Navigating Education – The Newsletter: ISSUE 3 – June 30TH, 2021


July is quickly coming and I cannot believe one month of summer is coming to an end. Hopefully, you have had some time to relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy time with family friends. With July approaching, we are beginning to read, investigate, explore, and prepare for the next school year. 

I predict the 2021-2022 school year will be a challenging year, but much more predictable than our previous school year. We may have to navigate multiple classroom settings ranging from blended to online learning throughout the school year. We are unfortunately not out of this horrific pandemic. Much of the world and many places within the United States are not vaccinated at high rates; especially among children and teenagers. Until this increases significantly to at least 80 to 90%, we need to expect toggling to and from online and in-person learning for cohorts of students. In some cases, entire countries, districts, and schools will toggle. Until the pandemic is at bay, this will be what we will have to work through as educators as we navigate the present and future of education. 

With that said, we now have many resources and have the ability to navigate this challenge. My goal is to provide as many helpful resources that are research-based to help teachers, school leaders, and the educational community. By utilizing such resources, we can amplify our students learning and create safe and engaging learning environments for our students to thrive in!

With Issue 3 being released, I wanted to reiterate the goal of this newsletter. It is ultimately geared towards being a newsletter that is a helpful resource to help you continue your learning as a teacher, school or district leader, parent, publisher, blogger/podcaster, or any citizen concerned about navigating the present and future of education. Be sure to ask your professional learning network and colleagues within your educational organization to subscribe to receive this newsletter, which can be done by completing this form. Also, connect with me on Twitter @mattrhoads1990 and check out more content on my website Last, if you have any content you would like amplified in this newsletter, please contact me at

Navigating the Toggled Term: Pre-Orders – Purchase Your Copy for a Great Summer Read Before Next School Year

As we get closer to the summer, we are closing in on the release date of Navigating the Toggled Term: A Guide for K-12 Classroom and School Leaders. Pre-order your copy of this book that will be a great playbook to navigate the present and future of education!


Pre-Order: Barnes and Noble

Peter Lang International Academic Publishing

Release Date: Worldwide July 15th, 2021


Before and after Navigating the Toggled Term: A Guide for K-12 Classroom and School Leaders releases, bonus episodes of Navigating Education – The Podcast will cover interviews from the contributing author case studies that appear throughout the book. The goal of these podcasts is to dive deeper into the content of the book as well as learn more from the case study contributing authors and their journey’s of navigating the toggled term. So far one episode has been released! Throughout the month of July, expect two episodes a week to be released. 

Bonus Episode 1 – Mark Ureel: Navigating the Toggled Term – Navigating Multiple Classroom Settings and PBL

In this bonus episode of Navigating Education – The Podcast, Dr. Rhoads interviews Mark Ureel who is a contributing author for the chapter three case study in the book Navigating the Toggled Term: A Guide for K-12 Classroom and School Leaders.  Within his case study, Mark outlines how he utilized instructional strategies to amplify his students learning in several classroom settings. In our conversation, we discussed how Mr. Ureel has toggled numerous times throughout the school year (more so than many teachers throughout the country) and he gave some great ideas on how to navigate multiple classroom settings throughout the school year. Additionally, Mr. Ureel and Dr. Matt discussed Project-Based Learning. Mr. Ureel provided us some insight as to how he utilizes the strategy to create personalization and student choice in his classroom setting. He also outlined how he was able to sustain PBL instructional model for his classroom throughout the many toggles that happened throughout the school year. 


Examining the Effects of Silent Independent Reading on Reading Outcomes: A Narrative Synthesis Review from 2000 to 2020

Is silent reading effective? Well, after a 20 year analysis, education researchers are not sure of its effectiveness. Overall, the study suggests there is little evidence in support of silent independent reading. Additionally, we need more high-quality studies of SSR in order to be sure though. Last, the study outlines how other studies suggest SSR may be effective when combined with engagement, scaffolding, and/or feedback. Therefore, we may need to think about how we are conducting SSR in our classrooms. Likely, what we can best take away from this article is to not have silent reading unsupervised without structure. Providing engagement opportunities, scaffolding, and personalized or whole class feedback related to the silent reading may make it more effective than being unstructured. 

Student evaluations of the credibility and argumentation of online sources

This study evaluated whether secondary students can evaluate credibility of online sources and content ranging from blogs to YouTube videos. Students assessed the contents’ trustworthiness and researchers analyzed the arguments students made towards whether the content is credible or not. Ultimately, what was found is that students’ skills to analyze the content and sources provided inadequate. Additionally, the students overall academic achievement predicted their ability to evaluate the credibility of the content and sources with their argument and analysis skills. Lastly and most importantly, the study suggests there needs to be a greater emphasis on building the skills of our students to interpret and analyze online sources and content. 


