Dylan Ryder, Educational Technologist for third- through fifth-graders at The School at Columbia University, has been named a recipient of the prestigious 2018 CSTA/Infosys Foundation USA Awards for Teaching Excellence. These awards celebrate K-12 computer science educators across the world and Ryder was one of five recipients out of a highly competitive applicant pool to be chosen.
The Award for Teaching Excellence recipients receive a $5,000 prize and are invited to attend two key conferences in the field -- the CrossRoads Conference in Scotts Valley, California in May and the CSTA Annual Conference in Omaha, Nebraska in July.
“It feels wonderful to have this honor. It’s so important to provide computer science education for all students. I’m looking forward to meeting and working with different thought leaders in the field,” Ryder said.
Ryder’s primary goal as an educational technologist is to help students use technology safely, responsibly and creatively, with particular attention to engineering, computer science and design. Now in his sixth year as an educational technologist at TSC, Ryder strives to engage students creatively in their use of technology, challenging them to think of coding as a tool for creative expression and not just a lucrative field for future job prospects. This is especially evident in his fourth grade technology curriculum which focuses on creating generative art -- computer-generated art that is algorithmically determined -- in an effort to channel the students’ creativity into programming instruments and other forms of art.
Ryder has published writing on STEAM curriculum development and has delivered over 35 workshops nationwide at MakerFaire, ISTE, NSTA, ASEE, CSTA and at various schools and universities. This summer, he will be presenting on technology by artists, musicians and dancers at the 2018 WeTeach_CS Summit at The University of Texas at Austin.
The Award for Teaching Excellence is jointly sponsored by the Computer Science Teachers Association, a professional association that supports and encourages education in the field of computer science and the Infosys Foundation USA, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring children, young adults and educators to become creators of technology. Ryder and the other award recipients were honored at a luncheon in conjunction with the Infosys Foundation USA’s CrossRoads Conference in May.
“Dylan brings creativity and cutting-edge knowledge to every level of his engagement at school - from classrooms, to the after-school Maker Club he leads, to his presentations at professional conferences nationwide,” said Amani Reed, Head of School. “He is a tremendous exemplar of our school's approach to technology, and he is very deserving of this recognition.”