Betty Malone, career prep teacher at P.D. Jackson-Olin High School, is what we like to call a veteran of Birmingham City Schools. Not only has she been working in the district for close to thirty years, she is also a 1976 graduate of the old West End High School.
Malone attended Alabama A&M and received both a BS and Master’s in business administration/education. After graduation, Ms. Malone returned to her alma mater as a permanent substitute teacher, before transitioning to a position at Spaulding Elementary as educational secretary. It wasn’t until 1987, when an opening came available in the business tech department at Jackson-Olin, that she began her current role as a career prep teacher.
During her tenure at Jackson-Olin, Malone has watched the world of K-12 education evolve. “When I first started teaching I had a classroom full of typewriters,” She says. “Now my room is filled with computers, and this generation of kids is born knowing technology.”
Malone, who has always had a love for technology, uses this to her advantage. She says, “In my classroom, I try to teach the students how to use the technology that they own and use every day to be more productive in school.” For example, students are encouraged to take pictures of their assignments for easy access, browse YouTube for educational tutorials, and take advantage of online learning activities, such as www.aeseducation.com and www.everfi.com, so they can adapt to the format of online courses in post-secondary education.
Malone knows that it is important to state up-to-date regarding technology because it is here to say. “I do all I can do to keep up with technology [because], as soon as any new technology becomes available, the students are the first to get it. I use the conscious effort to design ways to use technology in the classroom as an educational tool, because the students are going to bring it to class whether I want them to or not.”