ISTE Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) support exceptional teaching and learning throughout the year. Once a year, they honor outstanding individuals who have demonstrated excellent work in their job role or topic area.

Nominations are currently closed.

ISTE PLN Award Winners receive:

  • An engraved award acknowledging the recipient’s outstanding achievement
  • $100 cash prize
  • A one-year basic individual ISTE membership
  • Recognition in ISTE publications and on the website
  • Recognition at the ISTE Conference & Expo
  • Opportunities to contribute to the field (blog, magazine, other volunteer opportunity)

All PLN Awards Timeline

February 2021: Nominations begin
March 2021: Nominations end
March 2021: Nominations reviewed
May 2021: Winners notified

ISTE Arts and Technology Network Creativity Award

ISTE members only.
This award recognizes an educator whose exemplary work provides a model for integrated arts and technology teaching, learning and leading in the digital age.

2020 winner
Josh Rayburn
District STEM Learning Coach, Fayette County Public Schools
Lexington, Kentucky

Josh impressed us with his dedication to both the arts and technology in his district. His commitment to the converted mobile lab STEM bus – which he drives! – promotes STEM education while using arts concepts, and is both unique and innovative. The podcasts he helps create with his students are also very inspiring.


ISTE Computer Science Network Award

This award recognizes an exceptional educator and leader who is championing the cause of improved computer science education and computational thinking for ALL!

2020 winner
Jessica Redcay, Ed.D/CI
Second Grade Teacher, Hempfield School District
Landisville, Pennsylvania

Through multiple high-quality student computer science projects, Jessica demonstrates outstanding contributions to computer science education as both a second grade teacher and adjunct college professor in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


ISTE Digital Citizenship Network Award

This award recognizes an educator who consistently models and promotes excellent digital citizenship, and who mentors and leads others to be more active digital citizens.

2020 winner
Jennifer Casa-Todd
Teacher-Librarian, Cardinal Carter CHS, YCDSB
Aurora, Ontario

Jennifer embodies the role of digital citizenship advocate and leader. As co-founder of The Global Educational Student Chat and Global EDU Student Chat, her work provides students with a forum to experience social media as a powerful platform for learning and establishing a positive digital footprint.


ISTE Digital Equity Network Award

ISTE members only.
This award recognizes an educator whose exemplary work provides a model for teaching, learning and leading in the digital age with a focus on digital equity.

2020 winner
Becky Navarre, Ph.D.
Assistant Superintendent of Educational Technology, Fort Worth ISD
Fort Worth, Texas

Becky’s work in providing equity across her district made her a clear winner of this award. In her words: "I strongly believe that in order to achieve future readiness for every student, the system must focus on three interrelated learning agendas: student learning, professional learning and equity. I focus my efforts on supporting and improving learning at all levels in the organization."


ISTE Digital Storytelling Network Creativity and Leadership Award

ISTE Digital Storytelling Network members only.
This award recognizes an educator who uses the Digital StoryTelling Process to guide and inspire creativity and critical thinking in all learners.

2020 winner
Gwynn Moore
Instructional Media/Technology/CTE-STEM Teacher, Aurora Frontier P-8, Aurora Public Schools
Aurora, Colorado

Gwynn has served as the Digital Storytelling Network (DSN) Leadership Team chair, Playground chair and Proposal Review Team chair over the past eight years. She has developed and delivered numerous presentations to help others recognize how the true art of storytelling elevates students’ thinking about their final projects, with a focus on meeting the needs of an intended audience.


ISTE Early Learning Network Award

ISTE Early Learning Network members only.
This award recognizes an educator who works with or for children ages 3-9 and whose exemplary work provides a model for teaching, learning and leading in the digital age.

2020 winner
Katie Gardner
Elementary English as a Second Language Teacher, Rowan-Salisbury School System
Salisbury, North Carolina

Katie is a true devotee of weaving educational technology and best practices into early learning. Her dedication to her craft is beyond measure.


ISTE Edtech Coaches Network Award

ISTE Edtech Coaches Network members only.
This award honors an edtech coach whose work in digital age learning environments, professional development and program evaluation represents excellence in digital citizenship, content knowledge, professional growth and is closely aligned with the ISTE Standards for Coaches.

2020 winner
Kristin C. Harrington
Educational Technology Coach, Flagler County Schools
Palm Coast, Florida

Kristin is dedicated to the continued development of her craft. She’s actively involved in promoting the effective integration of edtech tools in her district, state and within ISTE. She’s a leader who believes in supporting, encouraging and taking risks alongside fellow educators.


ISTE Education Leaders Network Award for Visionary Leadership

This award recognizes a leader who exemplifies the ISTE Standards for Education Leaders and sets the essential conditions necessary for teachers and students to leverage technology to enhance learning.

