avatar for Mike Pennington

Mike Pennington

Independence Local Schools
Director of Tecnology
Independence, OH
My career began 9 years ago as a student teacher in Garth Holman’s 7th grade world history classes. Garth and I inspired our students to lay the foundations of the first Digital textbook created completely by students for the sake of leaving a digital legacy. The following year I became a 7th grade world history teacher at Chardon Local Schools and Garth and I co-taught between our two districts for the next 8 years. Our students collaborated, reflected and created digital footprints worth following as they continued to build the Students’ History Online Textbook. Our students also learned independently through autonomous, self-paced learning units and gained a depth of understanding about the learning process, not just facts and information. I left the classroom in 2013 to assist other districts in the meaningful integration of technology. Today, I am the Director of Technology for Independence Local Schools. My mission is to change teaching and learning by empowering students and teachers with tools that allow for access to online information, curation and creation of digital content, and individualization of learning.
Throughout my career my professional growth has been guided by the concept of developing empathy amongst teachers and students. The connections we create between people allow for collaboration, creation, critical thinking and reflection to flourish in our classrooms.