A Walters State Community College faculty member has been honored by Apple for the innovative ways she uses technology in the classroom.
Darlene Smith, associate professor of education, was named an Apple Distinguished Educator. The award recognizes individuals working in K-12 and higher education who are transforming teaching and learning by using technology in effective and creative ways.
“Darlene is a dedicated professor who is always looking for new ways to improve student learning and engagement through technology. She joins a select group of visionary educators to receive this honor,” said Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State.
Two other Walters State employees have received this award; Dr. Lori Campbell, vice president of academic affairs, and Dr. Matthew Smith, assistant professor of chemistry.
Darlene Smith said that technology is key to today’s classroom.
“My students do not remember a time without the internet. When they communicate, they automatically reach for technology. Students share and gather news from social media. They send and receive important information via text,” Smith said.
Smith feels an extra responsibility teaching future educators. She wants her students to know how to use technology in diverse and flexible ways to create student-centered learning.
“I want my students to know how to use technology as a learning tool in the classroom. We have seen how technology influences young learners in a positive way. We still have all the proven traditional tools to use in the classroom. Technology just adds more ways to engage our students and to see that they retain the knowledge,” Smith said.
A Grainger County native, Smith currently lives in Morristown. She previously taught at Manley Elementary School and Fairview-Marguerite Elementary School. She joined the faculty of Walters State in 2007.