Born in Russia, I moved to the United States in 2003. Soon after, I joined Graduate School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), pursuing my first Master’s degree in Intercultural Communication. At the same time, I started working as a Graduate Assistant at UMBC’ English Language Institute, working with International students and acquiring experience in the filed.
Upon graduating in 2007, at the same completing a TESOL Teacher’s Certificate, I started teaching English as a Second Language and Cross-Cultural Communication to international college level students. The highlight of the experience was meeting students from all over the world and learning from them, as the same time discovering challenges and rewards of the teaching profession.
Three years later, in 2010, knowing that teaching was the only career that I wanted to pursue, I started considering returning to school, specifically for a degree in education. Coincidentally, during one of the professional development meetings, we discussed new (at least for me) concepts of Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants, introduced by Marc Prensky. The discussion significantly changed how I viewed students’ use of technology for learning as well as the very “no device” policy in our classrooms. I also wanted to become a teacher who used technology to enrich students’ learning process and outcomes rather than due to its mere availability. Even more, I wanted to know the standards, theories, and practices behind technology use for learning.
My search for a suitable program brought me to Boise State. My goal is to become an educator who can integrate web-based instructions into my teaching, become familiar with the latest technologies, know the principles of Web-Based instructional design and online course design, technology standards, use of multimedia in the classroom, web design, and, finally, theories and practices of technology integration, as I am also pursuing a Technology Integration Specialist Certificate.
Lastly, I would like to find ways to integrate my both degrees – EDTECH and Intercultural Communication, i.e., to go beyond the geographical borders in any sense – to explore digital inequalities and divide along with cultural, practices and challenges of using technologies in different cultures, as well as to become an educator who can design and successfully implement courses and training across cultures. Ways to go!