Putting the “Ology” in Technology
Just as I studied education in order to be a better educator in science, I wanted to study technology as an educator in order to teach it and not just do it. I am a technophile but that didn’t mean I could teach technology well. I knew I needed to exercise my STEM muscles as an educator in order to have a grasp of what I needed. My introduction to the Michigan State University Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program was ignited by my participation in the MSU-Wipro STEM and Leadership Teaching Fellowship. This program was transformative in many ways, including my expectations for my own learning. I thought I would learn some pedagogy and specifics about the hot new tech tools. What I experienced during the fellowship was so much more. It allowed me to settle into that place of frustration that comes from innovation and experience design from the perspectives of user(s) and creator. I was able to collaborate with a diverse group of educators equally motivated to push their thinking and explore new ideas. The instructors were amazing and I was hooked.
I had to make the decision whether to continue on with a second master’s or end with the fellowship and it seemed like a clear choice to continue with courses. I completed a master’s of education in 2008 with a focus in curriculum and instruction and could see the progression of educational technology as I continued as a classroom teacher. I was excited and it seemed serendipitous that the fellowship came my way. It was a no-brainer personally and professionally.
Fast forward to the present and I am no longer a classroom teacher, but my MAET experience is still an active part of my current work. I have assisted my partner school district with a computer science pathway at the elementary level. I support partnership work in and out of school that brings technology access and programs to kids across the school district. At the 6th grade level we are using the Stanford Design Thinking Bootleg to ignite interest in locally relevant environmental concerns. I collaborate with the district’s technology team to learn what goals and initiatives are of interest to student and teacher learning. I seamlessly built a resource website for the STEM team and educators in the district to use and contribute to.
Science and technology are similar in the sense that they are ever evolving. I have always wanted to take this passion of mine and share it with others. As a young girl who had a thirst for knowledge, I know the void that can exist in these areas - especially for women and students of color. I am appreciative of the skillset I am building as I navigate new technologies and education research in this field. From my initial goal of injecting the pedagogy into my love of technology, I feel like I have learned a great deal pedagogically. I also feel like I have the skills to continue learning and navigating the educational technology landscape. I am excited about the new things to come!