We are so proud to share that Mr. Tinker has been named as one of three 2023 MassCUE Pathfinder Award winners! Awards will be presented at the MassCue 2023 Fall Conference at Gillette Stadium in October.
Congratulations Mike Tinker on a well deserved award!
Digital Learning Specialist, Pembroke Public Schools
Mike came to Pembroke in 2021 eager and willing to collaborate. Nearing the end of the pandemic, still in masks, this was not an easy feat. He dedicated time getting to know every teacher personally, in five different buildings, across the entire district. Understanding different teaching styles and comfort levels with technology is something that Mike took seriously, and he jumped in with both feet collaborating with those teachers who had been waiting so long for his expertise. Despite traveling daily from one end of town to the other, spending time in classrooms pre-k through high school, he has an omnipresence in Pembroke. Whenever a teacher or student has an issue or question with something technology-related, he is there.
Mike is known for his flexibility, professionalism, and willingness to assist teachers incorporating technology into lessons they already have, as well as making himself available to teach his own unique technology lessons. He serves as a sounding board for many teachers who might have ideas about how to infuse technology into their lessons, but are unsure where to start. His calm, approachable demeanor allows a safe place for staff to come with questions regarding tech instruction and implementation. “We have to remember who we’re here for – the students.” This is something that Mike says often. His philosophy is students first, tools second. He routinely promotes the idea of student data privacy among all staff. Besides being on top of all the best practices surrounding data privacy, the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and parental consent, he also takes on a management role for students who might need discipline surrounding technology use.
Mike demonstrates a clear vision for technology in Pembroke and strong leadership skills in his role as a district-wide digital learning specialist. One of his passions is assistive technology. While he recognizes that assistive tech is a tool that can be useful for all students, he devotes a great deal of time working with special educators, focusing on our population of students with complex disabilities within the district. He initiated an assistive technology special interest group through MassCUE to unite educators from various districts and collaborate on best practices and advances in assistive technology in order to better serve the Pembroke community and beyond. Above his office door in one building is a gift which was given to him by a colleague, the Ted Lasso inspired sign: BELIEVE; because that is the role he has effortlessly taken in Pembroke.