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Lauren Elkanich

OPB Celebrates Local Educators' Commitment to Digital Innovation in Today's Classrooms

OPB | April 8, 2014 9:22 a.m.

As a public broadcasting organization with a commitment to providing the most valuable educational media and intelligent entertainment, OPB congratulates local Oregon educators Steve Beard of Thomas Edison High School in Portland, Marika Conrad of J. Clyde Hopkins Elementary in Sherwood and Steve Oliver of Happy Valley Middle School in Milwaukee — who have all been selected for the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators program.
 
They are among the 100 educators from across the country recognized for exhibiting innovative techniques in leveraging digital media in today’s classrooms, as well as being advocates for the value that OPB brings to classrooms through PBS LearningMedia programming. OPB is proud to recognize these teachers for their dedication to truly changing the way students learn through technology and digital media.
 
The 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will receive yearlong professional development opportunities that include virtual trainings, access to premium and exclusive resources, and invitations to special events. Additionally, Steve Beard has been named one of the top 15 “Lead Digital Innovators” of that distinguished group, and will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in a two-day digital education summit to engage in hands-on learning, collaborate with peers and hear from digital technology thought leaders.

About Steve Beard
Steve Beard works at Thomas Edison High School in Portland, Oregon. His school serves high school students (9-12) with mild learning disabilities (ADD, Dyslexia, Asperger’s syndrome). Steve currently teaches Conceptual Physics and Earth Science; he also teaches some electives such as Ultimate Frisbee, Latin American Studies and Indigenous Instruments. The Physics class covers core concepts related to our physical world. The Earth Science class explores the dynamic parts of our planet with a focus on sustainability. The best part of Steve’s job is engaging with students. Working with students with learning differences can be challenging, yet he’s delighted to discover and work with many of their strengths. The small classes at Edison make this possible.

About Marika Conrad
Marika Conrad is a 5th grade teacher at J. Clyde Hopkins Elementary in the Sherwood School District in Washington County, Oregon, where she teaches every subject except for Music and P.E. Marika loves connecting with students and celebrating with them when they get those “ah-ha” moments.  Finding creative ways to make learning fun and engaging is one of her daily goals. She feels so fortunate to be able to do what she does every day!

About Steve Oliver
Steve Oliver teaches at Happy Valley Middle School, in Happy Valley, Oregon. It is in The North Clackamas School District, located in Clackamas County.

Steve teaches 4 sections of Social Studies to 6th and 7th graders, and one section of technology to 6th graders called “Publish It!” Every day he uses computers in his tech class, teaching the basics of Google Drive, graphic design, podcasting, and video editing. In Social Studies Oliver tries to use computers most days. He embeds all of his content aside from the textbook into his website, and has students create digital portfolios with various Google drawings and presentations.
 
The best part of Steve’s job is getting to work with kids who get excited about topics that they might not normally be engaged in. He loves when kids become passionate about human rights and social justice. Steve is fulfilled when kids make connections from the wrongdoings of 2000 years ago to the mistakes we make today. Access to technology makes those learnings relevant and possible.

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