Ashley Judd, a 1st-grade teacher at Tyner Elementary School (Jackson County), has been selected as Kentucky’s 2017 PBS Digital Innovator. Judd is one of 51 educators from across the country – representing each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia – selected in the fifth annual PBS Digital Innovators program.

The program, sponsored by PBS LearningMedia, recognizes classroom change-makers – teachers who approach education with a bold and fresh perspective and who integrate digital media resources into their classrooms in a way that sparks a love of learning for their students.

“I feel both blessed and humbled to have been selected as a PBS Digital Innovator,” Judd said. “I count it as an honor to have the opportunity to participate in this program and represent the state of Kentucky, especially Jackson County, on the national level.”

In her role as a Digital Innovator, Judd will serve as an education partner for her community, receiving support from KET and ongoing professional development training from PBS LearningMedia and PBS Teacherline. She also will represent Kentucky at the 2017 PBS Digital Summit in San Antonio as part of the 2017 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference.

Judd said introducing her young students to digital media is essential to their success.

“We live in a generation submersed in the digital age. As a 1st-grade teacher, I am responsible for providing students with a foundation they will build upon for the remainder of their education,” she said. “While it is my responsibility to teach them how to read, write and perform the math they will need to be successful in adult life, I feel it is also my duty to introduce them to the real-life technology they will encounter. Digital skills are equally as important, since our society is so reliant on technology.”