The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), in partnership with VINCI Education, has announced the 2016 winners of the Digital Leader of Early Learning Award, which honors principals who show leadership in educational technology and pre-K-grade 3 learning.
NAESP’s publication, Leading Pre-K-3 Learning Communities: Competencies for Effective Principal Practice, outlines how principals can provide welcoming, collaborative learning environments that support personalized learning, including the effective use of technology.
Each of the award recipients submitted a short YouTube video and essays highlighting their projects:
- John Beeck: Loess Hills Specialty School teaches programming and coding as part of its curriculum. For instance, in a math class, students learn skills such as repeated reasoning, coding, number sense and other mathematical practices with regularity.
- Jessica Cabeen: Woodson Kindergarten Center offers a blog and other digital resources on kindergarten readiness and literacy for families. Six classes also use Skype to participate in weekly music sessions with the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis.
- Wanny Hersey: Bullis Charter School integrates technology into every aspect of the learning process, at every learning level. In one example, first graders study Biomimicry and use the Design-Thinking process to find solutions to a driving question. The school has won national awards for its innovations and integration of the Design-Thinking process with the Common Core State Standards in its MakerSpace and Fablab programs.
- Kimberly Hill: At Davis Elementary, teachers use innovative apps and resources to integrate technology into daily learning. Kindergarteners publish their creative writing using Pic Collage, Book Creator and Tellagami, and the school uses digital learning journals allow students to document and share their learning with their teacher and family.
- Carrie McWilliams: Paul Cuffee School serves as a model for early-elementary teachers in Rhode Island to observe and learn strategies such as Blended Learning and more substantial collaboration with colleagues. The school also uses digital portfolios to enhance students’ home-to-school connections.