Life at the post-secondary level."
June 15, 2022
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Melissa Dean
I had a fantastic interview with Math Teacher Melissa Dean.  I came across Melissa on Twitter, when one of her former students Tweeted about how much Melissa inspired her.  Twitter can still offer positive feedback so I thought it was worth checking out Melissa's Twitter Feed.  I wasn't disappointed.  Melissa is a powerhouse classroom teacher but also is a Podcaster, blogger, and author.  Her book, Unravel School: Reimagine Classrooms, Reinvent Assessment, & Revive Learning is now available on Amazon and other book sellers.  I really enjoyed chatting with Melissa about Math and More. A little about Melissa in her own words:  Melissa is a grade 7 teacher in Southeastern Manitoba, Canada. She has been a classroom educator for 20 years, spanning grades 1 to 12. She is passionate about assessment and grading reform, and mathematics education. In her spare time, she enjoys drinking coffee, running, writing and baking sourdough bread. To Connect with Melissa: Twitter:  @dean_of_math Instagram @dean_of_math Website:
April 04, 2022
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Silky Vyas
I'm so honored to have Silky Vyas as my first guest of the 2022 year.  I've been following Silky for a long time on Twitter and she shares fantastic ideas and resources.  Her background is incredibly extensive so it was a real challenge to keep my interview under 30 minutes.  However, she has a great way of crystallizing big topics into more manageable parts.   An asset for any teacher. A little about Silky in her own words:   Silky Vyas is presently the EY and PYP ICT Coach and Head of Information Services at Shen Wai International School, Shenzhen. She is one of the board members of SENIA (Special Education Network and Inclusion Association) Shenzhen Chapter. She is an ISTE Certified Educator and has more than thirteen years of teaching experience in International Baccalaureate schools, she collaborates with teachers to integrate technology and information fluency skills into the IB curriculum She coaches the classroom and specialist teachers to use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences for all students and empower them as independent learners. She is passionate about new technology tools for making teaching and learning compelling, relevant, and with rigor. She is also keen on exploring the uses of immersive and assistive technology tools that are meaningful, engaging, and interactive. Follow Silky:  Twitter @silkyjay
February 08, 2022
Cofffee with a Geek Interview with Al Kingsley
This month's guest comes from across the Atlantic Ocean! Al Kingsley ( offers some of his amazing insight into his 30 year journey of Edtech expertise. In this episode, I ask Al about his vast experience, his recent presentation at the NYSCATE 21 Conference, and his new book, "My Secret #EdTech Diary". Al's insight carries across the miles and translates into almost any educational enterprise. A little bit about Al in his own words:  Al Kingsley has spent the last 30 years in the EdTech space and 20 of those as a school trustee and governor. He is Group CEO of NetSupport Ltd, an internationally acclaimed EdTech vendor, and has lived and worked in both the UK and US. His latest book, My Secret #EdTech Diary, released in July under the imprint of John Catt Educational Publishers. He is an expert in digital strategy, security, and education technology." Al's vast experience and kind hearted analysis is so refreshing in today's fast paced Edtech landscape.  What an honor to chat with him.
December 02, 2021
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jim Manly
It's a huge honor and a pleasure to interview a longtime friend Jim Manly, the Superintendent of Kipp NYC.  Jim and I grew up together in Fredonia New York, and after high school we went our separate ways.  Both of us took a circuitous route to education.  This is a great way to connect across the miles! Jim was featured in the 2010 movie, The Lottery when he was a Principal for a Success Academy Charter school in NYC.  I'll ask him about his journey through education, his lessons learned over the years through his experiences and background, and we may even chat about "The good old days" of our youth!. A little about Jim and his background:  Jim Manly serves as Superintendent of KIPP NYC, a network public charter schools (18 schools as of summer 2021) in New York City. Jim came to KIPP NYC in 2015 with 30 years of experience in K-12 education. He previously worked with the national KIPP Foundation as the Senior Director of Instructional Leadership with KIPP Co-Founder, Dave Levin. From 2007 to 2014, Jim was the Founding Principal of Success Academy Harlem 2 Elementary, which became the top performing school, public or private, in Harlem District 5. He has an additional ten years of leadership experience as Principal of Manhattan Charter School, Assistant Director of Teaneck Community Charter School, and Executive Director of Teach for America in Washington, DC. Before entering educational leadership, Jim was a New York City public school teacher, earning Teacher of the Year in 1998 at M.S. 321X. Jim earned his B.A. in English from Union College and his Masters of Public Policy from The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard" Really enjoyed catching up with Jim and keeping track of his successes and vision for the future.
