Meet the Teacher: MaryAnn D. Powell

Meet MaryAnn D. Powell, K-12 Instructional Technology Facilitator

Edgecombe County Public Schools, Tarboro, North Carolina

Initially, I became a teacher because I wanted a mom’s schedule: summers off to be with my kids. Then while I was being a stay-at-home mom, I fell in love with our home PC, back when the Internet and the world it opened up were new.  Then I found out I could combine my love of computers with my teaching profession and teach something I LOVED!  Graduate school, here I came!”

On being a connected educator…”I am very much connected to my local teachers, regional teachers, state organization members, national techno-geeks, and the global education community.  I have participated in several MOOC-Ed courses through The Friday Institute and NCSU, as well as being a lurker and sometimes tweeter on Twitter (ECPS_MsP). I subscribe to so many blogs, I can’t count them, and when there are no other demands on my time, I’m scouring them to find something new to learn.  I think there is no better way to be a lifelong learner than to connect with other like souls.”

On what it’s like teaching children…”Working with children reminds me daily that they are our future!  If we fail to prepare them for the unknown that is their futures, we have failed them. Resilience, tenacity, real-world problems, those are the things we should be exposing our children to, not just how to get the right answer that is going to be on “the test.” We spend way too much time and effort sitting in straight rows, maintaining silence, prepping for tests, having student regurgitate facts, when we should really be encouraging students to think for themselves!  Learning is messy, and loud, and exciting!”

It’s important to me that my students…”Find their passion, that one thing they WANT to learn about!  That opens the door to so much more learning. It’s also important that they know I care. You know the rest of that story.”

What is one piece of advice you have for teachers who are just now introducing educational technology into their classroom? “Don’t be afraid! You (usually) can’t break it! Just jump in and try. If something goes wrong, that’s OK! You are modeling resilience for your students! Don’t be afraid to ask THEM to help YOU with technology! That can be so empowering for your students. As one famous athletic company once said, “Just do it!”’

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