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Standing in the Gap


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Table of Contents

Preface by Peter DeWitt Introduction 1. Making Connections to Online Communities of Practice 2. Making Connections Locally and Globally 3. Connecting to Build Your Classroom 4. Making Connections for Planning Your Teaching 5. Making Connections to Communicate with Students and Parents 6. Connecting to a Mentor: Virtual and Collaborative

About the Author

Lisa Michelle Dabbs is an Educational Consultant, blogger and speaker. Lisa began her career as an elementary school teacher in Southern California. During that time, she assisted in writing a federal grant project and became the Project Director of a Language and Literacy program. She managed that program, reporting on a regular basis to OBEMLA (now OELA) and successfully guided it through 5 years of completion. Her passion to serve as a leader soon moved her to apply for a principalship. She did so and spent 14 years as an elementary school principal in 4 LA County School Districts. In time she was selected to work as a Coach/Consultant for Kaplan K-12 Educational Corporation as a Middle School Consultant & ELA Coach in Los Angeles Unified School District. She provided staff and teachers with Professional Development, Technology Support and in classroom coaching. Lisa is currently a university Adjunct Professor, teaching undergraduate students and has taught Graduate Level courses in School Administration. Lisa has a B.A. in Child Development, a M.Ed. in Educational Administration from the University of La Verne, Life Multiple Subjects Credential, Bilingual Certificate of Competency and Administrative Credential. Lisa is active in social media and with her passion to support and mentor new teachers, in 2010, she created and founded New Teacher Chat #ntchat. The chat is a vibrant, weekly, education discussion group on Twitter and is practitioner focused and supportive. New, Pre-service and experienced teachers join her weekly on the chat to discuss topics germane to the needs of the new practitioner. A Facebook, Google Plus community, and class, which she moderates, add additional ways to connect. Lisa is a resident blogger at and has served as a member of their Social Media Marketing Team. She also served for 4 years as the facilitator of Edutopia's New Teacher Connections group. Lisa is on the Teacher Advisory Board and Admin Task Force for and blogs for Lisa has also written for the Huffington Post, Smartblogs, Kids Discover, The Teachers Lounge and other on-line publications. Lisa is a regular commentator at the BAM! Radio Network where she discusses leadership, and educational issues. She is also a big #edcamp fan and is on the organizing team for @edcampLA and @edcampLDR and was one of the founding members of the first edcamp in California. Lisa is also a co-moderator of California Edchat #caedchat. Lisa has presented at local, statewide and national education conferences including the 140 Character Conference in Los Angeles on Social Media, Computer Using Educators (CUE), San Diego Computer Using Educators (SDCUE), California Council on Teacher Education (CCTE), Orange County Reading Association (OCRA), Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), and International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE). She also frequently presents webinars for Simple K12, Edweb, Follett, Laura Candler, McGraw Hill, Reform Symposium, and Classroom 2.0 Live. She is active in her community having served as a library board trustee and currently as the vice president of an award-winning literacy nonprofit in her town. You can find her blogging and sharing her passion to support and mentor new teachers at and on Twitter @teachwithsoul. Nicol Howard, PhD has had the pleasure of serving as an educator in various capacities over the past years 12 years. She has taught at the high school level (9th - 12th grades and Special Education) in the Compton Unified School District and grades K through 4 in the Corona-Norco Unified District and the Santa Ana Unified School District. She currently teaches 4th grade (STEM) and is an Adjunct Professor at Chapman University. Nicol is also a Learning Innovation Technology Leader in the Santa Ana Unified School District and was nominated as Teacher of the Year, 2015. In higher education, Nicol has facilitated multiple courses in teacher education related to technology, learning theories, and research methods. Her personal research interests are in the effective use of technology in K12 education and equity issues in STEM Education. Nicol earned her B.A. at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), her M.A. in Educational Technology at Azusa Pacific University, and her Ph.D. in Education at Chapman University. Her past and present experiences, along with the notion of equity in education (specifically achievement), influence her commitment as an educator, researcher, tech enthusiast, learner, and educational writer. Nicol's concern for certain inequities in education and her research projects have led to publications in educational journals, such as the EDUCAUSE Review and the Urban Education Journal. Additionally, she has written for Edutopia and the Corwin Connect. Nicol's overall commitment to the field of education has led her to speak at various national and international conferences, such as the Annual Conferences for the American Educational Research Association (AERA), California Council on Teacher Education (CCTE), Emerging Scholars Conference (ESC), the Diversity Conference, Computer Using Educators (CUE), and San Diego Computer Using Educators (SDCUE). She has also been invited to guest moderate for #teacheredchat and #profchat on Twitter @nicolrhoward. Please visit to learn more about Dr. Nicol R. Howard.


"This book is an excellent resource for a variety of audiences. Intended for new teachers, the book is a valuable resource also for those enrolled in schools of education and veteran teachers mentoring new teachers or seeking new tips to add to their repertoire. The book contains a wealth of examples of how educators gain from online resources such as Twitter and Google Communities to connect with others and is especially useful for new teachers looking for how to use online communities to their advantage. Clearly, any new teachers will save time by using the tips offered as they learn how to gain access to a variety of online resources. The authors share their own experiences as well as include scenarios from other practicing educators of how they use online resources to refine their teaching skills and enrich their professional lives." -- Judy Artz, Associate Professor of English

"Navigating the waters of social media can be tricky for any teacher and completely overwhelming for those who are new to our field. Through the voices of two well-respected educators with a long history of passionate support for new teachers, "Standing in the Gap" offers a manageable, practical plan for helping educators get connected and share ideas online."

-- Angela Watson, Educational Consultant and Instructional Coach
"Lisa Dabbs and Nicol Howard offer a stellar exploration of what collaboration and communication can look like in modern education and how it can enhance all aspects of school with their book Standing in the Gap: Empowering New Teachers Through Connected Resources. Learn about the cornerstone ideas that will help root connect classrooms, students, parents, and administrators to the incredible learning in the classroom. Full on insights and actionable tasks that take you from the concept to implementation quickly. A must read for those wishing to maximize digital tools as a way to increase communication and collaboration with all the educational stakeholders."
? -- Adam Bellow, Educational Consultant and Corwin Author, Untangling the Web

"Students being "connected" is a given, so educators need to be out front of digital change. Standing in the Gap gives teachers the resources and the know-how to lead their students into this global community. Lisa and Nicol represent the growing body of educators who recognize that social media gives power, not problems, to students' learning."

-- Angela Maiers, Founder and President
"Standing in the Gap drew me right away into a virtual learning community, with Nicol and Lisa as expert guides and encouraging mentors. There are so many resources here, shared in each chapter by teachers who generously open their doors to us. And the Action Steps tie it all together, make it do-able. This will be a good tool for our teacher education programs, where novices and experts are learning together to use online resources and social media." -- Cynthia Grutzik, Ph.D.
"As of now there are about 20 books in the Corwin Connected Educator Series, a seemingly ever-growing set of titles masterminded by Peter DeWitt and Corwin Press. Each book is short enough to be read in one sitting, which makes the collection ideal for book studies and professional development, both during the summer and throughout the school year. Also, each paperback is authored by one or two educators who speak (and blog, tweet, etc.) with a credible voice in the world of connected education. Some of the topics include:
  • Flipped leadership
  • Tools for connecting educators, parents, and communities
  • Blogging for educators
  • Best practices for establishing a makerspace
  • Tools to connect and empower teachers

Finally, all of the authors are active on social media, and they regularly present at local conferences, which helps in bringing to life the contents of these books."

-- Ross Cooper, Supervisor of Instructional Practice K-12

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