November 01, 2021
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Bryna Moritz
Bryna Moritz is a young and energetic Superintendent at Pine Valley Central School, in Western New York. A rural district, Bryna was a year into her superintendency when the Covid Pandemic hit. I ask Bryna about her vision of leadership during that trying time and her thoughts on moving forward into the future. A little about Bryna's background: After starting her education in Law, she soon discovered a passion for teaching. She received her Bachelors degree at SUNY Fredonia. She then got her first teaching job as a 4th Grade Teacher at Sherman Central School. She went on to have several administrative positions at Sherman ending with the K12 Principal. She is now in her 3rd year as Superintendent at Pine Valley. She has completed a circle from Kindergarten student to Superintendent at Pine Valley. Notable info:  Her Mother, Kim Moritz is also a superintendent and past guest on the Coffee with a Geek show. (She was my second interview!) Connect with Bryna: Twitter: HERE @brybooth
September 29, 2021
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Stevie Frank
Stevie is a really dynamic 5th grade teacher who puts podcasting to work with her students to create magical learning! I had a great conversation with her about her favorite cup of coffee, her podcasting work, and even her bucket list. A little about Stevie in her own words: Stevie Frank just finished her 12th year of teaching. She’s currently teaching 5th grade Humanities at Zionsville West Middle School. She’s department chair and one of the equity coaches for her school. Her passions include news literacy with critical thinking, social justice, and podcasting! Ways to Connect with Stevie:   Twitter:  @StevieFrank23  Youtube Version HERE Rumble Version HERE
August 23, 2021
Coffee with a Geek Interview with JaVonda Tucker
This month's guest is the ever inspirational JaVonda Tucker.  I started following her on Twitter and have really enjoyed reading her thoughtful comments and successful school strategies!  With her contagious optimism and vision I feel she is a school leader to watch!  I will ask her about her educational journey, her thoughts on leading through a pandemic, and her future goals and ideas. A little about JaVonda in her own words:  JaVonda Tucker is from Chesterfield County, Virginia. She is a graduate of Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Grand Canyon University. JaVonda holds degrees in Criminal Justice and Administration and Supervision. Currently, she is a middle school assistant principal with Dinwiddie County Public Schools. She is the proud mom of a son. How to follow JaVonda: Twitter:  @JaVondaTucker
July 10, 2021
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jamie Ellman
This Month  I was able to chat with another Tech Savvy History Teacher.  Jamie Ellman was recently showcased in Edtech Magazine discussing her favorite edtech tools for history.   I'm looking forward to chatting with her about a range of issues from her favorite tech tools and thoughts on education! A little bit about Jamie in her own words:  "As a Level III instructor/leader, I started my career in education in 1993. I have taught for 17 years, and am currently teaching US and World History at Johnson High School in Buda.  Last year, I taught AP US History and World Geography History at the best high school in New Mexico - nationally ranked, La Cueva High School. Prior to teaching at La Cueva, I taught 8th grade US History for six years at Eisenhower Middle School-- another one of New Mexico’s best schools. My first teaching experience was at Longmont High School in Colorado where I taught 9th & 10th grade English, Police Academy, World Geography, and multiple senior English electives. It was in this first job of mine where I began my involvement in curriculum and instruction design. In addition, I also hold a Master’s of the Arts in Teaching." Ways to Connect with Jamie Twitter: Website:
May 06, 2021
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jonathan Redeker
Great edtech interviews and commentary over a good cup of coffee... Coffee optional.   I had a great opportunity to chat with Technology Coordinator, Jonathan Redeker from Goshen Central Schools A little about Jonathan in his own words:  "Helping educators learn and grow is a passion which drives me to think differently, lead boldly, and grow continually.  The fast-paced, ever changing age of acceleration of our modern culture effects our young people in tremendous ways and I am inspired to help teachers and leaders reach students in new ways.  I consider myself an "educational disruptor" through my focus on using instructional technology, rethinking pedagogy, and implementing effective leadership strategies.  I believe that educational technologies, STEAM initiatives, and cross-curricular lessons can change the world and build empathetic young people.  Join me in moving from "best practices" to "next practices."   Ways to connect:  Twitter @jonredeker
April 16, 2021
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Alicia Blankeship
DATE:   February 13th, 2021 TIME:  9am Eastern As usual, my main source of interview inspiration comes from my social media feeds.  Especially Twitter.  This first interview of 2021 is no different.  I have been following Alicia Blankenship for quite some time and enjoy her thoughtful posts and analysis.  She is an "in the trenches" teacher so I really wanted to get her perspectives from field!   A little about Alicia in her own words:  A literacy educator who uses her education and experience to improve the literacy and skills of her students. She began her career teaching 2nd grade and has taught at the primary and secondary level. I really enjoyed hearing Alicia's thoughts on education, Literacy, and making a difference during a Pandemic.
