For our first #CourageousConversations in EdTech Broadcast for 2021, we kicked it off by inviting educators from Nearpod+Flocabulary and Buncee. Dr. Ilene Winokur and Victoria Thompson have worked closely with Buncee and I have been working with Nearpod+Flocabulary for years. In previous broadcasts, Victoria shared about how we can get caught up in getting “free” resources from different sites that are not vetted, or checked, to see if they are safe for all students, especially our Students of Color or those who have historically been marginalized. We invited our friends from these amazing companies because we know a huge part of their mission is to be inclusive and celebrate all people 365 days of the year. However, they also have resources specifically for this month, Black History Month.
Af the beginning of the broadcast, our three guests, Eda Gimenez, Mervin Jenkins, and Quinae Jackson talked about why anti-racist education was a personal mission. As People of Color, they shared the challenges they faced growing up without representation in curriculum and in daily life. They have each strived to do better for students and teachers coming after them. Their passion for purposeful change shows in the way they lead and represent their respective companies as a genuine way of transforming education. Both companies use graphics and lessons that represent people from many different backgrounds and ways of life. They lean on and trust educator feedback and community to continuously grow in their learning and teaching platforms.
Dr. Ilene mentioned how it’s refreshing to see people from the Middle East being represented positively as she uses Buncee, as she has lived and worked in Kuwait for 36 years! I can testify that it was using Flocabulary that helped transform me into an educator who denied being racist to someone who regularly reflects on anti-racist practices. The best thing about Nearpod is that if you don’t know where to start, they have high-quality lessons ready to be implemented immediately. Both companies have made it so easy for educators to learn even more as they go, and Victoria noted how they are both student-centered companies, which is always part of best practices! Both Buncee and Nearpod+Flocabulary help educators celebrate and teach about People of Color, social emotional learning, and provide for future ready skills.
If you are new to Buncee or Nearpod+Flocabulary, they have made it very easy for educators to embrace anti-racist education and even start Black History Month off with real momentum. You can sign up for a free trials with Buncee and Flocabulary, and if you use my Nearpod PioNear code, you can get three months free of the gold edition, which includes these lessons. Just go to www.nearpod.com/redeem and use my code NP-MelodyMcAllister!
Events to Look For:
Nearpod Camp Engage & Weekly #NearpodChat
Buncee continuously has live trainings every week and demo lessons!
Both companies (Nearpod acquired Flocabulary about two years ago) also have amazing Ambassador communities on Facebook and Twitter! Not to mention you can DM any one of us and we will get you headed into the right direction for any of these resources!
Black History Month is Just a Beginning
Like Quinae Jackson mentioned in our broadcast, “Black History is American History.” She even reminded us that Black History is for all kids of all colors and backgrounds. Mervin Jenkins reminded us that learning how to be anti-racist is not easy. Victoria Thompson reminded us that we are not looking for perfection, just a place to start and grow, while infused with grace along the way. As we start this new decade with a new president and hope that we will get the Coronavirus under control, we need each other so much more. Eda Gimenez shared how when we miss voices we are missing opportunties to learn. Finding a way to celebrate the innovations and creativity of People of Color, while also battling constant adversity, will teach us all how to move forward, together. That is the hope for our all of us and why we will continue to have courageous conversations about race in edtech!