By Mark Ambrogi
Towne Meadow fifth grade teacher Kyle Schulenborg heard a valuable tip from a colleague from Washington Township.
Steve Auslander, a fifth grade teacher at Allisonville Elementary in Indianapolis, suggested Schulenborg apply for a PBS Digital Innovator honor, which Auslander won in 2014.
Schulenborg submitted a 120-second video on what he does in the classroom with technology and wrote a small piece on what he does to integrate technology in the classroom. Soon he learned the application process was successful as he was selected as one of 30 Lead PBS Digital Innovators.
Schulenborg will receive year-long professional development opportunities from PBS LearningMedia, the PBS connection for educators and students.
“I get a Galaxy tablet and some online subscriptions that will help our classroom,” he said.
Schulenborg also will receive an all-expense trip to Philadelphia to participate in the PBS LearningMedia Digital Summit and the International Society for Technology in Education in late June.
“At that conference, I’m going to learn a lot of different ways to help my staff through professional development,”Schulenborg said. “Basically I’ll be learning from the top 100 technology educators around the nation on what they do. I’m going to try to attend as many of these speakers and workshops as possible. I think the best part is going to be able to network with people throughout the country and visit their websites and social media sties. I just want to find what do they do I can learn from.”
Carmel Clay Schools has a program where students bring their own devices. The digital aspect helps with learning assessments, Schulenborg said
“Once they are done with the lessons, I want to know if they understood what I taught for the last 20 minutes,” he said. “To do that I can create a quiz online so I can assess who do I need to re-teach and see how is my class doing as far as understanding this concept.”
Schulenborg, 30, returned to Towne Meadow this school year after teaching three years at Smoky Row Elementary. The Carmel resident previously taught at Towne Meadow in the second and third grade Gifted and Talented program.
Schulenborg, a 2003 Hamilton Southeastern High School graduate, received his bachelor’s degree from Ball State. Schulenborg has since earned a master’s degree in educational technology from Ball State.
In his video for the application, Schulenborg said he shared some of the educational tools he uses such as EdPuzzle to create videos online and EduPuppet, an interactive power point program.
“I use those to make learning exciting,” Schulenborg said. “Students really gravitate toward technology.”
Schulenborg said he and Towne Meadow media specialist Mindy Bland try to guide staff members and students how to use digital tools more effectively.
“As teachers, we have to look at how we make these educational tools and not just for entertainment,” he said. “If no one teaches them how to use these as powerful tools, they are going to think it’s just a way to communicate with friends or a way to play Angry Birds rather than something that has so much more potential.”