Barbara Zielonka teaches at Nannestad High School, Norway
Barbara is a teacher of English in both vocational and academic classes in a high school with a multicultural student population. She meets all kinds of students, from those who are highly motivated to those who struggle with English and want to drop out of high school as soon as possible. In her teaching career, she has developed strategies and techniques that help low-achieving students succeed.
Her biggest interest is the use of innovative technologies, especially digitally-based technology and methods or aids in teaching and learning. Each of her students is equipped with a personal computer. The students are fluent in video editing, content curation, podcasting, mind mapping, collaboration, and screencasting, and proficient in web searching and the use of digital platforms for learning.
One of the most important projects that she has created at her school is called ”Genius Hour”. Students who participated in this project had to create their own research topic, collect data online, contact experts via Facebook or Twitter, create online questionnaires and share their results with an international audience. In May 2017, Barbara received Norway’s prestigious Gullepleprisen 2017 from the Norwegian Educational Data Society (NPeD). This prize is awarded once a year to an educator who has demonstrated the effective use of IT in teaching. In June 2017, she was the only European teacher who received a Great Global Project Challenge Grant prize, for her latest project called “The Universe is Made of Tiny Stories”.
The Global Teacher Prize is a $1 million award for an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.