Page 6 - Scene Magazine 45-07 July 2020
P. 6

  Did You Know?
     parents each week during the Corona virus shut down? I spoke with Daniel Bowen, kindergarten teacher at Fremont International Academy, and the person who helps other teachers learn how
to not just “add technology” to the classroom, but how the students can benefit from their virtual experiences now and into the future. His formal title is innovation coach. “I got into teaching because when I was in school I had teachers who helped me through some rough spots in my life,” Daniel told me. “And I just wanted to give my students that same experience.”
innovation coach to other teachers, Daniel is taking courses through Central Michigan University towards a Master’s Degree in Learning, Design, and Technology. Thankfully with Daniel’s full life the courses are online and he has the option of watching
Daniel is a Michigan native who attended and graduated from Ferris State University, left the state to have
a couple adventures, a year in South Korea teaching, and seven years in Alaska where he taught school, lived in an isolated village, met his future wife, Arin (also from Michigan), and when they moved back to Michigan they had three children, Ethan (11), Zachary
the weekly virtual class meeting via YouTube. “There’s just no way I could have completed the course any other way if it wouldn’t have been available online,” Daniel told me.
(3), and Hannah (1). “I just wanted to come home to Michigan so when I saw the opening for a kindergarten teacher, I applied,” he said. “I was so excited
“My principal told me about the courses through CMU and said it was exactly what I would need for my new job as innovation coach
to be coming home to Michigan!” In addition to his role as a teacher and
to teachers,” Daniel said “And the school system will help pay the tuition.” Because 2020 is a unique year as school schedules go Daniel said his goal for the teachers is to
Did You Know that the Battle Creek Public Schools asked their school teachers to meet virtually with their students and/or
feel comfortable when introducing technology to the students but to use the technology as a focus of learning and not just a different tool in the classroom. “Many teachers use tried and true techniques in the classroom that they’ve seen work in the past,” Daniel told me. “Now we want them not to use technology as a band aid in the classroom to keep the kids busy, but utilizing programs and applications that the students can learn to use for their future.”
A new term that students and teachers are learning is flexibility. Daniel explained what happened
in March 2020 when the schools
were closed, but the Battle Creek School System wanted their students to continue learning. Daniel began making packets for his students
that included a schedule that would remind the students of the classroom schedule; he set up virtual meetings
to talk individually with students and their parents; and he made sure all
his students had access to the internet through school sponsored Chrome books and HotSpots. “I believe in face-to-face education, especially
in kindergarten because that’s how students learn how to be social, and the rules of learning and sharing... right from the first day.” Daniel said. “Then suddenly it was all different and we had to learn how to not only teach a different way, but find a way to check in with the students and their families.” Daniel explained that even in the classroom he breaks students into small groups, so that stayed the same online and gave him the opportunity
to visit with the students about their needs.
Daniel and his family just returned from a camping trip in Tennessee when we talked. He and Arin also enjoy kayaking, in fact that was their newest investment and they are avid hikers and, well, anything outdoors. If you’re trying to reach him this summer, be patient it might be nap time for the two youngest and he’s sneaking time to prepare for the upcoming school year!
Daniel Bowen
T. R. Shaw Jr. Co-Founder / CEO / 269-209-5555 cell / Kathy Shaw Co-Founder / President / 269-209-9719 cell /

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