Hello, my name is Janelle Safford. I am from Winnsboro, a small, rural east Texas town. I am married and have two grown daughters and four furry friends that I pamper and spoil relentlessly. I have been in education since 1992 where I began my career teaching 4th grade. I then followed my heart to teach Kindergarten for eighteen years. After twenty three years in the classroom, I became the first "Instructional Technology Coordinator" of my district. I now serve as an innovative learning design specialist for Sulphur Springs ISD where I share my passion for education technology and the power it can have to promote and advance student learning.
With a highly competitive job market that is likely to be the norm for years to come, students will need a broad range of technology-based skills in order to be prepared for the workforce. By providing current technology websites, tools, training and ideas, I hope to make curriculum technology integration a seamless process for teachers. A tech-rich classroom environment will help students acquire valuable skills to better position them for success in college and the employment market and will help prepare them with the 21st century skills necessary for their future. I also believe that when teachers begin to incorporate technology into their classroom, the variety to the learning experience and the improved student engagement will ultimately benefit educators and students alike by sparking curiosity and creativity.
My goal is to be an asset to both students and teachers. I hope to learn ways to bridge the ever growing gap between larger, wealthier school districts and small rural districts when it comes to preparing students for their future. I am not just concerned with money (although that is a problem) but with equity of learning experiences for students and professional development for teachers in these districts.
I believe technology is a tool that can transform the way students learn as well as the role of the classroom teacher. The internet now provides students with unlimited access to a wealth of information which allows them to take more responsibility for their own learning. This fact redefines the role of the teacher from being the sole source of knowledge to an information facilitator and instructional designer. I believe that as an educator, I must embrace the idea of being a lifelong learner myself if I am going to be an example for teachers and students. I love nothing more than to share tools, lessons, ideas and programs that can engage student learners and allow them to choose how they best learn and take ownership of their own learning. Technology allows students to accomplish tasks that were not possible even a few short years ago and our student’s need to be taught skills that will prepare them for college, careers and the 21st century workforce of the future. Therefore, my goal is to teach our students how to navigate these tools so they can be digitally literate and responsible.
I hope to make a positive impact on the teachers and students that I am privileged to work with. I challenge myself to constantly bring new ideas and introduce teachers to tools and techniques that allow students to be creative, communicate, collaborate and experience deeper learning.
I hope to also be an agent of change and influence decision makers on subjects like:
Less emphasis on grades and more emphasis on genuine, relevant learning
Quality technology integration – SAMR, TIM, TPACK, ISTE standards and Technology Applications
Tech, O. O. (2017, January 18). What is Personalized Learning? – Personalizing the Learning Experience: Insights from Future Ready Schools – Medium. Retrieved September 24, 2017, from https://medium.com/personalizing-the-learning-experience-insights/what-is-personalized-learning-bc874799b6f(n.d.). Retrieved September 25, 2017, from http://tea.texas.gov/Academics/Curriculum_Standards/TEKS_Texas_Essential_Knowledge_and_Skills_(TEKS)_Review/Technology_Applications_TEKS/
ISTE Standards FORSTUDENTS. (n.d.). Retrieved September 25, 2017, from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-students