Drumroll Please: Here are the Schoology NEXT 2016 Award Winners!
One of the coolest things about Schoology NEXT, our annual user conference, is how our community takes the reigns—and rightly so. Most of the sessions were led by community members who are doing amazing work in their classrooms, colleges, and districts around the world.
As Adam Larson mentioned in his opening keynote address, the Schoology story is really a collection of stories—one from each member of our community. And while we do our best to help share all of these stories in hopes to inspire other education professionals around the world, we also like to take the opportunity at NEXT to hold up a few shining individuals making some of the biggest waves in education.
The following educators and administrators, in both K-12 and Higher Ed, were recognized this year for the incredible work they are doing day in and day out. This year's theme was all about "elevating achievement" and these individuals have proven to do just that.
I'm not going to lie, our committee had a hard time choosing just a few winners from nearly 50 passionate applicants who told us their stories (or the stories of their colleagues) through essays, articles, and videos. But as you'll see, our 2016 Educators, Administrators, and Ambassador of the Year are nothing short of remarkable.
Congratulations to all our 2016 winners, and thank you everyone who applied!
Educators of the Year | K-12
Spanish Teacher and Tech Integrationist
Wabasha-Kelloff School District, MN
Glen has been using Schoology for over three years and recently been exploring game-based learning through the use of Minecraft. By combining his LMS and his favorite educational game, Glen has created a truly powerful and engaging learning experience for his students. In his words, "Educational Superpowers Collide and Learning is ELEVATED!"
Liberty Benton Middle School, OH
When Melissa thinks about measuring achievement, she understands the importance of hard data and test scores, but the real measure is in "light bulb moments". Her light bulb moment occurred when she realized how technology benefits learning only if her teaching strategy adapts to the new possibilities. Her willingness to jump into the unknown with both feet has led to her students having their own light bulb moments and elevating achievement.
Yearling Middle School, FL
Beth has taken gamified learning to a whole new level and now has a famous civics course that's inspiring thousands of educators around the world. Her meticulous recipe for blending Schoology lessons with game elements has had incredible effects including taking her students' assignment completion rate from 30% to 100%. Now all her students are passing her class. Consider achievement elevated.
Educator of the Year | Higher Education
Lead Adjunct Professor at Wilmington University, DE
Supervisor of Instructional Technology at Colonial School District, DE
Tom has a unique perspective and influence in education because he has a foot in two worlds, K-12 and Higher Ed. After seeing the success of the BRINC Consortium's use of Schoology, he decided to use it in his teacher candidate courses at Wilmington University. The result has been overwhelming enthusiasm and an ability to make blended learning concepts and strategies tangible practices that his teacher candidates carry with them to their future classes.
Administrators of the Year | K-12
Coordinator of Blended and Cyber Learning
Downingtown Area School District, PA
Over a three year period, Kristie designed and built the IVY Academy, a hybrid classroom format in which students alternate between attending class in person and virtually using Schoology, though she often deflects the spotlight onto others. While she blogs regularly, continually develops new and existing educational strategies, and even hosts PD events including Downingtown's first EdCamp, Kristie makes time work one on one with her faculty, helping them maximize engagement via technology best practices.
Supervisor of Instructional Technology
Park Ridge School District, NJ
From day one at Park Ridge, Tina dove right into her district's ongoing LMS implementation process. She immediately started working with a "group of turn-key instructors" and getting involved in teacher pilots to make sure her staff all received the training they needed. Because of this hands-on approach, the Schoology went viral. Tina has since helped to elevate the practice to in numerous ways, including organizing her district's first virtual school day.
Administrators of the Year | Higher Education
Systems Administrator and Instructional Technologist
Lancaster Bible College, PA
William has dedicated his efforts to elevating the experience of his students and faculty above and beyond the status quo. A crucial piece of his strategy has been to build and nurture the Lancaster Bible College digital community. His students and faculty now actively use groups to study, share resources, organize extracurricular events, and grapple with some of today's most important issues.
Director of Online Learning
Hebrew College, MA
This year, Ariel, while managing his growing list of duties, dove headfirst into uncharted waters to elevate the achievement of two groups of learners—the Greatest Generation (people in their 80s and 90s) and Baby Boomers (people in their 60s and 70s). He led the development of an asynchronous online course through great instructional design and a focus on building relationships. Needless to say, his students loved it.
Ambassador of the Year
Teacher and Schoology Ambassador
Fox Chapel Area School District, PA
As one of our ambassadors, Cathie helps raise the achievement of the Schoology Community by being an outspoken advocate of best practices and sharing her successes so others can build on them. All ambassadors are members of a gamified course and recieve points for their participation. Cathie earned the most points and, in particular, inspired many people to sign up for Schoology Basic accounts, shared reviews of Schoology on third party review sites (Graphite, Trustradius), spoke about Schoology at industry conferences, and contributed to several blog posts.
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Let's hear it for all our NEXT 2016 award winners!