Mentor Schools recognized as leaders in Educational Technology programs in Ohio
Mentor Schools recognized as leaders in Educational Technology programs in OhioThe district was named the recipients of four #BestEdTech awards for the 2014 Ohio Educational Technology Conference.

January 16, 2014 – Mentor Schools is proud to announce our staff and blended learning programs are being recognized among the top in the state. The district has been named recipients of four #BestEdTech awards for the 2014 Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC). OETC is the third-largest state educational technology conference in the nation, attracting more than 5,000 professionals to Columbus annually to discus important educational initiatives.  

Here is a list of the awards Mentor Schools has received:
Best Use of Blended Learning presented by K-12
Mentor Public Schools
Mentor's blended learning pilot combines a take-home iPad initiative with professional development and ongoing supports to provide students with instructional experience designed entirely around small-group instruction.

Ed Leader Innovator Award
Jeremy Shorr, Director of Educational Technology
Jeremy Shorr, Director of Educational Technology at Mentor Public Schools, recently worked to implement a fully blended learning environment at Ridge Middle School. At Ridge, room rehabilitation, flexible furniture, extensive teacher professional development and an iPad based 1:1 initiative all support an instructional model where all direct instruction takes place in small groups. Jeremy also implemented Catalyst, a distinctive concept for a state-of-the-art research and development classroom.

Teacher Innovator Award
Tracey Dunn, Kindergarten Teacher, Hopkins Elementary School
Tracey Dunn is among the first in Ohio to develop and implement a blended learning model for kindergarteners. She has been utilizing Catalyst (see the Ohio Trendsetter Award, final listing) four days per week to engage her students in a full blended learning instructional model. Students are thriving in the environment and have adapted well to the new model. They are able to operate digital devices independently, engage in digital content, participate in QR code scavenger hunts, create content, and more.

Ohio Trendsetter Award
Mentor Public Schools’ Catalyst Program
Catalyst is an opportunity for teachers to explore blended learning at the elementary level by traveling, with students, to Ridge Middle School four days a week and teaching from a state-of-the-art classroom. Just as importantly, administrators and other teachers have an opportunity to gain familiarity with new practices by watching from an attached observation and conference room. The Catalyst model is becoming be a beacon for educational innovation in the state and region and has served innovative educators from the area wishing to experiment in this environment quite well.

“In today’s world where information is available anytime, anywhere and right at our fingertips the shift in instruction to include technology is necessary. But, it can’t happen overnight,” said Superintendent Matthew Miller. “We are pleased to receive this recognition, and I know our staff will continue to put tremendous work into our blended learning programs. Beyond the curriculum, we are teaching students to become life-long learners and that is very exciting.”

The #BestEdTech Awards were established to recognize the educational technology innovations of schools, colleges, programs, teachers, administrators and tech coordinators from across the State of Ohio. More than 20,000 votes were cast to determine the award winners.

The official awards program will be Monday, January 27 at the 2014 Ohio Educational Technology Conference in Columbus. There, some of Mentor Schools’ technology leaders will also be presenting these concepts to share with other districts.

Congratulations to all who have put in hard work to make these programs successful for our students! Go Cards!

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