Colonel Middle Teaching Team Recipients of Digital Learning Award

(PDF) Jan. 30, 2018 - The dynamic teaching team of Sara Brock, special educator, and Mary Jo Kerr, English Language Arts (ELA) educator at Colonel Richardson Middle School (CRMS), have been named co-recipients of the January 2018 Digital Learning Showcase, awarded by the Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET).

MSET is non-profit organization that promotes the improvement of the teaching-learning process through effective technology integration into all curricular areas as well as fostering and promoting excellence technology in education. MSET is an affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a leading international network for technology professionals.

One of the strongest attributes showcased in the team's classroom is the integration of technology. Caroline County Public Schools Instructional Technology Coach Amy Shepler praised the co-teaching pair for their willingness to take risks with new technologies as they were early adopters of the district's Google Suites initiative as well as FlipGrid, a tool targeted towards student voice.

CRMS Principal Robert Willoughby believes it is the team's willingness to make the classroom engaging for students that provides the foundation for their success. He cited their ability to work collaboratively as a team in order to meet the needs of every child.

Sara has been teaching for four years in Caroline; Mary Jo for ten. According to Sara, "It truly feels that we are both equally invested in the success of our students. We have the same attitude that we are willing to take risks, and try new things. No idea is too crazy to suggest to the other." 

They agree that technology opens up the whole world for their students, and gives them experiences they have not been afforded in their everyday lives. Mary Jo shared, "For example, we have conducted three different Mystery Hangouts this year, which connects our students with classrooms from Virginia, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Students were each given a role and had to work as a team using various resources to figure out where the other classroom was located before they figured out where we were. The students were completely engaged."  

The teaching team's accomplishment will be celebrated at the next Caroline County Board of Education meeting on February 6, 2018.