Krysten Balfe
5th & 6th Grade Teacher
Rome Catholic Elementary School 
Syracuse Diocese Schools

Congratulations to our March 2016 Featured Teacher Krysten Balfe, a fifth and sixth grade teacher at Rome Catholic Elementary in the Syracuse Diocese. Krysten has taught at the school for the past four years.

What are some of the innovative ways that Krysten integrates technology into her curriculum?

Students in Krysten's multi-grade classroom have access to Android tablets which are used daily to enhance learning opportunities. This one-to-one technology integration allows Krysten to connect her students with the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) cloud-based toolkit. Using their unique Google accounts, students are able to access assignments that Krysten shares via Google Classroom. Krysten is also able to encourage her students to collaborate with one another through the use of Google Docs. While Krysten has students use their tablets to connect to Google Classroom on a regular basis, she also integrates online resources such as LearnZillion and Khan Academy into her instruction. Both tools provide academic support in Math and ELA, as well as grade level and student differentiation. Students use these sites in and outside of class. Krysten also has her students use the tablets for research, writing, and skill development in various subject areas. Students are even allowed to use the devices to listen to music while they work. Krysten will soon develop a challenge-based learning environment that will allow the kids to collaborate and conduct realistic problem-solving.

How have students benefited from Krysten's technology integration initiatives?

Students benefit from Krysten's technology integration because they're able to learn content at their own pace, as well as receive additional one-on-one instruction during class. After interviewing students regarding Krysten’s use of technology in the classroom, students overwhelmingly agree that the tablet integration helps them learn. They also believe that Krysten gives them the flexibility and responsibility to use the technology to their academic advantage. One student said, “Mrs. Balfe lets us talk stuff out, she lets us have ideas about learning; she gives us choices.” Students mentioned they are collaborating on creative writing during recess - something they choose to do!

Is This You?

Are you the type of teacher who thinks about technology integration and new ways to enhance instruction, engage students, and make learning fun?  Know someone who fits the profile?  Recommend a "Featured Teacher" so we can recognize and celebrate great work in the area of instructional technology!

“Mrs. Balfe lets us talk stuff out, she lets us have ideas about learning; she gives us choices.”  
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