Ed Tech @ SSU: MA Student Projects in the Schools

The graduate students in the Ed Tech emphasis have the opportunity to pursue the interests and issues that matter most to them and their learning communities. Read about our recent graduates and current students and their projects with an Ed Tech emphasis.

Darin DuVander

Area of Emphasis: Educational Technology
Darin DuVander with his project

Darin is a strong advocate for the "Maker" and "Tinkering" culture. This mindset applied to teaching and learning invites creativity, experimentation and accidental discovery into the learning process.  Tinkering, when folded into the curriculum, has the potential to form a bridge between school subjects and their applications.

For his CTL master's cognate project, Darin created a large interactive kinetic sculpture that was showcased in the Commence: Sculpture Projects 2013 at Sonoma State. The mechanical workings of his sculpture were kept visible and explorable, so that through hands-on investigation a person could experience the physics involved in making the mechanical parts move. Darin video documented throughout the construction process to demonstrate the "Maker" and "Tinkering" culture in action and its viability as a learning/teaching method.

Darin is currently a stay-at-home dad and someday hopes to bring tinkering-maker mentality into local schools or his own classroom. http://darin-duvander.blogspot.com/

Lisa Brown

Area of Emphasis: Educational Technology
Lisa Brown at desk

Lisa is a teacher at Alexander Valley School in Healdsburg, where she teaches 2nd grade. Her interest in educational technology was sparked in a Media and Information Literacy class, EDCT 559. She became interested in integrating Digital Citizenship into her classroom and felt it was lacking in her school's curriculum.

Her cognate project took the form of a parent information night on digital citizenship for elementary age students. Digital citizenship is teaching students how to use technology appropriately, ethically and effectively at school and at home.

Lisa shared with parents what she's been doing with her 2nd grade students and shared a variety of online resources to help them join the conversation about how to best prepare our students to be digital citizens. http://lbrownedtech.wordpress.com/

Kristen Sorensen

Area of Emphasis: Educational Technology
Kristen Sorensen

For her thesis, Kristen sought to understand students' processes when creating a pathogen Public Service Announcement using iMovie, and to examine the benefits and challenges for students when integrating media production into an 8th grade science class.

Based on the study findings she argued that video production, in addition to teaching students how to use and understand the new media they are immersed in during their everyday lives, enhanced their understanding of science concepts and developed real-world science skills and practices. https://sites.google.com/a/scds.org/kristen-sorensen/

Christina Sanders

Christina Sanders headshot

Christina has been teaching for 22 years in the Sonoma Valley, where she currently teaches 5th grade. She has taught everything from kindergarten to high school algebra in her career. 

Her love for gardening and being outside lead her to participate in a Jr. Master Gardener Program at her current school. Watching the students' engagement in the outdoors with this curriculum motivated her to incorporate it into everyday classroom experiences.

With her CTL Master's cognate project, Christina looked into whether the type of aesthetic experiences students have make a difference in their ability to learn and retain information. The purpose of her study was to investigate the connections between Aesthetic Learning Experience Theory in an outdoor classroom and student engagement and motivation. The conditions included in the Aesthetic Learning Experiences are: connection, active engagement, perceptivity, multi-sensory, risk-taking, and imagination.

Three lessons were developed and implemented and in-depth observations and reflections were collected from students and classroom teachers. The data consisted of fourteen participating classrooms, including over 337 students, spanning the K-5 grades. The findings show that if a teacher focuses on the 'Aesthetic Learning Experiences' and incorporates them into their daily lessons, students will not only be engaged and motivated, but the information will be retained by the students and stored long term in their episodic memory.

Jennifer Poovey

Jennifer PooveyJennifer Poovey was born and raised locally in Sonoma County. While in school she always wanted to become a teacher. Her father was a retired schoolteacher as well as various relatives. She started college in the early 1970's at Santa Rosa Junior College in the Dental Hygiene program. She trained for years in this field and was offered a teaching position just before her graduation from the dental program. In 1974, Jennifer graduated from SRJC with her Associate's Degree and dental assistant certificate. She later went on to get her Associate's in Dental Hygiene in 2004.

Jennifer wanted to continue her schooling in either education or dental hygiene so she could teach full-time at the JC. After looking into SSU's master's programs and speaking to Dr. Karen Grady, she found that the CTL program fit her needs perfectly. Her motive is to further her own knowledge and simultaneously improve her teaching abilities. She believes that this can only be done by furthering her own education. She is in the Curriculum Teaching and Learning program and is also taking some Educational Technology classes.

She is now in her third semester of the program and is loving her experience and all of her professors. She hopes to be able to use technology to engage her students further and get them more involved in their own learning. She strives to be proficient in her subject and make sure her students get the most out of their education.