Building the Bridge Podcast

Building the Bridge Podcast EdisonLearning

Students, educators, and parents have found themselves in a new learning environment as a result of the pandemic. EdisonLearning recognizes this situation and has answered this call to action by launching a podcast series called “Building the Bridge” featuring Dr. Wendy Oliver. In this series, Dr. Oliver addresses how we can create a path to successful learning in this unique era that has driven so many of us to rely on technology for education.

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Empowering Learners

Dr. Oliver, a highly qualified Tennessee teacher and administrator, has pioneered digital learning across multiple states and school districts. She has authored digital teaching standards and developed software that allows teachers to self-assess their own knowledge of digital instruction. No matter which hat she’s wearing, her goal is simple — to empower learners.

Meet Dr. Oliver

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Meet Dr. Oliver

Wendy Oliver Headshot

Dr. Wendy Oliver, a highly qualified TN teacher and administrator, has a diverse background in educational leadership and policy, to include teaching and leadership roles in both urban and suburban public schools as well as the private non-secular realm. Wendy also has executive level experience in the private sector.

Subsequent to her master’s degree, Dr. Oliver used her experience in change leadership to manage a grant funded, data-driven program that generated innovation and educational change in her school district. This foundation in change management coupled with her extensive knowledge of educational technology provided the opportunity to create and implement a district-wide virtual school. The success of this program led to creating and leading the State of Tennessee’s grant funded online learning program, e4TN, which was a statewide consortium that included over 100 school districts. Her leadership and team’s efforts at e4TN were recognized nationally with seven awards by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) within five years.

Dr. Oliver has published numerous articles highlighting her experiences.  Early in her career Dr. Oliver demonstrated interest in data analysis and evaluation, particularly in teacher evaluation.  She was interviewed by 20/20 and published in Tennessee Educational Leadership on utilizing a framework for evaluation and professional growth, as a first-year teacher.

The natural tie of online learning and assessment led Dr. Oliver to publish work on teacher effectiveness in the online environment, such as, Investigating Whether a Value-Added Teaching Effectiveness Model Designed for Traditional Classrooms Can be Used to Measure Online Teaching Quality, and her experience in digital leadership provided the opportunity to publish in Lessons learned from virtual schools: Experiences and recommendations from the field. She also served as the guest editor of the Journal of Online Learning and Research summer of 2016, where she also published an article, “Professional Development in K-12 Online and Blended Learning: Examining Programs and Pedagogy for Effective Teacher Training.”

Oliver has also created Oliver’s Frameworks for Blended and Online Learning and subsequently a software that allows teachers to self-assess their knowledge of pedagogy in each environment.  The software has been implemented at the state and district level across the United States.

After serving as Arizona State University’s Preparatory Digital Academy’s Chief Learning Architect, Dr. Oliver released her book, Not Your Mama’s Classroom:What You Need to Know as a Parent About Your Child’s Digital Education.

Her experience in digital learning and curriculum design, paired with her expertise in assessment and evaluation, are leveraged to design an innovative, learner-centered curriculum in her role as Chief Learning Officer at EdisonLearning.

Recent Podcast Episodes

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The Opportunity Gap and the Digital Gap - Episode 11

This episode of Building the Bridge discusses the opportunity gap and the digital gap. Definitions, examples and situations are provided to describe what these disparities look like and how and where they are occurring in education. 

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A Perspective from a Superintendent: Interview with Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss - Episode 10

Over the past few weeks, we have discussed Social Emotional Learning and ways to enhance learning for students. Our teachers and school administrators have been experiencing the same pandemic, but we haven’t heard much from their perspective. Dr. Wendy Oliver sits down with the superintendent of the Salisbury Township School District in Pennsylvania, Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss, and asks what it’s like to be an administrator during these trying times. We get a glimpse of how things have changed, how learning is approached differently, and how a good leader boosts morale among teachers. 

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EdisonLearning and Social Emotional Health – Episode 9

In this episode, we are joined by two EdisonLearning employees, Alisha Zach, an Academic Advisor, and Jodi Rogers-Carter, a Mathematics Teacher, who share with us how supporting students is intertwined with social emotional health. The relationships between advisor and student as well as advisor and teacher are invaluable. These relationships form a path to successful learning. Discover how our programs support Social Emotional Learning which leads to student engagement and academic success.

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Social Emotional Health – Episode 8

It’s no secret that the pandemic is taking a toll on us as a society. Sure, there are ways for students to engage with friends online via video games and Zoom meetings. But what do we do when our feelings become overwhelming and we start to question our overall wellbeing?

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Understanding How Kids Learn: An Interview with Patrice Bain – Episode 7

Patrice Bain is an educator, presenter and author who has spent 15 years of her teaching career working with cognitive scientists turning research into learning strategies. We are grateful that she sat down with “Building the Bridge” for an interview that gives us a snapshot regarding how students learn.

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Digital Safety – Episode 6

Now that students are spending a significant amount of time online inside and outside the classroom, the discussion of Digital Safety is a popular topic. Key points to note are software terms and conditions, privacy policies, location disclosure and other safeguards to protect yourself and your children online.

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Turning to the Experts for Online Teaching: Our Interview with Courtney Ostaff – Episode 5

Courtney Ostaff is a veteran online teacher with more than 20 years of experience and author of “The Online Teaching Handbook.” In episode 5 of our podcast “Building the Bridge,” we interview Courtney about her philosophies surrounding online learning.

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Digital Learning Communication Plan – Pt 2 – Episode 4

In the arena of online learning, our intention is to motivate and inspire students and provide them with current resources. It’s essential to communicate different pieces of information to parents and caregivers to ensure they are getting the information they need from the district level, the school level, and the classroom level. 

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Digital Learning Communication Plan – Pt 1 – Episode 3

As we enter the school year and engage in remote and digital learning, it’s critical to talk about a Digital Learning Communication Plan. The three prongs of the Digital Communication Plan include communications and policies at the district level, the school level and the classroom level.

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Educators Supporting Caregivers – Episode 2

As we navigate this new school year, it’s so important to view remote learning as a collaboration and create a bridge between teachers and parents. I’m going to talk about some tips today that teachers can share with parents and caregivers to initiate a successful school year.

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Getting Started – Episode 1

So many of us were hoping the COVID situation would magically disappear before the new school year began, but it’s now Back to School season and we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and facing the challenges that accompany a pandemic. Let’s walk through some ways to be prepared for online instruction this school year. Because inevitably, whether you’re starting off online or not, your school will likely transition to remote learning at some point and it’s a good idea to be prepared.

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Press Ctrl + D to Bookmark this page and check back for new podcasts! Dr. Oliver will be sharing weekly wisdom to help parents and educators meet the challenges of today’s teaching and learning.

Questions? Email Dr. Oliver!