Idaho Public Television is excited to announce that Paige Somoza, a teacher at Boise’s Riverglen Junior High School, has been selected as part of the inaugural PBS Digital Innovator All-Star Program. Somoza is one of 30 educators from across the country chosen for this honor.
Each of the Digital Innovator All-Stars was selected from a cohort of extraordinary educators who are doing innovative work in their schools and districts, and were previously recognized as part of the PBS Digital Innovator Program, which began in 2013. The PBS Digital Innovator All-Star program expands on this influential work, deepening these educators’ roles as leaders in integrating technology and digital media into the classroom — supporting students’ learning through increasingly important media literacy skills.
“Paige is a very innovative educator who works hard to bring the world to her classroom,” says IdahoPTV Teacher Ambassador Kari Wardle. “Her students experience virtual field trips to places such as the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, and through the use of virtual reality (VR) have visited places such as Tiananmen Square in China. She spends countless hours attending conferences and researching in order to better her practice and discover new ways to help her students experience a world they would not otherwise know! Not only does Paige provide amazing learning experiences for her students, but she’s also an asset to the teachers in her district and throughout Idaho. She acted as a mentor in helping Marsing Elementary delve into the world of VR, worked numerous hours with PBS to design resources for a virtual classroom series around The Vietnam War with Ken Burns, and partnered with us at IdahoPTV to host an in-person and online screening of the Ken Burns documentary for teachers.”
In partnership with Idaho Public Television, Somoza will spend the 2018-2019 school year deepening engagement among students, families, educators, schools and IdahoPTV education staff. As an exclusive part of the program, Somoza will have access to virtual and in-person events, including the PBS Digital Innovator All-Star Summit, to connect and learn with peers and station representatives from across the country.
The PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars were chosen based on a variety of criteria, including passion for their role as an educator, outcomes from their time as PBS Digital Innovators, connections to their communities and service to under-resourced families.
The full list of the 2018 PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars, their profiles and photographs can be found here.
Last year Somoza was featured in an Idaho Public Television video demonstrating her use of VR and resources from PBS Learning Media in the classroom to enhance her students’ learning experience.