Bringing Technology to the Classroom With Fairfield’s Ed Tech Program

Bringing Technology to the Classroom With Fairfield’s Ed Tech Program

Photo of Jan Redfern

Jan Redfern shares how what started as taking a certificate in Educational Technology, is now leading to a sixth year certificate.

I’m happy I found this program and expect it will help me as my position continues to evolve.

— Educational Technology student Jan Redfern

Jan Redfern has been a media specialist in Connecticut for 15 years, working with students in grades 3-5 as they learned to navigate the school’s computer lab.

“But because every classroom now has its own set of Chromebooks, having a separate computer lab has become obsolete,” she says.  “It makes more sense to teach technology skills in the classroom as part of the students’ regular curriculum.”

Knowing that she had to make a transition, Redfern began looking for the classes she needed to become a solid resource for classroom teachers. That’s when she met Joshua Elliott, assistant professor and director of the Educational Technology program. His description of Fairfield’s various educational technology classes piqued her interest, and a few weeks later she applied for the Certificate in Classroom Technology Integration, a four-course, online program.

After taking a couple of classes – both rich in new technologies and useful tools – Redfern was hooked and decided to pursue her Sixth Year Certificate in Educational Technology. “I was introduced to so many new, useful tools that I needed to create a spreadsheet with all the info so I wouldn’t forget any of them,” she says, adding, “Those first two professors were an important part of my deciding to pursue a full degree. They were clear in their expectations, gave us relevant and helpful reading material, and good feedback on our assignments.”

Redfern has since redesigned several lessons to infuse them with technology – not just for technology’s sake but to create a more engaging, interactive environment for students, preparing them for the 21st century skills they’re going to need. A former research project for third graders that used to be done with a pile of books and a worksheet, for example, now requires students to use links, a shared Google drive, spellcheck, and the insertion of a photo into a template.

One of the big pluses of the Ed Tech program, says Redfern, is that it includes a membership to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), which she calls an amazing resource for webinars and other learning opportunities.

With four courses already under her belt, Redfern is midway through her degree and expects to graduate in December, 2020. “I’m happy I found this program and expect it will help me as my position continues to evolve,” she says.

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Last modified: 11-21-19 8:50 AM

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