St. Paul, MN — December 14, 2015 — TIES announced today that Jen Hegna, director of information and instructional technology for Byron Public Schools, has been named the TIES 2015 Minnesota Technology Leader award recipient.
According to her nomination, Jen is known throughout Byron Public Schools for asking courageous questions that challenge the district administrative team to think about possibilities, rather than dwell on tradition. Through probing and well-thought questions, Jen leads her team to make decisions that are in the best interests of student learning.
Jen has provided the Byron Public Schools community with great learning opportunities in a number of different ways including educational videos, forums, student genius sessions, and formal presentations. This year, she has helped launch a project-based learning classroom that is using purposeful technology to help students learn the skills necessary to solve real-world problems. She is heavily invested in social learning networks that bring interesting content to this initiative.
1:1 iPad Initiative
Jen was instrumental in planning and implementing a 1:1 iPad initiative, which deployed more than 850 iPads to students in grades 9-12. To support this initiative, she developed a number of high-quality professional development opportunities to support the growth needed to move the district toward transformational education in the classroom. As a result, the school district has experienced an almost 60% increase in student engagement as measured by student feedback and engagement surveys.
Jen also created and implemented a flipped learning platform that has been monumental in maximizing the effectiveness of district curriculum. Specifically, the middle and high school math departments have seen classroom test scores climb, which in turn has enabled students to take higher level courses and attain college credit while in high school.
Jen’s impact on learning communities extends well beyond Byron Public Schools. She offers college-level courses in collaboration with Winona State University as means to provide fellow district staff members with the e-certification training necessary to properly create and teach online and hybrid courses. More than 40 educators in the district were successfully trained the program, and participants are now trained to teach the more than 18 online and hybrid courses taught in the district.
Jen also plans and facilitates a summer Professional Growth Academy that draws teachers and administrators from across Minnesota. The unique offerings at this academy push the envelope of 21st century learning and challenge participating educators to move beyond textbooks and lectures.
Jen was recognized today at the TIES 2015 Education Technology Conference on December 14. In addition to receiving the award, Jen has been nominated by TIES for the national Withrow CTO Award of the Consortium for School Networking.