Teacher proves distance is no object in cyberspace
BEING a self-confessed gadget geek has its rewards as Capricornia School of Distance Education teacher Bettina Houtsma found out.
Bettina recently won the 2011 Smart Classroom Regional Teacher Award, which recognises teachers who are innovative in using information technology in the classroom to enhance student learning opportunities.
"I am passionate about using technology to promote learning... so I am pretty honoured," Bettina said about winning the award.
"I have always been a bit tech savvy and coming to Capricornia School of Distance Education has broadened my opportunities to further explore technology."
Bettina has been at the school for four years and said she loves working there as it has given her the opportunity to do more with IT.
"The best part about my job is watching the kids collaborate together and share resources," she said.
"It is pretty rewarding for me."
Bettina's role at the Capricornia School of Distance Education is to teach Year 1s and she also runs a computer club for Prep to Year 7s that uses lots of tools to encourage students to engage with IT.
"I teach the computer club through distance ed, using web communication tools all hooked online and talk about it and play with different things like comics online and a range of different programs," she said.
Bettina has also implemented a technology boot camp which uses online tools and teaches the students the importance of cyber safety.
Bettina admitted she was a bit of a gadget geek, saying she was always up to date with the latest gear.
"I always have the latest gadgets," she said with a laugh.
"At the moment I have an iPad and am about to buy an Android tablet to compare the two.
"I learned through playing and I encourage students to get out there and explore what technology can do."