PRSD honours Pierson for earning award

Peace River School Division celebrated an award presented to Shayne Pierson, manager of technology services, left. He receives a special certificate from board chair Darren Kuester. Pierson won the Interactive Videoconferencing Network Classroom Educator Award from the International Society for Technology in Education.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Peace River School Division [PRSD] honoured one of its managers at a special ceremony June 25 for receiving a top technology award.

The board celebrated manager of technology services Shayne Pierson, who won the Interactive Video- conferencing Network Classroom Educator Award from the International Society for Technology in Education [ISTE].

The international award recognizes educational technology leaders for their work in using video confer- encing in innovative ways to advance education, says a PRSD news release June 25.

Pierson credits the passion of PRSD teachers and the assistance of the technology department for the success of a project to enhance learning online.

“I share this award with our teachers and the technology department,” Pierson says.

“They are doing remarkable work to make the Google classrooms feel like in-person learning.

Pierson was selected specifically for his leadership in connecting classrooms throughout the division by Google Meet technology to increase course options for students as schools closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our students are engaged and are provided with more options because of their dedication and passion,” Pierson says.

“It takes a team to see a project of this magnitude come together and I am grateful to work with such passionate and dedicated individuals.”

The project is comprised of 17 Google Meet-enabled classrooms throughout PRSD that come fully equipped with multiple monitors, cameras, Google Chromeboxes and Chromebook computers for students.

It allows students from schools throughout PRSD to take courses they require that may have been offered only through distance learning.

The Google Meet classrooms allow students to receive instruction from a PRSD teacher and the ability to learn virtually with other students.

“We are offering 15 courses that we would not normally have the capacity to offer” Pierson says.

“This project allows collaboration between students and teachers hundreds of kilometers away from each other and provides our students with increased course options.”

During the ceremony, board chair Darren Kuester acknowledged Pierson for his contributions.

“Thank you for your leadership in technology for Peace River School Division,” Kuester says.

“Your vision and passion for utilizing technology in the division has a tremendous impact on student learning and success and we are very fortunate for your service.

“Thank you for the important work you do for both our students and staff and we commend you for your work to connect our classrooms and provide students with greater opportunities and options.

“Congratulations on receiving this prestigious award – you certainly deserve it.”

Pierson will also be recognized online on the iste.org website, receive a plaque, $100 cash prize and a free ISTE membership for one year.

He also served as a conference chair, professional learning chair and vice-president for the Alberta Technology Leaders in Education.

Pierson was awarded the ISTE’s “Making it Happen” Award in November 2019.

The “Making it Happen” Award honors leaders who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students.

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