From the Help Desk to the Classroom
With a background centered mostly on technology, I often wondered what other avenues I could possibility pursue. In a way, I felt trapped. I felt my identity was stuck to the computer repair and network administration field. I yearned for something greater. I yearned to make a difference in the world and to see a greater impact. Shortly after attaining employment at Michigan State University, I discovered a drive to further my education. With this drive, I set goals to improve my skills in instructional design and bridge the gap in my understanding between technology, leadership and education. Considering my skills and interests, I found a perfect fit in the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program at Michigan State University. Through two and a half years of the program my goals have broadened and I no longer feel trapped in the limited identity that defined me in the past.
My specific goals when starting the MAET program focused on expanding my knowledge and skill-set in the support of educators in the classroom and within online spaces. I wanted to explore how technology can support student understanding while assisting instructors to save time on functions where technology can improve efficiencies. My hope was to save time for instructors to allow them to focus more on the fundamental goals of the educational system. Diving deeper into this goal, my hope was to become a change agent and to provide leadership in the integration of technology and education. Leadership takes various forms up and down an organization, and my expectations of the MAET program was to prepare me to lead from my current position and improve my ability to lead in the future.
Reflecting upon my original goals for expanding my education through the MAET program, I find that my original goals stand, but I also see potentially new horizons in my future career. Along with supporting instructors with the efficient use of technology in the field of education and playing a leadership role in that transformation, I have found myself pondering the possibility of becoming an educator myself. I have expanded my role in professional development programs and this opportunity has given me a taste of what teaching can be like. I have found more opportunities to speak in front of the classroom and find myself wanting to take that role more and more. Through my technical support role with customers I have always taken pride in educating individuals in my area of expertise, but I am now discovering that I have always had the heart of a teacher and I see endless opportunities to expand my roles in technology, leadership and education.