My name is Melissa Lavoie. I’m from South Porcupine, Ontario (yep). I am currently a GIS-Education Specialist, but before starting this new adventure, I was employed by the Northeastern Catholic DSB for ten years. After having taught grades 3 through 7, and special education for four of those years, I had the opportunity to serve as Educational Technology Special Assignment Teacher for my board for 2.5 years. During my time in this position, I spearheaded an ongoing research project for the board’s CODE funding. Phase 4 of this project spanned from January to June 2015, and the topic was using Google tools as a platform to enhance collaborative inquiry and group work in Junior and Intermediate classrooms. Phase 5 (September 2015 to June 2016) was all about the system-wide growth our board experienced during our board-wide GAFE training model, and the impact it had on academic staff and students. Phase 6 (September 2016 – June 2017) was an extension of Phase 5. I served as a member of NeCDSB’s Educational Technology and FNMI Steering committees, and supported innovative school projects using various technologies, notably 360 photography and virtual tour-building software. I’m also a Google Maps and Street View enthusiast, and am a Street View Trusted photographer and participate in the Local Guides program.
Currently, I am a graduate student at UBC in the M.Ed, Educational Technology program and have had the opportunity to speak at two international conferences as part of my education. I am also founder of the Walk With Us © project, partnered with Google Earth Outreach, and VP of the Board of Directors at the digital Human Library founded by Leigh Cassell of AMDSB. While work and school take up much of my time these days, I enjoy playing volleyball, running, trying new recipes when inspiration strikes and hoping for the best, supporting local businesses and adding them to Google Maps, cultivating my PLN on social media, and watching the sun set in my backyard.