Elk Grove High School's Linda Ashida was recently named to The Center for Digital Education's 2017 Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers who are shifting the landscape of education.
The list recognizes 30 education and technology leaders across America who are transforming the education landscape through the use of digital tools. The 2017 winners were selected based on their efforts to improve education through effective implementation of technology-rich solutions; their impact on student outcomes; and their overall initiative, creativity and leadership skills.
Ashida currently serves as a District Teaching and Learning Facilitator at Elk Grove High School and High School District 214. Prior to this role, she taught all levels of the Spanish language for 29 years at Elk Grove, where she earned the prestigious National Board Certification in World Language. She also worked as a Response to Intervention Facilitator at Elk Grove, assisting teachers with learning strategies and assessments to improve students' progress and growth.
In addition to these roles, Ashida was an early adopter of a 1:1 district iPad pilot. Through this, she experienced first-hand how embracing change and taking the risk to teach with new technologies transformed learning for both her and her students in AP Spanish.
“Since learning with iPads was new for all of us,” Ashida said, “we had to depend on each other to problem solve. Together we explored, discovered and shared new possibilities. The classroom became more collaborative. As a result, we learned--and had fun!--like never before!”
The experience with the district iPad pilot informs her current role. As a District Teaching and Learning Facilitator, Ashida co-runs the Collab Lab, which facilitates collaborative professional learning experiences for educators across all disciplines. Inspired by the Collab Lab’s motto, “Connect, Learn, Share,” staff and students connect daily in the Collab Lab and in classrooms, and they use varied technologies--such as Periscope and Google Hangout--to connect virtually across schools.
To multiply learning beyond classroom walls, the Collab Lab team also leverages social media. Through the Collab Lab Twitter account and the Collab Blog, they curate resources and share examples of varied and transformative learning experiences at Elk Grove High School, across District 214, and beyond. Ashida’s passion to build learning networks across schools and the community also led her to co-found the District’s 214 Ready! Blog to highlight examples of the innovative ways District 214 is preparing students for an ever-changing world.
Of the Top 30 Award recipients, Dr. Kecia Ray, the executive director of the Center for Digital Education, says, “Our winners have shown an immense amount of passion and courage as they take on education in an era that encompasses rapid changes. They have demonstrated a unique ability to use technology as a catalyst to transform education at all levels and to have a positive impact on student success. I am thrilled to recognize this outstanding group for their work, and wish them the best as they continue to push the field forward with education technology.”
Ashida received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from St. Olaf College, a master’s degree in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at National Louis University, and her Type 75 Certification from Aurora University.