From an elementary teacher who launched a district-wide student blogging campaign to a top executive at a major digital education resources conglomerate who led the field of educational social networking, the members of NSBA’s 2010 Technology Leadership Network (TLN) “20 to Watch” list embody educators who are as cutting edge as the technologies they embrace and incorporate systemwide.
“These individuals do not just believe in technology for technology’s sake. They are finding different, effective and exciting ways to engage students through the use of technology,” said Ann Flynn, NSBA’s director of education technology programs. “We recognize these innovative educators as role models who can inspire their colleagues to embrace tools that help make learning more relevant for their students and more transparent for parents and community members.”
The 2010 honorees will be recognized at NSBA’s T+L Conference, to be held Oct. 19-21 in Phoenix. Here is a list of this year’s winners and their individual achievements:
Paul Andersen, high school teacher, Bozeman Public Schools, Bozeman, Montana
Recently named the 2011 Montana Teacher of the Year, Paul Andersen is getting well-deserved recognition for not only his innovative use of technology (he has posted his lessons on YouTube for the past two years) but willingness to share his knowledge with students and teachers in his weekly “Tech Junkies” meetings.
Gretchen Breon, sixth-grade teacher, Spencerport Central School District, Spencerport, New York
Gretchen Breon builds a strong rapport with her students and their parents through the use of her classroom Wiki, which serves as a virtual “kitchen table” to discuss literary works, post writing samples and offer immediate feedback to classmates. Breon focuses her use of technology on concepts that promote creative thinking, incorporate problem-solving and are quick for children to comprehend.
Cheryl Capozzoli, educational consultant/ instructional technology specialist, Capital Area Intermediate Unit, Newport, Pennsylvania
In her role at a regional education center, Cheryl Capozzoli has helped countless teachers incorporate Web 2.0 technologies into the classroom. She developed a Wiki called Web 2.0 Guru to help educators stay abreast of current research and best practices for effective instructional technology integration and she has created Facebook Community pages for teachers, parents and students to stay connected and informed about school issues and initiatives.
Julie Carter, executive director of technology, Minnetonka School District, Minnetonka, Minnesota
During the past year, Julie Carter implemented a district-wide, single sign-on portal for students, staff and parents, allowing them to collaborate and share important information online with a single login and password. Students collaborate internationally via the Web, and have access to free online storage, e-mail and file sharing. Carter also launched guest wireless access at the high school campus allowing students to bring their own laptops, smart phones, iPods and other devices to school.
Audrey Cucci, math teacher, Frankfort-Schuyler Central School District, Frankfort, New York
Audrey Cucci’s diligence in employing technology into her instruction–she records her daily lessons and posts them on School Tube and her website–have benefitted many teachers across the state, who have borrowed her lessons or joined the math/science technology user group she created for the Central New York Region.
Steve Dembo, director of education social media strategy and online community, Discovery Education, Chicago, Illinois
A former kindergarten teacher, Steve Dembo was one of the first educators to use Twitter and employ podcasts in classrooms. He now pushes his colleagues to adopt emerging technologies from his post at Discovery Education, where his blog, www.teach42.com, is frequently listed as one of the top educational blogs.
Camilla Gagliolo, instructional technology coordinator, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington Virginia
Camilla Gagliolo has promoted digital portfolio creation, multimedia integration and the use of emergent and handheld technologies in Arlington’s classrooms. Recently, she led efforts to create the Capital Region Society for Technology in Education, a group that brings together like-minded educators from across the D.C. region. A native of Sweden, Gagliolo is adept at connecting to educators and students worldwide.
Darren Gunderson, instructional technologist, Geary County USD 475, Junction City, Kansas
Darren Gunderson helps students and teachers integrate technology into real-world situations. One such project has students going to Kansas’ Konza Prairie to collect data on wildlife and plant life for researchers, who enter the information into a centralized database for everyone to access.
Buffy Hamilton, media specialist/teacher, Cherokee County School District, Canton, Georgia
Buffy Hamilton renamed her school library, The Unquiet Library, to emphasize an inquiry
and participatory approach to learning. But it was also named the 2010 Georgia High School Media Program of the Year for 2010 because of its active presence on social media sites, where Hamilton’s Unquiet Library blog is widely read across the country.
