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Transforming Learning by CBD

90 EpisodesProduced by Communications by DesignWebsite

Communications by Design (CBD) is an education technology consulting company devoted to supporting teachers' efforts to transform teaching and learning. This podcast is hosted by our team of instructional and technology integration coaches. Find more and connect with us immediately at cbdconsulting.… read more

90 Episodes | 2018 - 2020

Remote Learning: 4 Principles and Strategies to Help

March 24th, 2020


The need for remote learning in the face of school closures and indefinite social distancing is greater than ever. But what does it look like? How do …

How Do We Teach Critical Thinking?

February 3rd, 2020


Teaching skills effectively is an ongoing challenge for educators of all levels. A large part of the challenge stems from the confusion of defining the skill and determining what it actually looks like in the classroom. …

How can we motivate students?

January 10th, 2020


Posing the question of what to do about the ongoing epidemic of under-motivated students, the Communications by Design team of instructional coaches posed the question to a number of compelling West Michigan educators. …

How does relationship grow empathy? with David Theune, Fulbright Scholar

October 30th, 2019


You heard him first on episode 22 discussing his work to grow empathy in students by sharing student stories. David Theune has now returned from the …

What is the purpose of K-12 education? w/ Tracy, Dave, & Luke

September 30th, 2019


We asked 3 leading educators what they thought about teaching and learning and the purpose of the education experience. Listen here to the insightful …

085: Going Gradeless...and It's Working! with Becky Malaski and Liz Stark

May 6th, 2019


Laingsburg, Michigan teachers Becky Malaski and Liz Stark were tired of the “grading game” and wondered if their students’ grades really reflected their learning.  So, they ditched grades! Now, students work harder than …

084: Leveled Assessments with Maggie Edison

April 29th, 2019


Maggie Edison teaches high school math in East Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She became frustrated when students would leave questions on assessments …

083: Transforming School Culture with Dr. Christina Podraza

April 22nd, 2019


How do we tell the story of the great things happening in our classrooms?  Dr. Christina Podraza, an assistant principal in Elmhurst, Illinois, shares how she celebrates teachers and students with the world beyond the …

082: The Student Internship Experience with Tasha Candela

April 15th, 2019


Tasha Candela ( and @bethetigger) started a student internship program at Lake Shore High School four years ago with just three …

081: Teaching STEM through Design with Mike Budziak

April 8th, 2019


Michael Budziak is a K-5 STEM teacher in Gibraltar, Michigan. He shares the process he uses to foster design, engineering, technology, and …

080: Create a Classroom Makerspace! with Dayna Cantu

April 1st, 2019


 *Don't miss your chance to win a gift card by sharing a challenge from your classroom (there's a chance we will feature it on an upcoming episode!). …

079: Genius Hour with Megan Scalise

March 25th, 2019


Megan Scalise is a 4th grade teacher in Gibraltar, Michigan who implements genius hour with her students. She and her students share the what, how, and why of genius hour, plus the challenges and successes they’ve …

078: Deeper Learning in a Workshop Model with Nick DeNault

March 18th, 2019


Nick DeNault teaches math at Lake Shore High School in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.  In this episode, he talks with Erik about how he has shifted …

077: Socratic Seminar with David Vermeulen

March 11th, 2019


David Vermeulen teaches middle school social studies in Montague Area Public Schools--you will remember him from episode 63 on self-paced instruction

076: What's Next in EdTech with Richard Byrne

March 4th, 2019


Richard Byrne is a successful edtech blogger at  In this episode, he shares his story and philosophy of educational …

075: Making Online PD Successful with Scott Ely

February 25th, 2019


Scott Ely, Curriculum Director at Spring Lake Public Schools, shares how he provides choice, flexibility and unique collaboration opportunities for …

074: Student-driven PBL in Santiago, Chile with Joe VanderZee

February 18th, 2019


Joe VanderZee is a teacher in Santiago, Chile.  He shares some differences between the U.S. and Chilean educational systems and his experiences with student-driven, interdisciplinary project-based learning. 

