Jessica Boylan, Technology Integration Specialist, Sandy Valley School District
My journey began in the summer of 2010 as I took my first two classes in pursuit of my Masters degree in Instructional Technology at The University of Akron. When I signed up to take the classes, I didn’t have a clear career goal in mind. Honestly, I signed up because I could complete my degree completely online and this fit into my busy lifestyle with a full time job and family. I also wanted to learn more about using technology in my everyday teaching because I knew this was something I could improve upon.
I quickly found out that this degree could change my career path. In my first technology class, Introduction to Instructional Technology, I learned what the job description for a technology integration specialist actually was. In one of the first papers I had to write for Dr. Ward, I had to write about the goals I had for myself at the end the graduate program. After assessing what I wanted to do with the rest of my teaching career, I decided from that point forward that one day I wanted to step outside of the classroom as a teacher to become a technology integration specialist so I could help enhance the teaching and learning process through the integration of technology.
I graduated from The University of Akron in the summer of 2011 and during the next school year; I focused on gaining as much experience as I could in the field of technology integration. I integrated technology into my daily classroom practices, chaired a technology committee at my school, aided in rewriting our technology plan, planned and delivered several professional development sessions, etc. I gained a lot of essential knowledge I was able to use to advance myself in my career. I recently accepted a position in a local school district as a technology integration specialist. I have the staff at The University of Akron to thank for this opportunity. I learned so much valuable information through my classes that I will be able to apply as I begin this new and exciting chapter of my life!