Ken Morrison, Technology Integrationist
“Why did you become a teacher? Why did you choose teaching as a profession?”
Both of my parents and many others in my family are teachers, so I knew the level of commitment needed. I also had three teachers who really invested in me when I was in high school.
“Tell us about your own education journey (where did you study to become a teacher?)”
Through my years of experience broadcasting, journalism, and as a commercial television producer, I felt that I was learning how to influence people, and I wanted to use that skill to help young people. In the mid-2000s, technology was becoming affordable enough to be used more in schools. I enrolled in graduate school at Emporia State University in Kansas to study how to impact education. I helped professors teach undergraduate education majors. Part of this program included spending summers teaching in Thailand and Korea and helping to prepare other teachers for these trips.
“What is the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?”
Speaking at four regional and global Apple Distinguished Educator Institutes is by far the most memorable because I love sharing the great work that my students are doing.
“What do you like most about teaching?”
I love it when my classroom atmosphere allows students who normally feel different from each other, connect around an unknown common skill, goal, or idea. I love helping students build skills and relationships around real-world projects.
“What is the best thing about teaching at your school?”
Our teachers have made this global pandemic bearable. They continually sacrifice so many comforts to help students stay on track. We work well independently and collaboratively to serve our students. Teachers really rose to the unfortunate occasion in 2020 through today. We really care about our students, and it is clear by the behind-the-scenes conversations and actions.
“Who or what inspires you?”
I love a good comeback story and efforts at true transformation. Whether in a book, movie, sports field, podcast, or classroom, I am inspired when anyone is willing to leave the comfort and become a better version of themselves for the benefit of those around them.
“Tell us about your online teaching experience. Did you face any challenges?”
I miss the energy in the halls, the cafeteria conversations, and the small wins when students see teachers on campus and quickly get clarity on something. Each of these aspects of school is hard to recreate online.
“What lessons did you learn in 2020?”
I felt prepared and was happy I had created a classroom culture around creating and collaboration. Because the students missed this aspect, they were hungry to recreate that in some way online. This made the transition relatively smooth.