Tom R. Chambers
Educator (Technology Applications) and Speaker
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Mr. Chambers is available for speaking engagements. His presentation is based on his six years of sensitization to middle school students via Technology Applications. He will talk about: their digital desires and needs; integration of technology via project-based activities; combatting aliteracy; crossover into the core subject areas; STEM/STEAM; education reform; and MEE (Motivation, Engagement, Empowerment). He will use his students' projects and accomplishments as examples, which can be perused at:


What colleagues say about Mr. Chambers' teaching:

"He has creatively merged technology and art to challenge and engage his students in their acquisition of literacy, not only in the traditional sense of reading, writing, and critical thinking, but also in the more modern concepts of visual and technological literacy. The students are obviously stimulated, excited, and engaged." [TH]

"If we had more teachers like Mr. Chambers, we could solve reading and literacy problems. He has connected what motivates kids today, blogging and the online world, with literacy, in a truly creative way. He selects topics to write about that are current and that students care about. This in itself motivates research and writing from one's heart." [KN]

An exercise in empathy through a real-world connection. Seventh grade students (Raul Yzaguirre School for Success, Houston, Texas) wrote letters of condolence in response to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut (December 14, 2012). The First Selectman of Newtown responded.

"I have seen Mr. Chambers' dedication to lifelong learning, excellence, and perfection during the last two years. Mr. Chambers' students collaborate, research, create, publish, and evaluate to produce meaningful experiences that touch the lives of other communities. Students in this atmosphere fully understand how important their contributions can be and see how their reflections impact other audiences." [JM]

"He is innovative in his use of the Internet as a collaborative and publishing tool. He challenges his students to think deeply about social issues and find the words to express their thoughts about important events in their world. He consistently uses the web to publish his students' writing. This gives his students a sense of the importance and value of their writing. It gives them a deeper understanding of the importance of their words and the words of their peers." [HO]

"Walk about the classroom, and engage your students like there's no tomorrow. This sense of urgency just might be the key." Tom R. Chambers

"I believe the most important attribute that I've observed during my professional relationship with Mr. Chambers is his personal and ongoing desire to find new methodologies and processes to enable his students to reach their desired goal. His effectiveness as a teacher for middle school learners can be easily identified through the many projects the students have completed." [RL]

"Mr. Chambers is making great strides with middle school students by increasing literacy skills with innovation and creativity. At a time when most middle school students are lost in the disconnect of present day education, he has his students involved in the planning and implementing of their own learning. Through the use of technology and project-based learning, the students are investigating their worlds, near and far." [SS]

Sixth grade students (Raul Yzaguirre School for Success, Houston, Texas) are seen connecting with NASA's International Space Station via EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students) to request photographs of Earth taken by an onboard camera - STEM stimulus at its best with a real-world connection.

"The projects Mr. Chambers facilitates with his students are based on existing professional literature and applied practice to engage the students in meaningful research and the creation of products that can be shared with peers, the local community, and the online community. All projects promote excellence in teaching, learning and educational scholarship while providing a professional, respectful, and intellectually stimulating learning environment. In each project, students are being taught timely and relevant information utilizing the most effective educational modalities and technologies." [HP]

"The works that Mr. Chambers and his students produce are exemplary models for the advancement of literacy today. The process and completion of these works provide a remarkable student-driven process; students yearn to pursue a command of communication skills. In addition, with Mr. Chambers' direction, students create projects both eloquent and incisive. When one looks across an array of strategies to produce a literate society where our youth will attain participatory and community-minded citizenship skills, the media student work is the map to growing an informed citizenry." [SB]

"If you can effect time management/study habits/work ethic in the classroom, understanding of content and its application will follow." Tom R. Chambers

"Mr. Chambers is an outstanding educator. He is dedicated to the education profession, and goes beyond the typical duties of an educator. It was obvious that his students were quite literate in the use of software, since my students were able to follow the instruction with the greatest of ease. The outcome of this most recent collaborative project was a montage of visual art that was turned into a poster that is displayed in our school front office. Mr. Chambers and his students have greatly impacted mine by extending their everyday learning and providing them with 21st century skills." [YV]

