What is a Freshman Academy and Why Should my High School Have One?

Freshman Academies:

Today’s episode is a look at freshman academies and the impact they can have in a high school for the betterment of, not just the students, but the school as a whole. My guests are Bekka Atkins (email, Twitter) and Will Totten (email, Twitter, LinkedIn). Bekka Atkins is currently serving as the Academy Coordinator at Cabell Midland High School (CMHS) in Ona, WV. Bekka oversees the freshman academy, as well as the wall-to-wall career academies at CMHS, in her role there. Will Totten is the Technology Integration Specialist, Systems Operator, and a Social Studies teacher at Spring Valley High School (SVHS) in Huntington, WV. Will has become a leader in his school and has helped to establish their freshman academy, now in it’s infancy.

Question of the Show:

The previous question of the show was: “What are you doing as an educator to personalize your own professional development?”  I wanted to share a few responses I received on this episode

    • Randall Sampson
    • Derek Oldfield

This question is going to remain open a bit longer to give more educators a chance to respond and I hope to feature some of those in the future.

This episodes question of the show is: “What benefits can you see for incoming high school students by taking part in a freshman academy?” If the 90 second time limit isn’t enough, feel free to reach out on Voxer, my handle there is RGBlack316, and share your response.

A Great Educational Podcast:

I wanted to share another great educational podcast with you today. Today’s share is the Google Teacher Tribe podcast.

The Google Teacher Tribe launched in January 2017 and is part of the Education Podcast Network. The show is hosted by Matt Miller, of DitchThatTextbook.com, and Kasey Bell, of ShakeUpLearning.com. Both are published authors (Matt with Ditch That Textbook: Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your Classroom; Kasey with Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning from Static to Dynamic) and speakers and love to share their wealth of knowledge with educators to better their craft and aid in the positive instruction of students. The Google Teacher Tribe Podcast is an outstanding resource for any educator using Chromebooks, the G-Suite, or any Google product in their classroom.  They share great information about Google Tools for the classroom and ways to use them to impact learning. You can find them online at googleteachertribe.com

Upcoming Events and Announcements:


Every Thursday at 9PM on Twitter


5/15/2018 – #FlipgridFever – Joe Merrill and a few other Flipgrid Ambassadors will be taking over the #WVEdChat for the evening and helping us to discuss Flipgrid and it’s uses in the classroom.

5/29/2018 – Year in Review – This is the yearly summative chat to look back and reflect as we end of this school year will be moderated by the @WVEdChatRecap podcast.

The summer schedule for #WVEdChat is still a bit “mushy” and could be changing shortly as to the format or sessions. Keep an eye out to see what it looks like at https://wvedchatrecap.com/schedule.

Thanks for listening to this episode of The Randall Black Show. Leave a rating and review in the podcatcher of your choice. Head over to randallblackshow.com/flipgrid to leave some feedback or respond to our question of the show. You can contact the show through Facebook at facebook.com/randallblackshow. You can also signup to become a friend of the show. In doing so, you will receive show notes and updates directly in your inbox as they are posted. Join at randallblackshow.com/friends/.

Remember to check out EdTech Shorts; my newest podcast focused on giving you quick and simple EdTech tips, because it’s about working smarter not working harder. You can find the show at https://EdTechShorts.com.

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