Blue Ribbon Educator Cecilia Brear Shares Her Passion for Code
This spring, we invited educators to apply to be a Tynker Blue Ribbon Educator. Out of hundreds of applications, Cecilia Brear was among the small group chosen for her dedication to making computer science for all a reality. The Blue Ribbons are building the community of Tynker teachers in a number of ways throughout they year, including having weekly Twitter chats using the #Tynkerchat hashtag. Cecilia will be moderating next week’s #Tynkerchat. Here’s a little more about Cecilia:
Cecilia Brear is a K-12 Instructional Technologist and STEAM Educator. She works as a Computer Systems Specialist for the San Ramon Unified School District in San Ramon CA. She is also the program manager and an instructor for the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation’s STEAM Enrichment Program (@srvef_imagineer). She is a Tynker Blue Ribbon Educator and a Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Educator. You can reach her on Twitter at @mrsbrear.
This week, Cecilia shared her passion for coding and lifelong learning with us:
1. You recently became a Tynker Blue Ribbon Educator. What’s your main driver for wanting to learn more about teaching computer science?
My interest in CS education stems from my passion for educational technology. I love that there are so many technology resources and tools available to educators. I have continually found that technology gives me the opportunity to elevate my classroom instruction and allows for a richer learning experience for my students. I am also constantly encouraged to see the impact technology has on my own children’s education and how collaboration tools and digital resources are the new norm. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where innovation is driving so much change and industries are evolving because of technology and coding. I feel the impact of technology in every aspect of my life and it’s hard for me ignore the need as an educator to keep up. Innovation must happen in our classrooms, and CS education is driving so much of this.
2. Do you think that teachers of the 21st century can survive without community? How has community influenced your practice?
Community is so important. It’s the collaboration of ideas and the sharing of experiences that allows us to grow as professionals. I help classroom teachers every day integrate technology into their curriculum. By connecting with one another, we are empowering each other. Sometimes we just need reassurance that we are moving in the right direction. Other times, it’s the sharing of expertise that amplifies the impact we have on our students’ learning opportunities. I find that the bigger and broader my community is, the more successful I am. Social media has been key in helping me find my unique professional network.
3. What’s the most influential piece of media you’ve seen in the past year? (video, blog, article, etc.)
As an educator, I love finding ways to help students make the connection between what we are teaching in the classroom and life outside of school. I work in a middle school and have three teenagers of my own, and in this world, Snapchat is big. In doing a quick internet search, I found an interesting video about the science behind Snapchat. To me this speaks volumes to the importance of understanding computer programming and what impact it is having, not just on pop culture, but on so many aspects of our daily lives.
4. How do we help teachers plan for an “automated” future?
We hear that robots are going to take over all the jobs. I believe they will take over many, but it’s important for us to be reminded that automation is happening because consumers demand faster, cheaper, better products. Innovation occurs when there is a demand for it. To me, this is exciting and should be embraced. We are seeing technology drive a major shift in what the job skills of the future look like. As educators, we need to embrace this change and connect with industry leaders who are driving this and tap into their resources. We need to find ways to connect with companies that value a strong education system. I believe automation will be a significant job creation opportunity, but specialized skill will be needed to participate.
5. What’s your advice to teachers who have trouble planning beyond next year?
Work on building a strong, supportive community. Connect with educators and industry leaders who can inspire you and guide you. It’s important to work with other educators on your campuses and in your districts, but don’t be afraid to use social media to connect with a broader educational community.
Thanks again Cecilia! We’ll look for you on Twitter at @mrsbrear
Join Cecilia as she moderates #Tynkerchat for us this Monday.