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Learn more about the Making IT Happen Award

ISTE/HSTE Making IT Happen Award

The Making IT Happen award honors outstanding educators and leaders who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students.  Since its inception in 1995 more than 500 educators from around the world have received the award.   The spirit of the Making IT Happen award supports our vision of a world in which all learners thrive, achieve and contribute.

List of Previous ISTE/HSTE Making IT Happen Award Winners:

2016 - Laurel Oshiro and Karen Harris

2015 - Shane Asselstine and Michael Fricano II

2014 -  Michelle Carlson Colte and Linda Lindsay

2013 - Jordan Higa and Mike Travis 

The 2016 HSTE Making IT Happen Award winners are:
Karen Harris (left) & Laurel Oshiro (right)

Laurel Oshiro (Sacred Hearts Academy):
Since 2012, I have had the pleasure of developing and coordinating iTeach808: Empowering Hawaii’s Teachers In Technology conferences sponsored by Sacred Hearts Academy and the Augustine Educational Foundation. iTeach808 is a series of free professional development workshops in technology for Hawaii’s teachers.  iTeach808 has helped to strengthen our school communities and align teachers’ curriculum with 21st Century learning standards. My passion is to give Hawaii’s teachers the tools to help their students contribute to a thriving global society through technology. Every year, we have about 200 participants from more than 40 different schools.  95% of participants have said that they could apply what they’ve learned directly to their classroom. Many people shared with me that they are happy that this type of grassroots conference came about and want more so we are looking forward to continuing to promote collaboration & a growing sense of community among Hawaii’s educators.

Karen Harris (Holualoa Elementary):
Learning should be fun, as it inspires motivation to engage in life. The dynamic team I work with at Holualoa has helped me to achieve my goals as an educator.  I have seen kids thrive in the programs we participate and coach including: First Lego League, Junior First Lego League, Vex IQ, and CoderDojo Holualoa. As a GAFE school administrator since 2011, HSTE board member since 2013, THINKfund recipient (2015-2016), and CoderDojo Holualoa co-founder I continue to think about how to create meaningful experiences and inspiring spaces. As an Educational Technology coach I hope to scale computer literacy and to encourage creativity and critical thinking to keep education meaningful, relevant, and … fun!

The 2015 ISTE Making IT Happen Award winners are:


(Shane Asselstine and Michael Fricano II)

Shane Asselstine (Momilani Elementary)

Shane Asselstine is a Technology Integration Specialist at Momilani Elementary School.

With a degree in architecture and work experience in information technology, Shane Asselstine comes with rare perspectives on technology integration in education. 

He says the most important part of his job is helping to integrate technology, encourage, and inspire. 

He is a pioneer with game-based learning in the classroom using Minecraft, KerbalEdu and Contraption Maker to ignite learning. Recently, he integrates coding and computer science. He was named the Affiliate for Hawaii and provides training to integrate computer science by bringing awareness to coding as a new literacy.

Presenter at HITC, GAFE Summit, SOFT, ISTE, Minecon, and ICEM. Interviewed by Scholastic MATH Mag, HPR and The Journal. Authored a chapter in “Minecraft in the Classroom.” Supports schools like Punahou, Kamehameha, and Sacred Hearts to name a few.

Takes part in online meetups like EdChatHi, Google Rocks! HI and EdTech Mixed Plate. He is on the EdCamp Honolulu team, the UoP College of Ed, Community Advisory Board, and a guest lecturer at UH College of Ed. He has dreamt, built, shared, taught, laughed, and walked with learners of all ages and skills.

Michael Fricano II (‘Iolani Schools)-

Michael Fricano II bleeds Information Technology!

