The Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET) is pleased to announce Michelle Baker, a technology teacher at Longfellow Elementary School in the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), as the recipient of the prestigious Outstanding Educator Using Technology Award. This esteemed recognition celebrates Michelle's exceptional contributions to technology integration in education and her unwavering dedication to empowering students through innovative teaching practices.
The MSET Outstanding Educator Using Technology Award, sponsored by Bluum, acknowledges educators who demonstrate exemplary use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. Baker's remarkable achievements and her commitment to leveraging technology in the classroom made her the clear choice for this prestigious honor.
"We are thrilled to recognize Michelle as an exceptional educator who exemplifies innovation in educational technology," expressed Chris Cuppett, MSET's Awards co-chair. "Michelle's dedication to empowering her graduate students to leverage technology in their teaching practices is truly commendable. Her influence on her students has a far-reaching impact that extends beyond the classroom."
With over 27 years of experience in education, Baker holds a Master's degree in Library Media/Instructional Technology with an Administration and Supervision Certificate. Her extensive background and expertise have enabled her to create a lasting impact on technology use in her educational community.
As a technology teacher at Longfellow Elementary School, Michelle provides students from PreK to 5th grade with 30 to 60 minutes of direct instruction. Through her engaging lessons, she covers a wide range of topics, including digital citizenship, computational thinking, coding, collaboration, communication, and foundational technology skills. Michelle incorporates various digital tools and platforms, offering students multiple avenues to demonstrate their learning and skills.
One of Michelle's notable achievements is her commitment to fostering equity and empowerment among her students. She has developed a rapport with her students and has organized enrichment and leadership experiences beyond regular classes. Projects such as 3D printing initiatives and peer helper partnerships have allowed older students to assist younger grades during technology classes. Michelle's dedication and passion for equity guide her every action, ensuring that students at Longfellow Elementary leave with coding experience, proficiency in applications, and high-level computational thinking skills.
Michelle's influence extends beyond her classroom as she actively collaborates with her colleagues to support their integration of technology into their teaching practices. She provides guidance, professional development sessions, and assists in planning how technology can enhance their instruction. Michelle's commitment to innovation is evident in her collaborative projects with Longfellow's library media specialist, where students create videos of book reviews to challenge censorship and share their thoughts on banned books.
In her quest for continuous improvement, Michelle actively seeks out new ideas, projects, and technologies to incorporate into her teaching. She attends conferences, engages in discussions with colleagues, and explores emerging technologies to discover their potential for enhancing learning experiences. By actively experimenting with new tools and applications, Michelle finds innovative ways to integrate technology effectively.
Michelle's passion for sharing knowledge and inspiring others extends beyond her classroom. She incorporates a wide variety of digital tools in her lessons, sharing student work with other teachers, families, and through social media platforms. Through presentations at local, state, and national conferences, Michelle disseminates her expertise, providing detailed and purposeful insights that empower fellow educators to implement digital tools effectively.
Furthermore, Michelle Baker plays an indispensable role in Longfellow Elementary's leadership team, where her impact reaches the entire school community. Acting as a member of the Restorative Justice Team, the lead point of contact for the Student Council, and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaison, she infuses technology into various initiatives and decision-making processes that positively impact the school community.
"Michelle Baker is a leader who embodies the qualities of an outstanding educator using technology," Longfellow Elementary's Principal Derek Anderson stated. "She consistently promotes kindness, unity, and social justice, while encouraging students to use their voices respectfully and thoughtfully."
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.