Student Success Stories
Alyson Nelson, MET, School Technology Coordination (STC) Grad “In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, I have used my role as a virtual instructional coach with BetterLesson to support hundreds of teachers from around the US and Canada in making the shift to distance learning. As a product expert in digital learning, I lead virtual workshops daily to guide teachers and leaders in setting up online learning spaces that are positive, engaging, and collaborative using a variety of tech tools. My MET degree has provided me with the knowledge and expertise to become a leader in curriculum development and educational leadership.”
Lindsey Devillier, MET, School Technology Coordination (STC) Grad “The MET program at Boise State comprises a range and depth of so many areas from instructional design to leadership training to project planning, implementation and evaluation to learner support. This coupled with the skills and insights passed on by our professors and mentors left me feeling confident transitioning into an EdTech position after graduation. I’m currently working in Beijing at an international school and we are responding to the coronavirus outbreak. Our secondary school staff and over 600 students are entering their 5th week of online learning with no word on when schools will reopen. Our school transitioned confidently into online learning after developing a school culture around embedding educational technologies into our daily teaching workflows and with the support of teacher technology leaders. Our teachers are currently spread all over the globe and have confidently relied on technologies to engage students through live meetings and collaborative technologies for deeper engagement and project based learning without negatively impacting our school curriculum. It’s been a privilege for me to work with our staff establishing online learning protocols and adapting to challenges as we continue to provide quality online learning experiences for our students. I don’t think that anyone can ever be truly prepared for this situation, but I do believe that Boise State provided the confidence and skills necessary to navigate the novel challenges we are currently facing.
Regarding the programs offered by Boise State, I do proudly suggest these programs to teachers looking to transition into EdTech or looking to incorporate technology into their classrooms.”
Kristen Koeblin, MET Grad “I’m currently the director of education at Robolink, a robotics education company in San Diego. I develop curriculum for all of our robots. Here is a video of a competition up in Fullerton that we did with their school district. Students needed to rescue wildfire victims from one side of the river and fly them across to a hospital (Robolink x FSD RobotNation 2019). When new programming languages are added to a robot, I write online tutorials that people from all around the world can use to learn how to code. My latest project is creating lessons for teaching artificial intelligence through our self-driving car kit! I also serve as the liaison between our brilliant but very technical engineers and the teachers who want to learn how to use robots in the classroom. The Educational Technology program at Boise State combined two of my passions beautifully, and I’m so glad I am in a career that allows me to continue using my degree.”
Leslie Lott, MET Grad “My M.E.T. degree from Boise State definitely has helped me. I’m currently the program lead for the Department of Education at the University of Providence. My ability to design instruction in any context or a blend of contexts has allowed me to be incredibly flexible in the way I serve my students. Our program was closed last year and then elementary education, as well as, health and physical education were voted back in November and will be available as majors this fall (2020). So, I’m currently going through a lot of curricular changes as we revitalize these two programs. I’m also working with a team from the state Office of Public Instruction to integrate addressing trauma and restorative practices throughout our two programs.”
Kari Vara, MET, OT Grad “I graduated two years ago in December with an MET degree. I loved the program and believe I received a great education that prepared me for my current role. I am working at Cuyahoga Community College as an Interactive Learning Designer in the Online Learning and Academic Technology department. I create online and instructor-led training opportunities for faculty and students relating to the technologies we use here at the college. I love what I am doing, and I am proud to be a BSU EdTech graduate.”
Matt Doyle, MET, OT Grad “When I first started the MET program, I was a secondary English and Spanish teacher in Athens, GA. I was ready to transition away from teaching and had a dream of moving into the online education industry. About halfway through the program, I was able to take what I had already learned and transition to an education start up in Silicon Valley, managing their collection of online courses. I was applying what I learned at work to projects in the program and vice versa. It was a great experience! After completing the degree a year later, my career accelerated. I then worked as a content strategist for another edtech company in the area, helping teachers build online resources, and even helped found an online private school (a dream come true). After several years of building on what I learned in the program and in the workforce, I moved into a management position for a leading online marketplace for adult education based in San Francisco. Essentially, the degree helped me in only a few years achieve my dream of making a significant impact in the world of online education, and I’m grateful for Boise State’s direct role in that.”
