St. Francis High School Teachers Pave the Way for Innovative Classroom Technology

At St. Francis High School, teachers are constantly adapting to the ever-changing needs of students and methodologies of teaching, including proving their versatility when it comes to incorporating innovative technology into their curriculum. All students and faculty use Surface Pro devices, as well as Office 365 and OneNote ® as they model one-to-one mobile learning.
Recently, math teacher Mary McCarthy submitted an application detailing her experiences in teaching while using Microsoft technology, and was selected to complete continuing education courses in the Microsoft Educator Community. She is now one of approximately 400 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEE) in the nation and is the first classroom teacher at St. Francis High School to receive the MIEE certification.

“Students today learn differently than when I was in high school,” said McCarthy. This generation is simply not going to search a textbook or manual to find the answers to their questions. They have access to technology 24/7, and that is where they search for academic answers. I wanted to be able to reach students where they are. Becoming an MIEE has truly inspired me to want to learn even more moving forward.”

After completing online coursework and passing his final exam, English teacher Matt Ernst earned his certification as a Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE). He has demonstrated a mastery of incorporating 21st Century Learning Design, utilizing Microsoft products, throughout his curriculum, and is the first classroom teacher at St. Francis High School to earn this certification.

“I hope the certification from Microsoft will simply make me a better teacher,” said Ernst. “I am glad to say the course offered a new paradigm of thinking about technology and what it means to be both a student and a teacher in the 21st century.”

Colleen Kaplan, Technology Integration Specialist, recently became an International Society for Technology in Education (ICTE) Certified Educator. Through her successful completion of professional development in designing, facilitating and assessing learning using technology, and an evaluation of her portfolio, she demonstrated competency in the ISTE Standards for Educators and achieved the distinction as an ISTE Certified Educator. Kaplan also holds certifications as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and as a Microsoft Certified Educator.

St. Francis High School was designated a Microsoft Showcase School for the third year in a row. They are one of only 38 schools in the United States to earn this designation, and as such, join an elite group of schools worldwide that exemplify leadership, modern teaching and learning, inclusivity, innovative learning, and a professional learning community while using cutting-edge technology.

“We take pride in knowing Microsoft recognizes the impact our teachers, students, and school community are making on the future of education,” said Kaplan.
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