Friday, February 17, 2017


Educator Reflects on The Journey:

Amarilys William

Northbrook Middle School
8th Grade Science, Vanguard Fellow - Cohort 1

How is technology helping you as an educator?
Technology is an essential key in any working environment. In education environment, communication within a campus and between teachers has become more fluent and impactful with the use of technology. Live documents such as Google Docs have created an effortless collaborative environment.

What tools are you using to facilitate communication?
This year curriculum was posted on it’sLearning which is a great collaboration tool, classes, tasks, and documents are all in a centralized location for all teachers.  The Google Classroom has become a reality; many Google applications are being used by students, teachers, and administrators to make the digital collaborative environment more productive.

What role does technology play in PERSONALIZATION?
As our vision of a personalized learning experience for each student becomes a reality, technology is and will continue being a vital component. Having students move at their own pace by providing digital lessons gives the teachers the power to target individual student goals. Teachers have more time to work with students that need interventions and students that are moving at a faster pace have the alternative of enhancing their experience by researching and creating beyond the classroom lesson.

Do you feel like you have a bigger voice (or flexibility) to implement new thinking?
I have been working for this district since 2008, the general mindset about technology in this district has changed tremendously. Teachers and administrators see technology as a learning tool now more than ever. Technology use is an expectation in most campuses, and the district provides constant professional development focus on technology.

What ‘walls’ or challenges have you seen removed in this past semester about learning environments?
Some challenges that have been removed this year is the availability. Technology IS available for teachers to use, almost on a daily basis. Students are also more willing to use their personal technology device as a learning tool.  The adults are also changing their mindset and not looking at technology as a social tool but as a purposeful educational tool.

How would you define your role as educators?
Education is changing, so the role of the teacher evolves as well. Now we are not the source of knowledge; we are working with the students to guide them towards their own discovery. Help them find the information and guiding them through the process of analyzing the information gathered. Giving students the opportunity to apply their knowledge is part of our journey as educators.

Why is it important for educators to drive the work of The Learner's Journey?
Teachers are the ones that have the opportunity to apply new ideas and see them fail or develop as part of the classroom experience. As teachers, we know our population and the limitations that could make or break the learning experience.

How is your campus leader supporting your work? What has been a help?
Campus leadership here at NMS is extremely supportive; they are always helpful, available and willing to work with you on anything. Having the campus leadership give us ideas, model lessons and even buy laboratory materials has been wonderful.

Are you thinking differently about student support? How?
Student support is largely differentiated this year because the students know where they stand when asking for help, this is because they are tracking their own data. The conversations are now about what they need to improve on and which concepts are more challenging based on what they have mastered or not mastered.


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