For the purpose of my loyal followers, I feel inclined to tell you that I will be writing a number of posts over the coming months on the topic of "Digital Media in the Classroom" for a course of the same name that I am taking. These will be tagged under the label: MSTU 5814. I opted to use my personal blog site for this course rather than creating a new one because other than this introduction I feel that most of the posts will be relevant to the topic of Education 2.0.
For the purpose of my fellow classmates, here is an introduction about myself, why I am taking this class, the experience I bring to the group and some insights on the potential for social and digital media in the classroom. I look forward to reading and commenting on your posts as well.
Introduction: I have been working for the last 15 years at numerous technology companies including Netscape Communications, and currently Sun Microsystems. Over the years I have been in technical support, technology architecture and sales support roles and my product specialties include infrastructure software, desktop & thin-client technologies and most recently Web 2.0 tools. I have a B.S. in Business Administration/Marketing from SUNY Albany, an MBA in Management Information Systems from Binghamton University and am currently working towards my M.A. in Educational Technology at Columbia University Teachers College. I got married in 2006 to my wonderful husband, Neil and we live in Plainview, NY. My hobbies include playing tennis, traveling, genealogy, cooking, reading & writing.
Why I'm taking this class: I have always had a passion for working with children but I never knew exactly how I wanted to implement this in my life. I recently decided to pursue this career shift to begin down the path of helping to integrate technology into the classroom and educational venues. I am very excited at the prospect that Web 2.0 technologies and digital media offer to the educational arena and look forward to exploring this with you further.
Experience: With regard to digital media in education, the experience that I bring comes from several opportunties that I've been working on with customers of Sun Microsystems. The first is a project called Wonderland which is an open source virtual world similar to Second Life. Wonderland is a great platform for distance learning and real-world simulations. I'm also involved in the Immersive Education initiative using Wonderland. The second project is a new way for companies to deliver training beyond traditional Learning Management Systems (LMS's) and is similar to YouTube in implementation. We call it the Sun Learning eXchange internally. Videos, presentations, and podcasts explaining how our technology works are available to employees, partners and customers worldwide. My other experience comes from my work with and understanding of children, having tutored students in reading and being a big sister in the NYC Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter for over 2 years.
Insights: Since the summer, I have researched and explored numerous ways that digital technologies and online socialability can benefit students. Besides the ability to engage students and teach to the ways that they learn, there are distinct cognitive advantages to utilize technologies that making learning personal and relevant. Students will learn and understand concepts and skills that will be critical for 21st century careers and life.