Debra Howe, superintendent, Rochester Community Schools, Rochester, Indiana
Debra Howe spearheaded the creation of the first New Tech High in rural Indiana. Not only are high school students learning in a 1:1 technology rich environment, but all K-12 classrooms have interactive white boards, SMART document cameras, laptop computers and digital cameras. Howe drives true technology integration into the instructional process through curriculum, professional development and purchasing decisions.
Ryan Hurley, English teacher, Warren County Schools, Warrenton, North Carolina
Ryan Hurley has turned his classroom into a paperless learning community using a wide variety of free online resources. His students use writeboard.com to discuss literature and share ideas and books.google.com to access libraries full of free, public-access digital documents and literature.
Jeffrey McMahon, academic technology officer, Indianapolis Public Schools, Indianapolis, Indiana
Jeffrey McMahon is used to leading. He was instrumental in bringing a 1:1 laptop model to the 2,500-student district. He brought CISCO Academies to Indianapolis and is spearheading virtual learning opportunities for students.
Shelley Patterson, teacher, Alexander City Schools, Alexander City, Alabama
Shelley Patterson’s uses a digital camera, tablet PC, Mac, iPod, blogging, video streaming, interactive PowerPoint presentations, and computer games, just to name a few, to enhance her daily lessons. She also launched a “Podcasting Camp” for teachers at Stephens Elementary School, creating podcasts that are aligned with state and national standards, which teachers, students and parents can access.
Adina Popa, technology resource teacher/international ambassador, Loudoun County Public Schools, Ashburn, Virginia
Adina Popa has spearheaded videoconferencing and Web 2.0 initiatives in her school district; this year alone, Loudoun County Public Schools held more than 500 videoconferences and formed partnerships with schools on three continents. First-graders connected with Alaskan mushers preparing for the Iditarod, for example, while fifth-graders discussed the connections between music and math with professional musicians.
Jamie D. Ramos, information & technology services coordinator, Tippecanoe School Corporation, Lafayette, Indiana
Jamie Ramos put wireless tablet PCs into the hands of all 800 classroom teachers in the district and rolled out wireless access in all 20 buildings, enabling teachers to be on the network anywhere in their school. He also led efforts to give parents online access to grades, attendance and registration information, and helped implement two student technology centers which offer engineering, robotics, forensics and medical technology courses.
Stephanie Rick, third grade teacher, Avoca School District 37, Glenview, Illinois
Stephanie Rick has launched many technology-based initiatives, including “Blog Wild,” a district-wide student blogging campaign that has got elementary students wild about blogging their schoolwork. Rick also established an “e-pal” relationship with a class in England and is always looking for ways to connect her students to ideas from around the world.
Brad Sandt, director of technology, Park Hill School District, Kansas City, Missouri
As the district’s technology director Brad Sandt is always focused on the big picture and thanks to process changes he implemented, including clearer service agreements, self-service software deployments and a plan to upgrade and replace district technology, the district has seen a 44 percent drop in work orders during the school year in the past year alone.
Eric Sheninger, principal, New Milford School District, New Milford, New Jersey
Eric Sheninger has instituted a school-wide program at New Milford High School to employ social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Animoto, Wordle, Voicethread and Delicious. While other schools have put boundaries on Web 2.0, Sheninger has promoted cutting-edge technology to students and staff. He has been a keynote speaker at conferences on using Twitter and Google Apps in the classroom.
Terri Simpson, teacher, Calcasieu Parish Public Schools, Sulphur, Louisiana
Terri Simpson is a bonafide 21st century educator, leading efforts to incorporate GoogleDocs, iPods, Palm hand-helds, digital cameras, iPads, student-response systems and one-to-one computing at Maplewood Middle School, and has secured grants and other funding to help bring this technology to the school. Simpson also offers a monthly parent technology night to help parents improve their technology skills.
Ellen Stubblefield, K-first grade teacher, Hoover City Schools, Hoover, Alabama
Ellen Stubblefield uses a Wiki as her classroom Web page, where she posts all kinds of examples of student work, from pictures to podcasts. Her kindergarten and first-grade students micro-blog via Twitter, and use Skype to connect to outside experts.