Annamaria Schrimpf, M.Ed
Director of Educational Technology
Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical District
What is the one thing you are really passionate about?
My unwavering passion is ensuring that all students are active participants in their learning. Technology can be a game-changer for many students. It can be the equalizer in their education allowing them to reach their full potential. My role as Director of Educational Technology, I am committed to strategically design transformational learning environments that can enable all students to take ownership of their learning and give them the skills necessary to ensure their current and future success.
I have been fortunate in my career as a teacher and administrator for over 30 years, to design transformational learning opportunities that allow our students to become stewards of their learning.
Technology permeates our everyday lives, and as educators, we have a commitment to our students to understand the importance of being a lifelong learner. My hope for the future is that all students including my grandchildren—Ava, Braeley, Logan, Harrison, and William will always have the enthusiasm and desire to learn that they have on the first day they start their educational journey.
What are your 2/3 favorites apps and tools?
Our district adopted Office 365 last year. One of the deciding factors in adopting Office 365 was the application called OneNote. The best way that I would describe OneNote is a collection of notebooks on steroids. For me, it is a portable file cabinet that is extremely light!! OneNote has every capability you can image from video, images, sound, collaboration, tagging, to do and the list goes on. If I were still teaching, I could see myself curating my own materials and create an interactive textbook in ClassNotebook using OneNote. To keep me organized, I use it for online collaboration with my staff that includes sharing of notebooks capturing endless documentation for our department. Our students are creating ePortfolios using OneNote, and it is portable so they can take it with them upon graduation. In addition to OneNote, Office 365 also has all the standard Microsoft products with additional features including the capability of students and staff to download five client licenses of Office on any personal and school computer, tablet or Smartphone. This product has endless possibilities.
The other app that I use both personally and professionally is Pinterest. Initially, when it came out there were limited boards for educational technology but very quickly boards started populating which included impressive infographics. Also, I love the technology gadget update boards and on many occasions I am saying to myself “why didn’t I think of that!”
Flipboard, Pulse, Ted Talks, Symbaloo, Twitter are just a few additional apps that I use on a regular basis. This list is endless.
What is your current project?
With the roll out of Office 365, many teachers requested more professional development. We have tried after school professional development, drop in professional development during the school day and summer offerings with little interest from our staff. In working collaboratively with the Director of Career, Technical and Vocational Education, we carved out time for the Career, Technical and Vocational teachers to participant in a professional development offering that encompassed OneNote/ClassNote Notebooks and Office 365. During this professional development, teachers have the opportunity to learn these applications and work collaboratively with their colleagues to create instructional resources for their students as well creating collaborative spaces for their students. This professional development design creates the opportunity for systemic change in the use of technology throughout the district.
Who do you admire most and why?
It is very difficult to say one specific person that I admire. I admire many of my colleagues, family, and friends who bring value to me both professionally and personally. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to connect with some phenomenal individuals that have contributed to my professional growth.
I also admire the visionary leaders who allow me to think outside of the box which enables me to design transformational learning environments for the future. Some of these key individuals whose books I have read and follow online include Daniel Pink; Angela Maiers, Sir Ken Robinson, Scott McLeod, Michael Horn, Clay Christensen, Yong Zou, Tony Wagner and Don Tapscott are just a few of the key players encouraging change.
How do you stay current on trends and new technology?
Networking, networking, networking is one of the most powerful opportunities that allows me to stay current in my field. Technology is an ever-changing industry, but with the collective wisdom of my online and face to face community of professionals keeps me current with the trends and new technologies. Various lis servs, professional organizations, online collaboration spaces affords me the information to solve a problem or circumvent the element of surprise of the next hot topic that might be for me as a Technology Director.
The endless resources online which include but not limited to Ted Talks, Youtube, Pulse, Flipboard, Google Hangout/Microsoft Yammer, Horizon Reports, CoSN, and ISTE reports naming just a few.