Cyber Pd Podcast



Cyber school pedagogy starts here.


  • Episode 23 - Twenty Online Engagement Tips

    25/11/2020 Duration: 26min

    In this episode, John shares 20 strategies for increasing synchronous virtual classroom engagement. They are: 1. Seating charts – A great tool for keeping notes about your students, to help build connections. 2. Communicate early – Let students’ parents or guardians know early about issues, but do so in a non-confrontational way. 3. Crystal Clear Directions – Set cue, give time, task, materials, and drop cue. 4. Silence can be Golden – Give students quiet work time. 5. Chat Waterfalls – Give an opportunity for all students to write, and submit their answers simultaneously. 6. Breakout the Steps – Give all of the steps in breakout groups on breakout slides. 7. Assign Specific Roles – When working in breakout groups, assign each student a specific role. 8. Group Active Students Together – Reward active students with active partners in breakout work. 9. Gallery Walks – Allow breakout groups to show off their work through gallery walks. 10. Stations – Have students move to various stations to learn. 11. Escape ro

  • Episode 22 - Advice from Cyber School Parents for Cyber Educators

    12/03/2020 Duration: 36min

    In this episode, John is joined by three Agora Cyber School parents, Sonya, Valerie, and Jamie. They share some background about themselves and their students, and offer advice to cyber school teachers, family coaches, and schools on how to build partnerships between schools and parents.   Intro and outro music provided by

  • Episode 21 - Scaffolding Writing

    05/02/2020 Duration: 28min

    In this episode, Agora High School World History, and AP World History Teacher, Jesse Nicholas joins John and Robin to discuss scaffolded writing techniques. He tells how distributed practice, combined with his three-step process of using sentence starters, guided constructed response paragraphs, and differentiated rubrics led to writing gains for his students.

  • Episode 20 - Word Problems

    27/01/2020 Duration: 38min

    In this week’s episode, John and Robin are joined by Agora Elementary math teachers, Jessica Boyer and Beth Ann Stevens. Jessica and Beth Ann have been on a journey to learn all they can about teaching word problems, or story problems, to students, and have been trying their techniques in the cyber school classroom. In today’s episode, you will be able to discover what some of the current research shows about teaching story problems effectively.Intro and outro music provided by

  • Episode 19 - Avoiding the Summer Slide in Reading

    28/05/2019 Duration: 35min

    John and Kelly welcome Agora Cyber School Reading Specialists, Janet Whippo, Lisa Samar, and Michelle Tilsner to discuss "the summer slide." They share strategies on how teachers can motivate students and parents to get reading over the summer, and to avoid the dreaded summer slide.

  • Episode 18 - High School Students Mentor Elementary School Students

    29/04/2019 Duration: 19min

    Why have high school students mentor elementary school students? How does it benefit the high school student? How does it benefit the elementary student? And how would a school go about setting up a program where elementary school students are mentored by high school students? All of these questions are answered in this episode, where John and Kelly welcome Agora High School Instructional Coach, Rebecca Adams, and Agora Elementary School MTSS Coordinator, Lauren Wilson, who established a mentoring program.  We also welcome Agora Kindergarten teacher, Amy Lutz who has a high school mentor in her classroom.  And we welcome our very first student guest, Erica M., who mentors Amy's Kindergarten students. 

  • Episode 17 - Differentiation in Cyber Schools

    22/04/2019 Duration: 33min

    The four hosts of the Cyber PD Podcast, Katie, Kelly, Steve, and John, are reunited in this episode to discuss differentiation in cyber schools. They define the term, discuss its importance, the philosophy behind it, and some strategies that could be used to incorporate differentiation into your classroom. This was a listener requested episode. If you would like to request a topic for an episode, please do so in the comments section of our blog.

