A Foundational Journey...It's Just The Beginning
Upon entering the Masters of Educational Technology program at Michigan State University, I was focused on two goals. The first goal was focused on understanding the foundations of implementing educational technology in my classroom. It was important to understand the why behind the implementation of classroom technology tools with students. The second goal was to use what I had learned in the Masters of Educational Technology program to assist in obtaining a position in education that leads implementation of technology into curriculum, at a building, district, or state level.
In reflecting on these goals, I noticed that though they have continued to be my focus, they also became more immediate in application and understanding due to professional career changes. The goals also have been refined and expanded to a detailed and deeper vision. I recently took a new position as an instructional technology and data coach to serve three local districts and an Educational Service District. My first goal transitioned from a classroom level perspective to a district level. This is a new position to the area which means that a path must be forged. While this is a unique opportunity, I had to make sure that I fully understood what I have learned throughout my program in order to produce the best possible results with every new task. The second goal became more detailed in the practice of working with professionals and preparing information, resources, and trainings for educators to interact and engage with. Prior to entering the program, I thought the degree would help me to obtain a different profession in the educational field. I had not considered how it would prepare me in the field of instructional coaching.
I experience daily what I hoped my studies would assist me in obtaining someday, and I now realize the importance of details and careful thought processes in assisting educators with major technology initiatives within their district. They look to me for advice and support in not only classroom practices but district decisions that affect a large amount of students and staff. I feel competent and confident in supporting them, and each day is a constant reminder of why this program is so important to my role. On a personal note, the learning activities and resources have supported much of my systematic planning and technology implementation roll out in each of the buildings in which I work. Prior to entering the program, I had a narrow vision of what educational technology could be. In other words, I had an end in mind but not a clear vision how I was going to get there.
Even though the details of my goals have changed, the idea behind them has remained. Taking the time to reflect back on this journey and analyzing how my goals have changed has also afforded me to note the foundational components from which I have grown as a professional. My experiences have refined and expanded my knowledge, expertise, and thought process on how technology is transforming education.