My professional years have been filled with many exciting and diverse teaching and consulting positions in school districts across the state. I specialize in creative, innovative and personalized, digital pedagogy that gives students more ownership of their learning. I am guided by constructivist and connectivist, project-based models with students and adults whenever and wherever possible. I employ Universal Design for Learning Principles to ensure that all learners can access the curriculum. I know effective ways to combine the Common Core Curriculum, MA State Frameworks, Massachusetts Digital Learning and Computer Science Standards, and ISTE Technology Standards for Students and can give specific examples when talking about rigor, technology integration, and research skills at every level K-12. Students are best able to understand the curriculum when they connect with topics in relevant and innovative ways. We must prepare students for a new world of information, collaboration, creativity, and a sense of their place in the world.
I was the assistive technology specialist in Northampton, MA, where my career as a physical education teacher and coach began with a Master's at Smith College. After updating and digitizing my skill set in a second Master's Program, I became an instructional technology teacher and consultant; and I have been invited to present at conferences around the country. My two divergent careers melded together when I began to specialize in assistive technology. Coaching teachers and students to expand their use of technology to create and learn comes naturally to me. I may not be a digital native, but I am a digital learner in every sense.
My career path led me to Nantucket where I accepted a position as Instructional Technology and Technology Integration Specialist at the Cyrus Peirce Middle School. My goal in the Nantucket Public School District was to demonstrate how careful and strategic use of technology could engage students and make the curriculum more accessible through Universal Design for Learning. I imagined all the possibilities and worked hard to make them happen with new tools, ideas, and professional learning, but the position morphed into a specialist in the Encore rotation, and time to work with teachers during their planning time quickly disappeared.
As a life-long learner, it is my passion to continually update my skills and advance my career. In 2016 I earned my Elementary Principal License in Massachusetts. I have remade and re-imagined myself through professional learning, a 21st Century reality. Leading at the school or district level is my goal. I am Apple and Microsoft Certified. I earned my Google Level I and II Educator Certifications and am working toward my Google Trainer Certificate. I was part of one of the first cohorts in ISTE's new Certification Program. I completed my portfolio and became one of the first ever ISTE Certified Educators.
Technology and social media open the world to us for unlimited, self-directed, personalize professional growth. Exceptional high-quality professional learning must also be available to faculty and staff as part of any strategic plan. Being “Future Ready” involves a willingness to let go of ideas and concepts that no longer serve us or our current conditions and replaces these with new concepts and new tools that help us develop a vision for tremendous growth. This includes re-designing learning spaces and being creative with our use of time. One of my greatest strengths is my ability to design differentiated professional learning that synthesizes the curriculum, technology, and pedagogy to improve teacher practice and ultimately increase student achievement. My experience and awareness of potential next steps allows me to build on the work I have already accomplished and keep any school or district moving forward.
It takes extensive experience, patience, and trust to help a district build upon or change its culture. One must listen and observe. Districts must hold open discussions to envision the future and prepare all students for college and career. Collaboration to assemble a great team of stakeholders is critical to set the conditions for the creation of connected classrooms or take the leap to a 1:1 or 1:Many environment. My participation in the writing of District Improvement Plans, Technology Plans, Responsible Use Policies has taught me about great collaboration. Experience writing technology vision statements and responsible use policies are an important first step, but understanding and articulating this to the entire community is a critical part of the work.
I thrive in collaborative, distributed leadership settings and work closely with staff and administrators to map out a strategic direction for the growth of the entire program. Expanding on an excellent educational foundation makes the transition to a dynamic, digital ecosystem a realistic goal for students, staff, and community. Blending, differentiating, and personalizing the learning to reach and teach each and every student is an audacious goal and a realistic possibility when technology is combined with imaginative and dynamic pedagogy. As a visionary and transformative leader, I am working to ensure that my skill set is deep and wide enough to serve in a setting that is poised to be “Future Ready.” Wether I am working directly with students in a classroom or lab setting or leading at the district level, I openly share my ever expanding skill set with those around me.
It is an honor to continue to lead this transformation in my role as a Google Certified Educator, New England ISTE President, and one of the first ISTE Certified Educators. I am looking for innovative work in a district or as a consultant. Give me a call or drop me an email! gaby (at) strategy2design (dot) com.
Imagine the possibilities!