Pages of the Past
“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you” – Beatrix Potter
My story begins as a second year teacher whose world was rocked by attending an educational technology professional development conference. Experiencing the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) conference for the first time combined with an opportunity to teach a newly created media production course and a love of lifelong learning prompted my application to the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program at Michigan State University the following fall of 2012.
I was familiar with technology and had been using it in the classroom even as a pre-service teacher, however my enrollment in the MAET program was a way for me to formally learn how to create, use and teach others about educational technology tools. I wanted to find ways to engage my students and meaningful ways to incorporate technology that would help them to be successful. Another main goal was to open up the door to new career possibilities within the field of education and be able to expand the impact I could have through a leadership role such as an educational technology director, coach or consultant. I was interested in pursuing opportunities that allowed me to share what I had learned with other educators to help them bridge the gap between learning and technology. Most of all, I chose the MAET program because I knew as a lifelong learner I wanted to continue to equip myself the best I could for the future of teaching and learning.
Fast forward to the current chapter of my story as I finish my last semester in the MAET program, some of my goals have changed and yet some remain the same. In my new role as a Technology Integration Specialist, I have accomplished my goal of obtaining a position where I am supporting and leading teachers, students and administrators on a daily basis in designing effective instruction through considering technology, pedagogy, content and context. However, with all of the new knowledge I have gained through the MAET program and my new experiences, the desire to continue to work with students to apply what I have learned in a classroom is stronger than I anticipated. A new goal that has emerged because of this tension is finding the right balance of identity between being a leader, a learner and a teacher.
Becoming formally trained in technology tools is no longer a focus because as a result of the MAET program I know how to effectively leverage the countless resources at my fingertips to be able to continuously learn about new technologies even after I have graduated. In my new role, I have had some fantastic continuing education experiences both formal and informal so I am still very much in pursuit of my goal of active lifelong learning. As the current chapter comes to a close, I will continue to revisit the pages of my past to reflect on what I have learned and how I have grown and will continue to grow as an educator.