"Mr. Chambers is an artist that uses his passion to spark creativity and critical thinking in his students. His unique program combining photography, graphic arts, publishing software and literacy in all subject areas both engages and challenges his students. One only need watch his students in their daily video news program to see the poise and self-confidence that he has helped them develop." [SW]

Mr. Chambers' take on education reform:

"Based on my sensitization to the middle school environment, I feel that there is a need to get our youth's attention today before we begin to talk about education reform. And why do we need to get their attention? Because the majority of them are not paying attention in the conventional or traditional classroom. This is one reason why there is a lot of retesting to force feed our youth to pass the required exams so they can move through the slush gates of education and ultimately out the door. And it seems most school administrations are okay with this as they attempt to fill their state-mandated quotas translated as achievement percentages.

The students are the victim, here. They may very well pass their required exams at some point in time, but in order to do so, most go through the process of 'pulling and pushing', if you will, to move them away from their lethargic and aliterate behavior to pay enough attention ... and I emphasize, enough ... to pass. I will leave it up to you to define what passing really means.

"Opportunity is what it's all about, and our students DO look for it everyday in the classroom." Tom R. Chambers

The students I taught at Raul Yzaguirre School for Success in Houston, Texas accomplished a great deal with me via Technology Applications. I would like to think that I had a great deal to do with this productivity, but it was truly due to hands-on hardware/software, access to the Internet, and project-based activities involving visualization, design and creation of product. And a lot of the classroom activities paralleled or matched similar, personal activities with hardware/software. In other words, my 'wired' classroom was conducive to who they were (are) ... 'wired' youth, 'digital natives'. These accomplishments are evidenced at:


The lethargic and aliterate behavior in the conventional or traditional classroom is due to two factors: the environmental stimuli via computer technology, media, entertainment, video gaming modes of approach; and the lack of educators being able to acknowledge such, and make amends in the classroom. It seems to me that they need to join the ranks of our youth today, and become 'wired' in the classroom. And if this is approached correctly ... project-based activities via technology applications that cross over into the core subject areas with STEM/STEAM components ... students will participate in and contribute to the educational process for 'real' benefit. And I describe benefit this way because of the practicality of the applications process as a part of the learning activity. Not only will there NOT be a need for retesting, but also an enhancement of skill levels that are required in higher education and at the workplace.

"College education departments need to reform their curriculum and training via real-world applications - RELEVANCE and PRODUCTIVITY!" Tom R. Chambers

Also, another way to increase the attention span of our youth, and improve their outlook or mindset about education is to have digital entities ... computer technology, media, entertainment, video gaming, etc. ... place statements of encouragement on their products targeting students in a general sense to do better with the curriculum, stay in school, and graduate. Since these entities have changed the mental attitudes and pace of our youngsters, they should also nurture our youth to stay in school and get an education. I feel that statements of encouragement on their products would have a great impact on our youth's psyche to begin to think twice about how important getting an education is. This could have an all-encompassing effect on getting our youth's attention. And I feel that this enhanced awareness ... along with technological support in the classroom and tech teaching of teachers ... would begin to turn around the educational process in a more positive light."

"Teaching should be effective, not revered - respect should come through achievement via students' skills/abilities." Tom R. Chambers


"Teach Art/Math simultaneously - have students calculate the area of Kazimir Malevich's 'Black Square' - Suprematism = Math." Tom R. Chambers

My Dear Malevich

"The world is NOT a book (or the Internet) - it's REAL, and I suggest everyone partake in a non-package tour to become a better teacher." Tom R. Chambers

An American Teacher's Experience Near Zhengzhou, China

"Use passion and a bit of tech, perhaps, to conjure up passion within students to move their thinking forward and upward." Tom R. Chambers

Moving STEM Towards STEAM
(Presentation for the Global STEMx13 Education Conference, September 19-21, 2013)
Mr. Chambers taught Technology Applications at Raul Yzaguirre School for Success (RYSS) in Houston, Texas, 2007-2013. He also taught and advised after school programming in Digital Photography, Digital / New Media Art and Broadcasting. He is a firm believer in empowering students to take control of the learning process via hardware/software for greater understanding and retention of core subject content. Challenge through engagement is the key to students' interest, and enthusiasm for the educational process.

