Name: Melissa Lim (@actionhero, pdxtlc.ning.com)
Organization: Portland Public Schools, Portland, OR
Current title: Instructional Technology, IT Outreach
Selected accolade: EdCampPDX organizer, member of leadership team for statewide Oregon EdTech Cadre
What was your path to your current position?
I began my career in education as an elementary classroom teacher in Vancouver (WA) Public Schools and then Portland Public Schools. I became interested in using technology when I was awarded a classroom grant that brought hardware and software into my classroom and also provided me with regular training to implement best practices using technology. I left the classroom to take a job in instructional technology, which I have had, in some incarnation, for the last 11 years.
“I am passionate about using technology to re-imagine education.”
What is the best part of your job?
The best aspect of my job is having the flexibility to be involved with a lot of different educational technology initiatives and projects. I help manage some IT-related initiatives, but most of my time is spent doing professional development work with teachers. I make site visits to schools to observe what’s happening in our classrooms and assist with instructional technology support needs and I also get to play and explore with new technologies.
What skill(s) do you feel are most important for today’s students to explore in academic settings (tech or non-tech related)?
Today’s students have to be adaptive and flexible and understand their own learning process in order to navigate through school in a way that is engaging, personalized, motivational and relevant. I also think students should be able to find joy in failure.
For a teacher looking to use technology to connect with students, enhance learning or embrace 21st century skills, where do you suggest one begin?
For a hands-on approach, I think using any of the Google Apps is an easy starting point to understanding technological capabilities and possibilities. I also love all the resources put out by the MacArthur Foundation: Connected Learning, Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, and DML Central.