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HSTE Member Rachel Armstrong wins ISTE Emerging Leader, Class of 2013 Award!

Congratulations to Rachel! She will be honored at the ISTE event in San Antonio, so please come out and support her! Learn more about Rachel below:

Rachel's Bio:
After graduating from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, I began teaching fifth grade at Hale Kula Elementary in 2007. I was a fifth grade teacher for three years, a fifth grade literacy coach for two years, and I am currently implementing a pilot blended learning program at Hale Kula. Yes, I love fifth grade! My current passion is the use of technology in education to allow for student choice, communication, and creation.

What was the reasons you became an educator?
I went in education for several reasons, but I think the main reason was a desire to guide children. I have stayed in education because it challenges me to keep learning and improving myself.

Tell us more about the award.
I was nominated and encouraged to apply for ISTE's Young Educator Award by Michelle Colte, Hale Kula's fabulous librarian, who collaborated with me on the process. The online application requires submission of a resume, a biography, one reflection on professional development, one reflection on the use of the NETS in your classroom, two student artifacts and reflections, one to two letters of reference, and a one to two minute video. I am honored to be named as an Emerging Leader, Class of 2013!

Tell us more about the video you created, what was your plan, did it work out the way you wanted, what tools did you use to create it.
The two minute video I created was made on iMovie and uploaded to Vimeo and my YouTube channel. My plan was to answer the prompt in a creative way through words, still pictures, and film footage, while still showing some of my personality. I made one movie and then another; I edited, edited, edited as I changed my mind along the way. Although I am happy with how the movie turned out, it was very hard to condense everything I wanted to say in two minutes!

What are your dreams for the future in your classroom?
This pilot year of our blended learning program has been a whirlwind of learning, and I look forward to continuing next year. The changes I have seen in my students have been truly amazing for me as an educator to witness, and I believe most of them had to do with the power of choice, choice in topics of study, formatting, and tools used. Technology was a perfect partner for me in guiding students to ask their own questions, find their own answers, and demonstrate their creativity. My students have taken charge of their own learning. Next year I hope to expand on even more authentic, real world projects in the community. I hope to network and make more connections at ISTE 2013, so I can provide my students more opportunity for global collaboration with students and classrooms around the world.

What are your long-term dreams as an educator?
I would like to help reform Hawaii's public education system to a more 21st century system. I would like to see kids utilizing technology to drive their own learning that is geared toward their own interests.

Rachel's Class Website

Rachel's Young Educator Award Video Submission

To learn more about the Emerging Leader and Young Educator Awards, go here. The 2013 class has not been announced on the site yet.
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