INFOhio, Ohio’s PreK-12 Digital Library, supports educators statewide by providing quality digital content, web tools, and professional development at no cost. Through our train-the-trainer INFOhio ICoach program, teacher leaders learn to integrate INFOhio’s digital content into instruction using our Learning Pathways training curriculum. Educators build capacity as teacher leaders by offering professional development opportunities for their own schools and districts on INFOhio tools and resources. INFOhio empowers Ohio educators to become teacher leaders by expanding their professional learning network through our ICoach train-the-trainer program.
Every quarter, INFOhio will be featuring the amazing work of INFOhio ICoaches across the state. Not only are INFOhio ICoaches trained to share INFOhio’s quality resources with their schools and districts, but they are also champions of equity. At INFOhio, we believe that every Ohio student deserves the opportunity to learn from high-quality, standards-aligned instructional materials to become a resilient, lifelong learner who contributes to society. In alignment with Ohio Department of Education’s Each Child, Our Future strategic plan, we support the core principles of equity, partnerships, and quality schools.
WHO INSPIRES YOU? WHY?
I am most inspired by the teachers I work with and the ones I network with in my Professional Learning Network (PLN). Having spent time in the classroom before taking on my current role in the district, I continue to be amazed at the amazing things teachers in our district do to meet the needs of all students. At the end of last year, I was working with a teacher in a 1st grade classroom. Following a lesson with some robots, the students wrote about what they learned and how it related to the ways objects can move. The writing was detailed, full of science concepts, and so much fun to read. The amount of work this teacher had done throughout the year to create a culture of early writers was truly impressive. Currently, I’m in graduate school learning about leadership. During one of my most recent courses, I met weekly with several classmates to discuss our personal philosophies of leadership. We all came from different backgrounds and were taught different things, but hearing each of their stories and learning from them was truly a rewarding experience.
WHAT IS YOUR HIDDEN TALENT?
I love to design graphics. I remember in high school I took one of my first computer classes where we spent time working with Microsoft Publisher. I found that I loved to spend time crafting the way things look. Color, font, and space continue to fascinate me, and changes over time in the way we graphically present information is truly interesting to me. Currently, I’m obsessed with using programs like Canva to put together graphics on web pages and my weekly newsletter. I recently had a chance to design the graphics for our district’s One Summer One Book webpage and had a blast arranging letter tiles, layering graphics, and playing with color. As I continue to learn more about how important it is for designers to create content that is accessible to all learners, I’ve found my overall design choices have changed as well.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING AN INFOHIO ICOACH?
What I love most about being an ICoach is having the opportunity to dig deeper into all of the amazing resources that INFOhio has to offer. During my initial ICoach training, we went through many of the different educator courses that are offered by INFOhio. One of my favorites was Reading on the Screen. Learning about the differences between how we read print and digital content was interesting. A big takeaway for me was thinking purposefully about how we teach students to consume digital content.
During my first year as an ICoach, I felt that my largest focus was digging deeper into more INFOhio resources (there are soooo many!). During this next school year, I want to focus more on sharing and networking with other ICoaches. One of my goals is to continue to work on creating mini-commercials to highlight INFOhio resources. I’d also like to learn more about the nuggets other coaches have found so that I can share these with my teachers as well!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INFOHIO RESOURCE? WHY?
One of my favorite INFOhio resources is Storia (which has now been replaced by Scholastic Literacy Pro). I came upon Storia during the pandemic when we were looking for any way we could to get books into teacher and student hands. Storia/Literacy Pro is a digital library of books from Scholastic. Purchasing access to a library like this for grades 3-6 is often expensive and I’m grateful that Ohio schools can get access to Scholastic Literacy Pro from INFOhio. It is full of exciting titles for students and it allows teachers to get a pulse on what students are reading and make recommendations. It also provides teachers with a selection of titles they can share with students and display in class. Even at home, students can access great quality literature through Scholastic Literacy Pro. One thing I did for my teachers when we were using Storia was to examine the title list and highlight titles that aligned with their science and social studies standards. As we begin this year with Scholastic Literacy Pro, I’ll be looking to do the same thing. As an ICoach, I believe it is important to look for ways we can help teachers pinpoint the INFOhio resources that can directly tie to the standards they are teaching students.
DESCRIBE YOUR "BIGGEST WIN" THAT DEMONSTRATES HOW YOUR ROLE AS AN INFOHIO ICOACH AND INTEGRATION OF INFOHIO RESOURCES SUPPORTS INSTRUCTION, STUDENT LEARNING, OR EQUITY WITHIN YOUR SCHOOL.