I am captivated by the creative process and the work that goes into making remarkable things. This fascination—one way or another—bleeds into everything I think about and do. By extension, I explore how to leverage twenty-first century tools to enable students and colleagues to do their best creative work.
I serve as lead teacher and technology coordinator at the Scholars’ Academy in Rockaway Park, Queens. Half of my day is spent empowering teachers to empower their students with twenty-first century tools. The rest of the time, I’m getting my hands dirty and working with technology among students ranging from sixth to twelfth grades.
At the Scholars’ Academy, we like to push the envelope. Twelfth grade students take advanced placement courses in blended learning environments (part online and part face-to-face). We have digital media lab for high school students interested in video editing and graphic design, a music technology studio for students interested in audio production, a state-of-the-art technology lab for programming and web design, and a technology-enabled learning classroom.
In addition, every sixth grader is equipped with an Amazon Kindle packed with novels and textbooks and every seventh grader is armed with an Apple iPad. The goal is to create curious, critical thinkers that are able to engage our complex world and keep social security funded so I can retire.
In addition, I get to serve as one of the school’s data specialist and lead development on a student database that takes performance metrics from a number of sources and combines them to help teachers make meaningful decisions about their students’ growth. I eventually plan on open sourcing this software once it’s stable.
Over the past decade, I’ve dabbled in two fields that have recently began to merge together for me: education and technology. I’m a special education teacher by trade and I have a master’s degree from Hunter College to prove it. For the last five years, I’ve been working for the New York City Department of Education by way of the the New York City Teaching Fellows.
I spent a year as an Instructional Technology Specialist at the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology. I supported project-based and online learning 44 schools in South Brooklyn and Staten Island.
In 2006, I graduated cum laude from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, with a minor in American Studies. In 2010, I graduated from Hunter College with a master’s degree in Special Education. I am currently working on a degree in Educational Leadership and Technology at the New York Institute of Technology.