Jon Abrahamson and Jackie Parkinson from Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 have been named TIES 2015 Exceptional Teachers and will be honored during the TIES Education Technology Conference in December.
They are among teachers selected for modeling best practices in using technology to engage students in learning. School districts participating in the TIES Exceptional Teachers award program are members of TIES, an education technology consortium of 48 Minnesota school districts.
“Jon and Jackie have embedded technology in their classrooms to differentiate instruction, expand learning and prepare students to be real-world ready,” said Superintendent Joe Gothard, who nominated the teachers for the award. “We thank them for their leadership in the instructional use of technology and congratulate them on this recognition.”
Abrahamson has been passionate about technology his whole life so, of course, it became entwined with his instruction when he began teaching four years ago. He uses technology to differentiate instruction, spur creativity, deepen critical thinking and engage his fourth-grade students in many ways at Vista View Elementary School in Burnsville.
Abrahamson believes that technology in schools should not be an event that happens once or twice a week – but instead should be embedded within the learning experience. He uses Chromebooks, iPads, websites and apps in all subject areas. Jon is most passionate about using technology to support Genius Hour which has empowered his students as learners in amazing ways. According to Principal Brad Robb, Jon is an instructional technology leader in his school and the district.
Eagle Ridge Junior High Principal Don Leake describes social studies and language arts teacher Jackie Parkinson as a technology high flyer, particularly praising her early adoption of Schoology, the district’s online learning management system. Leake also noted that she is a leader among her peers for technology integration at the school.
Parkinson says the ability to teach each student individually is the biggest benefit to using instructional technology, including Chromebooks and applications like Nearpod that better connect her to her students and her students to each other. Whether it’s providing students access to appropriate resources, allowing for more informal assessments or making it easier for all students to participate in class, Parkinson says she sees technology opening up what’s possible for both her and her students.