Technology Teacher & Technology Integration Specialist
Dr. Kevin M. Hurley Middle School
What is the one thing you are really passionate about?
My biggest passion is making my students (“my kids”) feel safe while they are in my classroom. I respect them and their middle school “idiosyncrasies” that make them each unique as they try to discover themselves. They know that and they return the respect to me and to each other in my class. Using technology can be taken for granted but can also be a scary thing. Many tweens still don’t understand that what they do online, or on an electronic device, is never really wiped away. They don’t really grasp that the things they comment on may not be interpreted in the way they actually mean it to. I’ve taken social media and made it the focus in my 8th grade classes to further instill safety lessons.
What are your 2-3 favorite apps or tools?
Twitter is a big source of news for me – educational, sports, political, and personal. Google Classroom allows me to keep students informed whether they are in school, working on homework at home, on vacation, or ill. I also LOVE Kahoot!! The students respond so much more positively when I use Kahoot! as a tool to review. I have found their retention of information (such as how computers work) to be better with using this free tool!
What is your current project?
My newest project using social media with my 8th graders daily to find, report, and comment on what’s happening in our building, locally, nationally, and internationally continues to be a work in progress. We have studied digital footprints (what they are now and what they might want them to be in 4 years when they apply to college, the military, or for jobs), the impact of technology on their lives and the lives of others. We have dived into current event news items and had some incredible discussions. Some of my classes have worked with our principal and staff to assist in “branding” our school – publicizing the really awesome things that happen every day in our building and school community. Making use of the newest social media and communication apps that are out there in a positive, constructive way helps them see that these tools are not just for chatting with friends, but, more importantly, to reach out beyond our little town! I give students an outline of my expectations at the start of the semester and we work together to turn it into something that is unique to the makeup of the class. This allows them to utilize prior knowledge and experiences to make their learning more personalized. We even collaborate as an individual class to re-work and/or re-word the rubrics that I use to assess their skills throughout the semester. As a person who needs to be in control, this has been a professional challenge for me as I step out of that comfort zone. But, these kids continue to exceed my expectations, have more buy-in and devotion to succeed, and they make me so proud!
Who do you admire most? Why?
I admire so many others. So many colleagues have been kind enough to share their experiences and wisdom with me throughout the years and have helped me continue to grow and adjust to what life has thrown at me. I have some amazing teammates who are the kindest, most genuine people that are so supportive of others – staff and students alike. I aspire to be more like them. I admire my students for being curious and not afraid to ask questions (I was very shy at their age and I tell them that often). I admire my daughters for being strong, independent women who supported their dad, Matt, and I through many challenges; our younger two, Julia and Kailin were home with me through my illness and were great “nurses.” I admire our oldest daughter, Lauren, who is a first-year teacher working with autistic children and is rising to the challenge.
How do you stay current on trends and new technology?
MassCUE – collaborating with my tech-savvy colleagues, subscribing to listservs, participating in workshops, asking my 20-something daughters what THEY’RE using socially and in school (1 in undergrad, 2 in grad programs), and consulting my students all help keep me up on what’s happening with technology. I was a PBS Digital Innovator this year and the resources that were made available to us have been incredible!
Kim DeLeo worked in corporate marketing and management for 15 years before becoming an educator. She has been teaching in Seekonk for 19 years as a school Technology Teacher and a Technology Integration Specialist. While teaching in Seeking, she also chaired the District Technology Committee and presented at national conferences. She has attended Providence College, Bryant, UMass Dartmouth, and Framingham State. She has degrees in Special Education, English, Marketing, and an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology. She is certified as a Principal/Assistant Principal for grades Pre-K to 8. She has also been married for 30 years, has 3 daughters, and is a cancer survivor.