Get to know a CBE

Professional Development with CBE of the Month Bradford Harris

Posted by cemignano on

Please welcome April’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the Month, Bradford Harris, to the blog! Bradford join us as a CBE in early 2015 and continues to inspire us as an educator. Read on to learn about his inspiration in becoming a teacher and how he’s encouraging others to get on board with BrainPOP!

What grade(s) do you teach? Subject area?
I’m an Instructional Technology Specialist at Eckert Intermediate in Houston,TX. My role is to integrate technology tools and applications to all subject areas in order to help teachers engage students and grow in their learning.

How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for over 10 years. My first year was teaching English Language Arts, and then I taught Science and Social Studies which are now my two favorite subjects. I have been an Instructional Technology Specialist now for 5 years, which has now helped me understand how to not only blend technology into content areas, but make all content areas more engaging.

What inspired you to go into education?
My mother was an educator and at first I wanted no part of it. I wanted to do something in radio and television. It wasn’t until my own kids were born that education fell into my lap. People would come out to help my daughter with her speech and fine and gross motor skills, and I would ask questions. I loved seeing the joy in my kids when they accomplished and learned something new, and constantly applied it daily in their lives. It was because of my kids that I went back to get my teaching certification.

Which CBE class were you a part of? What do you like about being a CBE?
I was part of the TCEA CBE Class of 2015. What I like about being a CBE is that I get a chance to collaborate with other CBEs across the country. I also can get a chance to get a first look at new things that are coming down the pipe with BrainPOP. I, along with other CBEs, can evaluate and give feedback to the company to let them know what teachers think.

What is one of the most memorable projects you’ve done with your class using BrainPOP resources?
One of the most memorable projects that I have done with my class was to provide training for other teachers on how to use BrainPOP. We provided sessions where we would focus on one topic such as creating quizzes, or Make-a-Map. I have helped plan a day of BrainPOP with a teacher where their students were learning about the 5 kingdoms of living organisms in science. We made a big deal out of it by posting a sign to the door and having the students go to the computer lab to go through the BrainPOP lesson. My teacher enjoyed just being a facilitator and letting the students learn at their own pace.

How has BrainPOP impacted a specific student (or group of students)?
Since I’m a trainer for the teachers, they are more my students. Showing BrainPOP to my teachers has impacted the way that they instruct their students. Even at the surface level, they show a movie and pause to discuss what Tim and Moby are talking about. They then show it again to check for understanding. I see teachers creating their own quizzes as well to create their own content.

How has becoming a CBE impacted you?
Being a CBE has changed the way I look at all EdTech tools. Because of BrainPOP, I look at how any EdTech tool can be implemented in instruction. Does it engage the teacher, student, and is easy to create and implement? Can it give out grades and save teachers time?  These are some of the things I look at when I evaluate a new tool. BrainPOP is ranked very high on the list and I often compare other tools with their standards. Because I am a CBE, I guess I have been dubbed the preacher of BrainPOP. Everytime I present at conferences and have a chance to talk about BrainPOP, I guess I am always preaching the gospel of it. I always talk about how it will change your life and how much of a blessing it is to teachers. It truly makes an impact in they way you teach your kids.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to education, technology, and your approaches to teaching?
I am passionate about teaching with education technology because it is always changing. It grows from day to day, month to month, and year to year. You have to be on top of it and you should never stop learning. I love that I get to learn and share new things, not with just the people on my campus or district, but from all over the world. I have made so many connections with people by joining groups like the CBEs and my PLN (Professional Learning Network).

What’s on your BrainPOP wish list?
I have a ton. I would love to do more animation with BrainPOP and I would love to be able to create and animate my own BrainPOP character.