Kasia Derza Honored as Apple’s Distinguished Educator Award

We are once again so proud of one our 2016/2016 #MSUrbanSTEM fellows! Mariano Azuela Elementary School STEM teacher, Mrs. Kasia Derza,  was recently recognized as a 2017 Apple Distinguished Educator.  The program (ADE)  is designed to recognize educators who are using Apple technologies to revolutionize classroom practice.   We recently had a short interview with Mrs. Derza and here’s what she had to say!

What does it mean to you to be an Apple Distinguished Educator?

As part of the ADE program, I will get to be a part of a global community of educational leaders recognized for doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom.  Being part of the ADE community is much more than an honor. It is an opportunity to make a difference.

What type of technologies do you use in your classroom?

I use a variety of technology in my classroom.  From basic coding fundamentals with Code.org’s curriculum to 3D CAD design, learning Apple’s Swift Programming Language with Swift Playground, and VEX Robotics using C++.  Last week, my classroom’s Donors Choose Maker Space project was funded.  My students have started working with Makey Makey, Dash and Dot robots, as well as Sphero, Osmo, and LittleBits.

How has technology changed the way you teach?

Technology has improved student engagement tremendously.  Students get excited when they are able to see that the code they wrote and have been practicing for a long time now means something.  They are able to make the robots in my classroom do all sorts of commands, write functions, conditionals and use problem solving skills.  The thing that I love about technology is that students who aren’t necessarily the best in math, science or language arts can defiantly show off their skills and succeed in them.  Technology has been a tool for me of connecting real life problems and challenges, and really analyzing them.  Technology has been a great way of being able to bring creativity to the classroom and make all students shine!

Follow Derza on Twitter @MrsDerza and learn more about the Apple Distinguished Educator Award by clicking here.