He is:

  • Technology Integration Specialist at 'Iolani School
  • Google for Education Certified Trainer
  • Co-Founder of EdCamp Honolulu
  • Co-Host of "EdTech Mixed Plate" Google+ Hangout
  • Frequent conference presenter
  • President Elect on the Executive Board of HSTE
  • Director of Social Media & Teacher Architect for The Janus Group
  • An award- winning blogger ( - 2015 Must-Read K-12 I.T. Blog)

University Lab School's Marybeth Baldwin reports: "Mike is the backbone of the GEG Hawaii. ... Mike is also an extremely active Google Education Trainer who makes some of the latest in educational technology understandable and accessible to teachers. He is an engaging and patient trainer who provides high-quality resources via his awesome website."

'Iolani School's Karen Neitzel notes: "Michael has done so much to support 'Iolani's faculty and students in their use of technology. He has run live and virtual workshops on a variety of topics from ibook author to Google glass. He jumped into our maker space and will be teaching a Make it 101 class to our students this coming year, helping us host our first "playground" conference. He will continue to support our faculty in their successful integration of technology into the classroom."

Michael Fricano II is a dedicated, generous, and forward-thinking educator, and he is definitely Making IT Happen.

In 2013, HSTE presented the ISTE Making IT Happen Award for the first time.  This award is presented by HSTE as an affiliate of ISTE and recognizes our local educational technology leaders who are doing fantastic things and deserve to be honored at the national level. 


(Chris Lehmann, Susan Larson, Linda Lindsay, Shane Asselstine, Michael Fricano II, Michelle Colte, Mike Travis. Missing Jordan Higa)

From the ISTE website, recipients of the awards are educators who:

  • Apply available technology now
  • Move forward and don't look back
  • See students as real people
  • Teach through relationships and are inspiring, encouraging and nurturing
  • Recognize that further change is necessary but understand that it is a process
  • Realize that teacher empowerment is the key element in technology integration
  • Expect success
  • Motivate through awareness and access to information

Over the summer, HSTE sends a message to all members looking for nominations for the award.  The HSTE Board will then choose one or two individuals from the nominations to receive the award.  The awards are announced at the Schools of the Future Conference.

Click here for more information about the award at the ISTE site.

The 2014 ISTE Making IT Happen Award winners are:

Michelle Carlson Colte (Hale Kula Elementary) - Michelle never sleeps. Her persistent wondering, “What if…?” has led her team of Hale Kula teachers and students to connect with experts via Google Hangouts, synthesize learning through Minecraft, employ design thinking with school wide participation in the Cardboard Challenge and most recently, delve into Augmented Reality with 2nd graders. As the librarian at Hale Kula Elementary School, she helps teachers integrate digital and information literacy into their instruction and provides many opportunities for students to develop information and media literacy. Michelle helped her school implement one of the first Blended Learning programs at the elementary level and introduced her teachers to Google Apps for Education. Michelle received the inaugural School Librarian of the Year award from School Library Journal and Scholastic Library Publishing. In 2013, she attended the Google Certified Teacher Academy in Sydney and the Teaching With Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute at the Library of Congress. She realized "anyone can code" when she received a $10,000 grant from for her entire school's participation in the Hour of Code. Michelle participates on two local Google Hangouts for educators: Linda Lindsay’s “Google Rocks” and “EdTech Mixed Plate.” She is a co-founder & co-moderator of #edchathi and the co-chair of Hawaii’s Nene Committee.

Linda Lindsay (Seabury Hall) - Linda Lindsay is the librarian at Seabury Hall, a college-preparatory Gr. 6-12 independent school, on the island of Maui. She is a Google Certified Teacher and an authorized Google Education Trainer. Linda is keenly interested in integration of technology in the classroom, social media best practices, digital literacy for students, and books and reading for everyone. She moderates Google Rocks! Hawaii, a weekly hangout-on-air by and for Hawaii educators, and maintains two professional blogs: mauilibrarian2 in Olinda, and SEABURY READS. When not connecting online, Linda enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with family.


In 2013, HSTE presented the ISTE Making IT Happen Award for the first time.  This award is presented by HSTE as an affiliate of ISTE and recognizes our local educational technology leaders who are doing fantastic things and deserve to be honored at the national level. 

The winners for 2013 were Mike Travis and Jordan Higa. 

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