Each year, TCEA honors exemplary teachers with the Educator Awards. The recipients of these awards represent the best and brightest in implementing technology in education. One of the awards we present each year is for the best Instructional Technology Specialist recognizing outstanding personnel working on one or more campuses in curriculum integration and technology planning.
In 2017, this particular honor was bestowed on Brianna Hodges, the incredible Director of Digital Learning at Stephenville ISD. I talked to Brianna to learn a little more about her experience as our Instructional Technology Specialist of the Year, what the award has meant to her, and what’s next for her district.
How have you worked with TCEA in the past?
I was first introduced to TCEA by attending the conference. From there, I attended the Google Trainer Bootcamp to prepare for my Google Trainer Certification tests, and now attend webinars to see how others are leveraging tools in their classrooms and on their campuses. I also have become involved with advocacy, working with TEC-SIG [Technology Coordinators Special Interest Group] to appeal to legislators to help better the learning environment and experience for our students.
How has winning the Instructional Technology Specialist of the Year Award impacted you?
The finalist field for this award is so strong; seriously, the level of depth and innovative work in digital learning across Texas is truly unparalleled. Learning from and alongside these rock stars, we are able to change the educational experience for our kiddos in so many ways. There is such strength in our professional learning networks, and winning this award provides an opportunity to represent our students, teachers, and peers by giving a voice to iterative innovation.
What’s next for you and for Stephenville ISD?
These are definitely exciting times! Our iCHAMPION initiative is in full swing at SISD. This initiative is shifting the learning environment to a more personalized, student-centric experience. We are seeing maker-learning influence, creativity, and problem-solving. We are seeing breakout and challenge-based learning affect student agency and engagement. We are seeing global publishing create authentic audiences to advance the demonstration of understanding. And it’s just the beginning!
Stephenville ISD is proud to be one of the 78 school districts across the nation recognized as a part of the League of Innovative School. Through this organization, I’m working on a few initiatives, namely micro-credentialing for professional learning, challenge-based learning, and alternative assessments via demonstrations. I’ve also been named a national advisor for Future Ready Schools (FRS), an initiative of the Alliance for Excellent Education. In this role, I’ll be supporting instructional coaches through social media, webinars, and the FRS Institutes as we seek to encourage coaches and teacher leaders to support instruction through best practices and personalized experiences.
Do you know our next Instructional Technology Specialist of the Year?
The Educator Award nominations open this year on September 11. We encourage you to nominate those in your schools or districts who, like Brianna Hodges, are doing incredible things to innovate teaching and learning. The recipients of the awards in each category receive a $1,000 prize and two finalists each receive $500. To learn more about the various awards and how to nominate someone, go here.