OSSINING, N.Y. – Ossining Schools’ Jeremy Luft has been named Outstanding New York State Technology Leader for his role in ensuring that teaching and learning are supported by the best that technology has to offer.
Luft, who serves as the district’s Director of Technology, will receive his award from the New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education in November. Last May, Luft, who came to the district in 2008, received the Pioneer Award from the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center for innovation in the use of technology that changes teaching and learning.
“Jeremy begins by looking at what children need to learn and then finds the technology to support that,” said Deputy Superintendent Ray Sanchez. “That approach, combined with his close collaboration with our teaching staff, has ensured that the district makes the best use of the technology available.”
Luft said he was honored to have received the award. “It really speaks to the work of the entire district in integrating 21st century technology into the curriculum,” he said.
Among other things, Luft was cited for creating technology benchmarks for grades K through eight, improving the infrastructure including a wireless network paving the way for “guest wireless access” and a BYOD (bring your own device) initiative. In addition Luft was acknowledged for coordinating technology trainings for teachers, creating a Technology Cabinet and implementing the use of iPads, Smartboards, flipcams, document cameras and student responders in the classroom.
The benchmarks, developed in collaboration with teachers who serve on the Technology Cabinet, ensure that all students enter high school with a common set of skills and exposure to technology, Luft said. Grade level projects range from working with kindergartners on basic computer operations, using Google Earth to take a “virtual tour” of Ossining during a 2nd grade social students unit and using web 2.0 tools like Glogster and Wiki’s in later grades.
“The technology benchmarks have transformed how we teach our curriculum while guaranteeing that all students have equitable access to instructional technologies,” said Assistant Director of Technology Jennifer Forsberg.
Finally, Luft was recognized for his close collaboration with teachers and his leadership in bringing devices such as iPads, Smartboards and student responders to the classroom. A key part of bringing technology to the classroom was training teachers to use it within their existing curriculum and to support student learning.
“We’re very proud in Ossining to have Mr. Luft honored in this way,” said Superintendent Phyllis Glassman. “Each and every level of educational technology that Mr. Luft seeks to implement with staff is done with much thought and detail. He is a model for shared decision making.”