Andrew Easton Named Lead Digital Innovator by PBS LearningMedia

News Release Date: 
June 7, 2016

Andrew Easton Named Lead Digital Innovator by PBS LearningMedia

LINCOLN, Neb. (June 7, 2016) – Andrew Easton of Omaha Westside High School was named one of 52 Lead Digital Innovators from a pool of talented and innovative educators across the U.S. and its territories.

The program, in its fourth year, recognizes tech-savvy K-12 educators who are serving as leaders in the education technology space and incorporating digital media in their classrooms. Andrew Easton

Easton will represent NET and Nebraska as he continues to enhance his skills with one-of-a-kind resources, tools and trainings from PBS LearningMedia. He also receives an all-expense paid trip to Denver to participate in the 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Summit and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference.

Easton, in his third year of being an English teacher at Westside and ninth year of teaching, was excited when he won the award as he is passionate about technology and trying to integrate it into the classroom.

“To go to ISTE is going to be amazing to see the latest and greatest innovations in ed tech and be part of that experience,” Easton said.

In addition, he’s already connected to the PBS Digital Innovators learning group and checks out the site almost daily, connecting with teachers across the country. He said he’s already seen projects ranging from 3-D printers and robotics to someone teaching computer coding to kindergartners.

“It is just really neat to be exposed to these new pieces of learning,” he said. “It’s great to see some examples, and to rethink lessons and activities we already do and enhance them as a result of learning from other people. In addition, I’ve learned about several sites and practices that were completely new to me. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Easton tries to use technology in nearly every facet of what he does for class. He regularly incorporates video instruction, and gave up his planning period for a semester to shadow an introduction to video class at Westside. His videos use sites like Animoto, nawmal and PowToon. He also uses screen casts and presentations in Prezi to mix things up and make the videos fun.

Westside uses personalized learning – instruction that allows students to learn at their own pace -- in its district, and Easton is always looking for ways to improve that, including the videos.

“Students are now more engaged and can chose how they want to engage our course’s content,” he said.

Easton’s favorite PBS LearningMedia resources is “Poetry Everywhere” at http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/pe08-ex/. During his poetry unit, this resource allows students to view a variety of poetry, from modern and classic to flame.

The 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators receive year-long professional development opportunities that include virtual trainings, access to premium and exclusive resources from PBS LearningMedia Custom service, a free PBS TeacherLine professional development course, networking opportunities and more. PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will also receive ongoing support in their community from their local PBS member stations.

PBS LearningMedia received hundreds of applications from leading teachers throughout the U.S. and its territories. Judges selected the 52 educators from throughout the U.S, its territories and the District of Columbia, as Lead Innovators, representing almost every state and Washington D.C., a first in the program’s history. These educators exemplify excellence in using technology and digital media to support student learning.

The full list of the 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators is available at http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/digitalinnovators.

PBS LearningMedia is available through NET via the NET Virtual Learning Library at http://net.pbslearningmedia.org/.

NET operates the statewide public service network which includes NET Television, NET Radio, NET Learning Services and NET Technology Services. To learn more, visit netNebraska.org.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Sandi Karstens, 402-470-6578, skarstens@netNebraska.org

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