With the new semester starting this week, graduate students in the MALDT program are gearing up for another exciting set of courses. Allison Walker and Stephanie Hicks are two Michigan teachers who are excited to be learning new strategies about lesson design and technology integration. Walker, a fifth-grade teacher, says that she has been adding in program-taught strategies to engage her students in online learning through gamification and micro-lectures. It was this goal of enhancing her pedagogy that drew her to the MALDT program in the first place.
As an eighth grade teacher, Hicks says she not only has been integrating newly learned strategies into her classroom but has been sharing with her colleagues. She has been designing lessons and activities in her coursework that can be used in her classroom immediately. The MALDT program is intended to function in exactly this way where students can apply what they learn throughout their coursework. This idea is what Walker considers one of the most amazing pieces of her learning thus far. She said, “the things that I created throughout this program can be directly embedded right into my online learning management system for my students.” Not only are the projects and assignments ready to build into an existing unit of study, but it prepares teachers to apply for ISTE Certification.
Pursuing Educator Certification is one benefit to CMU’s program being aligned with the ISTE Standards for Educators. Both Walker and Hicks hope to utilize their degrees as educational technology consultants in the future and say the program at CMU is worthwhile. Walker said, “Take the leap of faith and give this program a chance. You will be surprised at the knowledge and skills you gain to help you right now in your classroom.” Further, she noted that the design of the MALDT program itself, as well as the support from instructors and classmates, creates an outstanding online learning experience. Each semester may present its own unique challenges but students in the program will come out of it with new technology tools and techniques that are immediately applicable to their careers.