Digital Learning Showcase
Featured Educator: Laura Smith
Smith sets technology standard high
"The support Laura gives to teachers is invaluable. Laura can be found assisting teachers in teaching methods and in proving support, mentoring and guidance in technology to make it a valuable learning experience for students and teachers alike."
- Randy Gast,
Head of School
Trinity Lutheran Christian School
Joppa, Md. -- The Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET) is proud to announce its November 2019 Digital Learning Showcase Recipient Laura Smith, Technology Coordinator at Trinity Lutheran Christian School.
A veteran educator of 22 years, Smith is always seeking ways to use technology to improve her school. As the Technology Coordinator, teachers come to her with needs, and she works to come up with various ways to solve their problems and help their students. Laura's specialty is finding free and accessible resources to meet the needs of her school, staff, and students.
“Laura is Trinity’s connection into the technology realm. Always searching for new ideas and utilizing these tools to better our school and to promote Trinity,” Randy Gast, Head of School at Trinity Lutheran Christian School noted about Smith’s affect on his school. “The support Laura gives to teachers is invaluable. Laura can be found assisting teachers in teaching methods and in proving support, mentoring and guidance in technology to make it a valuable learning experience for students and teachers alike.”
One of the programs Smith has been at the forefront using in the transformation of her classroom is Classcraft, a game-based learning management system that adds an engaging layer to the content learning that the students are doing every day. It works by the teacher assigning “quests” linked into students’ Google Classroom assignment, and students earn virtual Experience Points and Gold Pieces for completing their work and positive behaviors. In addition, one game made obstacle is the possibility of losing Health Points if they choose to break a rule. This added layer of fun and interactivity has been exciting for her students.
“I've even had students beg me to give them extra work over the weekend so they can earn points in Classcraft from home,” Smith explained. She believes game-based learning is highly engaging for students and very beneficial to student learning outcomes.
Smith is a game changer in every sense because she teaches so much more than technology; she is almost like a life coach for her many students at Trinity Lutheran.
“I always say to my co-workers and students, 'Technology is just a tool. It's how you use it that counts,'" Smith articulated as she often works in all kinds of content into her lessons, from how to organize information for research, to appreciation for art, environmental issues and conservation, and social-emotional skills.
Trinity Lutheran students know Smith is a teacher who they can rely on to help them with anything from classwork to giving out positive encouragement when they need it most.
"My students are why I'm here. I don't think they know how much I really care about them!" she shared.
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.