Paul Solarz, a fifth-grade teacher at Westgate Elementary School in Arlington Heights, was named "Educator of the Year" by Illinois Computing Educator this week.
Solarz uses technology throughout the day with his students for activities, including working collaboratively using Google Drive, engaging in mystery Skype sessions with outside guests, and posting reading discussions on Twitter.
"Technology is not the reason for a lesson, but a tool to help my students learn better," Solarz said. "Technology can be novel, motivating and can make learning easier."
The "Educator of the Year" award is a peer-nominated honor given to an educator who "has made outstanding contributions to the integration of technology and the improvement of teaching and learning in their district," according to Illinois Computing Educator.
Solarz received the award at the annual Illinois Computing Educators State Conference in St. Charles this week.