The TIES Exceptional Teacher Award recognizes teachers from TIES member districts who model best practices for technology in their classroom use technology to engage students in learning. 2014 marks the eleventh year of the metro-wide program, but the first year for Northeast Metro 916. Congratulations to Theresa Wallace and Matt Nupen who were named 2014 TIES Exceptional Teachers for their work as technology leaders in the district.
Autism Resource Specialist, South Campus and Related Services
In her role as a specialist serving students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Theresa is passionate about how technology can support students’ social and emotional needs and promote learning. Video modeling is a powerful strategy to support social skill development for students with ASD. Theresa pioneered the use of iPads for video modeling in her program, enthusiastically leading the way for her colleagues through coaching, cajoling, and cheering. With her leadership and support, Northeast Metro 916’s autism resource specialist team is using QR codes to link video resources and learning supports in the context-specific physical locations where they can be most valuable to students.
Science Teacher, 916 Mahtomedi Academy
Matt is a tireless innovator and advocate for using technology to engage students in authentic learning experiences. A science teacher at 916 Mahtomedi Academy, Matt created a classroom makerspace to support students’ learning of STEM concepts, including 3D printing, programming, and engineering design for digital fabrication. With a colleague, he developed and team-taught an interdisciplinary project-based elective course called “Assistive Technology Engineering and Entrepreneurship.” In the class, student teams designed, developed, and presented an assistive technology product to meet the needs of an actual “client” student with physical and cognitive disabilities. Matt also started the “Dream Makers Idea Challenge,” a program to promote the use of 3D printing in special education settings.