  • Episode 16 - Teaching Advanced Learners in Cyber Schools

    15/04/2019 Duration: 35min

    John and Kelly welcome Pam Sieger to the show to discuss methods for teaching students who are advanced learners or who are gifted in cyber schools. Pam is an ELA teacher at Agora Cyber Charter Middle School, and is also on the board of the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE).Resources Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE) Website Suggested Reading When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers The Gifted Teen Survival Guide More Than a Test Score: Teens Talk About Being Gifted, Talented, or Otherwise Extra-Ordinary Succeeding with Habits of Mind: Developing, Infusing and Sustaining the Habits of Mind for a More thoughtful Classroom Aiming for Excellence: Annotations to the NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Program Standards Methods and Materials for Teaching the Gifted Role Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom

  • Episode 15 - Trauma Informed Part 2

    08/04/2019 Duration: 31min

    In this episode, Katie and Steve take a closer look at being trauma informed and trauma sensitive with guests, Maegan Bregenser and Mike Scheirer. They discuss signs of trauma that cyber school teachers can see when they are on the other side of a computer, how teachers should respond when seeing signs of trauma, research about the importance of building relationships with students affected by trauma, and more.Instructional Strategies mentioned during the episode include: Routines Modeling Stress Management Music Wait Time Brain Breaks Apologize  For a complete list of resources, visit our blog, at

  • Episode 14 - Trauma Informed Part 1

    01/04/2019 Duration: 23min

    Jennifer Barrios and Gina Sczepkowski join Katie and Steve to discuss being trauma informed and trauma sensitive. They briefly discuss how trauma affects the brain, and why language, empathy, listening to students, and recognizing that “one-size-fits-one” is critical to student learning. They also discuss the unique situation Agora Cyber Charter is in for addressing the needs of students who have suffered through traumatic experiences. Episode Resources available at

  • Episode 13 - Co-Teaching in the High School Classroom

    18/03/2019 Duration: 39min

    Katie DiSefano and Stephen Nugent are joined by Agora High School Literary Analysis and Composition co-teachers, Jordan Alderson and Anna Lepsch, to discuss co-teaching in the high school cyber-classroom. They discuss the importance of building trust between co-teachers to form a solid co-teaching relationship for the importance of students.

  • Episode 12 - Co-Teaching in the Middle School Classroom

    14/03/2019 Duration: 19min

    Kelly Quackenbush and John Thomas are joined by Agora Middle School Math co-teachers, Karen Hamburger and Jenna Dietrich, to discuss co-teaching in the cyber classroom. They discuss co-planning, co-instruction, and co-assessing, highlighting the importance of communication between co-teachers.

  • Episode 11 - Co-Teaching in the Elementary School Classroom

    12/03/2019 Duration: 30min

    In this episode, hosts Kelly Quackenbush and John Thomas are joined by Agora Elementary School ELA co-teachers Gina Mallon and Robin Hartman to discuss co-teaching in the cyber classroom. They discuss co-planning, co-instruction, and co-assessing, as well as some of what co-teaching allows in the classroom.

  • Episode 10 - Tapping in the Classroom

    08/03/2019 Duration: 14min

    Kelly and John interview Agora Elementary School advanced math teacher, Megan Kiebler about the process of tapping, a practice that can help you and your students ease their anxiety. 

  • Episode 9 - Binge Worthy Classrooms

    07/03/2019 Duration: 20min

    In this episode, Agora Cyber School PD Coach, John Thomas, looks at elements of binge worthy television, and how teachers can apply those elements to the classroom.

  • Episode 8 - Connect 4: Four Strategies to Connect With Students

    07/03/2019 Duration: 29min

    In this episode, John Thomas and Kelly Quackenbush interview Amber Brisbane, a transition teacher at Agora Cyber Charter School. They discuss four strategies that Amber has identified that help to build relationships with students.

  • Episode 7 - Teaching Art in a Cyber School

    07/03/2019 Duration: 31min

    Katie and Steve welcome Agora High School art teacher, Nichole Simpson, who says that when you're faced with the question of whether or not something creative can be done in a cyber school, answer with your own question, of "Why can't we?!" This allows her to inspire creativity in her students. Hear how in this episode.

  • Episode 6 - What Game Developers Know About Motivating Students

    05/03/2019 Duration: 33min

    Kelly and John welcome Agora MS Teacher, Allison Keefe, who shares some inside information about how game developers market games to different types of players, and how knowing those different types of players can help teachers address student learning needs.

  • Episode 5 - Reaching Students with Emotional Support Needs in the Cyber Classroom

    05/03/2019 Duration: 23min

    In this episode, Kelly and John welcome Agora Emotional Support teachers Anta Brucker and Heather Silberman to discuss best practices for addressing students with emotional support needs in a cyber classroom.

  • Episode 4 - The Power of Introverts

    05/03/2019 Duration: 30min

    In this episode, Katie and Steve welcome Holly Allen and Tiffany Joyner to discuss how everyone benefits from introverts on their team.

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