My name is Stephanie DeMichele, and I'm a #BoyMom, a Generation Z fan, a lifelong learner, a student-centered educator, an edtech fan, and an 80s chick from the #CLE.
I began my career teaching high school English in 1997. The birth of my first son in 2001 (and the rather quick appearance of my second son in 2002!) presented the opportunity for me to be a stay-at-home mom for a while. However, I knew that when I returned to the classroom, the days of overheads and chalkboards would be a thing of the past, so during that time, I took courses and workshops that explored the strange new world of edtech.
A few years later, upon discovering that my oldest son was gifted, I became a GT parent advocate, and it was this work that led to my return to teaching in 2008 as the Coordinator for Gifted and Talented Education (K-8) at a small private school in Cleveland, Ohio. I was given the freedom to develop the course, and I envisioned at the time a "paper-free" classroom that utilized the latest in project-based learning and emerging Web 2.0 applications: wikis, podcasting, website creation, PBL, etc. My ideas and enthusiasm for EdTech caught the attention of others, which then led to my unexpected side career in professional development and coaching.
When I was recommended for the position of Technology Instructor at another school, I'll admit to feeling unprepared, but I was again give the enviable opportunity of developing a curriculum from the ground up, customizing it, and then integrating it into the regular curriculum. It was a challenge on which I couldn't pass, and it was rewarding to introduce our students and teachers to innovative and exciting new ways of learning. And so, I became the unofficial integration specialist, too!
I said a difficult goodbye to the classroom to take a position the Technology Integration Coordinator for a mid-sized school district for two years. My work included designing, implementing, and overseeing, district-wide technology integration operations; developing technology blended and flipped learning opportunities for teachers; and assisting with district initiatives such as data-driven decision-making, professional learning communities, and re-thinking formative assessments.
My journey, as you can see, hasn't been linear or planned, or even expected, but I'm loving it! At this time in my life, I'm exactly where I need to be, and that's as an educational consultant with the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, working with teachers and students to incorporate and transform our learning environments with technology. As a member of Matt Miller's speaking team, a group of speakers who evangelize the philosophy of student-centered learning as espoused in Matt's Ditch That Textbook and Ditch That Homework, you can be assured that your team will receive engaging, relevant, meaningful professional development and provide keynotes, workshops and presentations that teachers will LOVE -- and start using right away.
In 2016, I was a recipient of the Ideastream Betty C. Cope Award for outstanding service and commitment to supporting the education outreach of its organization. In 2018, I was asked to join Matt Miller's Ditch That Textbook Speakers Bureau.
And I'm not done yet!
I've been traveling and speaking more at conferences and other events, I blog. I'm working on a book. And I'm trying to figure out how to make digital learning more accessible, less scary, and easy-peasy for today's educators.
Thanks for stopping by, and if you have any questions about me, my work, or my blog, please feel free to get in touch!
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