At my school, we have the motto “Learning Without Limits”. As an educator and as a learner, I also try to embody this message as an example for my students. I have always been a person who works towards self betterment and growth. Applying to Michigan State University and earning my master’s in educational technology has been a part of my goal to make me a better learner and educator for the 21st century. When I applied to Michigan State I had goals of becoming a point person for my colleagues to come to when trying to think of ways to incorporate technology into their unit plan development. Helping teachers become more informed about technology integration will in turn help the students in my school become better learners. I have been able to achieve this goal by being appointed on my district’s technology device selection committee and by collaborating on Project Based Learning units that integrate technology as a way for students to connect with an authentic audience and display their learning.
Another goal that I had for applying to Michigan State University was to find opportunities to continue doing educational research. I was able to collaborate with Dr. Tony Donk on educational field research while I was a student at Hope College and as a teacher after I graduated. I wanted to continue doing educational research to understand how education policy changes are affected by content requirements, technology integration and pedagogical practices. I was able to meet this goal at Michigan State by taking courses like Approaches to Educational Research and Accommodating Differences in Literacy Learners. In both of these courses I had to conduct research on teaching practices that would positively affect student achievement.
Now that I am close to earning my Master of Arts in Educational Technology, I find it fitting to reassess my goals and create new ones for this next stage in my educational career. By attending Michigan State University I have learned that my professional learning network (PLN) has become quite large. My goal is to continue to tap into my PLN to continue my learning of best teaching practices and technology integration. The courses that I took as a part of my Masters program helped me stay current in the emerging technologies that are being used and I want to continue this focus by connecting with my PLN and attending and hopefully presenting at educational technology conferences such as, the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). When I applied to Michigan State my goal was to become a point person for my colleagues and district and now that I have been able to do that I want to become a point person at the higher educational level. I have been able to go back to Hope College and mentor students on the implementation of Project Based Learning as well as technology integration. I would like to continue to mentor preservice teachers as they enter technology filled classrooms. By staying connected with my PLN and committing to mentoring teachers of the future I hope to build on all that I learned from earning my Masters in Educational Technology.