“Working with [a disabled] student really challenged me… I learned to be more flexible, and to focus on the possibilities rather than the limitations.” – Anna Mendoza, Australia

Anna Mendoza
Teacher and English Domain Leader, E-pedagogy
Gleneagles Secondary College
Victoria, Australia

As students spend more time watching videos, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) Anna Mendoza is worried that student attitudes about reading have become increasingly negative.

“Whilst I appreciate a multi-modal approach,” she says, “this is having a huge impact on their literacy skills and ability to accurately comprehend and infer information from text.”

To combat the problem, Mendoza is working hard to embed reading into her school’s classrooms daily, and is using testing data to target the gaps they present with. “Reading journals and blogging has been a great way to encourage students in reading without separating it entirely from the use of technology which they love,” she adds.

Mendoza is especially inspired by students who overcome struggles. One such student had suffered a terrible accident and was left wheelchair bound and unable to use his arms or legs.

“As an English teacher, this really challenged me to find new ways to ensure he was learning,” Mendoza shares. “So much of what we do in English involves writing, and even reading is a challenge for somebody who can’t hold anything. Working with this student really challenged me, and technology like shared documents and Immersive Reader really made it possible for me to meet his needs at the same time as the rest of the class. I learned to be more flexible, and to focus on the possibilities rather than the limitations.”

Building technology into all her lessons, Mendoza hopes to enable students to learn beyond the scope of prepared lesson plans.

“I love my students to learn through inquiry and explore information online,” she tells us, “learning to understand credibility of sources as well as generate their own information through survey tools. We use the web to access information as well as collaborate and communicate with a wider audience.”

Connect with Anna Mendoza on her Microsoft Educator Community Profile.

About Anna Mendoza

  • Educational background: Bachelor Teaching/Bachelor Arts Deakin University (2012)
  • Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: OneNote Class Notebook
  • Website I check every day: Twitter.com
  • Favorite childhood memory: Learning to ride my bike without training wheels was such an achievement and I think I spent the entire week riding all over the place, you could hardly get me off the thing!
  • Favorite book: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
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