Oneof my ultimate goals in education is completing an EdD in Instructional Designand Technology through which I can contribute and learn methods of improvingstudents learning process, lead research within the classroom for effectiveinstructions and make better use of technology. Over the past twenty years years,I have been involved in education, from private and public education to higher education,while envisioning the acquisition of an advanced degree from a comprehensiveprogram with highly-experienced instructors to bring me to the fulfillment of myhighest degree in education, an EdD in IDT. By earning this doctorate, I hope to meet my long-term professionalgoals of being a lead researcher on the use of technology in foreign language acquisitionfor community college students and, through that, to use this knowledge tobecome a curriculum innovator. On the personal goal, I want to develop my own curriculumand instruction consulting firm that specializes in using technology to enhancelearning and engagement. As a leadinnovator and researcher, I will work to bring changes in education to meet theneeds of our current and future generations of students.
Articles such as The Teaching Gap, by Stigler and Hiebert(1999) and books such as One ClassroomMany Worlds, by Jaclyn Blake Clayton (2003); Do You Know Enough About Me To Teach Me? by Stephen G. Peters (2006);The End of Molasses Classes:Getting Our Kids Unstuck – 101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers,by Ron Clark (2011) as well as studying Kahn Academy have invigorated my desireto close the knowledge gap between teachers and students in our classrooms. Many instructors neglect the notion thatstudents are exposed to more information than prior generations.
I wantto reduce that gap by improving my approach to understand student’sexpectations and to evaluate instructions quality (reliability, responsiveness,assurance and empathy). My observation and research on higher education have revealedthat students are wired differently in this era, the new technologies or thedigital era asks for teachers to accommodate and adjust to the way studentslearn. Unfortunately, research shows a dichotomy between digital natives andteachers’ perceptions as teachers continue in the traditional system a teacher-centeredinstruction with the same classroom setup or organization. The old one-roomschool house now extends far beyond building walls.
Even withthe strong incorporation of technology, classroom setup has not changed muchsince the early1900s. For instance, the textbook driven educator continuesto be the most treasured source of information with classroom seatingarrangements involving rows of fixed seating and students facing the instructorwith their backs to one another. More and more technology has been integrated,yet the instructional methods have not evolved to meet current needs. A review from the U.S. Department of Education,120 Years of American Education: AStatistical Portrait report, reveals that teaching methods and assessmenthave evolved passively. During my twenty-one years in education, observationand literature, I can assess that the majority of our classroom design does notencourage students to learn holistically, to do and reflect about the thingsthey are doing and to be active learners.
Thus, our educational system must fast-trackto close the gap between this technologically advanced generation and our instruction. Inother words, we must meet the needs of our current and future generations,consequently the methods used in the classroom must be informed by currentresearch in the field and the analysis of authentic experiences. As I will alsolearn in the doctorate program how to balance sound theory with effectivepedagogies I will master top-level skills in writing, research and analysis tohelp me bring the necessary changes in teaching. As aconsultant, I will examine a problem or an existing structure in a given educationalsystem, conduct the research, and recommend solutions or proposals to bring thenecessary changes and transformations to remedy today’s challenges and prepare forothers to come. Sound research, classroom practice and respected credentialswill provide me with the background and, therefore, the credibility to be moremarketable.
I chose theUWF Doctorate inCurriculum and Instruction because an impressive UWF doctorate is a good fit for my goals. First, it has a facultywith practical classroom experience, magnificent views from top studies inapplied technology; scholarly activities and a strong teaching focus onpreparing educational leaders. I want to excel as a scholar through thecontribution, deeper self-awareness and confidence a program like UWF offers tostudents. For instance, I share the same research interests as Dr.
