Livescribe is proud to congratulate the winners of the 23rd Annual Tech & Learning Leader of the Year award. The honor recognizes these individuals as the top education technology leaders in the country. Each winner utilizes technology is an incredible way in their school / district.
Brian Mannix, Seventh-grade social studies teacher, Great Neck South (NY) Middle School (In image, on left)
Never doubt your students or their ability to help. That’s Brian Mannix’s motto. As he says, “The more faith you have, and the more you turn that over, the easier your job becomes.” Mannix collaborated last year with his team teachers (English and science) on a Connected Classroom project. Now the three are testing it before it gets rolled out school-wide. Over the summer, the technology committee invested $20,000 on Dell netbooks and Apple iPod Touches for 1:1 and 1:2 connectivity, respectively. So far, Mannix’s classes have done a colonization project with schools in New Jersey and South Carolina, communicating via Skype and wikis. They are learning about digital citizenship through Digi Teen Project (digiteen.ning.com), a program that links 11 schools from all over the world.
Julie Carter, Executive Director of Technology, Minnetonka (MN) School District (In image, in middle)
If you can’t access the technology, what good is it? That’s the underlying question behind Julie Carter’s ambitious plan to allow her teachers to personalize education to meet each child’s unique needs. In 2002 and 2007, district voters approved a levy referendum for technology and instructional equipment. The funding accelerated Minnetonka’s vision for technology integration from 11 classrooms in 2002 to more than 400 classrooms in 2009. To incorporate technology into every aspect of her district, Carter has done four key things. First, she figured out how to put the most computers into student’s hands. “Instead of a 1:1 laptop program, we focused on 1:1 access,” she says. Then she provided access to the laptop-loaner program. The third tier of her plan was to create MyMinnetonka, a portal for students, parents, and staff. Finally, Carter opened a guest wireless network at the high school for students to bring in their own laptops, smartphones, iPods, and other devices.
Kevin M. Anderson, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Oak Park Elementary School District 97, IL (in image, on right)
How do you move a school district forward? According to Kevin M. Anderson, it takes patience, people, persistence, partnerships, and teamwork. In five years, his district went from outdated computers, various operating systems, and an understaffed tech department to a high-functioning district where teachers use Web 2.0 tools on a fiber network. What’s more, he did it on a shoestring budget. From the technology committee he filled with community members, parents, technology experts, staff members, and teachers to the fiber network he put in place, Anderson executed his plan one step at a time.
Livescribe is proud to donate an Echo Smartpen to each of the winners.