“Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.” ~William Butler Yeats
For the past 15 years technology has played a large role in lighting that fire in my professional role as an educator. Now it is taking on an even more predominant role at ESU 8.
My name is Katie Morrow and I am truly ecstatic to join ESU 8 as Instructional Technology Facilitator. I grew up in O’Neill, Nebraska and following graduation from Creighton University, have spent my entire teaching career in ESU 8 schools. I began with four years teaching 5th grade in Stuart followed by five years in 5th grade at O'Neill Elementary. I transitioned to O'Neill High School to take on the role of technology integration specialist for the district as well as teach junior high English language arts courses. In this role I was honored to help lead O'Neill Public Schools in their 24–7 Learning Initiative, currently in its ninth year of successful implementation. In addition I teach graduate technology courses for Doane College.
My areas of expertise range from teaching with interactive whiteboards (SMART Exemplary Educator), to Google (Google for Education Certified Innovator) to Mac and iOS (Apple Distinguished Educator) and beyond. When talking about technology integration it's easy to focus on the hardware. But it is a real mission of mine to put the emphasis on the first word in my job title: instruction. Technology should be readily available, easily accessed, and transparent— making it more about learning and less about gadgets and software.
We teach in exciting times. With ample technology resources available to us we are able to better reach our students, open more opportunities for them than ever before, and create a learning community that knows no boundaries. Navigating through the vast labyrinth of digital tools and resources available, however, can be challenging for any educator. That is where I can help.
Reach out to me with any instructional technology questions or requests for help - no matter how big or small. I plan to support ESU 8 schools in numerous ways including presentations and training, co-teaching model lessons, implementation planning and deployment, launching projects, and more. Some suggestions include SMART Boards and Promethean boards, Google apps, Canvas and teaching with an LMS, and anything Apple. I am passionate about creating digital content - both as teachers and as students - and can support media creation efforts such as photography, video production, screencasting, iTunes U courses, iBooks authoring, blogging, and presentation design. My curricular/instructional forte is writing and language arts so I encourage schools to consider infusing technology in writing instruction, nonfiction reading strategies, mobile journalism, or digital storytelling in any content area. Tech integration topics could range from classroom management to blended learning, Challenge Based Learning to digital citizenship, and beyond.
As we all continue to learn and collaborate together, I am confident that this will be an exceptional school year. Please stay connected with the year’s exciting updates by following @esu8 on Twitter and contacting me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.