Kerri Patton (University of Wisconsin) “Thanks in large part to the MET program, I just got a new job as an instructional designer for the College of Business at my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. I’ll be working with the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium to build and manage online MBA courses. I’ll also likely help out with undergrad hybrid courses at UW-Eau Claire. The business experience I began my career with, paired with the curriculum and instruction experience I’ve accrued as a teacher over the past nine years and Boise State’s MET program was the perfect combination. I’m really excited for this next step. Thank you for all that you do!! ”
Sara White (La Jolla, CA) “In my previous position, I was teaching AP Spanish and also working as one of the Ed Tech coordinators for the school. My goal was to work full-time in the Ed Tech field. After going back to school at Boise State and completing my Technology Integration Specialist Certificate, I was able to leave my previous job and find a position where I am the only Academic Technology Coordinator. Now, my daily task is to help the current faculty enhance their lessons using technology and evaluating their Ed Tech needs. I also help oversee the 1:1 device program and our STEAM curriculum. I had experience in Ed Tech, but Boise State gave me the credentials.”
Patricia Smeyers (New Jersey, NJ) M.E.T. alumna Patricia Smeyers has been entered for New Jersey Teacher of the Year! She currently holds the county title, but if she wins the state title, she gets to take a six month paid sabbatical to work for the Department of Education and travel to Washington to meet the president. She will also get a one year leased car to travel to speaking engagements. She would then compete for the National Teacher of the Year award. For now, as county winner, Smeyers leads professional development trainings roundtable discussions, and joins the NJEA convention. She also works with the county office and NJDOE on various tasks and policies.
New Jerseys Governor’s Teacher of the Year: Patricia’s Bio on the website
A big congratulations to Patricia!
Courtney Craig “My name is Courtney Craig and I recently graduated (May 2018) from the MET program. I am writing this because I wanted to let you know what being a part of the MET program has done for me both personally and professionally.
For the past 20 + years, I have been in finance and accounting. I did not completely take the traditional method of completing my education. Meaning, I attended college for a year out of High School, did not do well, and my parents told me I was on my own in paying for the rest of my education. Through the years, I took classes here and there, but it took me a long time because I was paying for them out of pocket. Fast forward, to 2013 I decided to return to school full time in addition to working a fulltime job. I completed my undergraduate degree in 2015 Interdisciplinary Studies, Cum Laude from Walden University. When I made up my mind to continue and obtain my Master’s Degree, I searched the internet for best schools in Education Technology. A list generated and Boise State University was one of the schools on that list. Thus, starting my journey at Boise State University.
At the beginning of my journey, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through the program because I was not an educator. However, I had been a mentor for a college readiness program for 8 years, and I ended up using the lessons that I taught in my mentoring sessions as a guide to help me through the MET program. The lessons that I learned, the assignments that I completed and the interactions that I had with the professors at Boise not only helped me to see how technology played a huge part in education. It also helped me to transition from finance to EdTech.One the hardest courses that I took was my instructional design course. At first, I did not get it, but 3 weeks into the class I did, and at the end of the course, I realized I wanted to be an instructional designer.
Throughout the program, anytime that I had an issue I was always able to reach out to my professors and even had to speak to some of them on the phone. They were patient with me, and provided guidance on how I could complete my assignments. One thing that I learned through various assignments about distance learners is that sometimes, they feel alone when taking online courses. I must say, due to the interactions that I had with my professors and peers, I never felt that way.
As I previously mentioned, I was looking to transition into EdTech. I knew it was going to be an uphill battle because I had not been in the EdTech field, but I was ready for the fight. Boise program prepared me to be able to apply for jobs in the EdTech field. In sending out resumes (only 2) I interviewed at Pace University. A few weeks after my interview I was offered the position as an Assistant Instructional Technologist for one of their online program. If it had not been for Boise State, and the lessons I learned I would not have been prepared to step into the field. My manager, executive director, and director were all impressed with my website which showcase my Boise artifacts and my knowledge and drive for distance learning. I want to give a big THANK YOU to all of my instructors, you are the best!!!!! At some point, I have a feeling that I am going to pursue my Doctorate in EdTech and I have no doubt in my mind that I will be applying at Boise State University. Why? Because when I Googled best schools for Doctorate in EdTEch, Boise State came up again, and I know that Boise will once again prepare me to evolve in EdTech.