Connect …

073: Student-Led Harkness Discussions with Deb Mertz

February 11th, 2019


*Don't miss your chance to win a gift card by sharing a challenge from your classroom (there's a chance we will feature it on an upcoming episode!). Call 616-965-6606 and leave us a message.* 

Yes, deeper learning …

072: Learning First, Technology Second with author Liz Kolb

February 4th, 2019


 *Don't miss your chance to win a gift card by sharing a challenge from your classroom (there's a chance we will feature it on an upcoming episode!). …

071: The Power of Coaching with Julie Hoehing

January 28th, 2019


*Don't miss your chance to win a gift card by sharing a challenge from your classroom (there's a chance we will feature it on an upcoming episode!). …

070: Living Student-Centered with Dayna Cantu

January 21st, 2019


*Don't miss your chance to win a gift card by sharing a challenge from your classroom (there's a chance we will feature it on an upcoming episode!). Call 616-965-6606 and leave us a message.*

Dayna Cantu is a 5th grade …

069: Rethinking Education w/ Melody Arabo, 2014-15 MTOY

January 14th, 2019


*Don't miss your chance to win a gift card by sharing a challenge from your classroom (there's a chance we will feature it on an upcoming episode!). Call 616-965-6606 and leave us a message.*

Melody Arabo is the …

068: Community Engagement Makes it Real w/ Carrie Moeggenberg

January 7th, 2019


*Don't miss your chance to win a gift card by sharing a challenge from your classroom (there's a chance we will feature it on an upcoming episode!). Call 616-965-6606 and leave us a message.*

Carrie Moeggenberg is an …

067: Ideas to Transform Music Education w/ Jeff West

December 31st, 2018


Jeff West is a blogger, podcaster, and band teacher with Lake Shore Public Schools. Erik caught up with Jeff to ask how technology influences music …

066: Leading by Modeling w/ Pat Donohue

December 24th, 2018


You heard Pat Donohue in episode 60 ( ) where he discussed Standards-Based Grading. Clearly an administrator who willingly embraces …

065: Train Students' Attention through Mindfulness with Cheryl Blackington

December 17th, 2018


Mindfulness is a topic of conversations in many aspects of society today. In the classroom, the idea of mindful students holds great appeal (for all …

064: Do your students design the school lunch menu? w/ Jen Rowe

December 10th, 2018


Jen Rowe ( ) teaches family consumer sciences in Ludington Area Schools. Taking authenticity seriously, Jen and her students embarked …

063: Self-Paced Instruction w/ David Vermeulen

December 3rd, 2018


David Vermeulen ( ) teaches middle school in Montague Area Public Schools. Erik and David discuss his efforts to teach in a …

062: 5 Key Beliefs and Student Motivation w/ Dave Stuart Jr.

November 28th, 2018


(Subscribe to our monthly digest! )

You heard him on episode 34 discussing his most recent book, These 6 Things ( ), …

061: How to be a Happier Parent w/ KJ Dell'Antonia

November 26th, 2018


KJ Dell'Antonia is an author, blogger, and New York Times column editor. For this episode, Pete interviews KJ about her book How to Be a Happier …

060: Standards Based Grading w/ Pat Donohue

November 19th, 2018


Pat Donohue is the principal at Kennedy Middle School in Lake Shore Public Schools. Erik and Pat discuss the experience of taking an entire building …

059: Cogen in the Classroom w/ Lis Smith

November 12th, 2018


(The elevateEDU digest is live! Subscribe before the next issue goes out: )

Lis Smith shares her journey through cogenerative …

058: Idea Slam! FutureMe, Plickers, Whooos Reading, and More!

