Brian Pahl with students on computers

Sunnyland Elementary School educational technology coach Brian Pahl was recently selected as a Microsoft Innovator Educator (MIE) Expert for 2021-22 by Microsoft Education.

According to the program website these experts are “self-driven educators who are passionate about teaching and learning. They inspire students with creative thinking, and work in a collaborative spirit to share their learning with the world. Resourceful and entrepreneurial, they relish the role of change agent, and work to achieve excellence in education using Microsoft technologies paired with innovative teaching.”

Beginning in March 2020 when school buildings closed and instruction went online educators and students in Bellingham Public Schools started using Microsoft Learning Tools to connect and enhance learning. Pahl described how using Microsoft tools increased accessibility for all learners in his nomination form:

“One of our district’s goals is to dismantle inequitable systems that lead to predictable outcomes for our students. Combined with our one-to-one initiative, the use of Microsoft tools has played an essential role in this process by deemphasizing teacher talk as the primary means of information sharing and also redefining what is considered acceptable evidence of student learning. I have helped train teachers to use the collaboration features built into Office 365 tools to reduce isolation and enable students to work together easily, share and discuss ideas, and co-create products of learning.”

Pahl said he was honored to be included in this group of global educators.

“I appreciate being recognized not just for knowledge and experience with the tools but for the application and integration of Microsoft tools into teaching and learning in meaningful ways,” Pahl said.

“A few years ago I saw an Instagram post that stayed with me. It said ‘We don’t need tech geeks who can teach. We need teaching geeks who can use tech.’ I’m a proud teaching geek. Technology is just one of the many instructional tools I use to impact learning. I’m not alone either. I am one member of an incredible team of educators in each of our schools who supports teachers and students to learn Microsoft and other educational technology.”

Congratulations, Brian, we can’t wait to learn more from you!



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