Sorry for the long comment, but I had to let you all know what Boise State University did for me, and to also let you know that I would be happy to talk to any new students, especially ones that are looking to transition into new careers.”
Stacy Hawthorne, current EdD student in the EdTech Department at Boise State University, and Jessica Potts, PhD , both from Davidson Academy have been awarded the 2018 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Teaching & Learning for the significant achievements that have been accomplished with their innovative use of Blackboard technology.
Blackboard has been highlighting the outstanding achievements of their clients through the Blackboard Catalyst Award program since 2005. The Blackboard Catalyst Award for Teaching & Learning recognizes those who have adopted flexible, distance and online delivery, including using mobile technologies to positively impact the educational experience.
The Davidson Academy has achieved the honored distinction of being among a select group of winners in the Blackboard community to receive this award.
Stacy and Jessica will receive an award at the annual users’ conference, Blackboard World 2018, and this work will be highlighted at the conference awards luncheon, which will take place on July 19, 2018 in Orlando.
Stacy Hawthorne was the consultant who designed the online campus and have worked with the Davidson Academy for the past five years to ensure the success of the online campus.
Dr. Potts is an instructor. She joined the online campus in 2014 and has designed many of the humanities courses. She earned her PhD in 2015 from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Congratulations to Stacy, Jessica and the Davidson Academy for your leadership and excellence in the support of online teaching and learning. Read Davison Academy’s full story here.
Kellie Taylor (Emmett, ID) “When I began the Educational Technology doctorate program in 2012, I was looking to improve instructional benefits for my students and positively impact other educators. Little did I know the journey it would take me on. In the first year of the doctoral program, we were asked to share conferences we were presenting at and other such honors. I quickly realized I needed to step up my game. I had never presented at a conference, nor was I sure that I had much to offer other educators. I recruited a colleague to apply to present with me at conferences and other educator workshops. I recruited additional colleagues as situations changed and amassed a list of opportunities I have been lucky to be a part of.
I started to share my experiences in the classroom at various conferences beginning with the 2013 Radical Innovation Summit in Washington D.C. and then as a strand provider for robotics and 3D printing at the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018 i-STEM Summer Institutes.”
Sarah Thompson (Fairfax County, VA) “EdTech student Sarah Thompson has been named teacher of the year in Fairfax County, Virginia, Public Schools.
The Mark Twain Middle School English teacher attended several Google Apps for Educators summits and was intrigued to learn that many of the presenters were graduates of Boise State’s EdTech program.
“I wanted to be them,” she said, so she joined the Boise State EdTech master’s program and is scheduled to graduate next May.
Thompson explained the transition in her teaching, saying, “Because of the knowledge and experience I gained through Boise State University’s EdTech program, the teaching and learning in my classroom transformed and continues to develop in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. I’ve presented professional development to fellow teachers on various ed-tech topics, including YouTube, the use of student email, flipped lessons, hyperdocs, and more..”
Carli Cockrell (Great Falls, MT) “I always knew that I wanted to “teach teachers”, but being able to earn my Master’s degree while teaching K-6 seemed impossible. I also knew that our family was not living within our means financially, so I needed a job that paid more than teaching. Therefore, I decided to complete the EDTECH program though Boise State University as it was highly recommended and completely online. I was able to balance my time between work and school, and even took a year’s sabbatical to finish my Master’s degree faster.”
Nicole Emert (Tampa, FL) “My EdTech degree helped me get my current job! I’m working as a senior consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, which is a top provider of defense and technology services to the government and military. In my current role with them, I create online curriculum for special operations enlisted forces at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL.”
Sherri Harrelson (Wilmington, NC) “Around the time I finished my degree, my husband and I separated. I had no idea how I would be able to support my two children and myself, as our situation literally changed overnight. I am happy to say that my degree, and more importantly my portfolio, landed what I consider a dream job!.”
Alyson Nelson (Seattle, WA) “I wanted to share with you news about an award that I recently won from the Paul Allen Foundation called the Allen Distinguished Educators award. I have attached a press release that explains a little more about the award and the headshot they provided for me.
Also, here is a link that explains a little more about the award program:”Read Alyson’s full story here.
