This week Facing History announced the recipients of its annual Margot Stern Strom Innovation Awards, which grew out of a teaching award established in 2006 to recognize Facing History-trained educators who are thinking outside-the-box to transform schools and impact student learning.
“This award recognizes those educators who are going above and beyond to nurture the intellectual as well as the moral development of their students,” Facing History Associate Executive Director Marty Sleeper says. “These are teachers who are making an enormous difference in the world.”
This year, we awarded over $42,200 to fund 19 classroom projects around the world that focus on technological innovation and collaborative learning. Many of the projects will use technology to connect students and teachers around the world, to build digital and media literacy skills, and in other ways explore the intersection of education and technology. We’re so excited to share a few examples:
- In New Haven, Connecticut, social studies teacher David Senderoff will establish a network with schools around the world using Google Chromebooks, Google Plus, and Google Hangouts. The network will allow schools to easily schedule video-conferences with other schools worldwide to share lessons and projects, and it will be used to connect David’s seniors at New Haven Academy with alumni. “By networking with other teachers and students in other countries, I look forward to sharing lessons and learning in a cooperative way,” David told us.
- In West Roxbury, Massachusetts, civics teacher John Padula will launch an online professional learning network with two other teachers – one from Alabama and the other from nearby Sandwich, Massachusetts - to explore a better way to engage Boston Public Schools students in Facing History’s Choices in Little Rock curriculum. The three teachers share a desire to impact their students in a deep way, looking specifically at issues of racism. They will use their PLN to further explore how transformational teaching and learning can help students become agents for change.
- In Bogota, Colombia, social studies teacher Laura Barragán Montaña will create an online resource guide to help teachers show and discuss the documentary No Time for Sadness, which looks at issues of violence in Colombia’s past. The guide will help educators tackle issues of historical memory in classrooms in Spanish-speaking countries. “Having an online resource guide about No Time for Sadness will help teachers like me who want to tackle issues of historical memory in their classrooms,” Laura says. “I know it will certainly advance my own teaching with 12th graders and hopefully, because it will be available online, it will also help teachers across the country use this important resource in their classroom.”
Find out more about all of the 2014 winners here.