Recently, my wife and I decided to learn more about Excel. I wanted to learn Excel as I mostly use Google Sheets for spreadsheet problems, and my wife has been using Excel at work, but wants to learn more data analysis for her job.

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Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

This seemed like the right opportunity to learn together and help each other out as we learned. We chose the book, Microsoft Excel 2019 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (6th Edition) (Business Skills) 6th Edition by Wayne Winston. This booked appeared to have the right balance of what we were looking for. …

With Covid19, we have had a major shift in how teachers and parents teach their students and children. Having worked as a Tech Coach at multiple levels I thought I would put together a few tips and ideas to try and help foster learning at home.

Teaching at a distance is completely different from face to fact learning even with the amazing video conferencing technology we have today. However, we do need to remember that many of our students do not have adequate access to technology when they need it most. This post will focus mostly on helping teachers/parents use technology to create some learning opportunities for their students, but it is important to remember that not all students have the access they need. …

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View from the sixth floor at Udacity

It’s been a full two months now that since I have moved out to Sunnyvale, CA and I have more or less settled in. In this final installment of the series, I’ll talk about what it’s like to work at a startup from the perspective of someone who has worked in education for the past 17 years. I’ll also add a few updates too!

If you want to read the rest of the series here are the links below:


Having been an teacher and coach I became used to long days of working very hard. Many people don’t realize how difficult it can be just to get a bathroom break for a teacher during the day. I generally arrived at work before 7 a.m. and arrived home after 6:30 p.m. I find this to be pretty typical for good teachers. Please Thank a teacher the next time you see one. …

Lessons Learned Moving From Traditional Education to a Silicon Valley Startup Part 4: Moving 2200 Miles From the Only State I have Ever Called Home

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Driving in the fog

In Part 3 of the series, my wife and I went on a hunt for and rented an apartment across the country, all without ever seeing it in person. In this installment, I’ll talk more about the actual move itself. It’s not easy moving across the country, especially when you have an animal and a vehicle to take with you.

Once we sold our 2200+ square foot home, we had to figure out a few things. …

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Hawaiian Mai Tai

If you are just entering this series now, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 to get up to speed. Or… just check out Part 3 if you like.

After accepting the position a Udacity, things started moving very quickly, even though I had more than a month before I was going to move. One reason for this is that my wife and I had already planned a 10 day trip in early August. I also had a 3 day work trip planned. …

This blog is part of a series that discusses my reasoning for making a mid-life career switch from a traditional education setting in Green Bay, WI to an Educational Tech Startup in Mountain View, CA.

You can click the link below for part 1.

Part 1

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Photo by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash

First, it’s important to understand I’m not a programer in the traditional sense of the word. So my experiences in moving to Silicon Valley are going to be much different from other people’s. I’m an educator. I have a firm belief that we owe it to every student, at every age to provide them with the best possible education.

However, as part of my job teaching and working to improve education , I have acquired programming skills in Python, HTML, CSS, JS, Google Apps Script in the areas of web development, app building, and data analysis. …

I have been an educator for nearly 20 Years and I have enjoyed all of my time helping create a better path to meaningful learning for students. There have been hiccups along the way, but I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences looking back.

During my journey through education I have come to the realization that project based, hands-on, collaborative learning, where students must apply what they have learned is by far the best approach. …

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What’s a Tech Bar you might be wondering?

A Tech Bar serves up digital literacies, skills, and competencies to employees and students. Digital Citizenship and digital skills are some of the most important skills and tools everyone needs to have in today’s world.

So how do your staff, faculty, and students gain these skills? In education we try to build these skills into the curriculum somehow. The problem with this is often the teachers/staff themselves haven’t yet acquired these skills themselves and follow premade programs that don’t really fit into their everyday lessons. …

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My BeninBeta domain

For the past couple of years, my personal site has been hosted and maintained on Squarespace. It’s a fantastic platform and has lots of great features. I was able to upload and syndicate podcasts, have a personal blog, and create great looking web pages with little effort.

Squarespace, WordPress, Weebly, and Wix are all great especially when you are building a site for a business that needs eCommerce portals and you can’t afford a custom dev team. Recently at St. Norbert we have had a push for students, staff and faculty to create a Domain of One’s Own. DoOO is a webspace that a person owns with a domain name of their choosing. …

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Photo by Maxwell Ridgeway on Unsplash

OK, so I just made that up, but Learning and Education 4.0 are real concepts and these are some of my recent experiences with them.

I have had a very varied background….within the education space at least. I have taught in K-12, Special Education, Undergrad, and at the Graduate level. I have taught Language Arts, Math, Science, History, Political Science, Computer Science, the Science and Art of Education and problem solving. I have also been a Technology Innovationist (Tech Coach) in both K-12 and Higher Education.

This has been a good experience and continues to teach me just how much I still have to learn about anything and everything.

To do all of that, I have never been able to stop learning. My most recent forays into learning have been connected to computer science and programming. While I have taught to CS to students in K-12, I don’t have a CS background or degree and have spent the past 5 years learning as I went. This has been a good experience and continues to teach me just how much I still have to learn about anything and everything. …


Ben Hommerding

Husband, Dog Dad, Educator, Technologist, Coach, Geek

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