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Teacher Recognized

When Michelle Cordy teaches her Grade 3/4 class at Public School, her goal is to empower the young learners with inspired uses of technology.


Cordy is one of only 50 teachers across the country recently recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) – a global community of education leaders who advise the technology giant on integrating technology into learning environments. ADEs also share their expertise with other educators and policy makers.


One look at Cordy’s classroom makes it apparent why she was named to this group of exceptional teachers – from Junior Kindergarten to the post-secondary level – who are using technology in innovative and progressive ways.


Each of her students has an iPad and a large screen allows them to project and share their learning. The tablets were funded by the Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research as part of a research project led by Cordy’s mentor, Dr. Donna Kotsopoulos at Wilfrid Laurier University.


Cordy said she feels like a bit of a pioneer. “I love the adventure of being the first to deploy one-to-one iPads in a mainstream classroom, but it's also challenging. If I can somehow share what I learn with other Ontario educators that would be a huge bonus.”


Cordy writes about how technology can advance teaching and learning in her blog called Hack the Classroom: “I believe the iPad is a very good tool for education. But, it’s not just the device; it’s about creating a future of empowered learners that fundamentally believe they can learn anything and make just about anything.”


Each student’s future is paramount to Cordy’s approach to teaching. “We are not packaging learners full of knowledge to exit the system and go off and be happy workers,” she said.


“I feel, as do many others, that we are reaching a critical moment in education that we must seize to move forward into an open, inspired and hopeful future,” Cordy added.


Cordy will participate in a week-long conference in Austin, Texas this summer with other ADEs from Canada and the United States.


In another demonstration of support for her use of technology, Cordy, along with her colleague Lisa Morris at Parkview Public School in Komoka, were recent recipients of a nearly $40,000 grant from the 2013-2014 Teacher Learning and Leadership Program.