edtech connection blog
Got an email from Gretel Patch today. She’s a distinguished EdTech alumna who lives in exotic places around the world with four children and her husband, who serves in the U.S. diplomatic service.
We first met when she was about to leave for Nepal. She telephoned to ask if Boise State EdTech would be a good choice for her. After hearing her goals, I said it would. Then, nearly two years later, she wrote to me with harrowing stories of crossing the Himalayas on narrow roads with drivers who almost certainly had never been to driver’s education. She lived in Katmandu but traveled the country to introduce remote teachers and students to digital devices, apps, and how to use them as instructional tools. She once strung yarn all over a computerless classroom to illustrate the worldwide web.
She won a U.S. Secretary of State Award for Volunteerism for her efforts there.
Where in the world is Gretel Patch?
She’s now in Mumbai, India, where her husband is the fraud prevention manager at the consulate. Her kids attend the world famous American School of Bombay, and there’s good reason for her to “love it beyond belief.” ASB has made a name for itself because it is ed-tech-central in that part of the world, and even has its own ed-tech conference.
She was awarded a couple of grants this year, one of them to cover her costs for attending an ed-tech conference in Turkey. It’s always some place exotic for her.
The other grant will pay for materials to teach English language skills and digital literacy to the residents of the Sharanam Centre, which shelters under-privileged girls from street life in one of India’s largest slums. Maybe we can learn more about that project later.
And, she starts a job in the fall with regional rock stars in educational technology. We’ll know more when she’s able to talk about it.
If you want job security, consider making yourself one of kind. Boldly take your coding skills where no teacher in your district has gone before.
You’ll need to prepare yourself, push for approval of a new course, design it and teach it because no one else will be qualified.
You’ll also need to recruit students for the first few years. You’ll need to tell them that computer science improves critical thinking and problem-solving, and that employers in a number of industries, not just in tech industries, need computer and software competencies
A new study finds that only a quarter of U.S. high schools offer a course in computer science, and most of those focus on simple academic “principles” rather than engaging students in hands-on coding projects that actually do something.
Earlier this year, the study’s author, the Information Technology and Innovation Fund, reported that women represent 40 percent of the STEM workforce in China, but women in America hold only 24 percent of STEM jobs.
Gee. Do you suppose there is a correlation between access to courses and access to jobs?
The more recent report, released just a few days ago, says that computer science is the most important STEM field for a modern economy but has the fewest number of high school students taking its classes and by far has the most room for improvement.
Why do so few schools offer meaningful computer science courses? Probably because so few teachers are qualified to teach them. Even where computer science is offered to high school students, most states do not allow them to be counted as math or science credits. You’ll need to lobby for that, too.
Boise State EdTech offers six courses that require significant amounts of coding—not for the sake of coding itself, but coding to transform student ideas into useful, functioning products.
- EDTECH 502 Creating Educational Websites—90 percent coding.
- EDTECH 534 Mobile App Design—90 percent coding.
- EDTECH 536 Digital Game Design for K-12 Classrooms—85 percent coding.
- EDTECH 511 Interactive Courseware Design (digital animation)–60-70 percent coding.
- EDTECH 597 Maker Tech: Tinkering for STEAM Education—60 percent coding.
- EDTECH 597 Autonomous Robotics—40-45 percent coding.
So, what about you? Are you ready to be the squeaky-wheel solution in your school? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll email an EdTech Course Catalog so you can learn more about these and other great courses.
EdTech Professor Norm Friesen has edited a new book that focuses on different ways of understanding media and especially media in education.
The book, entitled Media Transatlantic, reflects recent scholarly and theoretical developments in media studies and focuses on linkages between North America and German‐speaking Europe, bringing together and contextualizing contributions from a range of leading scholars.
In addition to introducing English‐language readers to some of the most prominent contemporary German media theorists and philosophers, including Claus Pias, Sybille Krämer, and Rainer Leschke, the book shows how foundational North American contributions are themselves inspired and informed by continental sources. This book takes Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan (and other members of the “Toronto School”) as central points of reference, and traces prospective and retrospective lines of influence in a cultural geography that is increasingly global in its scope. In so doing, the book also represents a new episode in the international reception and reinterpretation of the work of Innis and McLuhan, the two founders of the theory and study of media.
Further information can be found at the publisher’s website: http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319284873 .
Dr. Lida Uribe-Florez has joined the Department of Educational Technology as an associate professor with tenure.
For the past year and a half, she has been a visiting associate professor, serving as associate coordinator of the EdTech doctoral program. In that capacity, she has supervised doctoral comprehensive exams, proposal defenses, and dissertation defenses. She will continue in that assignment and, in the future, will teach, research, and perform service to the department, college, or university.
Uribe-Florez becomes the department’s 15th full-time graduate faculty member.
New student Laura Hamill of Michigan will participate Friday in the daytime television show, Let’s Make a Deal.
Click on the link below to hear her EDTECH 501 class introduction and how she was chosen for the show.
Boise State University graduated five doctoral candidates. The four living in the United States were hooded in the commencement ceremony Saturday, May 7. The fifth graduate, Sarah Rich, lives in Jakarta, Indonesia, and was unable to attend commencement. She is still considered a May 2016 graduate.
The university also graduated 44 students in the Master of Educational Technology program. Eight attended commencement in Boise.
The Linkedin grapevine reports that Donna Hutchison is now senior vice president at Connections Education, which is the parent company of the national network of Connections Academy schools.
Even if you don’t know Donna Hutchison’s name, she may have influenced your career. If you’ve taken (or taught) online teaching courses at Boise State, she’s touched you.
In 2001, Donna Hutchison was a faculty member here. And she is the one who proposed, created, and taught the first course in online teaching. Boise State EdTech was one of the first graduate programs in America to teach educators how to teach effectively online, and it was directly because of the vision of Donna Hutchison.
Wouldn’t we have developed online teaching courses without her? Of course, but not as early as we did. Her curricular innovation in the fall of 2001 set the stage for many other pioneering efforts that have become the hallmark of this department.
Boise State University will graduate five doctoral and 44 master’s candidates Saturday, May 7, in a historic commencement for the department.
Tomorrow’s commencement celebrates the first group of students to complete EdTech’s online doctoral program. Four students–Donna Ledford of Georgia, Patty McGinnis of Pennsylvania, Dwayne Ockel of Colorado, and Kellie Taylor of Idaho–will be hooded. A fifth doctoral student, Sarah Rich, lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. She officially graduates this month, even though she is unable to attend commencement.
Boise State also confers 44 EdTech master’s degrees this month. Five of those online students are attending commencement on Saturday. They are Jennifer Byzewski and Dria Setter of Wisconsin, Erica Cardey and Cambria Tooley of California, and Casey Byington of Idaho.
EdTech Professor Norm Friesen has received funding from the German Academic Exchange Service to spend the month of May undertaking translation and other knowledge exchange activities in Germany.
Based at Humboldt University of Berlin, Friesen will present lectures and workshops in other locations as well.
He has been invited to present a Lietz-Lecture in Education and Culture at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, and will give a keynote address and host a workshop at a conference (Education is Relation not Output—Scenes of Knowledge and Knowledge Acquisition) at Linneaus University in nearby Växjö, Sweden. The title of the keynote address is: Education Reform and Educational Media, and the workshop will focus on Pedagogical Picture Interpretation in an Image-Saturated Culture.
Friesen will also complete the translation of a book that introduces an internationally-renowned German educational theorist to English language readers. It is titled Existentialism and Education: An Introduction to Otto Friedrich Bollnow.