Steven Cannariato (Boise, ID) “For a living, I sell and lease commercial real estate. As a very enjoyable avocation, for the past 25 years I’ve taught real estate courses for the CCIM Institute. One of my primary goals in completing the EdTech program was to enhance my value to the Institute. I am pleased to report that because of the skills acquired in the EdTech program, I have already realized a payback from consulting services and contract work worth twice the cost of tuition, books and software. Wow, I would not have imagined getting such a quick return on my investment.”
Ryan McDonough (Phoenix, AZ) “The EdTech program at Boise State gave me the options I needed to use my teaching experience and degree in alternative ways. It provided me an opportunity to obtain a job in higher education working in conjunction with instructional designers and subject matter experts. My EdTech degree helped take my career to the next level by opening up a plethora of lucrative job opportunities in the field of education. Reflecting on where I was and where I am now in my career, I can safely say that the M.E.T. program at Boise State University was well worth my time and effort”.
Scott Miles (Ventura, CA) “I just wanted to let you know about the great opportunities that were opened up to me because I earned the MS in Educational Technology from Boise State University. I was a Professional Photography Instructor at Brooks Institute while working online to get my degree at Boise State. Shortly after graduation, I became the Professional Photography Program Chair – largely due to my enhanced understanding of higher education and technology”.
Gretel Patch (Kathmandu, Nepal) “Namaste everyone. Greetings from Kathmandu, Nepal. It is a lovely night here in the valley of the Himalayas.” That’s EdTech student Gretel Patch, introducing herself in a virtual presentation last November to the Global Education Conference, attended by educators in 130 countries. Presently, Gretel is the technology integration coordinator at Lincoln School, a PK-12 international school in Kathmandu. The school’s 300 students, including her own, hail from 59 nations and territories. Read Gretel’s full story here.
Tim Tanner (Tetonia, Idaho) Tim Tanner has one foot in the future and the other in the past, but the remarkable reality is how comfortable he feels in both. Twenty-first century Tim Tanner is an online art instructor and curriculum developer at Brigham Young University Idaho and a part-time graduate student in Boise State University’s online master’s program in educational technology. In the EdTech program, Tanner focuses on becoming a more effective online teacher and in doing so contributes to his employer’s mission to reach more students and provide more curricular options without building more classrooms. Read Tim’s full story here.
Anthony Saba (Seoul, Korea) Is an adjunct instructor as well as a doctoral student in the Educational Technology program at Boise State University. His most recent research interests include rapid e-learning development and the use of simulations and gaming for online learning. He is also interested in the creation and administration of learning environments as well as intercultural issues related to on and offline learning. Read Anthony’s full story here.
Nate Patrick (Boise, Idaho) Nate Patrick has covered a lot of ground since joining the Idaho Army National Guard and later ROTC at Boise State, and later graduating from the EdTech program in 2007. He saw ROTC and the EdTech master’s program as steps up the career ladder, so he joined both programs—and then he called one day and said he had a chance to go to Army flight school. Read Nate’s full story here.
Mary Tsadi (South Padre Island, Texas) When Mary Tsadi arrived at her first job interview, she was dismayed to see chain link and razor wire. It wasn’t at all what she expected. She sat for five minutes before getting out of her car. As she wondered what a nice Oklahoma girl was doing in San Benito, Texas, in a place like this, she started to realize why the job announcement referred to JCPRC instead of the Joe Callandrett Positive Redirection Center. Read Mary’s full story here.
Lynn Longenecker (Bolivia, South America) When Lynn Longenecker graduated from Boise State’s EdTech master’s program, his career took off. Literally. He quit his teaching job in Pennsylvania, packed up his family, and took off for Bolivia, where he worked for three years as a peace-builder. Peace-building is not on anyone’s list of top 10 or even top 100 jobs these days. Read Lynn’s full story here.
Sheila Simpson (Bonita Springs, Florida) EDITOR’S NOTE: Even by EdTech’s educationally non-conformist norms, Sheila Bolduc-Simpson is a non-traditional student. The woman is, after all, working on her fourth master’s degree. I met her at the 2010 ISTE conference. I don’t know what I said, but somehow I inspired this full-time Florida Gulf Coast University instructor to earn yet another master’s degree. She wrote a paper in EDTECH 504, Foundations of Educational Technology, that she thought had some promise—and so did the editor of Distance Learning, who published Sheila’s action research paper written originally as a class assignment. Read Sheila’s full story here.
