School of Education Students Earn Common Sense Educator Badge of Distinction Tuesday, January 26, 2021
"When I first attended Point Park, I didn’t have any confidence to succeed academically. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and only intend to go further. Choosing the education program is like stepping into a community of people committed to your academic success. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?"
Point Park University School of Education students are better equipped for a teaching landscape increasingly reliant on technology thanks to a partnership with Common Sense Media – a nonprofit focused on digital citizenship in the classroom, ratings and reviews of educational applications and online tools.
Students enrolled in Reading Methods and Methods of Mathematics classes completed a series of assignments to earn the organization’s Common Sense Educator Badge, which publicly affirms their commitment to helping students think critically and use technology responsibly to learn, create and participate.
“Common Sense Media is an excellent resource that our students can use in their pre-service coursework and in the K-12 classrooms,” said Ginny Chambers, Ed.D., associate professor of education. “Our students who have earned the Educator's Badge of Distinction demonstrate their competency in safe and effective use of online tools for virtual learning. This distinction prepares them for teaching in schools today and helps set them apart from other new teachers in the field.”
“Incorporating this relevant content into a class syllabus allows future educators to integrate a culture of digital citizenship in their classrooms, schools and communities,” said Common Sense Education Senior Regional Manager Jennifer Ehehalt. “The professors at Point Park University are innovative thought leaders who are bringing important experiences into their higher education classrooms.”
In the Q&A below, learn about the significance of this training from student Melnique Hart.
Melnique Hart '21
Major: Pre-K through grade 4 education
Scholarship: Merit Scholarship
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
High School: Seton-La Salle Catholic High School
Now Living In: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Dream Job: Teaching, of course! In the future, I would like to work for an educational-based company to improve student learning.
Hobbies & Interests: Baking, reading, crafts, missionary work with youth ministry at Sons of God Ministry, Inc. and spending time with my family and friends
Which professional learning opportunities from Common Sense Education did you participate in to earn your badge, and what did you learn from them?
I attended a virtual professional development session by Common Sense staff and a Common Sense webinar, "Co-Educating with Families." I learned about how essential it is for families to be connected and engaged in their student’s education. Teachers and families have to become co-educators for an effective education. There were a variety of practice strategies that connect the gap between home and school, such as how adults help children learn and the idea that learning isn’t limited to school. They discussed the four-part creative process, which is create, present, respond and connect. Following this process allows us as educators to give students creative freedom with their education.
What impact has becoming a Common Sense Educator had on you, and how will you use this knowledge in the future?
An educator wears many hats that those looking on the outside may not realize. You can be a comforter, an encourager, a therapist and even a friend. Common Sense Media is dedicated to helping students thrive throughout their academic career. They are committed to handing out the best resources and lessons to help students achieve greatness.
As a future educator, I want the best for my future students. I want to give them something that I never had much of growing up – more resources to help me where I struggle the most. I want to be able to effectively and confidently implement technology into my lessons to eliminate the stigma that it is unreliable. I want my students to have all of the tools they possibly can to help them succeed academically. This is the best way to help me input differentiated learning strategies to assess my students, as well.
What do you like about Point Park's education program? Why would you recommend it to prospective students?
I love the education program at Point Park for so many reasons. My main reason for recommending it to any inquiring students would be the faculty and staff. Every professor and advisor I have encountered has had the sole intention of helping me succeed. I have developed the best relationships with my professors. I am constantly encouraged, supported and inspired to work hard and become the best version of myself.
When I first attended Point Park, I didn’t have any confidence to succeed academically. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and only intend to go further. Choosing the education program is like stepping into a community of people committed to your academic success. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?