My name is Bea Leiderman, and I am interested in working to transform learning through the use of technology.
I have been working in education for two decades. I have taught Spanish and Technology to middle school and high school students. However, I’ve spent the bulk of my time in instructional technology coaching in public and private schools, working with teachers and administrators to ensure students are engaged in hands-on learning activities that make the most of available digital resources.
My experiences, both personal and professional, have led me to explore how learning happens, and I consider myself to be a social constructivist. I believe that learning is a social endeavor, and we make meaning of the world around us and expand our capabilities through interactions with fellow learners. I believe learning happens best when students have agency to explore and bring their own experiences and preferences into their formal education. I find inspiration in the work of researchers and practitioners who look at education as more than test scores. As I write blog posts here, I will share resources and my own thoughts on creativity, digital literacies, interdisciplinary pursuits, and new technology trends.
Working in instructional technology since 2005 means I have seen big changes in schools, from the days of once-a-week lab classes to 1:1 computing and remote learning. Regardless of the environment and the access students and teachers have, my focus has been on sound pedagogical practices grounded in research. My aim has always been the same: transform and elevate learning activities through the use of technology rather than simply substitute one tool for another. Effective use of technology allows students to engage deeply with content in creative and meaningful ways. Some activities I find particularly conducive to learning through deep engagement are video production, 3D modeling, and coding. These let students create, express their own understanding, and demonstrate their learning in an open-ended format.
During my free time, I am a macro photographer. I am especially interested in nature — insects, fungi, slime molds. However, I’ll photograph anything tiny that has a unique shape, texture, or color. This is a hobby I discovered by sheer coincidence in 2012, and it has truly transformed my life. From the way I approach housekeeping, grocery shopping, and gardening to how I spend my weekends and vacations, macro photography has made a difference everywhere. I have met fascinating people and made great friends. And, I have had the opportunity to explore how learning has happened and continues to happen for me. How do we approach new information as novices, and how do we approach information as experts? How do we catalog what we learn and why do we remember some things but not others? What resources are most useful? What help from experts is most useful? What feedback from experts increases our motivation? In short, being a learner helps me be a better teacher.
I’ve created this website to share and promote my work, and to continue my learning journey. I look forward to new projects and partnerships with educators everywhere.