November 7th, 2018


(Did you know we now have a monthly digest? Subscribe here: )

The latest idea slam from our team of instructional and tech …

057: Growing Teacher Leaders w/ Luke Wilcox, 2017-18 MTOY

November 5th, 2018


(Don't miss our monthly digest! )

Luke Wilcox is an accomplished and acclaimed educator, a fact confirmed by receiving the 2017-18 Michigan Teacher of the Year honors. Luke teaches mathematics at …

056: International Education w/ Kenichi Nozaki

October 29th, 2018


Kenichi Nozaki is one of those individuals not easily described in a word or phrase. His background includes education, international business, a …

055: PBL? Design Thinking? It All Starts with Empathy w/ Jeff Bush and Elaine Stiefel

October 22nd, 2018


Jeff Bush and Elaine Stiefel taught together at the Kent Innovation High School ( ). During this conversation, …

054: Engagement is the Word w/ the ShareMOEdu Podcast Hosts

October 16th, 2018


Maple Elementary ( ) administrators Dr. Rena Hawkins and Dr. Eric Carlin host ShareMoEdu ( ) and join Pete to discuss the impact of their podcasting efforts and …

053: The Reading Crisis & Dean Elizabeth Moje's Unique Perspective

October 8th, 2018


In episode 44, Pete interviewed Dean Elizabeth Moje of the University of Michigan's School of Ed. During that conversation, they discussed what Dean …

052: Gone Boarding - A HS Class Like No Other w/ Bill Curtis

October 3rd, 2018


Bill Curtis ( ) co-founded Gone Boarding ( ) in collaboration with high school students to provide an …

051: Ways School Should Look Like Games w/ Randy Fairfield

October 1st, 2018


Randy Fairfield ( and ) is an instructional coach from Pasco, Washington. Pete caught up with Randy virtually about some of his latest work and ideas, including his thoughts …

050: Positive Impact Projects w/ Todd Babiasz

September 26th, 2018


Todd Babiasz joins us once again (see episode 40 on Backchanneling) to talk with Erik about his leadership class and the incredible experience of his students' positive impact projects. Listen to Todd share with Erik …

049: The Amazing Culture Race w/ Pam Stuckey

September 24th, 2018


Pam Stuckey ( ) is a seasoned middle school teacher (North Rockford Middle School) who, even 30 years into her career, …

048: Perspective, Community, and Emotion w/ Brian Pickerd

September 19th, 2018


Brian Pickerd teaches high school world language at Rockford High School and supports the TESOL programs at Cornerstone University. Additionally, …

047: Teach Your Passions w/ Bridget Rieth

September 17th, 2018


Bridget Rieth teaches 5th grade at Breton Downs Elementary in East Grand Rapids. Along with an army of coworkers, students, and community members, Bridget oversees a literacy experience like none other. In this episode, …

046: Simple Ways to Demonstrate Learning w/ Katie Nethaway

September 12th, 2018


Katie Nethaway ( ) shared about flexible seating on episode 17 of this podcast. For this episode, Zach and Katie continue discussing some of her simple strategies to have students …

045: Differentiating Using Screencasts w/ Garth Trask

September 10th, 2018


Garth Trask ( or ) joins us once more, this time to discuss differentiation and screencasting. …

044: Teacher Training w/ University of Michigan School of Ed Dean Elizabeth Moje

September 5th, 2018


University of Michigan School of Education Dean Elizabeth Moje joins Pete in a discussion about teacher recruitment and retention and literacy …

043: TL Podcast Recap w/ the CBD Team

September 3rd, 2018


If you are just recently tuning in or have missed some content over the summer, this episode is a great way to catch you up on some of the interesting ideas that teachers have shared! Our team sat town together and …

042: Tech Integration Resources w/ Heather Gauck

August 29th, 2018


Heather Gauck is a K-3rd grade Resource Teacher in Grand Rapids Public Schools where she focuses heavily on the potential for technology to elevate …

041: Teaching Leadership Through Projects w/ Carson Ratliff

August 27th, 2018


Carson Ratliff ( ) teaches high school English and Leadership at West Michigan Aviation Academy. In this episode, Pete and …

040: Give Students Voice by Backchanneling w/ Todd Babiasz

August 22nd, 2018


Todd Babiasz ( and ) teaches social studies at Grand Blanc High School. Erik and Todd discuss …

039: Tips for Teachers: Find Passionate Peers w/ Leah Sajdak

August 20th, 2018


Leah Sajdak teaches English Language Arts at Sparta Middle School ( ). In this episode, CBD's Elaine and Leah discuss …

038: Wowville (As Cool as It Sounds!) w/ Christina Ostrander

August 15th, 2018


Christina Ostrander ( ) teaches 4th grade at Mason Elementary in Grand Blanc Community Schools. In an effort to make social …

