Sara B. Kajder, assistant professor of English education in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2009 XCaliber Award for excellence as an individual involved in teaching with technology.

Established in 1996 by Office of the Provost, the XCaliber Award (shorthand for exceptional, high caliber work) is presented annually by the Virginia Tech Center for Innovation in Learning to recognize individual faculty members or teams of faculty and staff who integrate technology in teaching and learning. The award celebrates innovative, student-centered approaches to learning activities. Awardees receive a cash award and are called upon to demonstrate their work.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2007, Kajder was recognized with the XCaliber Award for her efforts in using Scholar and a several other Web 2.0 technologies to help students develop and apply new literacies that enable them to enrich and amplify their own learning.

In her teaching, Kajder utilizes several Web 2.0 technologies to enable students to engage with authentic audiences outside of the classroom context. By developing technological skills within students, such as those needed to create podcasts, vodcasts, and blogs, students emerge as authors of content and practitioners extending outside of the traditional classroom. This student-centered approach, coupled with tools such as ePortfolio that enable students to reflect upon their own learning, creates a realistic bridge to the career in which they will soon be engaged.

Kajder is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, the American Educational Research Association, the International Reading Association, the National Reading Conference, the Society of Information Technology and Teacher Education, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.