"Provide purpose in the classroom, and students will beg for participation."
Tom R. Chambers

He is grounded in conventional educational media applications with digital/new media enhancement over the past 10 years. A pertinent connection would be his tenure as Educational Media Manager for Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, 1980-1983. He managed a creative staff, and supported the teaching activities at the Texas Tech Medical School. He also managed media departments for the University of Rhode Island (1983-1985) and the City of Providence (RI) (1985-1990).

Curriculum Vitae

"When real-world situations become part of the learning path, they will beckon students to begin to think about their role in society." Tom R. Chambers

A selection of Mr. Chambers' accolades:

Nomination for The Library of Congress "Literacy Award/The David M. Rubenstein Prize", 2013.

Exemplary Teacher Award (in recognition of outstanding achievements as an ePals educator), ePals, Inc., September, 2011.

Learning Through the Arts Award (In recognition of excellence and innovation in education as exemplified by Vocabulary Building Through Digital Art; an exceptional project which integrates collaboration, global awareness, and digital skills), ePals, Inc., June, 2010.

Certificate of Recognition (for commitment and dedication to teaching), Tejano Center For Community Concerns, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success, Houston, Texas, U.S.A., (2008-2009), May 15, 2009.

Students are seen broadcasting Panther News at Raul Yzaguirre School for Success (Houston, Texas), a consistent process throughout the school year to build self-confidence and enhance public speaking skills.

Certificate of Honor (teaching and promotions contributions), Fine Arts Department, Zhaoqing University, Zhaoqing, China, 2005 - 2007.

Commendation (teaching contributions), Foreign Languages Department, Sheng Da College, Zhengzhou, China, 2003 - 2005.

Commendation (institutional and community development), United States Peace Corps, Zimbabwe, Africa, 1993 - 1995.

Youth Leadership Award (youth development), Metro Arts/Smith Hill Center, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A., 1991.

"Tell your students that it is okay to have attitude as long as it is smart - achievements in society are a result of such." Tom R. Chambers

Mayor's Citation (community work - youth development), City of Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A., 1989.

Commendation (communications work with high school students - Crosbyton High School, Crosbyton, Texas, U.S.A.), Region 17 Education Services Center, Lubbock, Texas, U.S.A., 1980.

State Award (journalism and photojournalism for high school newspaper - adviser to students, Crosbyton High School, Crosbyton, Texas, U.S.A.), Lubbock, Texas, U.S.A., 1980.

First Place Award (photomicrography), BioCommunications Association, Galveston, Texas, U.S.A., 1974.

First Place Award (best technical paper published in a national scientific journal, LAS), AALAS, Houston, Texas, U.S.A., 1971.

"Be a visionary teacher - will lead to future, visionary leaders - those students sitting in the classroom."
Tom R. Chambers

Seventh grade students (Raul Yzaguirre School for Success, Houston, Texas) used PowerPoint to create presentations based on Grade 7 Math concepts. The students were challenged to take control of the learning process to make Math more exciting and interesting to study. They researched the concepts online, and then used visuals, text and animation to bring them "to life".

