I have chosen the Master of Arts in Information and Learning Technologies Program because I have a passion for ensuring that future generations have positive educational experience using a combination of technology, science, and mathematics. I’m a recent graduate from the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Science at the University of Colorado with a BA in Astronomy. During my undergraduate career, I realized that I wanted to be a science communicator. I took advanced classes in Spanish to allow myself to reach a wider audience in K12 science education. This passion for using technology to teach science grew when I accepted an employment position at Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado, Boulder campus. I’ve had the privilege of working closely with astronomy students from diverse backgrounds at Fiske Planetarium. I have experience in teaching students of all ages, abilities, and socioeconomic status.
When I was a child I was shamed for learning in atypical ways. For example, I was placed in special needs reading classes for not feeling comfortable reading in front of class. I was held back in mathematics because the pressure of test taking was all too much with a broken home life. I want to make sure students never feel punished for learning in different ways. I want to help first generation students with severe test anxiety, like myself, navigate our broken education system. I really aim to push the boundaries of education and teach in unique, informal ways that are able to help as many students as possible. Online education is shifting the entire public education paradigm.
I have experience using technology to demonstrate scientific topics. Through my work at CU Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium, I was able to become proficient in educational theater technologies. Digital Sky is a live-rendering planetarium software that allows students to “travel” anywhere in the universe. In addition to running the museum’s large planetarium, I also ran outreach trips with our portable mini-planetarium. I would take a mini-dome to schools and museums across Colorado to bring them the joy of learning about astronomy. Additionally, I have experience developing and creating museum exhibits using a variety of technology like that used for Science On A Sphere. Science On A Sphere is a large, spherical projection of planetary data visualizations controlled using an iPad or PC. My ability to use different technologies while at the same time explaining educational content has given me the opportunity to grow as an educator.
My core values support my success in the Master of Arts in Information & Technologies program because I believe that access to education is essential to an individual’s well-being, and technology like the Internet has made education accessible to more people than ever. I have a passion for science and mathematics and for ensuring that all students, regardless of background, know the importance of both. This degree program will give me the skills I need to design and facilitate online learning opportunities for learners in higher education, K-12, and corporate settings.
Facing great challenges is something I’m very familiar with, being a first generation college student who paid her way through school. I’m a dedicated, mindful, independently motivated individual that is ready to undertake the fulfilling challenge of completing this master’s degree program. Being valuable and helpful to my community is important to me, so I’m eager to complete the requirements for this degree and put my skills to good use.