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Personal Statement As a teacher I instinctually understand why students love mobile phones and social media. As a teacher in North Carolina I discovered ways to weave the devices and tools I loved into the lesson plans I wrote and implemented, so my students learn to create content for an audience at school and for a global audience. While pursuing the Master of Arts in Education program through Michigan State University and concurrently working as a first year teacher I worked harder my first year concurrently teaching and learning than at any point in my life. I talked with my students parents and realized how I understood my pedagogy and the curriculum was changed through my encounter with John Dewey in The Social Context of Curriculum. The Michigan State University course Teaching School Subject Matter with Technology introduced TPACK, and I soon enrolled in Learning Through Design with Professor Punya Mishra. I created the content-specific site for my students and that learning experience led to my expertise in setting up and managing a domain and server, and using Wordpress and my knowledge of HTML and CSS to create websites. I continued at Michigan State University in the Technology and Learning concentration and learned about content management systems in Teaching K-12 Students Online (where I created and populated with content a course through Blackboard Coursesites) and thereafter made for all my classes at the high school. Student work, lecture notes, review guides and projects were so much easier to access there than through the torturous paths to my antiquated school website. Through the web design process that began in Professor Mishras Learning Through Design I serve as an unofficial technology mentor to my students, colleagues and administrators. An example of my students work being on display for a global audience was iPad "Show Me" Biology presentations that inexorably caught the eye of a Show Me employee. They contacted me, and arranged an amazing Skype conversation with my students, who asked about New York City, life at a start-up company and what what the term flipped classroom means. Show Me wrote a blog about my students and how their work represents what they aim for with their work. Ive since been asked to be part of the developer team for Show Me and wrote the specific subject categories for Biology. Another example came through a former professor at the University of North Carolina Asheville who recently e-mailed me to ask how things were going; I told her about my work with and, and she excitedly sent my name to her friend who is a producer for the nationwide radio show Bloomberg EDU. The producer contacted me about an upcoming episode about what works now for young teachers who use technology in their classes. As I analyzed the appropriate role of educational technology I began to reach out and share my thoughts through my coursework, in my classroom, and on I was asked by the administration at my school to share my post How to Use Google Docs Forms at the Profes-

sional Learning Community meetings at my school. It became clear working with educational technology is my passion, and discussed what my opportunities were with current and past professors, colleagues and administrators. I then decided that pursuing doctoral study would best serve my goals. Research Interests Upon completing this doctoral program I will work for education agencies or in a university to make technology usable in a way that will contribute to, and ignite a passion for learning. I will continue to refine my pedagogical skills and my understanding of the science curriculum in my classroom while I refine and enhance my use of technology. Theres a disconnect between my students abilities, the skills society requires, and what we ask students to do at school; many students use Twitter more effectively than large corporations. I have good instincts and jumped on Twitter while few knew how to Tweet more than four years ago. Since then I have sought advice from and eventually conducted independent research with Michigan State University Professor Graves Wolf, found out about Edupunk and Pseudoteaching, befriended a North Carolina educator on whose podcast I was a guest, and learned to share my skepticism with my online PLN. New technologies have changed communication (e-mail), music (iPod and iTunes), reading (Kindle), finance (online banking) and socializing (Facebook and Twitter). As author Seth Godin opined, the most critical thing you can say of an institution is that it is pre-digital. Public education has been conspicuously unaffected by technological change. Although my high school like many bans mobile phones, my colleague reflected that if you Ask your students to text it, and theyll do anything for you! I think mobile technology in the hands of able teachers and youth offer a great chance at igniting a passion for learning in our students. Mobile telephones are ubiquitous even in the poorest schools, but many schools outlaw the devices. Im not particularly interested in research with iPhone or Android devices: their utility is apparent. I would rather do my research using what is available and in the hands of students now. I want to offer a rationale for using technology within the context of good pedagogy and toward specific curricular goals. Services that only require a phone that can text message may quiz students in class or at home (Poll Everywhere), respond to student or teacher written questions (Study Boost), and SMS classes (WeTxt). The trend is from the first cavernous, room-sized machines through desktop computers to todays palm-sized devices. We do not question laptops or iPads and should carefully consider whether mobile devices are next. I will complete an independent research project with Professor Leigh Graves Wolf Beyond Texting: Mobile Devices at School in May, 2012. This work will clarify my research interests as I enter this doctoral program. Underlying my interest in mobile devices is my practical approach to technology. My two years as a high school teacher and my professional year as a student teacher taught me to temper and redirect my idealism: I want to work with low socioeconomic students and groups to use technology that is already available and usable to all students. With an internet connection (I described on the Comcast program that provides low-cost internet and subsidized computers for students on a reduced-price lunch plan) any student can use Google Docs to replace Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Through Docs students can access their work from any internet-connected computer, can collaborate and communicate with one another, and never worry about losing a single revision or copy of their work. Schools with and without money to allot to technology can take advantage of Wordpress, Todays Meet, Animoto, Wikispaces and other free services to engender 21st century skills in students.