Innovative educator Jennifer Williams is forging new connections for the modern classroom

MIE Expert Jennifer Williams with her students.

Teachers face a unique challenge in creating a classroom that remains relevant and can keep pace with a world that moves faster than ever before. Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Jennifer Williams admits that, at this point, she and her peers understand the ‘why’ of where they need to get to. They just need to find the best answer to ‘how’ they get there. For Jennifer, much of that answer lies in her philosophy and the tools she’s chosen to match her teachings.

After 20 years in education, Jennifer describes her role as less of a teacher and more of a facilitator of connections – to “connect students to learning, to each other, and to the world.” It’s not surprising to learn, then, that her number one tech tool is Skype.

Jennifer recalls her favorite moment using Skype, when her University education students joined a “Mystery Skype” with various third-grade classrooms, each group calling and speaking to another. “With a semester of experiences, they all said that that was the one moment that made the most impact on them as students,” Jennifer says.

MIE Expert Jennifer Williams: I'm always looking for digital tools to best create a community of learners."

“Microsoft has always seemed to deeply understand the needs of teachers and students,” she adds. “For me, the common thread between all the Microsoft tools is the ability to capture moments. Documenting experiences creatively with Sway. Recording data in Excel. Detailing stories in Word. Connecting in global conversations with Skype. The solutions are endless.”

Through hard work, dedication and technology, Jennifer is helping shape the next generation of teachers, bound for a world of education even more advanced and fast-paced than the one today.

“As teachers and students try to keep up with constantly changing landscapes in science, technology, engineering, and math,” Jennifer says,” Microsoft tools and products can provide the stability and steadiness that will be needed in our classrooms and with our learners.”

In her eyes, the future of education is a bright one. Beyond the technology used in the classroom, it’s the people using it who make the biggest difference. Jennifer ensures her students are aware of this.

“I remind them every chance I get that I believe that with them as our future teachers, of our world of future students, we are all in good hands. They will move mountains. This I know for sure.”

Connect with and be inspired by educators like Jennifer through Microsoft Education on Twitter.