2020 winner
Helen Crompton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia

Helen is a distinguished practitioner-leader with a continued commitment to advancing the ISTE Standards for Education Leaders. She’s an advocate at the international level, supporting the work of global leaders through the United Nations and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Her research advances the work of education and helps us understand the conditions that support digital age skills.


ISTE Games and Simulations Network Excellence Award

ISTE members only.
This award recognizes an active network member who has displayed servant leadership and advocacy in advancing the use of games and simulations in education.

2020 winner
Benjamin Kelly
STEM Educator, Caledonia Regional High School
Hillsborough, New Brunswick

Benjamin distinguishes himself through his commitment to authenticity and empathy in STEM. He has built an internationally recognized “STEMpathy” program to empower his students and students around the world to harness the power of STEM to improve their local communities.


ISTE Global Collaboration Network Award

This award recognizes an educator promotes global collaboration with social responsibility in mind. This educator incorporates the ISTE Student Standard "Global Collaborator" into their regular practice as a way to support learners.

2020 winner
Eva Brown, Ed.D.
Teacher Educator, Red River College
Winnipeg, Manitoba

2020 winner
Leigh Zeitz
Associate Professor, University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa

In an international partnership, Eva Brown, Ed.D. and Leigh Zeitz designed a global collaboration project to inspire and engage new teachers. Using the ISTE Standards for Students and the ISTE Standards for Educators, they pushed their students to think outside the traditional realm of education. The project encouraged future teachers to design authentic learning experiences for students using the UN Sustainable Development Goals, resulting in a change of their own perspective of our ever-changing world.


ISTE Inclusive Learning Network Award

This award honors an individual that exemplifies the vision and mission of the Inclusive Learning Network -- "enhancing opportunities for ALL learners through effective practices and technology resources." Nominations will be considered from individuals working in various educational settings, including but not limited to Pre-K-12, higher education, non-profit and industry.

2020 winner
Rhianon E. Gutierrez
Director of Digital Learning, Boston Public Schools
Boston, Massachusetts

Rhianon is a tireless advocate for inclusive learning and diversity. She has generously shared her deep knowledge of accessibility through our webinars, provided outstanding leadership of the Inclusive Learning Playground, and is a strong advocate for improved accessibility for the ISTE Conference & Expo program.

2020 Honorable Mention
Helen DeWaard
Faculty of Education
Orilla, Ontario


ISTE Independent and International Schools Network Independent School Educator Award

This award recognizes an independent school educator or leader who has implemented innovative practices, established private-public partnerships and/or advanced the teaching practice for all educators.

2020 winner
Vinnie Vrotny
Director of Technology, The Kinkaid School
Houston, Texas

As a technology leader and National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Teacher of the Future, Vinnie is currently focused on implementing technology-enhanced learning environments for all learners, including designing physical and virtual learning spaces and environments; developing a balanced, human-centered approach to our use of technology; and creating a secure environment for the school’s users.


ISTE Independent and International Schools Network International School Educator Award

This award recognizes an international school educator or leader who has implemented innovative practices, established private-public partnerships and/or advanced the teaching practice for all educators.

2020 winner
Matt Smith
Head of Learning Technology, Grimwade House, Melbourne Grammar School
Melbourne, Victoria

Matt is passionate about information and communications technology (ICT) and digital technologies and enjoys looking at ways to improve learning for students by embedding engaging technologies into the curriculum. He aims to engage students in higher-order thinking to increase their engagement with learning and to provide them with a broader range of digital tools.


ISTE Interactive Videoconferencing Network Classroom Educator Award

This award recognizes educators in classroom settings using video conferencing in innovative ways to advance education.

2020 winner
Shayne Pierson
Manager of Technology Services, Peace River Division
Grimshaw, Alberta

Through his work, Shayne demonstrates how to create, expand and connect to students and teachers through interactive videoconferencing that has a short- and long-term effect on the student and on teacher learning. In his day-to-day work, he continuously lays out the strategic goals and plans for expanding interactive videoconferencing and education abilities.


ISTE Interactive Videoconferencing Network Out-of-Classroom Educator Award

This award recognizes educators outside of the formal classroom in informal settings using video conferencing in innovative ways to advance education.

2020 winner
Jasmin Poor
Virtual Field Trip Teacher/Coordinator, Roper Mountain Science Center
Greenville, South Carolina

Through her work, Jasmin demonstrates how to create, expand and connect to students and teachers through interactive videoconferencing that has a short- and long-term effect on students’ learning. She continues to reevaluate her programs through evaluations, feedback and working with interactive videoconferencing community members.


ISTE Learning Spaces Network Outstanding Learning Space Designer Award

This award honors those pioneers who are changing their physical learning space to benefit student learning. This can range from changing an individual classroom, to renovating or building new classrooms, to districtwide efforts to create active learning spaces for all students.

