MassCUE is pleased to highlight this month’s Featured Educator, Stephanie Gosselin, the Digital Learning Specialist in Westford Public Schools.
What is the one thing you are really passionate about?
I am passionate about an educational shift that allows students to embrace and become owners of their learning and that empowers teachers as facilitators and guides for student learning. Every student learns differently and every teacher instructs differently. Aligning the two provides students with learning experiences that optimize their education. Technology and the many online tools available to educators present numerous opportunities for wonderful teachers to meet the needs of students “where they are at” and for the world in which they live
What are you 2/3 favorite apps or tools?
Google Apps for Education are amazing – the constant updates in Classroom, Sites, Docs, Sheets, Forms, etc. have created many opportunities for students and teachers. Particularly, we are utilizing some very basic tools such as slides to make learning visible as students collaborate and share their learning across all subjects. Even a tool that is simple to use can redefine a learning experience!
Screencastify is used to create instructional videos that teachers and students can use to deliver instruction and share learning. It allows for everyone to work at their own pace. Students can share their research and knowledge by mashing Google slides and other online tools using Screencastify. Prism is another new tool that allows for visible thinking as students “crowd source” to create visual representations of primary texts.
What is your current project?
This year, I have been developing a completely student-run Digital Learning and Innovation Team to support a our One-to-One chromebook initiative at Westford Academy. Students stationed in the Digital Café are available to teachers and students for assistance with issues regarding digital learning. Through a course delivered online, students build their knowledge of Chromebooks, explore apps and extensions, and can be creative with digital resources available to teachers and students. They each have a long-term Google-inspired 20% project, where they research a topic, tool, concept, etc. and present a new idea at the end of the semester.
Our new space has earned the respect of teachers and students at WA. Sphero’s, Ozobots, Chromebooks, and activity books set around the area as students drop in to catch up and pause for a brain break. Lunch with TED has been a popular activity as students sit/stand at high-top tables and eat lunch while watching TEDtalks on our large wall mount monitor.
Who do you admire most? Why?
As a Digital Learning specialist, I am privileged to work with many inspiring educators at Westford Academy, Westford Public Schools, and throughout the State. These teachers are experts in their field, passionate about sharing their expertise with our students, and tireless with their commitment to the school community. Their work is incredibly admirable.
The energy that our new teachers bring to the education field is inspirational and refreshing. I admire the new generation of teachers and the supportive administrators who encourage risk taking in classrooms.
How do you stay current on trends and new technology?
Twitter is still my favorite media to stay current. The tweets from educators around the world keep me up to date with educational trends and offer different perspectives on various topics. Additionally, updates from Google+ Instructional Technology Integrators and Coached group, LinkedIn Educational Leadership and ITSE groups as well as frequent updates from Edutopia provide great articles and discussions on educational topics.
Stephanie Gosselin is a Digital Learning Specialist at Westford Academy in Westford, Massachusetts. As a technology educator in the Westford Public School district for almost twenty years, she has collaborated with teachers and administrators at all grade levels to design and implement digital learning experiences in classrooms. Stephanie has coached teachers in the use of current technologies and has been a key contributor to the Westford Public Schools technology planning over the past few decades. She has instructed graduate-level courses within the district on technology integration topics including digital media, online tools including Google Apps for Education, and other educational technology topics. She served as co-chair of the district’s Professional Development Committee, organizing and facilitating district-wide professional learning days, and on the Digital Learning Needs Assessment Committee. Additionally, she is a member of Westford Public School’s Digital Learning Advisory team. Stephanie is a Google-Certified Educator and has been a presenter at MassCUE conferences as well as district-level meetings. She is a member MassCUE’s Blended Learning SIG and the Leadership for Blended and Digital Learning instructional team. She holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Boston College and an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology from Lesley University.
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