Maureen Brown Yoder
Professor, Educational Technology Department
2003 MassCUE Pathfinder Award Recipient
What is the one thing you are really passionate about?
Learning. I am so fortunate that my career involves constant learning. If you are reading this than you are also involved with technology, which, as you know, is always changing and improving. And, with each advance, there are new possibilities for improving our teaching and the lives of our students. It is an ever evolving process; always exciting and invigorating.
What are you 2/3 favorite apps or tools?
TedEd – Most people are familiar with Ted Talks but not everyone knows about TedEd. It includes a huge library of animations and videos that can be searched by topic and grade level. Teachers send in lessons and professional animators add graphics, animation, sound, and narration to produce a professional production. Take the tour to learn about the lesson making features and view some of the lessons.
VoiceThread – (voicethread.com) This is a web-based, “secure, collaborative” network, that allows text, audio, video, and drawings to be added to each screen. Click on Ed.VoiceThread to see how it works and hear about the vast public library of VoiceThreads and the classroom specific private teacher created VoiceThreads.
The Library of Congress (loc.gov) and the Smithsonian (si.edu) sites: your tax dollars are supporting these, and what treasures they are. Check out the LOC “Teacher Resources” and “Lifelong Learners” and SI’s “Educators” sections. Both have millions of digitized artifacts – images, videos, and audio files – that can be searched by grade level, subject and national, common core, and state standards. There are substantive lesson plans, using digitized artifacts, that are thoughtful and replicable. Everything is totally free.
What is your current project?
I am currently updating the class I teach, titled “Emerging Technologies: Bringing the Future to Your Classroom”. I will incorporate a section on my new iWatch, reflecting on my first month using it. I will include information on several MakerSpaces and how the Maker Movement phenomenon is invigorating schools and communities. I will challenge my students to use emerging technologies in thoughtful, creative ways with a constructivist philosophy.
Who do you admire most? Why?
I admire the teachers I teach. The students in Lesley University’s graduate program come from schools around the world. Some teach in private and charter schools with interested parents and plenty of resources. Others teach in rural or urban settings with limited funds and many other challenges. What is common to all of them is that they are students themselves, interested in updating their skills and learning ways they can better challenge and inspire their students. They may have taken their earlier education for granted, but now, they are choosing to work hard and challenge themselves. They almost always have extremely busy lives, balancing work, family and graduate courses, struggling to fit it all in and do a great job with their many roles. I am very fortunate to be in a position to help these talented and motivated educators reach their goals.
How do you stay current on trends and new technology?
I am a ravenous reader, but I have not read a traditional book in several years. I devour audio books that I load onto my iPhone, and listen to in cars, planes, trains, and waiting rooms. I recently read: “The Innovators; How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution” by Walter Isaacson, a fascinating history of creative minds, and “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other” by Sherry Turkle, a thought provoking reflection on social media and a new kind of companionship. I also check out tweets, articles and reviews of new apps and gadgets and attend and present at several educational technology conferences each year. MassCUE, of course, is the best local resource we have for professional development and a thriving community of educators.