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Hawkins Named Outstanding Educator Using Technology Award Winner

06/06/2024 10:43 PM | MSET Webmaster (Administrator)

Award WinnerThe Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET) is pleased to announce Shavaun Hawkins, a technology teacher at Wind Farm Elementary School in Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AAPSS), as the recipient of the prestigious Outstanding Educator Using Technology Award. This esteemed recognition celebrates Shavaun’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 acknowledges educators who demonstrate exemplary use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. Hawkins’ remarkable achievements and her commitment to leveraging technology in the classroom made her the clear choice for this prestigious honor.

"We are thrilled to have so many talented finalists this year. It’s such a difficult decision for the panel to decide on because of talent, time, and effort each of the finalists put into their respective schools,” expressed Chris Cuppett, MSET's Awards co-chair. " Shavaun's dedication to empowering her elementary students has truly allowed taught them foundational skills that can be transferred across platforms and grade levels for years to come. Her ability to elevate her students’ work through technology integration is second to none.”

A former administrator of Hawkins commented, “Ms. Hawkins was constantly looking for opportunities to infuse technology into her instruction, working to challenge herself to be innovative in her position as a grade 4 teacher. This was evident in not only classroom instruction during the day, but extra curricular activities and other initiatives.”

In her school district, Ms. Hawkins serves as her school’s eCoach to support teachers with the integration of digital tools and educational resources. As the eCoach, Ms. Hawkins has logged many hours in learning new materials including applications and tools for learning, presenting and training a variety of technology content at the school and district level, creating materials and resources for herself and others utilizing many technology programs, and using technology effectively to communicate. Ms. Hawkins firmly believes that the more she participates in technology leadership opportunities, the more tools and knowledge she will possess to impact student learning in her classroom and beyond. Parent Jaime Foster commented, “Ms. Hawkins was one of the only teachers whose students were regularly utilizing appropriate online platforms for research, presentation, and turning in assignments. I was always so impressed that my then 4th grade child could make interactive slide presentations, scan documents to turn them in, and use a variety of other technologies to support their work. I learned some new things that I have used in my own profession that my children taught me through their online class work with Ms. Hawkins.” 

As a frequent user of a variety of digital programs like Wixie, Discovery Education, Minecraft for Education and tools like Math App, the Google Suite, WeVideo, to name a few, Ms. Hawkins is very confident in analyzing and selecting the most appropriate tools for instruction within her classroom. For example, her students learned how to combine applications like create illustrations using Pixton, a comic designing tool paired with audio support for visual and auditory learners; or to develop interactive Google Slides with Wixie templates, and record videos through WeVideo to upload and share their content to demonstrate their learning.

Many of her students get excited about using technology applications as creative options to showcase their learning. When asked why he liked integrated technology activity options over traditional activities, one of her students said, “Using technology helps me to be more creative over paper and pencil tasks. I like having the ability to choose how I demonstrate my learning!” Another student said, “Ms.Hawkins is a great teacher who made learning fun through the use of technology. She put so much effort into just learning how to use these sites for us.” When talking to families about their student’s in Ms. Hawkins’ class a common sentiment is evident. A longtime parent wrote, “Both of my children have benefited from the influence of Ms. Hawkins, not only becoming completely comfortable with technology, but looking for ways to incorporate it into their learning, long after leaving her classroom.” Another added, “Our family (all four children) has had the pleasure of experiencing the positive impacts of Ms. Hawkins’ teachings—her global perspective that helps students be curious, connect the dots and see things from different perspectives through the use of technology tools. 

Hawkins utilizes available technology to analyze digital assessment data to differentiate learning opportunities for her students. Whether in collaborative planning by school or grade-level, or within her own classroom, Hawkins is always open minded about finding ways to include digital learning. For example, she contributed to the school improvement plan by developing an online assignment for her grade level by using universal domain specific words to create an activity where all students, regardless of academic level could respond to a writing activity using a system of supports like a listening library, digital vocabulary, and sentence frame as needed. In addition, she frequently uses diagnostic assessments taken digitally to form small groups for instruction and assign independent tasks for learning.

To add on to being a technology resource for her students and their families, Hawkins is an instructional technology resource for her colleagues and other educational professionals. She often shares her ideas of how to use appropriate programs and create technology enhanced lessons. Ever since the onset of virtual learning in 2020, Hawkins has managed an online content sharing social media page and a district Google Drive. One teacher who used the resources from the shared drive stated, “I sincerely appreciate this drive. I wanted to share the love with my fellow colleagues knowing how much easier it has made my life.” A fellow co-worker also shared, “When schools went full virtual, Ms. Hawkins adapted to the new demands for her own students, but was always available to support me and my students. I have been able to stay current due to the guidance and support of Ms. Hawkins.”




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