One feature I’d like to start here on the WI DEN blog is to interview a STAR Educator. I think it would be nice to learn a little more about the people who are joining our journey on the educational technology highway. I’m starting with Wisconsin’s newest STAR Educator, Katie Jungbluth. Katie works in my district and is the fourth STAR Educator among the over 600 teachers in our district. Here’s a little interview I conducted with Katie.
1. What is your teaching background? (# of years, grade level, etc.) This is my third year of teaching. I currently teach a 4/5 combination. I’m currently working on my Master’s in professional development through UW-La Crosse and will graduate in December.
2. What led you to Discovery Education? I came across Discovery Education when I took a digital streaming course through Sally Ride taught by two STAR Educators in our district, Chris Longe and Deb Tryggestad.
3. How do you use Discovery resources with your students? I try to use the Discovery resources as much as possible throughout all curricular areas. There are so many wonderful resources, that help me to supplement and also introduce and reinforce the areas that we are studying. The students are so much more engaged when I am able to connect a resource in Discovery Ed. with one of our lessons.
4. What prompted you to apply for STAR status? I am always looking for more technology resources and free stuff! So when I was told about becoming a STAR Educator I applied right away.
5. What are some ways you’ve developed professionally through the DEN? The DEN has opened my eyes to other technology resources out there as well as provided me with many new lesson ideas.
6. What are some of the ways you use technology with your students? In one way or another we use technology every day in our classroom. Whether it be on the Smartboard or on student laptops students play educational skill based games, complete webquests, participate in interactive lessons, and after Spring Break we will begin blogging. We’re going to blog about books we are reading in guided reading -these will be in place of our written reading responses. I’m excited to see if this becomes more of a motivator for some of my reluctant readers, as I have seen technology bring out the best in some of these kids this year.
7. What do you think is the biggest obstacle teachers face when trying to incorporate technology in the curriculum? I think the biggest obstacle teachers face is having appropriate resources (equipment). My school is VERY fortunate right now to have the technology that we do. I still run in to problems though all the time with systems that run to slow or require something to be installed in order for it to work. Again though we are so lucky to have the equipment we do, so the minor set backs ( a slow connection) are tolerable because in the end we still have access to so many great technology opportunities.
More from Katie….I know this is going to be posted on a blog so I am sure most readers are already blog subscribers but I would just suggested to anyone who loves technology in their classroom to subscribe to blogs (smartboard related ones are great). I get so many ideas from what others share on their blogs. www.mrnussbaum.com and http://mrcoley.com/ are two of my favorite sites and places where I find a lot of my resources.
I hope you enjoyed meeting one of our newest STAR Educators. If you have a suggestion on someone we should learn more about, please leave a comment here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org