037: Professional Collaboration Done Better w/ Katie and Dee

August 13th, 2018


Katie and Dee are both Lakeside Elementary teachers in Muskegon Public Schools. In this episode, Zach talks with Katie and Dee about their thoughts …

036: Gamifying 3rd Grade Social Studies with Mark Schlaudt

August 8th, 2018


Mark Schlaudt ( ) teaches 3rd grade at Roguewood Elementary in Rockford Public Schools. Mark and Erik discuss how a simple …

035: International Collaboration and More w/ Teresa Perles

August 6th, 2018


For episode 35, Pete talks with Teresa Perles, a teacher at Alpha and Omega school in Spain. Pete and Teresa first met at an education conference in …

034: These 6 Things with Dave Stuart, Jr.

August 1st, 2018


Dave Stuart, Jr. is an author, blogger, presenter, and high school social studies teacher who has devoted himself to fostering, as he describes, …

033: ClassroomScreen, Tour Builders, Gimkit w/ the CBD Team

July 30th, 2018


In this episode, the CBD team slams some interesting ideas for instructional technology. We hope you enjoy a few practical edtech tips!
For more or to …

032: Collaboration Screens with Marisa Thompson

July 25th, 2018


Marisa Thompson ( ) is an ELA teacher, PD instructor, and presenter in Southern California. Recently, Marisa developed a …

031: Tips for Changing Routines with Ellen Wiese

July 23rd, 2018


Ellen Wiese teaches special education in Godfrey-Lee Public Schools. Working with a CI student population often elevates certain kinds of challenges, …

030: 3 Active Vocabulary Strategies with Jasmine Ramahi

July 18th, 2018


Jasmine Ramahi teaches world languages at East Kentwood Public Schools. In this episode, Pete talks with Jasmine about the importance of …

029: GO LIVE! to Share Your Classroom with Garth Trask

July 16th, 2018


Garth Trask is a highly innovative 1st grade teacher at Jeffers Elementary in Spring Lake, MI. In this episode, Erik talks with Garth about the idea of live broadcasting classroom activities for others to see. All K-12 …

028: Leadership & Education w/ Angie Morgan, NYT bestselling author

July 11th, 2018


In this extended episode, Pete talks with leadership expert Angie Morgan, co-author of the New York Times Bestseller "Spark" as well as "Lead from the Front" (for more, visit ). Angie and Pete discuss …

027: Project-Based Learning for Math with Glenn and Bob

July 9th, 2018


Glenn Waddell and Bob Quinn ( and ) work with pre-service teachers at the University of Nevada Reno, supporting math and science teachers and efforts to integrate Project-Based …

026: Desmos, Guess Who, and HS Math with Mike Dodge

July 4th, 2018


As a high school math teacher, Mike Dodge ( ) has infused technology tools like Desmos in dynamic ways to enhance instruction …

025: A 5th Grade Research Project with Dean Meyer

July 2nd, 2018


Dean Meyer ( or ) teaches 5th grade at Laingsburg Elementary School. He also assists in …

024: LIVE from #ISTE18! Idea Slam with the CBD Team

June 27th, 2018


We bring this one to you from the main conference hall at the ISTE 2018 conference in Chicago! The CBD team shares insights and reflections about …

023: Screencasting Lessons & Assessments w/ LeAnn Knudsen

June 25th, 2018


LeAnn Knudsen teaches a split class of 4th and 5th grade students at Moon Elementary. In an effort to cope with not only a plethora of student needs, …

022: Elevate Empathy w/ David Theune, Fulbright Scholar

June 20th, 2018


David Theune teaches ELA at Spring Lake High School where he also launched the Elevate Empathy movement in the form of a book by that title and a …

021: Competency Is Not Enough with Amber Kasic

June 18th, 2018


Amber Kasic teaches world languages at Holland High School where she has invested herself in the work of fostering skills in her students beyond the …

020: Your Mess is Your Message project with Leah Sajdak

June 13th, 2018


Leah Sajdak teaches ELA at Sparta Middle School. Leah shares a project geared toward fostering empathy in deeper and more meaningful ways with her …

