Shaler assistant superintendent honored for use of technology in learning
Shaler Area School District educators are working to increase technology initiatives, and their efforts are being recognized at the county level.
Kara Eckert, Shaler Area assistant to the superintendent, was named one of the 2013 Champions of Change through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit's first Champions of Change award ceremony.
The awards presentation took place during October, which was Connected Educator Month, an initiative of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education.
Eckert was one of 24 professionals from 21 Allegheny County school districts recognized for creative approaches in using technology to enhance learning.
“It was very moving and motivating to have all these people in the same room,” said Rosanne Javorsky, assistant executive director of the AIU's Teaching and Learning Division. “It reminded us there are so many programs and initiatives in the classrooms worth recognizing and celebrating.”
“In Kara's position, she has hundreds of responsibilities, but Kara is one of those people who has a vision of what education can be.”
In the past two years, Eckert has worked with teachers and administrators to write and receive grants for large technology initiatives, including the IKS Titan, a virtual classroom that provides students with educational simulated adventures, funded through an $80,000 grant from The Grable Foundation; and the Music Speaks classroom, a high-tech multimedia room that includes a recording studio and movement center, funded through a $20,000 science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) grant through the AIU.
Last summer, Eckert worked to introduce a STEAM camp into the district's summer programs, and under Eckert's direction, the district is in the process of implementing Project Advancing Classroom Education, or Project ACE, with the goal of integrating iPads into every classroom with a one-to-one program.
Currently, every teacher in the district has an iPad tablet to use in the classroom, and Eckert holds regular “App-y Hour” professional-development programs to introduce teachers to apps they can integrate into their curriculum.
Because of her work with Project Ace, Eckert was accepted into the Apple Academy training program Nov. 3 to 8 in Cupertino, Calif., which will provide in-depth training in using the Apple products in an educational environment and provide Eckert with the rights to Apple's professional development materials.
“I do this because this is a passion of mine,” Eckert said of the technology initiatives. “Being acknowledged for that passion is flattering for me.”
Eckert said she is excited about what the future holds as the district's leadership team works to enhance the curriculum with the new technology available to them to “keep moving forward.”
“We've been through a lot of change in the district, and I think we're going in the right direction,” Eckert said. “I see us continually growing with the initiatives … Once we have everybody with a device, we shift our focus to running with the ball.”
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pine-Richland inks 7-year deal with different transportation provider
- ‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’ gives Hampton native opportunity to shine
- Shaler Area students turn single-use coffee containers into tiny planters
- 10-day U.S. tour brings Japanese students to Shaler
- Hampton hoops coach to be inducted into WPIAL Hall of Fame for Frazier High athletic accomplishments
- Shaler Area students win Best Robotics Design in local competition
- Photo Gallery: Egg-normous Easter Egg Hunt in Ross
- Project aims to draw timeless stories from Pine-Richland students
- ‘Newness’ of McCandless Crossing lures businesses there
- Millvale library turning toward solar power thanks to Sun Club donation