Goal Statement for Lucinda Nickell
Even though I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education, a Secondary Teaching Certificate in Language Arts, and the equivalent of a minor in Spanish, it is in the realm of Teaching and Learning with Technology that I wish to obtain my masters degree, so that my expertise in all those areas will be more avant-garde. I say avant-garde, because we live in an age where it is possible that our students can obtain knowledge just as quickly, if not faster, than their teachers via technology. Thus, in obtaining my masters degree in Teaching and Learning with Technology I plan to gain said knowledge as well, yet with my focus being able to justify the use of computers in the classroom with sound educational reasoning that can wrestle with the theories that question why computers should be integrated into our educational curriculum.
My preparations for this academic endeavour consist of many facets that coincide with the realm of technology. I have just completed the Michigan State University Technology Certificate Program held in Leysin, Switzerland, during the summer of 2001, earning a 4.0 in each of my courses. CEP 810; Teaching for Understanding with Computers was one course that taught me how to apply Microsoft Word, Excel, Paint, and Power Point to various subject matters with in the classroom. I came to understand how each was able to enhance my existing lesson plans, and not detract from them. CEP 811; Adapting Innovative Technologies to Education took my knowledge a step further in teaching me how to use Microsoft Power Point, Web Quests, and the creation of a Web Page as tools that truly have educational value. Examples of such are the development of a Stand Alone Instructional Resource via Power Point, and the development of a Web Page which can be used as a portfolio, an interactive resume, a sounding board for studentsí homework, or a display of on going projects. Parents as well could become more integrated into the lives of their students by perusing a web page of this calibre.† On top of that, CEP 812; Applying Instructional Development and Educational Technology for Clients challenged me to utilize that which I learned within the classroom environment. In accepting this challenge, I have taught the students in my Informational Technology class how to create Stand Alone Instructional Resources for their peers, thus determining the value of a StAIR within the traditional classroom setting. Beyond these courses, I was the Computer Technology Coordinator for McGinnis Middle School in Buena Vista, Colorado. There I was the liaison for 14 other teachers and the Head Technology Coordinator of the district. I also worked side by side with him trouble shooting, loading programs, revamping old computers, and assembling new computers. In addition, I was chosen out of six other teachers to be responsible for maintaining the middle school two labs equipped with 20 computers each. I have also been loyal in attending the Technology In Education conference in Snowmass, Colorado during the summers of 1998, and 1999 for the sake of being on the cutting edge of the technology world in education.
In considering each of these endeavours, it is apparent that my professional goals and interests are dominated by my inquisitiveness about technology. This inquisitiveness also coincides with the technology goals here at the International School of Kuala Lumpur. We have come to realize that there is a trend formulating where Information Technology is transforming into a new focus being Information Literacy as the means of concentration for how we approach teaching the various aspects of technology to our students. Instead of showing how Microsoft Excel works, students now want to know how they can use it in their everyday academic situations at school. We are now in the process of learning how to use technology to its greatest potential, yet at the same time, we have to prove its worth. I want to be a teacher who can discover the avenues of application, taking my students beyond the textbook and be able to determine how to use technology to its fullest potential. Without said knowledge teachers are becoming extinct in their profession. Our students at ISKL are challenged to; Learn Enthusiastically, Reason Critically, Communicate Effectively, Demonstrate Citizenship, and Think Creatively. It is my goal to use technology to obtain these learning objectives.
In keeping with this goal, the second year of the MSU Maters in Teaching and Learning with Technology will be dealing with this mission of determining the validity of computers in the classroom. We will be taking a more analytical viewpoint of the role computers will play in the classroom rather than just assuming that because we have them we need to use them. I believe the next phase of our education will be a forum in which we will be able to hash out our beliefs making them stronger in their logic, or watching them be crushed by mere common sense. Such issues need to be hashed out, for I tend to be one who is fascinated by the amusement of computers more so than their educational assets. As far as the third year goes, once said theories are hashed out, the most challenging part will be applying those theories to our technological creations on the computer. Developing programs that promote a stable balance between using the computer as an educational tool versus, an entertaining toy full of groovy graphics, and fancy gizmos will be the epiphany of my masterís degree in Teaching and Learning with Technology.
Technology in education can no longer be a whimsical romance that we have with the computer. We are responsible for actually using it as a tool to enhance the traditional ways of teaching, taking us far beyond that which we could ever imagine. It is my ambition to be a teacher who can uncover such aspects of technology, thus applying them to enhance the level of my studentsí education.