Original goals written October 2018, reflections written June 2020.
Applying to Michigan State University (MSU) for their Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program meant I needed to spell out my goals for myself.
This was not something I had actively done before then and it was personally the most difficult part of the application process. These goals helped me work towards the kind of educator and person I aspire to be for both my colleagues and students.
My primary goal with the MAET program was to increase my knowledge of education and technology. I love learning about music, education, and technology. My undergraduate degree in music education primarily emphasized the music aspect, so I have focused my post-undergraduate work on educational work and technology. I have completed a user experience design class and I have grown so much through the MAET coursework. Through these I learned how my musical creativity can lend itself to educational pursuits through technology and researched pedagogical strategies.
My secondary goal was to be a role model for the next generation to foster welcoming and knowledgeable generations in the future. I believe my strength here lies in my skills as a music educator to connect cultures, people, and develop social and emotional skills, but technology helps to connect us in many ways that should not be ignored. The past week alone has been humbling in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and resultant protests. We as educators have so much to learn about experiences that we will never understand. My MAET coursework has helped me to keep an open mind and be comfortable with seeing my own opinions change over time. My self-directed learning going forward should be grounded in empathy and research to promote equity in schools and all facets of society.
The final two goals I set for myself serve a similar purpose: increase my knowledge of technology to help schools implement tools efficiently and encourage students to be digital citizens who can contribute positively to society. Through my coursework I reaffirmed my belief that all tools are technology that should be considered, and empathetic leaders can influence real change. The past few months have affirmed that I have made progress towards this goal as I assist my colleagues in creating online classrooms that support our students academically and emotionally. We are working together to teach digital citizenship and building digital problem-solving skills. With districts leaning towards non-traditional learning models for the upcoming school year there will be more opportunities to use and improve my skills through real-world situations.
Reviewing the past two years, I have made definite progress towards the goals I laid out for myself. In the immediate future my goal is to find a position that values my combination of creativity, education, and technology. My husband is in the Army and I just moved in with him, so I am looking forward to exploring new opportunities in Virginia and beyond. My overarching goal moving forward will be to further my understanding of diverse human experiences and technological tools to provide better learning and learning environments for future generations to succeed. This combines many of the pursuits of my original goals and will make it easier for me to decide whether an action or opportunity supports it.