Marcie Perdue (right) associate superintendent of student services at Chinook’s Edge School Division, with her doctoral superviser from University of Calgary, Jennifer Lock, at CATE Awards in Regina last week. Photo supplied

Central Alberta resident brings home national award for building online teacher network

Marcie Perdue won a CATE Award last week

When Marcie Perdue was in Grade 2, she carried a tape recorder around so she could replay the day’s lesson at home and keep up with school work.

As she grew up, she started relying more and more on emails and voice-to-text and other assistive technology to overcome her learning disability.

Now Perdue, associate superintendent of student services with Chinook’s Edge School division, has turned to technology once again – this time to help teachers.

She built Knowledge Net, an online support network for teachers, which earned her a national award from Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE) in Regina on June 4.

“I feel honoured and extremely supported,” she said Tuesday.

Perdue, 45, started working on Knowledge Net in 2013, as part of her PhD thesis, Teacher Professional Knowledge Building Networks: Creating opportunities for teacher shared knowledge.

“I wanted to study how teachers share knowledge, and I couldn’t find a tool that would support that. So I made one,” said the Sylvan Lake resident.

As she was researching and writing her thesis as part of her PhD from the University of Calgary, Perdue was building the digital tool to support teacher professional development.

Today is an open URL accessed by 800 teachers across Alberta, Yukon and B.C. Teachers can log on and find resources such as lesson plans, assessments or practice tests, and connect with each other. The search option allows K- 12 teachers to search, say, Math 9 lesson, and everything related to that search would pop up.

“It started out as something small and then it just exploded,” said Perdue.

She started working on the online platform with a team of programmers and funding from grants. The online tool cost around $80,000.

Chinook’s Edge school division teachers helped along the way. They would try the platform and offer feedback to Perdue and her team. Depending on their feedback, the associate superintendent of student services made changes to the website. For instance, in the past, the network allowed users to post anonymously. But based on user feedback, the website now has a profile and picture for each user making it easier for teachers to connect with each other.

Perdue started working at the Chinook’s Edge School Division in 2013, as a student services coordinator and became a learning services coordinator in 2016. In March, she became the associate superintendent of student services.

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