Colleen McNerney - Digital Promise

Colleen McNerney

Colleen McNerney

Colleen McNerney is an instructional technology coach at the Elizabeth Board of Education in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Colleen began her career working as a graphic designer and made the life-changing decision to enter the academic field. She realized that her true passion was preparing the next generation for the future. She wanted to help children excel, find self-worth, and become future ready. Her career path has taken her out the classroom and into the role of instructional coach. Colleen now aids teachers on integrating technology into their curricula to redefine lessons and engage students. Colleen is also encouraging blended learning to give students more control and ownership over their own learning.

A 360˚ look inside Colleen McNerney’s class:

Colleen on Powerful Learning:

What’s one strategy teachers can use to incorporate Powerful Learning?

“Survey students to identify their strengths, interests and learning styles. Use the data from the student survey to differentiate instruction. Differentiating instruction personalizes learning for students and increases engagement. When students are engaged, they are excited to come to class and will learn more. This will result in better performance!”

What’s one student project that demonstrates powerful learning?

“Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in technology and to change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. Girls at William F. Halloran in Grades 5 and 6 are attending weekly meetings to learn how to code, build a sisterhood and have fun doing it! The girls are using this website to showcase the great work they are doing. Check back regularly to see their work and watch them grow as they learn how to code.”

What do you hope education will look like in 20 years?

In a perfect world, 20 years from now, students will walk into an open and airy classroom. Desks will not be lined up in perfect rows, but rather students will be seated in small groups based on ability. Teachers will not lecture an entire class at one time, but move about the room freely teaching each small group individually.”

Ask Colleen about:

“Reach out to me if you are interested in hosting professional development for your school district and need any tips for effectively developing and delivering a session, I would love to share my experiences with you- the good, the bad, and the ugly- what works and what doesn’t! My advice- keep it simple, make it relevant.”

Micro-credential earned:

By earning the Edtech Pilot Framework Planning a Pilot microcredential, I learned the process and procedure for implementing a pilot in my district. As an instructional technology coach, I have had the opportunity to introduce and roll out new technologies to my school district. This microcredential helped me organize my process and procedure for the rollout of our learning management system (LMS)- PowerSchool Unified Classroom. It ensured that I had properly analyzed needs, developed goals and created a system of inquiry to effectively implement a pilot.

Learn more about HP Teaching Fellows.

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