Nickie Shira and Dave GuymonNickie Shira registered for her third NCCE conference in Seattle in order to learn more about education technology for her and her colleagues to use in the classroom at the Nyssa School District. She attended several sessions throughout the conference, and one in particular made a huge impact on her and the future of her classroom. “Creating a Classroom in the Cloud with Google Chromebooks,” presented by IT Director Phil Biggs, of Lake Stevens School District would make an immediate, and long-lasting impression on Nickie, her students, and district for years to come.

"I was inspired by the enthusiasm with which Phil spoke about Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education and with the incredible rate in which Lake Stevens implemented Chromebooks into their school. I was so excited by the all of the features and benefits of Chromebooks and GAFE. I loved the way students could so easily collaborate on projects and assignments and how teachers could provide feedback all in a paperless environment. Chromebooks were so easy to manage and implement and are a fraction of the cost of other technological options."

NCCE caught up with Nickie at the Malheur County ESD Summer Institute along with over 400 educators in Ontario, Oregon, where she was taking professional development classes to prepare for the upcoming school year. After returning from NCCE 2014, she worked with administrators to secure 50 HP Chromebooks as part of a pilot program for her elementary school starting this fall. She also encouraged neighboring Adrian School District to research the benefits of Chromebooks and they are launching a portable lab of the devices for their district this school year. With continued support from her school, district, and Malheur ESD, Nickie is looking forward to developing and leading technology efforts in Eastern Oregon.

When asked why she would recommend NCCE 2015 in Portland:

“Our students will live and work in the 21st Century, yet many of our classrooms and teaching methods are stuck in the 20th Century. Much of it is simply because as educators, we don’t know how to use the rapidly changing technology or how to implement it in our classrooms. NCCE provides classes and sessions for beginners through advanced tech users and the focus is not just the technology, but how teachers can teach and students can learn, collaborate, create, and grow through the use of technology in the classroom. Besides all that…it’s going to be a luau! NCCE’s themes are always a blast!”

In addition to learning ed-tech tools this summer, Nickie also spent some time clamming and crabbing on the Oregon Coast with her family. Nickie grew up in the Treasure Valley of Eastern Oregon and Western Idaho and earned her education degree from Eastern Oregon University. She lives in Adrian, Oregon with her husband and their four children.