MassCUE is pleased to announce Melissa Zeitz as our Featured Educator for December 2021!
Melissa Zeitz is an innovative award-winning technology educator who works to showcase what is possible with technology integration in schools with students from low-income households. Research has shown that teachers’ use of technology in classes with primarily students of color tends to focus on lower-order thinking tasks (e.g., drill and practice) and remediation (Zielezinski, 2016) rather than critical thinking or critical design tasks. As a Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DLCS) Teacher for kindergarten through fifth grade in Springfield Public Schools, Melissa engages her students in hands-on problem solving, coding, and design-based learning with robotics and other technologies. She often crowdfunds new technologies for her classes (https://www.donorschoose.org/classroom/techiek-5 ). She was selected for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (https://www.paemst.org/finalist_profile/5000 ). Melissa serves as the technology and curriculum resource coordinator for the CS-for-All Springfield grant; helping teachers in integrating computer science into curricula across the district.
Melissa has presented at ISTE and MassCUE, is a Microsoft Innovator Educator, and serves as President of the Computer Science Teacher Association of Western Massachusetts. Melissa also served as the co-author of the “2021 Digital Literacy and Computer Science Curriculum Guide for Massachusetts Districts” by the Massachusetts Department of Education (https://www.doe.mass.edu/stem/dlcs/curriculum-guide.pdf ).
Melissa exemplifies what MassCUE is all about – innovation, courage, and using technology to redefine education.
MassCUE would like to recognize Melissa Zeitz for her contributions to educators and students everywhere. Congratulations on a job well-done!
Melissa Zeitz is in her 20th year as a teacher, working the past year at Zanetti Montessori School Prek-8 in Springfield, Massachusetts and prior 16 years at Liberty Elementary school in Springfield, Massachusetts. Melissa specializes in Special Education and Digital Literacy and Computer Science. Melissa’s work also extends beyond the classroom, working both within and outside of her district, training teachers on how to integrate technology and Computer Science into their curriculum. Melissa has led the way in her district, bringing Computer Science to all students in her school.
Outside of school Melissa has been involved in International Society for Technology in Education, MassCue, and currently President of the Computer Science Teacher Association of Western Mass. Melissa actively attends and presents at Instructional Technology and Education conferences around the Northeast.
In her current projects: My 5th grade students created avatars using only shape blocks in PowerPoint. They were expressing who they are through the Avatars. When they were done they created GIFS on PowerPoint. Next they took the avatars and they uploaded them into Scratch and programmed an animation of the meaning of their names. My 5th graders created their own version of the Iron Giant using the Hummingbird Bit kids. My 7th graders programmed the Dash robot to do TikTok videos!
You can find Melissa on Twitter at @whisperinedtech