Hometown: The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Title: Head of Curriculum
What's your role at PenPal Schools?
At PenPal Schools, I am the team educator-in-chief! My official title is Head of Curriculum and my primary role is that of creating our courses with our awesome curriculum development team. We also get to work with content partners from around the world to build collaborative courses.
In addition to designing our courses, I get to research and share all the awesome-ness that makes our platform a truly high-impact learning tool. For example, we are working on a virtual maker-space that will let students collaborate with their pen pals through sharing video, still pictures, audio, embedded web content, drawings, and long form text. We are also working to build a comprehensive badging system that will allow students to provide and receive feedback in a fun and useful way!
I also provide the pinatas for all company birthday parties.
Our PenPal Schools headquarters in Austin, Texas is surrounded by great food trucks with tacos being among the most popular lunch option. What’s your favorite kind of taco?
To be fair, when I think about my favorite tacos, I think about the little taquerias I’d stop at on may way to and from work in Oakland, California! But that does not answer your question.
Some of the most interesting tacos I’ve had here in Austin are from a little spot called Valentinas and they make tex-mex BBQ. What exactly is a tex-mex BBQ? Well, they take smoked brisket, chopped beef, pulled pork, or barbecue chicken and throw it on a taco along with queso, onions, salsa, and slaw!
Where would you most like to travel (that you haven’t already visited)?
I would love to spend time in South Africa. We recently completed a course called Walking to Freedom with the South African publisher, Via Afrika, and I really enjoyed working with their curriculum development team. I would love to meet their group and all that I’ve learned about the country in action. I would ideally spend the trip exploring both South Africa’s history and topography by driving from the Cape in Southwest to Johanesburg via the Kalahari Desert in the North West before heading Southeast to the coastal city of Durban.
PenPal Schools is a learning company. What’s the last thing you learned and who taught it you?
In a Twitter chat the other day, I had my question answered by Astronaut Scott Kelly, and I learned that the international space station had dial-up speed internet! They’re so close to our telecommunications satellites but they still have dial-up!? How do they watch Game of Thrones, Netflix, or the MLB Playoffs? I guess it will be a looong trip to Mars.