On this episode of Blending In, I’m chatting with Bryce Bovee, middle school science teacher, business owner, and curriculum developer who is currently serving students at Dartmouth Middle School. He is passionate about blending technology into every aspect of the classroom and believes strongly that proper use of it can create a more effective and equitable learning environment. Bryce hopes to show educators that implementing technology into their classrooms is not complicated; simple and consistent use of a few key tools can radically transform the classroom for the better.
In our chat today, Bryce started off our discussion by explaining how he ended up transitioning out of the medical field into education by blending in his love for science and his passion for helping people! Bryce, like other educators who have been on the podcast, stressed how he prioritizes building healthy relationships with kids more than anything else in his classroom. His tangible advice to teachers who struggle with building relationships with students is to ask SEL-type questions and to listen to the interactions among the students to understand the current culture. Also, like other educators that have been on the podcast, Bryce explained how PearDeck helps him provide a more equitable learning environment for his students because the tool enables him to meet students right where they’re at during live instruction. He utilizes his second screen to see how student's are answering in real time and he allows this information to inform his next instructional moves.
Specifically to Bryce’s science content, he talks about the simulations he’s able to utilize to help his students really understand and visualize the topics he’s teaching. Outside of the simulations in our district adopted curriculum, he pulls high quality sims from PhET by the University of Colorado Boulder.
Bryce discusses how he treats his lesson design like a recipe that incorporates specific ingredients and steps to ensure that students are successful in meeting their learning goals. He consistently uses Google Slides as a lesson builder and incorporates the following “ingredients” into his typical daily lesson:
Hmmm Question (SEL question)
Content Activity/Task/Lab (etc.)
Closing activity (formative assessment to inform next instructional steps)
Bryce also stresses the “magic” of embedding timers into his Google Slides to keep students on track and progressing through lesson.
Admittedly, technology in the classroom does not come without challenges, so Bryce discusses how he handles it when things don’t go as planned and how he prepares for these types of situations by having a “back-up” or “Plan-B” for when the tech fails us.
Bryce’s advice is this: “Consistency is crucial!” He says to build classroom and lesson structure with consistent routines and procedures using a few tools that you know work well, and that is the recipe for success! Bryce's top three tools (PearDeck in Google Slides, Phet Simulations, and basic digital timers) help him stay consistent and engaging for his students to give them a high quality learning experience in his classroom.