Bluum and the Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET) is proud to announce the finalists for its annual Outstanding Educator Award. This award recognizes one educator for his or her use of educational technology in the teaching and learning process in Maryland schools. The award supports MSET’s Mission for advancing excellence in learning and teaching through innovative and effective uses of technology.
“MSET is proud to have seven amazing educators who exemplify teaching and learning with technology as our finalists this year,” MSET Awards Chair Chris Cuppett indicated. “Each of these educators have amazing stories about how they are supporting students and challenging the status quo. Maryland is fortunate to have these educators working with students.”
Here are the seven finalist:
MICHELLE BAKER, technology teacher at Longfellow Elementary School, Howard County Public Schools — Michelle’s work has had a significant positive impact on technology use in her educational community. As a technology teacher, Michelle provides 30 to 60 minutes of direct instruction to students in PreK-5. The students engage in active learning on topics such as digital citizenship, computational thinking, coding, collaboration, communication, and foundational technology skills. She provides opportunities for students to use various digital tools to engage in learning and options to demonstrate their learning in multiple ways. Thanks to Michelle, students leave Longfellow Elementary with a solid coding experience, proficiency with various applications, and high-level computational thinking skills.
CHRISTYN DAY, Science Teacher and Advanced Academics Specialist at West Frederick Middle School, Frederick County Public Schools — Christyn is continuously looking for opportunities to improve her professional practice. She is in her second year of the Frederick County Public School Vanguard Leadership program, a program that fosters a culture of personalized learning in teachers’ classrooms and their schools. Plus, Christyn is consistently involved in professional learning experiences that evaluate and reflect on current research and practices to improve student learning in her classroom and school. She is currently in the McDaniel Gifted and Talented Educator Specialist (GATES) Certification program, a program designed for K-12 educators who seek to gain expertise in the field of gifted and talented education.
ERIC HINES, Math Teacher at Laurel High School, Prince George’s County Public Schools — Eric integrates technology in his high school math classrooms encouraging students to create, pushing his students beyond just consumers of technology. Eric believes the integration of technology in academic experiences is imperative as we embark on the “Era of Screens” and the many distractions and interests that impact our students. In every class period, Eric implements different variations of technology to help with multiple learning styles, including image slideshows, interactive slides, multimedia videos, audio experiences, animations, digital whiteboards for hands-on experiences, games, and digital manipulatives.
BEN HURLEY, technology teacher/coach at Washington County Public Schools — Ben is a highly effective educator working in classrooms daily with PreK-12 teachers and students across Washington County Public Schools. He leads and teaches PreK-5 Computer Science Curriculum that is infused within the district’s library media curriculum. He can be seen traveling from school to school teaching the curriculum and being a lead teacher across the district as he is a Regional Facilitator for the Elementary Computer Science Coach program too.
KORAL MCKENNA, science teacher at Anne Arundel County Public Schools — Koral’s magic is her intentionality. It is never just technology for the sake of using it. There is always a specific purpose. Teaching a hybrid class means developing relationships from behind a camera as well as in person, which. McKenna has excelled at doing, and in getting to know each learner, she is able to customize their learning paths. She expertly analyzes content standards and meets those markers with a curriculum that balances hands-on learning experiences, along with virtual labs and projects. Ms. McKenna chooses each activity, both digital and in-person, with specific learning goals and technology education in mind.
ANN PRIZZI, performing arts teacher at Baltimore County Public Schools — Ann believes teachers are people with creative potentials for guiding the development of others. She sees teaching as an art. She is consistently asking herself, How can I become better equipped to deal successfully with the challenge of helping others learn in an ever changing world of technology? Prizzi uses technology to create positive and productive relationships with students and understand the knowledge and insight into human behavior of how one can contribute to making a climate most favorable to the learner. She says staying visible is not only being seen, but being heard from. Prizzi has very high expectations for herself as an educational technology leader and wants to lead by example for her students.
SACHA TAYLOR-BLADES, computer science teacher at Crossland High School, Prince George’s County Public Schools — Sacha is a true leader in integrating technology into her teaching practice. She is constantly seeking out new tools and techniques to enhance student learning and engagement. Whether it's implementing a new coding program, using virtual reality to bring history to life, or creating interactive multimedia projects, Taylor-Blades’ is always exploring new ways to engage students and promote their learning. She has presented at the Prince Georges County Public Schools Powering Up Technology Conference; she is a presenter at the Annual SMARTLab Conference and an Apple Learning Coach Candidate.