"Challenge your students to take control of the learning process for a sense of relevance and ownership."
Tom R. Chambers

Mr. Chambers is also a documentarian and visual artist with over 80 exhibitions to his credit. His project, My Dear Malevich is internationally acclaimed. Click on button to go to his photo/art website:

"Technology should facilitate, make pedagogy exciting to motivate, engage, and empower the student for greater understanding/retention."
Tom R. Chambers

GIMP in Schools
Student Tech - Pinterest
Student Tech - Facebook

"Part of the education dysfunction is the lack of concern by most media entities to encourage education as they inundate youth with their product."
Tom R. Chambers

Tweets re: Education/Technology

"WHATEVER for our students today is a very real concept, for them, stemming from an attitude ... indifferent ... created via media that everything's cool."
Tom R. Chambers

(Newsletter, November, 2011).

"Our youth today are a WHAT'S UP generation - teach your students accordingly." Tom R. Chambers

Mr. Chambers' other teaching activities:
China | India | Zimbabwe

Mr. Chambers is a RPCV (Zimbabwe, 1992-1995).

SKIA (Street Kids In Action)

He is on the winning team out of a series of teams chosen by NASA and ISTE (International Society of Technology for Education) that developed STEM/STEAM curriculum for NASA to package as a part of its educational approach for classrooms worldwide re: the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) 2014 mission to study Space weather. A STEAM component (as one example) can be accessed at:


Eighth grade students (Raul Yzaguirre School for Success, Houston, Texas) are seen teaching intermediate students (Dublin ISD, Dublin, Texas) how to use graphic arts software to visualize Space weather and the NASA MMS 2014 mission for greater understanding and retention of content.

Eighth grade students (Raul Yzaguirre School for Success, Houston, Texas) are seen teaching third grade students (Harmony Hills Elementary School, San Antonio, Texas) how to use graphic arts software.

"The gist of education is students teaching students." Tom R. Chambers

Mr. Chambers feels that showcasing students' work is a very effective way to motivate them (students) to want to participate in and excel at assigned curriculum. As they peruse their various projects and product (item as an end result) en masse and as a collective body or group of individuals working towards one common means (goal), there is a sense of team achievement.

Personally, there is a variety of tags that can be applied to the psyche: self-esteem, pride, relevance (purpose), ownership, achievement, completion (closure). This team feeling and these tags ... and more ... are important for participation and follow-through within higher education and at the workplace.

"The teacher should meld with the students to create a collective learning environment - a group consciousness that feeds self." Tom R. Chambers

The collection of work can also be used as learning tools for others. The waves of new students that "pour" into the classroom, semester after semester, year after year, can view and use the collection (other collections) as a guideline (template). What is probably more important is the fact that the collection becomes a motivational tool for the new students to participate and achieve in a competitive sense as they are tasked to work on similar projects.

Various projects and products by seventh and eighth grade students (Raul Yzaguirre School for Success, Houston, Texas) are seen in this screen capture, courtesy of Pinterest.

"Showcase your students' products - they become motivators and great teaching tools for the next wave."
Tom R. Chambers

Visualize content with a purpose. Seventh grade students (Raul Yzaguirre School for Success, Houston, Texas) manipulated photographs (taken by other RYSS students) via graphic arts software to make Digital Art for a fundraising activity to support the school and the community. This Digital Art piece is by Tiffany Cedillo. The photograph was made by Jovany Aguirre.

The classroom setting is important to Mr. Chambers. It should be "filled", and "busy" with a sense of relevance and achievement. There should be a curatorial aspect to display that adds meaning and value to students' work as an incentive to continue with the educational process. It should be surround and tactile - providing excitation - giving purpose and direction to behavior - and nurturing the learning process.

These photographs show Mr. Chambers' Technology Applications classroom at Raul Yzaguirre School for Success, Houston, Texas (2012 - 2013).


Mr. Chambers is seen in action along with his students (Raul Yzaguirre School for Success) in these screen captures from video coverage by a local television station in Houston, Texas. They (TV crew) were there in response to Mr. Chambers being selected as a member of one of the teams to develop curriculum for the study of Space weather and the NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, 2014.

"There's nothing greater than the power of a photograph to help students write (Literacy Through Photography [LTP])."
Tom R. Chambers

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