2020 winner
Joseph DiPuma
Coordinator of Innovation, Flagler County Schools
Bunnell, Florida

Joseph makes the magic happen as the coordinator of innovation for Flagler County Schools. He regularly meets with school leaders, teachers and students, bringing their ideas to fruition and reimagining classrooms into innovative, flexible and collaborative learning spaces. His enthusiasm and talent are apparent in each of his designs, and he regularly assists other educators and designers with their own projects.


ISTE Librarians Network Award

The award recognizes exceptional educators and leaders who are paving the way for connected learning. We seek those whose exemplary work provides a model for teaching, learning and leading in the digital age.

2020 winner
Colette Cassinelli
Library and Instructional Technology Teacher, Sunset High School, Beaverton School District
Beaverton, Oregon

Colette truly exemplifies what it means to be an education leader. Whether you're reading her blog, reading her book or following her on social media – you’ll surely learn a new and innovative idea to incorporate in your library or classroom.


ISTE Literacy Network Spotlight Literacy Practice Award

This award recognizes an educator who has developed an exceptional technology-supported literacy practice suitable for replication by colleagues.

2020 winner
Rose Reissman, Ph.D.
Literacy Support Coach/Teaching Specialist, Ditmas IS 62K District 20
New York City, New York

In her role as literacy coach and teacher, Rose creates and engages inner city youth in highly motivating literacy activities, while modeling relevant teaching approaches for partner teachers. She’s prolific in writing and publishing about her curriculum, and her work is unusual in that it’s steeped in research, while at the same time rich in the sort of high-appeal, highly engaging classroom activities that students benefit from most.

2020 Honorable Mentions
Michele Eaton
Director of Virtual and Blended Learning
Indianapolis, Indiana USA

Andrew Easton
Classroom Teacher and K-12 Personalized Learning Coordinator
Omaha, Nebraska USA


ISTE Mobile Learning Network Award

ISTE members only.
This award recognizes an educator that exemplifies the vision and mission of the Mobile Learning Network through the use and promotion of best practices in the area of mobile and wireless computing integration in education.

2020 winner
Christina Nording
Library Media Specialist, School District of Milton
Milton, Wisconsin

Christina created a Padlet titled "Books To Enjoy … We Are One World." She also shares out a lot of her creations on Flipgrid. She’s a Level 3 Flipgrid Educator, and her work can also be found in the Disco Library for all to use.


ISTE Online and Blended Learning Network Award

This award recognizes exceptional educators and leaders who are paving the way for transformational online and blended learning.

2020 winner
Meredith Roe
Virtual School Program Manager, Catholic Education Western Australia
Perth, Western Australia

Meredith developed and implemented an exemplary, highly personalized professional learning program that leverages online learning to meet teachers where they are. The program is designed with best practices in mind, aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching, focuses on application and provides an authentic learner-centered experience for teachers.


ISTE STEM Network Excellence Award

ISTE STEM Network members only.
This award recognizes a current ISTE STEM Network member who has displayed leadership and advocacy in understanding and advancing the authentic use of STEM in education.

2020 winner
David Lockett
STEM Teacher, Edward W. Bok Academy
Lake Wales, Florida

David has made expansive and diverse contributions to STEM education. He regularly participates in professional development, collaborates, writes scholarly articles and presents across the country. He has consistently advocated for equality and shared his knowledge, including grant resources.


ISTE Teacher Education Network Award for Excellence in Teacher Education

This award recognizes an outstanding teacher educator who advances the field, demonstrates vision and innovation, and improves learning and teaching.

2020 winner
Julie Delello, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Tyler
Tyler, Texas

Julie’s teaching, leadership and scholarly works demonstrate outstanding contributions to teacher education throughout her career. In addition to teaching, creating programs, leading grants and writing numerous publications about using technology in the classroom, she hosts a number of events in the local community, supporting both elementary students and senior citizens with technologies that enrich and extend learning.


ISTE Technology Coordinators Network Award

ISTE members only.
This award recognizes an individual whose progress in the technology field has encouraged technology leaders to continue their work toward promoting technology integration in all facets of education.

2020 winner
Mike Daugherty
Director of Technology & Innovation, Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools
Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Mike is an edtech leader among leaders. He has continued to be a source of great experience, ideas and mentorship for many years. Currently, Mike is working with cohorts of edtech leaders on training that includes incorporating the ISTE Standards and CoSN's Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) program.


ISTE Virtual Environments Network Pioneer of the Year Award

This award honors an educator whose work in both real life and inworld most embodies the adventuresome and innovative spirit characteristic of a Virtual Environments Network community leader.

2020 winner
James McCrary, M.Ed.
Director of Academic Technology, Episcopal School of Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

James is the real deal. His passion for all things virtual is clearly demonstrated by his all-in commitment to exploring the values of virtual worlds for digital learning and teaching. This is his time, and our Virtual Environments Network team couldn’t be prouder of him, his accomplishments and his inevitable impact on the way students will learn in the future.