I have been fascinated by technology my entire life. I grew up in a household with a father who worked in the technology industry. Home-built computers, video games, and science fiction were as much a part of my life as sports and school. I remember writing code on my TRS-80 and saving my work on cassette tapes (look them up).
In college, I rode the train and the subway, and I watched as the proliferation of MP3 players and cell phones changed the way people interacted. They were either constantly texting or talking to their friends, or they had their earbuds in to block out the world around them.
Fast forward another decade, and I found myself working in the academic publishing industry, at a time when textbooks and scholarly journals were not only digitizing decades of content, but searching for ways to transform themselves into online, interactive entities. New, open journals were expanding the reach of their content, and online textbooks and reference books rolled out new features constantly.
I earned a Master of Science in Management and Information Systems during my publishing days. I also got to travel around North America and Europe, meeting some of the most amazing minds in communication and electrical engineering. People who were looking out past the bleeding edge, trying to solve problems that no one else had even thought of yet.
When the time came for me to start a family, I moved back to my home state of Massachusetts and made a career change to education. I have spent the past decade teaching high school science, and have always tried to apply technology to enhance the learning opportunities of my students. Online laboratory simulations and interactive inquiry activities, learning management systems, 1-to-1 mobile devices in the classroom, and extending the classroom through videos and websites have all been part of my journey.
As a student in the doctoral program at Boise State University, I am continuing to look ahead, to advance the application of technology to education. The goal is not just to force technology into the classroom. Technology itself is a tool, not a teacher. A hammer can’t build a house, even if it has a laser sight and vibration-dampening polymers in the handle. My dream is to help design a future where anyone can learn, in the way that is best suited to their learning needs, at the time and place that is most convenient for them.