Author: Shawn Petty

3 Great Opportunities to Blast off the New School Year

It’s that time again! All across the country, youth are getting ready to embrace the new school year and after-school programs are transitioning from summer learning to fall programming. I have found that a new school year is like a blank journal just waiting for an author’s special touch. It is an opportunity to expand upon an existing story, transform the direction of the story, or create someth...

The Virtual Reality World Is Here

I had the great opportunity, at this past BOOST Conference, to attend the BOOST Master Class Scannable Technology by EdTech expert, Monica Burns. Monica actually blogged about her class ahead of time, which really spiked my interest before attending. You see, as a kid, I loved that scene in Star Wars where R2D2 projects a holographic image of Princess Leia asking Obi-Wan for help. Who could have i...

The Time Is Now: Lights on Afterschool

As I board a plane to head off to another location for a training, I reflect on how I arrived in the out-of-school time field. It has been 8 years now and I have loved every minute of it. Even though I focus more on adult learning, as I train OST providers, I still have several opportunities to conduct site visits and interact with youth. I am amazed everyday at the dedication of OST professionals...

Staff Training is Worth the Investment

It was Monday, April 27th, and I was catching up on Diego Arancibia’s latest Breakfast Club Blog Post. If you haven’t taken the time to read it, you should. Diego gives us 7 Ways to Maximize Our BOOST Experience. It was perfect advice for an amazing conference. Of course, I am biased as I am total BOOST Fanboy! But seriously, today I want to discuss the post-BOOST experience. After ret...

Let’s Take Another Selfie!

As Out-of-School-Time professionals, we have a lot of freedom to create amazing experiences for the youth we serve. In order to create those experiences, we must use all the tools that available to us. Thus, I was recently surprised as I was chatting with a colleague who challenged me on my passionate advocacy of the use of social media with youth. Like many, this friend of mine had bought in to t...

No Love Loss Between STEM & STEAM

As an Out-of-School-Time professional and a true Geek, I am amazed at the ongoing battle between STEM supporters and those who love the Arts. I hear it everywhere I go: “Our program practices STEAM, so that we don’t forget about the Arts!” “STEAM is just a bunch of hot air, we need to focus on true STEM.” “STEM is just tough to swallow, STEAM gets things moving!...

OST & Gaming: Angry Birds, Portals, Minecraft, Oh My!

“Five more minutes, please!” Sound familiar? This was my request to my parents every time we were leaving the pizza place and I had not yet conquered the next level of Pac-Man. I never thought I would hear this from students attending an out-of-school-time program during the summer in Austin, Texas. Yet, this past summer, this request was asked so much that parents spoke to program lea...

Vive La Digital Revolution

One thing I have learned throughout my life is that we remember our defining moments. Well, two things happened in 1984 that changed my life forever (I know….I’m getting up there!). Anyway, the first was my family taking a trip to see Walt Disney World’s E.P.C.O.T. and the other was our first computer purchase, the Apple IIc. No longer were the visions of Star Wars, Buck Rogers, ...