A Visionary Summer Meetup

Education Technology Specialist, Portland Public Schools

Last year I was honored to be nominated and selected as one of 40 Intel Education Visionaries. Candidates for the program were selected for their insight, passion and proven experience as agents of change in school systems around the world. Each visionary has an ability to transform their school or classroom, use technology in new and groundbreaking ways and put dreams and ideas into action while keeping student success at the forefront. 

During our first meet up last year, we had a jam-packed schedule filled with guest speakers, panels, museum visits, breakout sessions and more. We spent a good amount of time getting to know one another and discussing issues around education and technology and connecting about our daily lives. Our second global event was no different, thanks to our Intel Lead Education Advocate, Liz Crawford. I appreciated the time that our guest speakers spent with us: Mitch ResnickBeatriz ArnillasJulie LindsayDr. Kari Stubbs and Dr. Julie Evans. Their presentations taught us about creativity, digital safety and STEAM and learning with these experts was inspirational and motivational. Thanks to fellow Visionaries Ollie BrayJill Pierce,Shyda RanaGareth Shaw and Anthy Williams for facilitating breakout sessions and sharing their knowledge on STEAM, OneNote, Minecraft and maker education. And more kudos to all the other Visionaries who all shared a favorite app and how they are using it in education. Many good recommendations were shared and many of them were new-to-me apps. 

My key takeaways:

1. Doing work about something you care about gives you agency over your learning and helps you make connections to deeper ideas and thinking.

2. If teachers are provided with enough supports, both instructionally and technologically, they will do amazing things.

3. Roles in education are changing today and leaders must demonstrate and model collaborative practices to support this change.

4. Educators and students must be able to learn, unlearn and relearn. Doing things differently may help us to learn better.

5. Lastly, learning should be fun and approached with a playful spirit that allows you to engage and experiment with your world.

While I love learning from expert speakers and attending workshop sessions, my favorite part of being an Intel Visionary is making connections with a global group of educators that are working toward common goals of education stewardship and impacts on student learning. I love learning about the personal and professional lives of my colleagues, as well as exploring their cultures to examine how we are different yet also similar. A special thanks to Intel Education for bringing this group together and establishing these fantastic lifelong relationships.


Melissa Lim began her career in education as an elementary classroom teacher almost 20 years ago. Melissa is an education technology specialist for Portland Public Schools in Portland, OR and has been with the district for 16 years. In her current role, she provides professional learning opportunities for district staff and teachers and supports educational technology needs. Melissa Lim can be found also at @actionhero Google+ about.me.

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