Last semester, I changed to computer science because I discovered a love for creating from nothing. By getting a degree in CS, I am working towards getting a job at an educational technology company such as Khan Academy or Coursera. With a job in that sector, both my love for programming and learning collide. Working somewhere that impacts education by correctly utilizing technology would not feel like a boring job. There are numerous challenges that come with attempting to merge education and technology. Questions arise about how should iPads be introduced into the classroom and what’s the correct balance between online learning and face to face interaction.
How did I come to this path? Everything started senior year of high school when I was in a open ended research course called Engineering Design and Development. Here I learned the value of self-directed learning and the power of no boundaries. I began to seek out online learning resources and community that would support this style. This is where I was introduced to the world of MOOCs. These are websites that have online courses usually for free. I taught my self to program on websites such as CodeSchool, Codecademy, and Lynda. Next, I was able to go on trips that opened my eyes to even more. I went to a Hackademic in San Francisco. We talked about alternative forms of learning. Then, I was selected to go to a Teach for America & Zappos Trip in Las Vegas. I saw the beginning meetings on their iPad program at the school I was paired with. Our project while we were there was to form a team and work on a project. We choose to create a district wide iPad policy. I learned the importance of correctly introducing technology into the classroom.
I want to be a programmer for a education technology company. My mission will be to create dialog between the teachers, students, and programmers. We need to create a tools that teachers and students will both want to use. Beyond my job, I want to continue to volunteer with FIRST Robotics and STEM in Oklahoma.