MILTON — Inspired by a library media specialist’s use of technology in the classroom — and her positive attitude in the face of adversity — Microsoft has sent a team of videographers from Seattle, Wash., to document an elementary educator in the Milton Area School District.
Karey Killian received the Microsoft Innovative Educator designation in 2015. As a result of the designation, she has connected with fellow educators from across the globe, exchanging educational techniques.
At Baugher Elementary School on Monday morning, Killian facilitated a Skype session between students and Sam Jordan, a teacher in Alaska.
“Winter is serious here,” Jordan told the students. “We get lots of sleet and lots of snow.”
Jordan said his brother lives in a community in Alaska in which the snow gets so deep residents often have to drive their through snow and ice tunnels which are cleared along the highways.
As Jordan spoke to the students via Skype, a team of three videographers contracted by Microsoft stood at various positions in the Baugher Elementary School library, recoding the session.
Killian said she was notified by Microsoft about one month ago that the company wanted to send the team to record her classroom activities in Milton’s three elementary schools.
“Our administrators are thrilled to have them here,” Killian said of the videographers. “This is to put a face on libraries. There is a lot more to libraries than just books.”
Each school year, Killian conducts about 60 different Skype sessions between elementary students in the Milton Area School District and educators or professionals from around the world.
Annie Arnold, director of communications for Microsoft Education, said the business regularly keeps in touch with Killian as she shares the innovative activities taking place in her classrooms.
“What she is doing (in Milton) is really inspiring,” Arnold said.
In speaking with Killian, Arnold said she leaned a number of library books in the Milton Area School District had to be discarded when the district suffered mold and humidity issues in each of its five buildings.
The start of the 2018-2019 school year was delayed by two weeks as the buildings were remediated.
“Killian is so positive and the kids need that kind of energy, especially when (the mold problem) occurred over the summer,” Arnold said. “Some educators might have been discouraged… Her whole positive outlook has really struck us.”
The footage being recoded by Microsoft this week in the Milton Area School District will be shared with other educators which regularly work with the company.
“The way she is going about this and her vision and positive energy are things other educators would really be inspired by,” Arnold said of Killian. “We are also looking at this as an opportunity to see where Microsoft can help (Killian) advance her goals… It might be in the form of professional development. We might send some folks in to help restock books.”
Killian said her students are excited to have the videographers working in the classroom this week.
“I told a few of the classes, pretend they’re not here,” she said of the videographers.