ABOUT

Who I am

 

My educational career began in California where I served in several roles including classroom teacher, instructional coach, and technology integrationist. For the first ten years of my career, I worked for the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District which lies just north of the Golden Gate in California. Later, I moved to the Twin Cities area of Minnesota where I began working to support the teachers and students at an independent outside of Saint Paul as a Technology Integration Specialist serving the staff and students. I am proud to have spearheaded several successful initiatives including their designation as one of only five Apple Distinguished Schools in the entire state.

 

Now, as a full-time National Faculty Member with PBLWorks, I work with teachers and school districts as a nationally-recognized expert in project based learning. (PBL) I spend everyday helping to familiarize educators from across the country with the elements and processes that are emblematic of high-quality PBL.

 

For the past few years I have also worked with a limited number of districts through my own consulting firm using a unique approach to PBL that emphasizes community connections and experiential methods. My work has been published by a number of education-focused organizations including TED-Ed, Edutopia, KQED, and National Geographic. I am also the co-author of an upcoming book published by ISTE titled Environmental Science for 6-12: A Project Based Approach to Solving The Earth's Most Urgent Problems.

Outside of my consulting work with schools, I work with public land agencies across the US to refine and improve the educational programs and materials. Some of this work I have done during my fifteen years of volunteering for the National Park Service while other aspects have been funded by a grant from National Geographic. Most recently, I was accepted into the 2021 Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program

​As an Educational Technology presenter and trainer, I have extensive classroom experience with a wide range of devices and applications. This experience includes not only strategies for effective use with students, but also experience in the deployment, management, and training to support site-wide technology plans and adoption. I have presented nationally at multiple technology conferences for groups such as ISTE, FETC, EdTech Team, SXSWedu, TCEA, Annual CUE, and for the California State University system. My many certifications include Google Certified Innovator, Adobe Campus Leader, and Common Sense Media Ambassador.   

No matter the area of interest, I am ready to share best practices from my years of classroom experience with your school, your classroom, or your community.

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Get in touch // Tel: (612) 470-6498 // james.fester@gmail.com