NORTHAMPTON, MA — Sarah Moilanen has been named a 2016 Local PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator, expanding her ongoing work with blended learning in education.
Moilanen is one of four original Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) educators working in the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) Education Initiative that participated in 2014 and thereafter as fellows in the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings (CEEAS) Unjammed Blended Learning Initiative; piloting new ways to bring the power of blended learning to their students across the Commonwealth. DYS and their educational partners: Collaborative for Educational Services (CES), and Commonwealth Corporation, were among seven juvenile justice agencies nationwide that were selected by CEEAS to participate in the “Unjammed Initiative.”
Moilanen and the other three fellows used their training at Unjammed to pilot web-based technology and learning within their DYS classrooms. She used Edmodo to develop a virtual book club for her students. Students used an assortment of online tools to prepare online book reports. She reported that her students were more connected to and empowered by their education because they were able to use technology as part of their work.
Now, as part of the 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program, Moilanen will be able to further her knowledge and understanding of the power that digital technology has within the classroom, and spark interest in learning for her students, who are part of the DYS educational system.
Said Moilanen, “I have taught my students a great lesson to never accept mediocrity. Mediocrity never knows anything higher than itself. My goal in life has always been to reach one step higher than where I am, and I encourage my students to do the same. My students will share this with me, as I continue to proudly share my gift of knowledge with them.”
Moilanen will participate in virtual trainings and professional development, utilize PBS LearningMedia resources, and attend events that will ensure that her digital teaching skills continue to expand and grow. She will also continue to share these skills with her fellow teachers.