John Tiersma (Lakewood, CA.) John Tiersma’s middle school science students in Cerritos, Calif., were loathe to listen to lectures. They wanted to do something—anything other than sitting and listening. So, Mr. Tiersma gave them a project like none they’d ever had before. Read John’s full story here.
Robin Armstead (Stone Mountain, Georgia) Over the past five years, education has begun repurposing many online games and virtual world environments to actively engage students in a new delivery method for teaching and learning. Unequal representation of ethnicity in avatars puts minority players at a disadvantage in terms of making a psychological connection with their virtual self, thereby greatly diminishing game play. Read Robin’s full story here.
Matthew Gudenius (Napa, CA.) The sixth-grade classroom of EdTech grad Matthew Gudenius (’12) was the focal point of an article on paperless classrooms in the Oct. 20 edition of Time Magazine. Michael Sherer, Time’s Washington, D.C., bureau chief, discovered Gudenius’ blog, and decided to spend a couple of days in his Calistoga, California, middle school to learn more about paperless classrooms. Read Matthew’s full story here.
Tsisana Palmer (Boise, Idaho) Lots of 18-year-olds want to get out of the house and see what’s down the road, but when Tsisana Palmer was 18, things were different — much different. She lived in Soviet-era Russia, where travel was restricted by vast distances and a shortage of money, and international travel through the iron curtain was the stuff that dreams were made of. Read Tsisana’s full story here.
Dann Mosteller (Fort Worth,Texas) First of all, good news; not only was I selected Teacher of the Year for my campus, I was also selected Elementary Teacher of the Year for the district. Currently, I have an application submitted with the Texas State Teacher of the Year selection process.
My preparation with Boise State EdTech definitely is one of the strengths that led to me being selected as Teacher of the Year. At campus level I was selected by my colleagues. I was surprised to be selected since it is only my second year at this campus. However, many of the teachers observed my use of technology to enrich the learning environment and assist my colleagues. I have also sought to strengthen technology integration as the district passes through the growing pains of its technology initiatives. Read Dann’s full story here.
Nicholas Williams (Columbus, Indiana) I am Nicholas Williams. I have been teaching in Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation in Indiana for the past 12 years. This is located in Columbus, Indiana. My teaching assignments have been teaching Biology at Columbus North High School. Columbus North has over 2,000 students and is where I graduated from. I have had the luxury of teaching AP Biology and Human Anatomy Physiology. I have also taught Biology I, Intro to Biology, and Genetics.
During my time at North, I earned my masters from Boise State University in Educational Technology. With the help of my Boise State University education, I’ve been able to integrate Moodle, utilize clickers, doc cams, and various software programs into my classes. I also helped lead our schools technology training committee, TIE. We held laptop lunches monthly for our staff and trained them on new technology and updates to existing technology.
Our school corporation adopted a district wide LMS, “its-learning”. We also have introduced 1:1. Our high school students will have laptops, our 1st through 8th grades will have chrome-books, and kindergartens will have a 1:3 iPad ratio.
With the new changes for our district, they created a new position- Coordinator of Instructional Technology. I was named to this position in July and will help integrate the new technology with our educators.
Eric Hawkinson, an Ed.D. student (Fukuchiyama, Japan) I spoke with a few colleagues at the Asian Conference on International Development and Education and they were so impressed with us they invited us to be featured presenters at the Asian Conference on Technology in the Classroom which was held in Kobe at the end of May.
I am director of interactive at TEDxKyoto and we talked about some of the activities we created for the event using augmented reality. They are also publishing a paper in conference proceedings as well.
Link: http://iafor.org/acllactc2015-featured-workshop-designing-digitally-enhanced-print-for-international-conferences-and-tourism/I am hosting a full day session for the IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality. This is usually a very science and technical conference but they reached out to me as they are looking to see how AR is being used and implemented in education. So I’m putting together a whole day where I and some of my colleagues will show student projects that implement AR.
Luba McDonough (Meridian, Maine) – Maine College Transitions Southern York County Consortium Coordinator. I just wanted to happily announce that I got a job I am excited about! It’s only part-time and grant-funded, but is a new position in our state to coordinate a grant for York County for the Maine College Transitions Program. Foot in the door in higher education for me, and allows me to be creative and use many of the skills I learned in my degree program at Boise State University!