February 15, 2021
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Dr. Sam Fecich
Scanning the amazing educators on Twitter always brings me to amazing educators.  Dr. Sam Fecich (@Sfecich) always brings some thoughtful posts and commentary.  I reached out to chat and was so happy to discuss the state of education, educational technology, and pre-service teacher prep.     A little about Sam in her own words:   Professor of education at Grove City College.    She is the Author of Edumagic a Guide for Preservice Teachers  Co author of Edumagic Shine on a guide for new teachers Host of the Edumagic podcast And she is a Pumpkin spice latte fan !
December 10, 2020
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Tim Needles
In time of trouble and strife, seek comforts and inspiration in the arts.  I had a great conversation with artist, educator, and author, Tim Needles.  I connected with Tim through ISTE's STEAM PLN and was amazed at his work and innovative ideas.     A little bit out Tim in his own words:   Tim Needles is an artist, educator and author of STEAM Power: Infusing Art Into Your STEM Curriculum. He teaches art/media at Smithtown School District, is a TEDx Talk speaker, and his work has been featured on NPR, in the New York Times, Columbus Museum of Art, Norman Rockwell Museum, Alexandria Museum of Art, Katonah Museum of Art, and Cape Cod Museum of Art. He’s the recipient of ISTE’s Technology in Action Award and Creativity Award, NAEA’s AET Outstanding Teaching Award, and The Rauschenberg Power of Art Award. He’s a National Geographic Certified Teacher, PBS Digital Innovator, an ISTE Arts & Technology and STEM PLN leader, NAEA ArtEdTech interest Group leader, and Adobe Creative Educator and Education Leader Emeritus.  He’s active on social media at @timneedles. @TimNeedles on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tiktok
October 29, 2020
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Rachelle Dene Poth
Coffee with a Geek first!  I am going to interview an amazing educator for the 2nd time!  Rachelle Dene Poth is an amazingly dynamic teacher, presenter, and author!  I'm going to ask her about her edtech adventures since the last time we chatted and discuss her new book, Chart a New Course:  A Guide to Teaching Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s World.  I'll also ask her about her ideas and thoughts regarding solutions for schools as we navigate through the challenges of a pandemic.    A little about Rachelle in her own words:  "Rachelle Dene is a Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology Teacher at Riverview Junior-Senior High School in Oakmont, PA. Rachelle is also an attorney with a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law and a Master’s in Instructional Technology. She is a Consultant and Speaker, owner of ThriveinEDU LLC Consulting. She serves as the President of the ISTE Teacher Education Network. Rachelle is the author of four books, ‘In Other Words: Quotes That Push Our Thinking,” “Unconventional Ways to Thrive in EDU” and “The Future is Now: Looking Back to Move Ahead,” Rachelle Dene’s latest book is with ISTE “Chart A New Course: A Guide to Teaching Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s World is now available. Follow Rachelle on Twitter @Rdene915 and on Instagram @Rdene915 . Rachelle has a podcast, ThriveinEDU available at"  How to connect with Rachelle: Twitter and Instagram: @Rdene915 Linked In: Blog: Podcast: Books:
June 06, 2020