“It has the potential to enhance their whole classroom experience. It broadens their horizons and allows them to see things they may not be able to see in their lifetime without it.”
That is what Kathy Blair, winner of our Edmentum Inspirational High School Educator award, said about the value of technology in the classroom. Kathy, who has been an educator for 28 years and currently works as a technology coach at Upper Darby High School in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, is passionate about leveraging technology to help students learn collaboratively.
“I love being a tech coach because I can see the students benefiting from the teaching strategies I work with the teachers on. That is really rewarding,” Kathy responded when asked why she loved her work. She explained that helping students grow and learn is why she entered and has remained in the education field for almost three decades. On why she transitioned from teacher to technology coach Kathy said, “Technology is an integral part of the classroom. It’s important to serve students with the skills they’ll need moving forward in society.” Edmentum’s Study Island and Courseware are two of the online programs Kathy utilizes with the teachers and students in her building.
“We have 3600 students who share access to carts of laptops, so we are not 1:1 yet,” said Kathy as she explained her school’s technology setup. She has worked with a team of instructional coaches to facilitate school-wide contests to encourage students to use Study Island on their own time in the computer labs as well as at home. Technology helps Kathy work with teachers in her building to help them quickly gather student data, administer formative assessments, and easily access practice materials—all of which are key activities to personalize learning for students.
Although technology is helping empower teachers in new ways, Kathy acknowledges there are still significant challenges today’s educators face in the classroom. She works diligently alongside her fellow teachers to ensure individual student needs are fulfilled and help those students who have problems at home that are impacting their time in the classroom.
Speaking of fellow teachers, the educators who have crossed paths with Kathy had nothing but great compliments for our Inspirational Educator award winner. One spoke of her willingness to help other teachers, saying, “If she doesn’t have the answer, she will find it for you before you blink an eye,” and “I know I can always go to her for help. She is always willing to drop what she is doing to help a colleague with technology.” It doesn’t take long to realize that Kathy is an incredibly positive presence for both the students and faculty at her school.
Please join us as we extend big congratulations to Edmentum’s Inspirational High School Educator, Kathy Blair! Thanks for your outstanding work, Kathy—keep it up!
Want to learn more about Edmentum’s Educator of the Year Award and our other Inspirational Educator honorees? Take a look at this blog post, and keep an eye out for profiles on our other winners in the coming weeks!