It wasn’t until later in my career that I realized applying creativity to problem-solving is critical in engaging students. Claudio Zavala Jr. and Fred Benitez don’t just understand that component of the learning cycle. They also use it to train teachers and students. Both of them inspire my growth as an educator. 

Claudio Zavala, Jr. and Fred Benitez are renowned educational technologists, in Burleson ISD and Eanes ISD respectively, that develop training for teachers, staff and students. Both are Adobe Education Leaders and have presented at education conferences like ISTE, TCEA, and Adobe for Education.

Claudio’s training focuses on the integration of technology, video and photography into instruction. He is the host of his own YouTube channel “I am Claudius” where he teaches educators about tools educational such as Adobe Spark and Flipgrid. He is also a Flipgrid Rock Star. Claudio has been featured in Toggle Magazine, EdTech Magazine, and Adobe for Education.

The trainings Fred develops range from inventing and coding drone obstacle courses to integrating technology into instruction. He has earned recognition as a Distinguished Apple Educator and NearPod PioNear. Fred is my favorite teacher and the mastermind behind events such as district-wide film festivals for students, VEX Robotic Coding competitions, and LEGO Robotics coding competitions.

In this episode, we discuss the importance of being creative in teaching and problem-solving. We discuss why it’s important to take bite-sized or “Chicken Nugget” opportunities to incorporate creativity into the learning cycle — with or without electronic devices. We also discuss how tools like Adobe Spark lower the barrier for designing beautiful graphics, web pages, and video stories in minutes. Adobe Spark is an excellent tool for remote and face-to-face learners to show mastery of learning objectives. What I like even more is that these learning tools can be used by all students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

—William Jeffery is curating Flipboard EDU Podcast

Coach Jeffery” is an award-winning digital learning educator and assistant principal at Columbia High School in Texas. His tech pedagogy continues to drive him to curate educational content on Flipboard that highlights teaching strategies, edtech, and ways to improve student success. He started co-hosting the “Flipboard EDU Podcast” as yet another way to share resources with his peers.