About Me

Currently a college instructor, I am dipping my toe into the pool of opportunities outside the golden gates of Academia [See my post “There Comes a Day When You Gotta Go”].  My first post-academic adventure will be as an instructional technologist, supporting faculty in their endeavors to integrate technology into their pedagogy.

I have only recently become interested in exploring education technology.  For years, I was happy using Power Point and showing You Tube videos.  But I quickly noticed that my teaching was not keeping pace with technological innovations.  Students are no longer impressed by Power Point and You Tube.  I was losing my street cred, fast.

Even though I’m technically part of the Millennial Generation, I started to feel increasingly disconnected from my students and their way of experiencing the world.  This generation completes most of their research through Google searches.  The library is perceived as a place to grab coffee and meet classmates, not to check out books.  They crowdsource notes and study guides.  They teach themselves by watching videos on Khan Academy or iTunes U.  They get most of their news from social media. . .

Well, I thought, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

So I immersed myself in education technology.  I read edtech blogs, followed innovative educators on Twitter, and participated in dozens of workshops.  I soaked it all in, growing increasingly excited with each training I completed and each tutorial I read.  Since integrating more tools (in more meaningful ways), my teaching style has evolved and I believe students enjoy my classes more.  This was an utter epiphany for me and I want to share my experience with others.

So I’m ready to pursue a new path—inspiring professors to take a chance on technology.  I know this can be intimidating.  After all, most professors never receive formal pedagogical training, so we mimic how we were taught.  That means long lectures, overcrowded Power Point slides, and an occasional DVD (perhaps even VHS!).  I get it, I really do.  The status quo is easy and less time-consuming.  It’s comforting.  But it’s not typically a reflection of our best work.  We’re capable of so much more.  I want to help faculty realize that education technology is not trendy; it’s timeless.  In other words, it’s here to stay.  Professors need to learn from their K—12 colleagues and jump on board!

This blog will serve as a space for my reflections on teaching in higher ed, ideas for empowering a new generation of students, and advice regarding innovative teaching methods.  I hope you’ll join me on this new adventure.

smith-jessica

Education:
B.A., Communication Studies, 2004, Longwood University
M.A., Communication Studies, 2006, Bowling Green State University
Ph.D., Communication & Information, 2010, University of Tennessee

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