Educational technology platforms continue to provide amazing tools for teacher and student use, but what happens when the instructional content we provide our students is just as powerful, relevant and up-to-date as the tools themselves?

This episode features two educational leaders from Montgomery County, PA and our consortium partner, Newsela. Our panel discussion highlights the need to prioritize social-emotional learning and equity in the coming school year, how executing these priorities requires intentional planning, and how powerful EdTech tools, like Newsela, are paving the way for teachers to utilize their talents with a focus on the students, not just content creation and curation.

00:00 – Start 01:09 – Panel Introductions 03:43 – The Modern Classroom 05:07 – Question 1: What are the district priorities for the post-pandemic classroom? 07:47 – Transitioning Back to a Progressive Environment 13:53 – How Content and Tools Support the Modern Classroom 16:26 – Question 1 Wrap-Up: Tools as a Springboard to Learning 19:09 – Question 2: How is your district prioritizing SEL for the coming school year? 20:02 – Beginning the Year Differently 21:55 – Making SEL Organic: The School/District Perspective 26:35 – Making SEL Organic: The Provider/IU Lens 30:47 – Question #3 (final): What practices should we move on from? 31:31 – Q3A1: The Collaborative Spirit 33:17 – Q3A2: Continue to Advance the Curriculum Model 35:15 – Bonus Q: How Has The Power of Newsela Been Realized by the District? 35:50 – Norristown: Aligning District Curriculum to Meet the Needs of the Moment 39:45 – What To Look for in EdTech Platforms/Providers 41:19 – Shoutout to Educators, Leaders, and Support Staff Everywhere!

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Brandon Langer serves as the Program Administrator of Instructional Technology at MCIU where he oversees the Montgomery Virtual Program and supports the integration of instructional technology in the Office of Professional Learning. As a former teacher and an instructional coach, Brandon has conducted numerous professional development sessions centered around technology applications and integrating student-centered instruction into the classroom. He has also worked closely with fine and performing arts teachers throughout the northeast to create and advocate for arts programs and modernize arts assessment practices. His passion for student success is grounded in his belief that teachers, not the computer, are the most powerful asset in the classroom today.

Brandon is the host of the OPL Podcast from MCIU and has earned a Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Delaware and a Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Arkansas State University. He is a regular participant in many online PLN Twitter chats and can be followed @BrandonLanger.