After getting a degree in Language Arts Education I obtained a position as an instructor at a K-12 school teaching a variety of classes including multimedia, web design, and Microsoft Office. I currently enjoy my job as a production manager for the distance learning outreach of the Spears School of Business here at OSU, but would like to get back to a K-12 educational setting as a computer educator or systems administrator for a school or school district.
The knowledge and skills I hope to develop in the Educational Technology program will be of great benefit to me in these areas as I will have to have a vast knowledge of many types of technology, but also an understanding of how to put that technology to use in an educational setting. During my final year of teaching I was responsible for developing an entire K-12 technology curriculum, but despite having a fairly significant understanding of computers, software, and web design, I felt ill-prepared to put those skills to use in a meaningful way for students and teachers. I can teach a student how to create and design a web site, or help educators learn to use Twitter, or show a fifth-grader how to create a slide show in PowerPoint, but after completing the Educational Technology program I want to be able to show people how to harness the power of these tools to increase their own understanding and educational experience.
In my professional career I want to be working in a primary or secondary school environment in one of two capacities: either as a computer teacher or systems administrator. Teaching computer courses was the most enjoyable job I have ever had, because I was given the opportunity to help students explore, create, and solve problems with computers on a daily basis. After completing the Educational Technology program I hope to have the skills to create far more meaningful lessons that integrate a wide variety of technologies to facilitate many different types of learning. However, another meaningful way in which I would like to use my degree is that of a systems administrator because I would get the chance to be involved with technology in a different but equally exciting and challenging capacity. A school environment is an incredibly dynamic place to be, and every day new problems, challenges, and opportunities arise that would put my skills to use. From purchasing, administering, and maintaining hardware, to helping teachers integrate new technologies into their lessons, to keeping the school network operating at peak efficiency, there are many aspects of a systems administrator job that I would enjoy doing. And with formal training in educational technology I know my skills will be even more applicable to that type of position.
In the meantime, I am eager to learn as much as I can and apply it to my current job at Oklahoma State University. I enjoy what I do and the people I work with, and am eager to help the instructors and staff of the Spears School of Business learn and adapt to new technologies that will create a better learning environment for our students. Distance learning affords me a unique opportunity to use new technologies in creative ways to facilitate learning and improve performance, and I want to take take advantage of the position I am in to help improve our existing program as much as possible.
Education is a lifelong process, and from Radio Shack kits to HTML to iPad application development, there are many lifetimes worth of skills to be learned in the field of technology. I hope to never stop learning, and always be looking out for new ways to create, use, and manage technology.