My Master of Arts in Educational Technology program included 10 courses over five semesters. Each class is a part of the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, & Special Education (CEP). Official course descriptions are available from Michigan State University here.
810 – Teaching for Understanding with Technology
Professor: Mary Wever
I learned through new educational processes, whether it was cooking with odd utensils or using the internet to learn how to make pizza. The class also expanded my definition of accessibility and what it means in a digital space, and how it can provide equity to underserved populations in traditional classrooms. 21st century learning also focuses on returning ownership to students so that they can learn more effectively and prepare for successful futures. I effectively combined my learning from this course to create a 21st century learning lesson plan that I used with my sixth grade general music students.
811 – Adapting Innovative Technologies in Education
Professor: Edith Erickson
I learned a lot about finding resources that are okay to reuse in the classroom, and grew my knowledge of how to credit creators of all works. My lesson plan writing skills also improved as I completed my second extensive graduate-level lesson plan. The course also reinforced that your class is not just the content you teach, but how you teach, where you teach, and what materials your students use. Media influences our daily lives, including our teaching, so we must acknowledge that and incorporate appropriate media to improve our work.
812 – Applying Educational Technology to Issues of Practice
Professor: Emily Stone
I improved my ability to ask and take time to best answer difficult questions. By reading A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger, I learned the process of how to create questions that will solve the problems I encounter. Learning about other religions through my wicked problem project helped me learn how to foster a diverse, musically educated community in Kent School District. My survey creation knowledge will be helpful to collect unbiased information from a population in the future.
833 – Creativity in K-12 Computing Education
Professor: William Marsland
I learned about coding creatively in short bursts and in long-term projects. Quickfires helped me grasp a concept and be okay with sharing what I would consider an unfinished work. Music has a lot of connections to how computing works, and it was great to be able to combine my interests of music and technology for once, instead of music/education and education/technology. Having a professor who understood what it was like to be a music teacher and move into the technology space helped me feel more comfortable with taking readings and assignments and making them apply to me instead of disregarding a math paper as only being about math.
815 – Technology and Leadership
Professor: Candace Robertson
This course solidified my own personal philosophies about education, leadership, and what I want from myself in my career and personal life. Having to focus on my philosophies of leadership, technology, and education gave me a lens to view all my actions that has guided me since this course. The tempered radical continuum (from Meyerson, Rocking the Boat: How Tempered Radicals Create Change Without Making Trouble) helped me create change in my school and personal actions in 2020 as we navigate COVID-19 and civil movements. I was also able to learn how to find my own weaknesses, then locate and consume resources to strengthen my abilities. Being able to grow as a person helps me grow into a better leader.
818 – Creativity in Teaching and Learning
Professors: Swati Mehta & Missy Cosby
Through the lens of Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People by Robert & Michele Root-Bernstein, I discovered how much creativity is already supported in primary general music classes. I focused my opportunities for classroom creativity on developing the singing voice. This helped me create many resources that I have returned to several times throughout the 2019-2020 school year. My students’ favorite is a parody of She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain that explores the various voice levels students use in school. Creativity is not always something brand new, it could be interpreting something in a new way. You do not need to have large, radical ideas to be considered creative.
800 – Learning in School and Other Settings
Professors: Brittany Dillman & Matthew Schell
I learned about learning as a whole, not just from an educational perspective, though it has helped my idea of how I should be teaching. It is important to speak with peers and share ideas that impact you as you learn. There are many cognitive and observational theories of how we learn and none of them model learning in its entirety. We piece it together based on the types of learning that are occurring and hope they connect. The tools we use to learn are just as important as the learning itself.
817 – Learning Technology by Design
Professors: Bret Staudt-Willet & William Bork
This helped me review and reimplement the design process in my professional life. I created a problem statement, looked for various possible methods to fix it, picked the one I could implement and created a prototype for it. This was my second time using design thinking and process, and it solidified that I really enjoy solving problems with this method. Being able to use design thinking will help me create engaging music curriculum regardless of how we are teaching in the 2020-2021 school year.
822 – Approaches to Educational Research
Professor: Ming Lei
Understanding and implementing sound research in the classroom should be center to any 21st century educator’s work. I learned how to find sound research and critique research methods to develop a stronger understanding of the information. As I work on a literature of how direct music instruction has been done over distances historically and currently, I am learning best practices for teaching music amidst a pandemic.
807 – Proseminar in Educational Technology
Professors: Aric Gaunt & Dr. Matthew Koehler
I learned how to create and update an online portfolio site to maintain a professional online appearance. This joined my knowledge of my previous coursework to showcase my thinking, learning, and philosophies I have learned over the past two years. It is important to not only be able to produce work, but present it in a way that someone else can grasp your experiences.