The Maryland Society for Educational Technology and Bluum were proud to surprise Irene Bal today as its 2021-2022 Outstanding Educator Using Technology Award Winner. A dynamic lecturer in Loyola University of Maryland’s Educational Technology graduate program, Bal embodies educational technology in all areas of her professional life and exemplifies the MSET mission of advancing excellence in teaching and leading with technology. She is the consummate technology educator and a true academic.
Bal’s contributions to Loyola University Maryland, her students, and the educational technology community are unparalleled. She works tirelessly to not only incorporate technology into her lessons but to also improve the educational setting for all involved, including the communities of the schools in which her mentees teach.
“We are very excited to continue highlighting amazing educators who are innovators in educational technology,” Chris Cuppett, MSET’s Awards co-chair, articulated. “Irene pushes her graduate students to use technology to enhance learning opportunities at all levels. The ripple effect that Irene has started in her graduate students have no end.”
Bal’s professional accolades and support of instructional technology as a practitioner and researcher continues to shine brightly through her work. She can be found presenting at conferences such as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Common Ground Maryland, and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). She is becoming a global ambassador for instructional technology.
Outside of Loyola, Bal engages in many professional activities that she uses to impact her professional practice as well as those around her. Currently, she is serving as the Copy Editor and Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Technology Integrated Lessons and Teaching (JTILT). In addition, she is active in MSET’s new Higher Education Professional Learning Network initiative as well as member of MSET’s summer professional learning team.
“I am so ecstatic to have Irene as our Outstanding Educator honoree this year. She is the epitome of a hard worker and goes above and beyond to support high-quality instruction,” Brian Cook, MSET President, shared during today’s virtual presentation among the Loyola University Maryland faculty.
Bal will be honored throughout the upcoming year by receiving opportunities to participate in MSET business meetings, serve as featured speakers, and have her work highlighted. Plus, she will be receiving a banner to display at Loyola, a certificate, a complimentary registration for the upcoming Common Ground Conference, and a one-year paid MSET Membership.
“MSET wants to give a special thank you our team who scored each of the entries,” Tracy Schoene, MSET’s Awards co-chair, shared about the team who works tirelessly behind the scenes to make these awards happen. “We are very fortunate to have dedicated members who are willing to volunteer their time in the Organization.”
About Outstanding Educator Award
In partnership with Bluum, The Outstanding Educator Award is given annually to an outstanding educator supports MSET’s mission of advancing excellence in teaching and leading with technology. Any educator in a Maryland public or private school whose primary job responsibility is the direct instruction of students in an Early Childhood through Grade 12 or Higher Education classroom may be nominated. The educator must be currently responsible for the day-to-day instruction of PK-18 students. A nominee for this award may include a library media specialist and/or technology integration specialist, if at least seventy-five percent of his or her responsibilities include the direct instruction of PK-18 age students.