The EdTechSA / ISTE Making IT Happen Award is awarded by the EdTechSA Committee to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the promotion of digital technologies in learning.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and its affiliates have presented this award to more than 500 educational leaders since the program began in 1995. Past winners of the award in South Australia are Sue Urban (2015) and Professor Katrina Falkner (in 2016).

This award celebrates something that’s very important — those innovators who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage and persistence in improving learning opportunities.

Winners receive an exclusive Making IT Happen jacket, an award certificate, a one-year ISTE membership, recognition within ISTE, and an invitation to the awards celebration at the ISTE conference. And best of all, they join the ranks of a very distinguished group of leaders around the world who continue to make great things happen every day!

We are pleased to announce that this year’s EdTechSA/ ISTE Making IT Happen Award winner is Tina Photakis.

Tina has been a member of EdTechSA (formerly CEGSA) since 1999. She joined the management committee in 2002, serving in different roles, as the EdTechSA representative on
The Council of Education Associations of South Australia, State Conference Convener, Professional Development Coordinator, Deputy Conference Chair for the national ACEC2014 conference, Vice-President from 2011 to 2014, and President in 2015 & 2016.

Tina is passionate about collaboration and global learning and was involved from 2004 with the Oracle Foundation International ThinkQuest competition, as a participating online coach for 5 teams, including coming second in 2005 and winning a trip with the team from 3 different countries to San Francisco. She has been a judge and provided Professional Learning for ThinkQuest locally, nationally and globally, including in Singapore, Romania and the USA.

In 2009, she coached 2 teams in the inaugural ThinkQuest Australia competition, winning a trip with her team from Cowandilla Primary School to ACEC2010 in Melbourne.
She was awarded CEGSA Educator of the Year in 2011.

Tina is currently a teacher at Cowandilla Primary School, and embeds digital technologies throughout all her teaching subjects. She is a keen participant in online global projects, including the Travelling Teddy project. Her enthusiasm inspires her students.

Tina actively engages in personal professional learning, participating in face-to-face and online PL activities. She has attended the US ISTE conference for the last 7 years, both as an individual delegate, presenter, and representative of EdTechSA and The Australian Council for Computers in Education as the ISTE Affiliate representative at the Affiliate Leaders’ Day.

In conferring this award, the EdTechSA Committee acknowledges Tina’s remarkable energy and enthusiasm to connect educators on a local, national and international level. Tina is a true social networker, active on Twitter and other social media platforms, Tina doesn’t just follow the world’s leading educators, she converses with them and she is not afraid to begin conversations with innovative thinkers that she might be able to get to come to South Australia to share their thoughts and ideas.

Tina is a “people person” valuing personal connections across the globe, and has a talent for recognizing international forward thinkers. She seems to know just about everybody involved in education and technology around the globe. She has been instrumental in ensuring names such as George and Alex Couros, Stephen Heppell, Alice Keeler, Paula Christophersen and of course Taj Pabari at this year’s conference, come to South Australia for deep learning conversations with South Australian educators. She has organized State EdTechSA and National ACCE conferences, as well as being one of the primary sources of inspiration for our EdTechSA Professional Learning programs.

Her passion for making global connections, facilitating Professional Learning for others, and commitment and enthusiasm to ensuring that EdTechSA remains a world leader in educational technology learning and community are the primary reasons for awarding her the EdTechSA/ ISTE 2017 “Making IT Happen Award”.

We had great pleasure in inviting Professor Katrina Falkner, the 2016 Making IT Happen Award winner, to present Tina with her award.