Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Diana Laufenberg: AZ Technology Teacher of 2007

Chelsea DeWeems in the Arizona Daily Sun reports on Diana Laufenberg, the 2007 AZTEA Innovation Award Technology Teacher of the Year. Laufenberg teaches Social Studies at Mount Elden Middle School in Flagstaff. The Arizona Technology in Education Alliance (AZTEA) uses its award to recognize teachers using technology in the classroom to enhance student learning and enjoyment. Laufenberg well deserved that honor.

Laufenberg has been teaching at the secondary level for over 10 years and she has always tried to integrate technology into her teaching. At her first high school teaching job, she was lucky to be in a small Kansas town close to universities that offered access to technology for her classes. When she moved to Arizona and Mount Elden, there wasn't as much technology being used and she has been a contributor to Mount Elden's growing use of technology for teachers and students.

Laufenberg's students create blogs and online magazines and regularly use the Internet, streamed videos, digital mapping and GIS (geographic information system). Laufenberg believes technology opens classrooms to the world. It provides a larger audience than students' classroom peers and teachers which serves as a great motivator. She said, "When you provide that kind of opportunity, their (students') commitment to doing a good job, their interest, their engagement -- everything goes up."

Projects that Laufenberg has spearheaded with her classes include the "Power of One" project in 2007 that culminated with a live visit to Flagstaff by Rwandan humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina. Students created multi-media movie clips on social activists. One student's movie on Martin Luther King earned her a spot at a luncheon with Rusesabagina. A more recent project is an online magazine on American Indians. You can see some of the Power of One project at the MS Social Studies wiki. The wiki also has rubrics for the online magazine articles and a Native Nations Movie rubric and also invites teachers to share some of their best practices for teaching middle-school social studies. Laufenberg also has a Classroom 2.0 page and a blog (no recent updates, unfortunately).

SOURCE: "High-tech teacher is state's best" 03/28/07
photo courtesy of kevindooley, used under this Creative Commons license

5 comments:

Diana said...

Thanks so much for the blog shout out about what my students are up to as a part of my class!!! Your comment about how infrequently I post to my blog and a recent conversation with Wes Fryer motivated me to write! It isn't tech related, but an example of a successful program my team has been using for the past few years. So, thanks for the impetus... much appreciated.

Dedra Johnson said...

Thanks for dropping by, Diana! And though your new post, Personal Economics, isn't tech-related, it is a great idea and well worth worth reading. It's great to have the opportunity to highlight teachers like you, the projects your students do that you inspire, your thoughts and concerns about your students and your advice. And glad I could be of some service!

Best of luck! And thanks!

contacto said...

Please note that the image you are using for this post has been stolen. I am aware that you download it at flickr thinging it was for free, but the person posting it in Flickr is illegally giving it away for free: I am its author and you can buy it in different microstock sites like istock
http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup.php?id=3944519

Dedra Johnson said...

Contacto, apologies. I see that the photo has been removed from the flickr page where I found it. The photo has been removed.

Dedra Johnson said...

The photo for this post has been changed. Photos for all posts on this blog are used with permission and with appropriate credit given, including the applicable Creative Commons rights. When errors are discovered, they will be corrected.