at Calvert High School
"Donna has spearheaded our school’s movement into 21st century learning. She updates the staff on the latest software or helpful apps, she demos new hardware, provides staff with valuable professional development, and serves as a primary resource for students. She is the first stop for support whether it be with hardware or software and is a true visionary when it comes to being future ready. "
-Steven Lucas, Calvert High School Principal
"Podcasting is another digital tool that allows students to have their voices heard," Mignardi shared as she has been active in participating in National Public Radio (NPR) challenges with students and fellow teacher Amie Dryer. "By using digital tools, I am trying to prepare students for the next set of challenges in their lives where ever that may be."
However, Mignardi's passion comes alive as students dive deep into the research, which can often be one of the most challenging processes for students.
"The final products are great to view as we have a lot of talented students, but my true excitement comes in the process," she stated some of the best projects are often those who have done the best research. Many students spend multiple hours researching topics they have limited knowledge, but high interest in learning more about. Students often use their own phones for a recording audio and students work with Mignardi to create a podcast format.
This past year Mignardi was active in a NPR Contest where high school students got to create a podcast about any topic of their choosing. In conjunction with a colleague, Mignardi orchestrated a podcast known as the "Korean War Podcast Club."
"Donna has a knack for listening to students and knowing exactly how she can help," Principal Steven Lucas explained about Midnardi's willingness to go above and beyond to meet students' needs. "Whether she is giving students ideas for research, an app, or just a great book, she can sense what students need and then provide them with great suggestions."
Students researched a veteran of the Korean War and were accompanied by Mignardi and a fellow teacher to visit the veteran's grave, and interacted with the veteran's son in North Carolina via letter and phone call. Each week, Mignadri worked with students to craft the script, talk about the research they were doing and work to create this amazing podcast to send to NPR. More impressively, all of this initiative was completed on a volunteer basis during lunch.
"[Mignardi] assisted students in understanding the nuances of what makes a great production. Watching Donna work with students to make their project and podcast come to life is amazing," Jennifer Sturge, specialist for school libraries and instructional technology, in Calvert County Public Schools stated.
Mignardi's ability to engage students to want to participate research and creation of audio and visual tools is second to none.
About Digital Learning Showcase
MSET is taking the opportunity to highlight best practices in classroom teaching, leading, and learning with educational technology from around the state of Maryland. The goal is to spotlight innovations of members and nonmembers throughout different public and private school settings. Each month teachers, school leaders, and community members are asked to nominate individuals who support innovation and educational technology in a school setting.
MSET is non-profit organization with the purpose of promoting the improvement of the teaching-learning process through effective technology integration into all curricular areas as well as fostering and promoting excellence technology in education. MSET is an affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a leading international network for technology professionals.