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EdTech student earns teacher-of-the-year award


EdTech student Sarah Thompson has been named teacher of the year in Fairfax County, Virginia, Public Schools.

 The Mark Twain Middle School English teacher attended several Google Apps for Educators summits and was intrigued to learn that many of the presenters were graduates of Boise State’s EdTech program.

 “I wanted to be them,” she said, so she joined the Boise State EdTech master’s program and is scheduled to graduate next May.

 Thompson explained the transition in her teaching, saying, “Because of the knowledge and experience I gained through BSU’s Ed. Tech. program, the teaching and learning in my classroom transformed and continues to develop in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. I’ve presented professional development to fellow teachers on various ed-tech topics, including YouTube, the use of student email, flipped lessons, hyperdocs, and more.

 “I am even our school’s website curator now. I still sometimes think, who—me?!

 “It is awesome to be in a position to share what I know and pay it forward. In the classroom, my students use our netbooks and technology to explore, collaborate, and develop not just their reading and writing skills but also their social skills. We are a thriving, virtually paperless classroom. We are a 21st century classroom. And more importantly, we are having fun and learning more about ourselves and the world!

 “I could not be more thankful and more aware that I did not reach this accomplishment on my own. In fact, one of the points I made in my nomination letter was in reference to the many people who helped me along the way, including Boise State University. Furthermore, I made the point that while it still takes a village to raise a child, we now have to prepare our students to be global citizens and for careers and experiences not yet known. At the same time, every child also needs fair and equal access to education. We cannot expect to do these things using the same old approaches to learning. So, I said, it still takes a village, but we must also bridge the gaps using technology. That is exactly what we at Boise State are doing. Truly, I am proud to be a part of it and thankful beyond measure for the tools I received (and continue to receive) from Boise State to help me build, and continue to add to, those bridges.”

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