DEN Community Member of the Week: Kate Matthews

Kate Matthews is a Lead District Instructional Technology Specialist in Fayette County Public Schools, Georgia. Kate has used DE for about 10 years starting with United Streaming.  She shared “At the time I was a computer teacher in an elementary school and trained teachers on how to find the resources and organize them for future use. When Discovery came on board, I was thrilled. The impact has been transformative from a district perspective and we are planning more training via our upcoming Blackboard LMS initiative. I brought Discovery Education in last year in an effort to introduce teachers to this amazing resource, with hopes that we could seamlessly integrate it into and LMS.” Keep reading to learn more about Kate!

How do you start your day?
Coffee (I’m not a human without it!) and listening to a book on the way to work. Right now I’m listening to Ready Player One by Ernest Cline- a total geek fest!Kate&Teachers.jpg

Why did you become a teacher?
My first grade teacher did such an amazing job building relationships with her students, that it had a profound impact on me. I wanted to make the same type of caring connection with my students. As the years have gone by, I realized I also have a love for training adults as well.

What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?
Believe it or not, it’s the quick-list and the ability to add content via the drop down menus on each thumbnail. That’s always a wow moment when I show it to teachers. Additionally, the sharing capabilities are great too!

How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?
I currently teach Masters’ and Specialist courses for Kennesaw State University as an online instructor and love it! I have a blog, but don’t often have time to add to it. I usually tell people that I blog, I just micro-blog via Twitter. My username is @GaTechTeach.

What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?
Start small and then build. Don’t feel that you have to throw everything out and start over. Simply assess where the tools will best fit and always focus on what it is you want the students to learn, “begin with the end in mind.”

What advice do you have for first year teachers?Nexus7_K (1).jpg
Embrace learning new ways to reinvent yourself and never stop reflecting on your instructional practice. Video yourself, have colleagues review and collaborate with you on how to make your lessons more engaging and meaningful for students. Grow!

What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?
Discovery Education, Edutopia, CNET, Common Sense Media, and CoSN (they have fantastic toolkits)

What other organizations/groups are you a part of?
ISTE, Georgia Google Educators Group (GaGEG), Part-time Online Professor for Instructional Technology at Kennesaw State University

What is your most memorable experience with the DEN?
Without a doubt it was the DENapolooza event this spring. If you have never attended one, you must! The sharing and quality collaboration that occurred was wonderful!

When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?
Reading and sitting outside!

What is your favorite kind of donut?
Chocolate covered Bismark!

How can others connect with you?
@GaTechTeach

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