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Dooley named elementary instruction technology specialist

Natalia Dooley has accepted a new position, Elementary Instruction Technology Specialist, with Madison City Schools. (CONTRIBUTED)
Natalia Dooley has accepted a new position, Elementary Instruction Technology Specialist, with Madison City Schools. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Natalia Dooley has been selected as Elementary Instruction Technology Specialist for Madison City Schools.

She is excited “to join … a vibrant team of innovative educators. Madison City Schools is well known around the state for providing students with excellent education.”

Dooley has worked as professional development coordinator and teacher with Limestone County Schools and adjunct professor at Athens State University. She also taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in Madison County Schools. Before moving to the United States, she taught in Russian schools.

Using that experience, she can “see a situation from many angles and … promote learning. Instructional technology is a great way to enhance education, connecting to real-world experiences.”

Coordinator of elementary instruction Judy Warmath will supervise Dooley, who will collaborate with the district’s technology professionals, principals, instructional partners, librarians and teachers.

Dooley will help teachers focus “on re-imagining education with technology and utilizing devices (for) the four Cs of 21st-century learning — communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. A digital device can remain just a toy, if not used to support instruction.”

Students, not teachers, should be the “main users of technology … while redefining learning.” Dooley will “facilitate a gradual mindset shift” with tools like the SAMR model (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition).

With instructional technology, equity is a challenge, she said. “Digital divide becomes a real issue with no connectivity and lack of devices at home.” Also, as digital citizens, students must realize their “digital footprint” when using technology.

She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Orel State University in Russia, administrative certificate endorsement from the University of Alabama and educational specialist degree from Samford University. She is pursuing a doctorate’s degree at Samford.

Her husband Joe works as a mental health therapist with the Veteran’s Administration. They have five- and seven-year-old daughters, both fluent in Russian. They live in Meridianville.

Natalia Dooley enjoys world travel with her family and teaching her children to value diverse cultures. She appreciates art in all forms — ballet, symphony, opera, visual art and architecture.

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