12/7/2004
The TIES Exceptional Teacher Award is designed to honor individuals in every member district, TIES established this program to recognize teachers who effectively integrate technology in their classroom and engage students in learning.

Thomas Odermatt, Susan Lindgren Intermediate Center

Thomas Odermatt sees technology as integrated into the classroom as a learning tool, not as an end. Toward that goal, he has worked on numerous initiatives with students and teachers. One of those initiatives is his work on Online Portfolios to Support Developing Writers. An online portfolio is an Internet-based tool that encourages creativity and engagement in writing; a writing place that students can access from home or any web-based computer; an accessible window into the writing classroom for the parent and families learning community that allows supporting adults to help students through feedback; a process approach to writing; a theater that creates audience to help students develop as writers; and an ongoing collection that allows others to easily see a student's writing development over many years. Currently, universities such as Hamline in St. Paul are beginning to require online portfolios for new students. Thomas has shown incredible leadership and innovation in integrating this process with 5th- and 6th-grade students as part of his writing program.