As one of this year’s standout leaders in education technology, Kim Clemmons is driven by two passions: classroom innovation and lifelong learning. Whether she is connecting teachers to the latest professional development opportunities or launching 3-D technology in classrooms, Clemmons is shining a light on what the 21st-century classroom can look like.
As supervisor of instructional technology for Wilson County Schools in Tennessee, Clemmons relies on her 26-year background in education to ensure curriculum remains on the cutting edge. The school district was recently honored in the Center for Digital Education’s Digital Content and Curriculum Awards for implementing a “3-D classroom” where students can use 3-D imagery to understand challenging concepts in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, geography and engineering. Students are also able to create their own 3-D videos to showcase their knowledge of various concepts.
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“We learn best when we’re teaching others,” said Clemmons. “[Students] are able to capture the video in a 3-D format, and from there they can put the audio and visual together and present it back to their own class.”
Clemmons has spearheaded a districtwide instructional technology professional development course. More than 1,200 teachers now access the virtual course during summer vacation to learn about the latest technology, like Google Classroom and Expeditions, update teacher websites and prepare for the first day of school. A weekly “technology café” also serves as a continuous source of support where teachers learn from each other to strengthen their skills with various programs.
Moving forward, Clemmons plans to continue her focus on personalized digital learning by enhancing the connection between technicians and instructional technology specialists. “We are service-oriented, and it is our role to be there for our teachers and identify if there are areas we can assist in to make classrooms powerful and enriched, and ensure that the resources we have are being utilized,” Clemmons explained. “By providing a variety of digital learning environments, it helps us in identifying the needs for each school and classroom.” —Julia McCandless