Laurel Oshiro, elementary librarian at Sacred Hearts Academy and a LIS alumna, was one of two recipients of the 2016 Making IT Happen Award sponsored by the Hawaii Society for Teachers in Education (HSTE). She was honored for her outstanding work in staging and coordinating conferences called iTeach808: Empowering Hawaii’s Teachers in Technology. This series of free professional development workshops for teachers helps them align curriculum with 21st century learning standards. These conferences attract over 200 teachers from more than 40 schools. The vast majority of the participants have said that they could apply what they learned in the conferences directly to their classrooms. Laurel comments:
My passion is to give Hawaii’s teachers the tools to help their students contribute to a thriving global society through technology. Many people have shared with me that they are happy that this type of grassroots conferences came about and want more of them to promote collaboration and a sense of community among Hawaii’s educators.
This award that originated with the International Society for Technology in Education recognizes outstanding educators, who demonstrate “extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students.” Since its inception in 1995 more than 500 educators from around the world have received the ISTE award. The HSTE award is an offshoot of the national award. Honorees receive certificates, one-year memberships to ISTE, registration to the Schools of the Future Conference, and special Making IT Happen jackets.