Year: 2016 — Province: Alberta
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
St. Mary's Elementary School
5207 42nd Avenue
Lloydminster, Alberta T9V 1M8
Subjects and grades taught: Grade 6, all subjects
Marrying her technological savvy with a positive attitude, quick wit and genuine care for others, Nicole Blais shows students how to make themselves, Canada and the world stronger and more compassionate.
Mrs. Blais' enthusiasm for, and innovative use of, collaborative learning and technology are the building blocks of her approach. In every class, group projects and technology help enhance learning outcomes and lead to learning opportunities from around the world.
- Spearheads, with a local high school colleague, Our Village Uganda (OVU). Students in Lloydminster and Uganda hold joint prayer services over Skype, and discuss everything from science, math and English, to politics and the latest trends. Canadian students raise funds to help the village become sustainable.
- Champions technology to enhance projects and learning: using social media and online tools, students monitor a section of Borneo forest; with Tinkercad, a 3D design and printing program, students create and then print planes, rockets and spacecraft models.
- Garners awards and recognition: projects are showcased in local media; the Canadian Education Association honoured OVU for its innovative use of technology; students are technology leaders in the school, supporting teachers and schoolmates, and sharing OVU with educators at a conference.
- Appointed technology coach for the school district, bringing the benefits of her knowledge and professional development to the district, school and classroom.
- Achieved notable industry credentials: global SMART Exemplary Educator and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert with distinction.
- Instrumental in developing and implementing school division's Grade 3–7 writing assessments; through data analysis and collaboration with colleagues, she also helped improve student math and reading.
"[Mrs. Blais] is not just a teacher with a class; she is a co-learner who seamlessly creates a community of co-learners wherever she is."
"[Mrs. Blais] has taught me about many things around the world. I had no idea that I could help people in other countries even though I live in small Lloydminster!"
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