Welcome to Jennie Magiera's Technology in Education Blog:

Redefining the (digital) Classroom

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Somebody That You Should All Know: Vol #1

Now that my role has changed to "Digital Learning Coordinator" from "Princess 5th Grade Math Teacher Ninja", I am often feeling guilty about sharing my work and stories. While I still have the honor of working with kids on a semi-regular basis - through a student tech leadership team and co-teaching or modeling lessons for colleagues - I am no longer a "classroom teacher." Therefore, I find it my civic duty to use this blog not only to share what I learn as I work with my 26 schools, their teachers and students - but also to share the direct work of the teachers themselves.

As such - this is a first of a series I hope to start called "Somebody That You Should All Know" (feel free to sing that to the tune of "Somebody that I Used To Know"). In this series I will be featuring some of the amazing and inspiring educators with whom I have the pleasure of working. My evil plan - that they have yet to learn - is to eventually get them to guest blog. Some may, some may not - either way, these are all great minds, voices and collaborators that you should know. Think of this as a Twitter #FollowFriday that exceeds the 140 character limit :).

First up:
Autumn Laidler
3rd/4th Grade Science Teacher
A.K.A., Empress Science Teacher Jedi
Chicago, IL

Autumn is exactly the kind of colleague with whom you want to collaborate. She's a walking, talking personification of creative commons / open source - that is, she believes that ideas are worth sharing, and should be equal opportunity. She is always reminding me that PLCs or organizations - even the ones you need to apply to be a part of - should never be exclusionary - but inclusive and generous with their learning.

Moreover, Autumn isn't one to rest of her laurels. Although she was an innovator well before gaining iPads in her classroom, she spent her first year of 1:1 iPad use redefining her practice and pushing herself (not to mention all of her colleagues) to rethink teaching and learning. Then this year -- when she could have easily said, "I got this people - watch and learn" -- she instead came to me as well as her other colleagues to brainstorm new ways to come up with new and exciting ideas to challenge her pedagogy.

Autumn's commitment to innovation is amazing, but is equally matched by her commitment to work with the highest needs communities in our city. Students who are marginalized and thus often difficult to reach are often neglected by shining stars like Ms. Laidler. However Autumn - like many of the other colleagues I will write about in this series - doesn't shy away. Instead she makes it her mission to work with these communities to truly make a difference.

If you're an educator looking for new and inventive ways to use mobile devices (such as the iPad), please take a moment to check out her blog and follow her on Twitter. (Note: She is an amazing follow - her tweets are not only thoughtful, but she does a great job of curating information on this site... something that I strive to be better at. Moreover, she is one to start dialogues and discussions using this tool rather than simply sending out 140 character quips, commentaries or retweets.)

Thanks, Autumn, for always being an inspiration to me, and for doing the work you do. You rock, my friend.

And that's a wrap on Somebody That You Should Know, Volume #1. Stay tuned for more highlights on amazing educators right here. Same bat time, same bat channel.


  1. I have just met you, but I love you-SQUIRREL! Seriously, this is the first post that I have read on your blog and I cannot wait to read more. You crack me up!

    1. Thanks so much for reading! Glad you like it :).

  2. Great idea! I just visited her blog and her post on Wallwisher - a great tool!

  3. What a great initiative! I looking forward to learning from these Ninja-teachers and hope that I will be able to inspire others along my learning path too.

  4. Such an inspiring story to get your new series started! It's always great to hear how teachers are stretching themselves and growing in their teaching and the ripple effect that it has on those around them; it's an excellent example to set for students. Thanks for sharing this story with us and I'm looking to reading more!

  5. Love your idea of highlighting teachers who are innovating and pushing their practice. Can't wait to be introduced to more amazing teachers! And Autumn is amazing :)