Episode 15 – Fine Arts and Music Education with Dr. Neil Anderson

In this episode, Dr. Neil Anderson was interviewed by Dr. Rhoads on the topic of Fine Arts and Music Education. Dr. Anderson provided his background and context in education, which provides listeners a great synopsis of the state of fine arts and music within education. Throughout our conversation, we discuss how to embed fine arts and music into the curriculum as well as being active collaborators to create cross-curricular learning experiences for students. Additionally, Dr. Anderson outlined mechanisms to help retain music and arts teachers as they are some of the vulnerable teachers to leaving the profession. Last, we outlined how Dr. Anderson’s current work of his podcast and professional learning opportunities, can connect art and music educators with general education teachers and school leaders to create opportunities for enhancing the arts education in schools. 

Episode 14 – Culturally Responsive and Relevant Teaching with Jasara Hines, Ph.D.

In Episode 14, Dr. Rhoads interviews Dr. Jasara Hines on the topic of cultural responsiveness and teaching. Throughout the conversation, we discussed what culturally responsive teaching looks like within classroom settings as well as how to establish and maintain relationships with students using many strategies related to culturally responsive pedagogy. Dr. Hines outlined her experience incorporating culturally responsive teaching into AVID courses at the secondary level in addition to embedding it throughout the curriculum. This is an episode you will not want to miss out on as it is very practical and discusses several key strategies every educator can implement within classrooms and schools that are culturally responsive and relevant to students. 

Episode 13 – EdTech Leadership: What does this look like in schools and districts with Greg Bagby

Today on Navigating Education – The Podcast, Dr. Rhoads interviews Greg Bagby, a district-level EdTech Instructional Coordinator, about EdTech Leadership within schools and districts. Mr. Bagby has many years of experience integrating EdTech at the school and district level. He discusses how to set up an infrastructure of relationships, coaching, and goals to help establish and maintain EdTech integration in classroom and school settings. As the podcast draws to a close, Dr. Matt asks Mr. Bagby about advice for new and upcoming EdTech leaders. He provides several key points that all leaders, including EdTech leaders, should take note as they take on leadership opportunities and positions. 

Episode 12 – Cognitive Load and its Effect on Learning with Zach Groshell

In this episode, Dr. Rhoads interviews Zach Groshell, who is a Director of Educational Technology and a Ph.D. student in Instructional Design and Online Learning on the topic of cognitive load and its effect on learning. To begin, we define cognitive load theory and then discuss how practices on how we can limit its effects on our student’s working memories. Zach provides a number of strategies teachers can do using EdTech tools and learning management systems to limit the effects of cognitive load on students. In this same conversation, Zach outlines his Ph.D. study on cognitive load where he describes the study and experimental design. Then, following this conversation, Dr. Matt asks Zach how we can limit cognitive load when we are assessing our students and providing feedback. Overall, this episode provides many strategies to help students learn and to optimize teacher instruction in online, blended learning, and traditional in-person classrooms. 


Dr. Kevin Leichtman & His Book “The Perfect Ten”

Kevin Leichtman, Ph.D. is an expert in teacher burnout, teacher self-care, installing a culture of mindset, and implementing culturally relevant pedagogy. In his new book “The Perfect Ten” he highlights the experiences of 10 students as they progress through their educational career. He focuses on their mindsets and how our societal definition of “success” and “perfection” does not mean students are not successful in their own right and journey. Through these experiences, he amplifies the student’s voices he’s worked with and focuses on how each story has their own definition of success even if it’s not the traditional academic sense we are accustomed to in K-12 education. 

A Review and Podcast of his New Book: The Perfect Ten!


Ryan Tibbens – Classcast Podcast

Ryan Tibbens is a secondary English teacher who runs a fantastic podcast on education, education policy, instruction, teaching and learning, and many other important topics related to education. With about 70 episodes, Mr. Tibbens dives deep and interviews prominent educators as well as a wide variety of educators in the trenches to discuss these topics. Additionally, he has episodes that are well-articulate monologues where you will learn something new about education policy and teaching and learning. 


Published by Matthew Rhoads, Ed.D.

Innovator, EdTech Trainer and Leader, University Lecturer & Teacher Candidate Supervisor, Consultant, Author, and Podcaster

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