Mary is a District Instructional Technology Specialist in Collier County Public Schools, Florida. Mary has been using Discovery Education since the early days. She shared “ United Streaming was part of my classroom from almost my first day of teaching. Using digital resources has always been part of how I teach. It has helped bring text to life in so many ways. With the implementation of Discovery Education Techbook, students can now customize their learning experience and choose HOW they interact with content. It has made a world of difference to my students.”
How do you start your day?
I start my day with a cup of coffee and Twitter.
Why did you become a teacher?
Interesting story. My mom was a teacher and I recall “playing school” with my sister growing up. I was never the teacher though. I wanted to be the “bad kid”. My degree is not in education, but once I had children of my own, I wanted to be involved in their education and spend those brief summers at home with them. So I became a teacher. Started my career mid-year and have been doing this for over 20 years. I did not “dream” of being a teacher, but I can honestly say that teaching has changed that dream. I love what I do and I do what I love.
What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?
I guess my favorite activity with boardbuilder was to create the Biology EOC review boards. By unpacking each standard and adding a variety of ways for students to interact with content, a student can focus on areas where they need extra help, take practice quizzes for specific standards and customize their learning experience. The feedback has been positive and students believe that these boards helped them prepare for the EOC.
What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
One ritual that we had in our biology classroom (when I was still teaching) was to tune in to the webcam that sits on top of the resident Eagle nest in Ft. Myers. (Ozzie and Harriet). Every morning while students came in, we would see what was going on in the nest. It provided opportunities for discussion, writing and questions. My students and I have watched generations of eagles hatch and grow to fledgings one day at a time. What a great experience!
How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?
I support teachers in their classrooms by modeling lessons with digital tools so that they can see Discovery and other tools aligned to UDL (Universal Design for Learning) principles, and STEM.
I am the district DEN Ambassador Lead, a member of the STEM Leadership Corps for CCPS, and serve as the SRC Chair for Collier County Regional Science and Engineering Fair.
What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?
It is important to first understand what they are hesitant about. If they are overwhelmed with choices, advise them to select ONE thing, learn all they can about it, try it with students, and allow students to take ownership in making that ONE thing part of their classroom learning process. When they are comfortable with that ONE digital tool, then take on another one.
What advice do you have for first year teachers?
I would advise a first year teacher this: When using digital tools in the classroom (whether it be new skills or new ways to interact wtih content), don’t introduce 2 new things at once. If the tools are new and the students need to develop new skills, then try them with known content. If the content is new, use known skills and tools until they are comfortable with the content.
What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?
Edutopia.com; Twitter; #DENchat, Kathy Shrock’s Guide to Everything, Pinterest, I am currently enrolled in a UDL Class for High School Science with CAST,
What other organizations/groups are you a part of?
I am on the Excecutive Board for the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA), serving as the Marketing and Media Director. Managing the website and publishing our bi-monthly newsletter is my other full-time job.
What is your most memorable experience with the DEN?
My most memorable experience with the DEN has been leading the DEN Ambassadors for our county, the DEN Fall VirtCon was great fun. (We had a 70’s bash at one of our high schools). I have had the pleasure of working with Patti Duncan on a digital storytelling project in Marine Science, and met so many wonderful people from Discovery Education ( Amy Knower, Steve Dembo, Duane Waber, Hayden Polzup, Andy Schaefer, and more!) It is my wish to someday attend DENSI.
When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?
When I am not at work, you can find me at one of the hundreds of golf courses in Southwest Florida competing in tournaments and charity events. When I am not golfing, I love being at the beach or in Rookery Bay in a kayak. I am fascinated with all of the wildlife here and love to catch the perfect photograph of plants, animals and sunsets. I also enjoy creating educational videos using various web tools such as GoAnimate, Sparkol, Powtoon, iMovie, and am currently learning Premiere Pro. I have 2 GoPro cameras and all of the attachments! My YouTube Channels are growing fast!
What is your favorite kind of donut?
Shipleys Plain Glazed….only when they are hot!
How can others connect with you?
@teachvalue, Edmodo: Mary Marshall; Facebook: msmarshall62; linkedn: Mary Marshall