Middle school teacher recognized for use of technology

COVINGTON -- A Newton County teacher is helping fellow teachers from around the world integrate more technology in their classrooms.

Earlier this year, the national technology company, StudyBlue, chose Erik Love, an eighth-grade teacher at Indian Creek Middle School, as an official StudyBlue Ambassador in recognition of his dedication to integrating technology in the classroom.

As part of this, Love received more technological assistance for his classroom, is able to share his skills with other teachers and has access to special conferences.

StudyBlue officials said that the program is meant to recognize passionate, innovate teachers who give students tools to help them learn on their own and those who are dedicated to improving education.

Love allows students to use desktop computers in the classrooms, but he said he also encourages them to use their own devices, like iPods, smartphones, laptops, e-readers or tablets.

"I want my students to be as comfortable and proficient with the technology as possible, so I use the technology that is readily available to my students," he said.

Over the last few years, the Newton County School System has allowed students to use personal technology and has given schools access to more technology like iPads because of students being able to learn more through it.

"Since the first thing many students do when they leave the school building is interact with their personal devices, they embrace the opportunity to use them in the classroom," Love said. "In many respects, students expect to use technology and would actively question why a teacher doesn't utilize technological aids. I give them the option to learn in a way that they identify as more efficient and effective. In my classroom, technology is about choice. If something doesn't help a student learn, I don't demand it. If they prefer to read a textbook and do old-fashioned, pencil to paper work, I'm all for that, too."

The StudyBlue Ambassadors program was developed to help teachers connect with one another to share ways that StudyBlue can help students master content. They provide support to one another and develop professional learning opportunities for teachers across the world. Previous Ambassadors have hosted in-service workshops, written blogs and presented at local and national conferences.

"StudyBlue's mission is to give students the best tools to master their material. We recognize that the process starts with those who teach it," said StudyBlue CEO Becky Splitt. "We are thrilled with this fall's host of teacher ambassadors. They hail from around the world and each has demonstrated a commitment to embracing technology that engages their students and improves outcomes."