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E-F Teacher Honored by PBS Innovators Program

By Submitted Report
The Tube City Almanac
April 27, 2017
Posted in: Announcements

(Photos courtesy Elizabeth Forward School District)

A teacher from Elizabeth Forward Middle School is one of 52 educators from around the United States who's been honored for his efforts to incorporate digital technology in the classroom.

Stephen Hartnett, who teaches eighth-grade American history and also serves as assistant coach of the boys' soccer team, was named a PBS Digital Innovator by the nation's public broadcasting TV network.

The honor was announced by WQED-TV (13), Pittsburgh's public television station.

George Hazimanolis, senior director of corporate communications at WQED, said that over the coming year, Hartnett will partner with WQED personnel to help other teachers use digital audio, video and text and technology in their classrooms.

Hartnett will have access to exclusive training with PBS, as well as resources from PBS LearningMedia; and will be invited to the upcoming 2017 PBS Digital Summit in San Antonio, Texas, which is being held alongside the International Society for Technology in Education conference.

“We were struck by the creativity and passion of this year’s applicants,” said Sara Schapiro, PBS vice president of education. “Education is at the core of PBS’ mission and as a key partner with parents and educators across America, we’re excited for the opportunity to learn from and work with these classroom change makers as they partner with PBS member stations to share content that truly engages and empowers students in every community.”

Hartnett, who lives in North Huntingdon Twp., uses the school's new digital media lab --- known as the iCreate Studio --- as well as its multimedia classroom, known as the SMALLab, to create interactive history projects with his students.

Hartnett also serves as a technology liaison for his school and has trained other teachers on how to use digital media in their classrooms. In addition, he sponsors several after school activities, including the Games For Change Student Challenge and the National History Bee.

According to PBS, the Digital Innovators Program recognizes teachers who "skillfully approach education with a bold and fresh perspective, and who integrate digital media and resources into their classrooms in a way that sparks a love of learning for their students." The program is in its fifth year.

PBS Digital Innovators were selected by a panel of judges and represent each of the 50 states as well as Washington, D.C.

Among other teachers selected were educators who are using 3D printers with their students to create prosthetic limbs; a technology coach whose classroom is a “STEM Bus” and co-teachers who use technology to bring their students together in one class, even though they’re in physical classrooms that are miles apart.

Originally published April 27, 2017.

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