Havard, whostudies education on technology in instruction and the learning process. He hasworked on the impact of teaching with technology on student performance and howto face the problems that may arise. I want to continue researching the topics onwhich he has collaborated and written, for example, “Just-in-time learning, rich media, technology enabled learning” article(2013); “Adaptable learning theoryframework for technology enhanced learning” (2016) and many others interesting works. I wouldstrive to collaborate with him; we share many common goals. Secondly,the IDT EdD has the specialization,Performance Technology, which focuses on how to use technology to improveinstruction in various learning settings, such as K-12, colleges, industries, themilitary, and the health care system. Institutions strive to bringeffectiveness to their teaching and learning. For instance, our communitycollege as well as our main hospital medical school always look for new ways toimprove their distance learning program and to bring top notch technologies toimprove instruction and learning.
I aspire to become a leader in the industry that helpsprofessionals of any field push the boundariesof their profession to teach how to think through and solve complex problemsthat educators and instructors face in education. Therefore, the EdD IDT withtechnology concentration program of study will provide me the theoretical andapplied perspectives to reach the level of expertise to become an agent ofchange and in high demand. Thirdly, theUWF program designmeets the expectations for academia and the private sector that I seek as aprofessional in the field of instructional design. According to the website andmy research of academia, the UWF EdD plan is populated with professionals ofdiverse backgrounds who meet the needs of this time. Moreover, it has the flexibility of beingfully online which allows me to continue working while improving my personaland professional life.
The coursesoffered in the program prepare students for the challenges of the century as anacademic or as a researcher.Inaddition, I want to have my highest degree from an accredited, respected andaffordable university. UWF has it all.
It has a reputation as one of the greatest universities in Florida, fully accreditedand ranked as one of the finest and best online and on campus university inFlorida. For instance, it was ranked “BestRegional College – Southeastern” by The Princeton Review (2018), “No. 4 inOnline and On-Campus College in Florida by Schools.com (2017), Named “BestOnline College in Florida” by College Choice (2017), “Ranked No. 7 in”Most Affordable College of Florida” by College Choice (2017) and RankedNo.
6 in “Top 10 Best Online Colleges in Florida” by Value Colleges(2016) Ibring a teaching skill set of knowledge, ten years of web-based instruction anddesign, a diverse background and experience which align with the EdD degreePerformance Technology Specialization’s goals. I strive to find new ways todesign, develop, assess and implement instruction and methods to improve andbetter my students learning processes in the face-to-face instructions as wellas virtual. I havetaught for 24 years in various educational settings from k-12 such as PublicSchools of Robeson County, NC, Henry County Schools, VA; in private colleges,national and international such as Roanoke College, VA; Universidad APEC, DR, etc. In those places, I havehad the opportunity to teach Spanish, ESL and Marketing. Myphilosophy of teaching is that learning is best facilitated by an instructorwho balances theory with effective pedagogy.
In other words, the methods I usein my classroom must be informed by current research in the field as well as myobservations on experiences and challenges from the classroom. I actively seekto create a student-centered classroom where I integrate different methods andstrategies such as community language learning, task-based learning,scaffolding among others that accommodate my students’ diverse learning styles.My disciplinary interests and work intersect as well as influence each other.For example, when I teach Spanish grammar, my teaching is informed by mybackground, understanding of linguistics, composition and second languageacquisition theories.
These variousscholarly interests are all grounded in my intense interest for the study oflanguage, how it works, how it is used to communicate and how it can influencepeople. My research activities look at the use of a relatively new methodologyfor developing communicative activities to improve foreign languageproficiency. For twenty-oneyears, I have been fortunate enough to serve as a lecturer, professor andparticipant in leadership activities, instructing teachers and designinglanguage projects. The teaching experience and instruction have provided mewith a broad view that is useful in assisting students with the languagelearning-process and projects. I have used this view, which involves secondlanguage acquisition strategies, methods and experience, in all theinstitutions and subjects I have had the opportunity to teach, as well as inthe classroom and in distance learning. I am confident that my combination ofpractical work and my more than twenty years of solid educational experiencehas prepared me for making an immediate contribution to your program. Havingthis working experience in leading national and international colleges, publicschools, language schools and other institutions has provided me understandingof the level of professionalism required for long-term success in the field.
Iam ready to start my new endeavor. Thankyou in advance for your attention.