019: Mystery Hangouts w/ Jim Bowering and Kristen Vallimont

June 11th, 2018


Jim and Kristen teach 5th grade in Grand Blanc Community Schools. Both tried Mystery Hangouts for the first time this year and found the experience …

018: The Transforming Learning Journey with Renne Wyman

June 8th, 2018


Renne Wyman teaches special education at Sparta High School. Over the course of her conversation with Elaine, she shares countless strategies and …

017: Flexible Seating (not just bean bags) w/ Katie Nethaway

June 6th, 2018


Katie Nethaway teaches 3rd grade at Laingsburg Elementary and is diving deep into the world of student-centered learning, starting with the furniture and seating in her room. If you have considered flexible seating in …

016: Collaboration Beyond the Classroom w/ Lindsay & Valerie

June 4th, 2018


Lindsay and Valerie are Grand Blanc Community Schools teachers who found immense value in cross-building collaboration. Listen as Pete and Elaine ask …

015: CBD Team Idea Slam: Rewordify, Google Sites, and more!

June 1st, 2018


In this episode, the CBD team of instructional coaches (minus Elaine who was not able to attend) get together to share interesting technology tools …

014: Discussing Education with Tracy Horodyski, 2016-17 MTOY

May 30th, 2018


In a change of pace from our previous episodes, episode 14 is a more extended conversation with the 2016-17 Michigan Teacher of the Year, Tracy Horodyski. During the conversation, we discuss her experiences as TOY as …

013: A Student Feedback Strategy with Meggin Verduzco

May 23rd, 2018


Meggin Verduzco shares a simple but powerful feedback strategy that both creates opportunity for students to receive more feedback on their work and …

012: How 1st Graders Change the World with Jaci Jackson

May 21st, 2018


Jaci Jackson teaches 1st grade at Lakes Elementary in Rockford, MI. Her background includes both suburban and urban school districts, and whatever …

011: Pocket Poetry with Rebecca Hubbard

May 17th, 2018


Rebecca Hubbard teaches middle and high school English and Creative Writing at Frankfort High School. Together with several of her students, she …

010: Power Responses with Mark Wells

May 11th, 2018


Mark Wells is a high school band instructor who wanted the ability to give every student meaningful, personal feedback on his/her playing. His …

009: 2 Things Every Classroom Needs NOW

May 2nd, 2018


In this episode, we discuss two must-have elements of teaching and learning that represent a synthesis of innumerable conversations with teachers and years of supporting research and that every classroom can integrate …

008: Monday Morning Meetings with Dan Derksen

April 27th, 2018


In this episode of the Transforming Learning Podcast, Dan Derksen, a 5th grade teacher at Valley View Elementary School in Rockford, shares his …

007: 3 Things that Elevate Every Learning Experience

April 18th, 2018


In this episode, we share thoughts about high impact learning experiences and the 3 things that tend to occur in those memorable learning moments.

006: Flipgrid Fridays with Carmen Weigel

April 17th, 2018


In this episode, Carmen Weigel, a high school teacher in East Grand Rapids, MI, shares her Flipgrid Fridays strategy for her business classes. Check …

005: Students Do the Technology and Instructional Support

April 16th, 2018


In this episode, we share a strategy many school districts are beginning to implement that involves utilizing students for technology support and …

004: An Activity to Bring the Periodic Table to Life

April 16th, 2018


In this episode, we will share an idea that a middle school science teacher suggested to bring the study of the periodic table of elements to life. …

003: A New Take on Podcasting to Give Students Voice

April 16th, 2018


In this episode, we share an idea from Spring Lake High School teacher David Theune who uses podcasting as a way to combat bullying and cruelty in …

002: Teacher Collaboration and 3 ?s to Boost Conversations

April 16th, 2018


In this episode, we will share 3 questions that teachers can ask one another (or use for individual reflection) to maximize collaborative time and …

001: Welcome to the Transforming Learning Podcast!

April 16th, 2018


Communications by Design is an education technology consulting company devoted to supporting schools and teachers through innovative technology …

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