Community Member of the Week: Stacey Buckalew

Stacey is a District Instructional Technology Coach at Marietta City Schools in Georgia. She has been using Discovery Education since the United Streaming Days. She shared “I began as a media specialist in my district and integrated videos into my curriculum. As I began my journey to become an Instructional Technology Coach I broaden my horizons and attended various training and webinars to understand the vast content that the program had to offer. I began to teach my teachers each time a new item or golden nugget of what Discovery Education had to offer. Students began to consider Discovery Education as their first place to go instead of Google. This is the ah ha moment I had knowing we made an impact.”
How do you start your day?snowball fight
I start my day by checking my e-mail and responding to any teacher that has e-mailed me overnight. My goal in my job is to get back to a teacher within 12-24 hours of their concern. I am in the service industry along with being in education and my position is to make certain that I arm my teachers with the best information they can have to start their day with the students.
Why did you become a teacher?
I actually became a teacher by accident. I was a political science major and found myself going to Library School instead of law after my bachelors. I entered the field with open eyes and realized that this is where I was meant to be, teaching students and teachers technology.
What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?
Recently we have purchased the Discovery Education Science Techbook which has lead our school system to open the floodgates to all things Discovery Education. I have been a DEN Star for a few years and a DEN Ambassador the last year but the Discovery Education TechBook has encouraged all teachers to embrace Discovery Education throughout the district. One lesson in particular that I can think of is where a 5th grade class was utilizing the various leveled reading passages during their small group work. They were able to access their passage through their assignments that their teacher gave to them based on their Lexile levels. They then used the SOS Strategy Table Top Texting to share their readings with other students in their small group.
What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
I am not in the classroom but when I conduct classes I utilize ice breakers for beginning my meetings/trainings. I encourage teachers to share personal so we can get to the professional.
How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?ALB Student 1
I blog and tweet on a daily/monthly basis. I currently am in a District Technology Role so I work with all teachers and students in the K-5 environment on integrating technology into the curriculum. I am the district media services supervisor for the media specialists and often train district and school admin. In addition, I often present at national and state conferences as well as present on the conference floors.
What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?
My advice is do not be upset that students know more than you when it comes to technology. Embrace that philosophy and know that you can count on them to assist you in learning more and you can assist them in learning more about content. In addition, it is ok to make a mistake. I make them all the time and learn from them, just like my students.
What advice do you have for first year teachers?
My advice to a first year teacher is to know that you will not be perfect and will not know everything. You are going to build on your abilities and content knowledge. You will will need to make friends with the custodian, secretary and the paraprofessionals, they are your key to success in a school. In addition, use your resource people as much as you can because they are there to help not hinder.
What is your most memorable experience with the Discovery Education Community?
My most memorable experience with the DEN I have to say is the DEN-amazing race at the Summer Institute in Washington, D.C. I came into the summer institute as a newbie without know a soul but met people that I will continue to connect with for the rest of my life. I found running around and solving clues with strangers lead to many memories and lifelong friends.
What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?Session 1-4
I utilize my Google Plus Community, twitter, Facebook, and Edmodo to continue my thirst for knowledge. In addition, I keep in contact via email with various members I have met at the Discovery Education Summit and the SMART Institutes that I attended this past summer.
What other organizations/groups are you a part of?
Brain Pop Educator
SMART Exemplary Educator
SMART amp Champ
When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?
When I am not working you can most likely find me on a lacrosse field watching my son play U-13 Lacrosse for the Pope Greyhounds in Marietta, GA. He is the goalie for the team and I love to watch the sport. Or you may find me on a tennis court playing doubles Mixed or women’s ALTA. Lastly, you could find me reading my favorite young adult novel or murder mystery.
How can others connect with you?
@DivaTechie12, www.edmodo.com/sbuckalew, www.buckalewbytes.edublogs.org, Facebook Stacey LeBlanc Buckalew

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