INFORMATION technology continues to integrate itself into daily life around the world and one former Junee resident has been recognised for her efforts in using technology to engage her students.
Rebecca Spink has been named the Victorian Primary Teacher of the Year.
A large component of the award was based on Ms Spink’s use of technology, including social media, to engage and motivate students.
A former Junee High School student and Young Citizen of the Year in 2007, Ms Spink spent two years teaching in Mildura before moving to a new school in one of Melbourne’s outer suburbs.
Before graduating from her degree, she taught at Eurongilly and Coolamon schools and said there was a big difference between the city and country schools.
“I love the community side of country schools, but in city you create your own community,” she said.
Using Twitter in a maths lesson is just one example, and Ms Spink said social media was used to create global connections and it was helping to learn about it at the same time.
Students in Ms Spink’s year 5 and 6 class conducted a grocery drive for those less fortunate after learning about their plight through social media.
“I’m not just telling them, they’re experiencing it for themselves (with supervision),” she said.
In addition to improving students’ learning experiences, Ms Spink has become an ambassador for a computer program called Evernote, which she has been using for student assessments and lesson planning.
The prize includes $10,000 to be used for professional development with Ms Spink heading to the United States for a study tour.
“I will be visiting various schools as well as connecting with Evernote Education Ambassadors and teachers in the US to hopefully learn some new and interesting ways of enhancing my knowledge of using technology in the classroom,” Ms Spink.