I am a creator who is obsessed with reflective practice.
Dr. Lodge McCammon is an independent education consultant who provides professional services including presentations, curriculum development, and a variety of training programs. Dr. McCammon’s teaching methods have inspired thousands of educators to make significant changes in their practice. He has created lessons and resources that have impacted teachers at every school level, and he continues to develop innovative classroom strategies and shares them with students, teachers and schools across the world. Dr. McCammon’s work focuses on improving teacher quality and helping teachers create learning environments that are highly collaborative, differentiated and engaging. This February, McCammon will present at IntegratED 2017, OETC’s two-day event for educators.
In anticipation of this event, we conducted a brief personal interview with Lodge McCammon. Read the full interview below!
Who are you, and what do you do?
I am a musician. I started playing violin at age two in a Suzuki music program in the suburbs of Chicago. My mother was an orchestra director and my father was a record producer. This upbringing handed me the ability to learn many different instruments and become interested in producing music at a young age.
I am an economist. I fell in love with economics in high school and then got a bachelor’s degree in it. I am so intrigued by how drawing a few lines on a piece of paper can represent something unbelievably complicated like how consumers make decisions. Economics, for me, is about looking at a problem critically and then designing a simple model for how it can be solved.
I am a teacher. I became consumed with the art of teaching when I was 26 when I volunteered to help students read in a kindergarten classroom. It was there that I realized that every moment in school can be used to forever impact a young mind. I wanted to apply my economic reasoning to design simple and scalable models that would help ensure each moment would inspire students to achieve.
I am a creator who is obsessed with reflective practice. I have recorded thousands of videos that demonstrate my abilities playing music, teaching, speaking, dancing and thinking. I have critically watched each video back to discover what I did well and what I can do better next time. The phones in our pockets give us a window into who we really are and show us our true capabilities. This new form of reflective practice is the key to critical thinking and exponential personal growth.
What are your technology “must-haves”—the technology (hardware, software—whatever falls into your definition of the category) that you could not get through the day without?
I am a huge fan of analogue creation tools (paint, brushes, pens, pencils, markers, paper, whiteboards, microphones, instruments, etc). Beyond that, I simply require a device that allows me to record, reflect upon and publish my ideas. Luckily, in this amazing world, that is my cell phone.
How did technology affect your own education? Is there anything you miss about technology at that time?
Technology had a powerful impact on my learning outside of school. My parents had multi-track recording studio in the basement of our house. This technology gave me the ability to record all my musical ideas and then listen to them back, reflecting on how I was really doing. This process allowed me to improve quickly. Also, I played soccer, tennis and was a high jumper. We always used video recording equipment to document games and events. Immediately after, I would watch the tape back to evaluate and reflect. This allowed me to see what I did well and what I needed to change. Unfortunately, this form or reflective practice was not used in my traditional classroom experiences.
What is your hope for the future of technology in education?
I hope that we continue to identify the best practices in technology use (i.e., video creation, reflective practice) in order for technology to have a positive impact on all learners. Also, I hope that we continue to strike a healthy balance between that technology use and kinesthetic/kinetic learning. Just like many parents do at home, I hope schools continue to not allow students to spend the majority of the day sitting, looking at a screen/device. A rule of thumb I have seen in many homes and classrooms is that for every 10 minutes spent looking at screen, a child must then put away the screen and spend 10 minutes up and moving. Movement increases cognition, memory, attention, creativity, and is critical for a healthy body. It’s a great (free) strategy for any classroom.
If you could go out for coffee with anyone—historical or contemporary, real or fictional, celebrity or unknown—who would it be?
John Dewey. I would like to gather his thoughts on modern pragmatism and education. I would also be interested in knowing what he thinks about how public schools have evolved in the past 60 years.
To hear more of Lodge McCammon’s thoughts on innovative classroom strategies, register for IntegratED 2017, our two-day event for educators.