I am a…
web designer (12 years), Boston Public School K-12 teacher (10 years), educational technologies researcher and blogger (10 years), director of instructional technology (4 years), online course developer (3 years), software programmer (2 years), and community college adjunct faculty member (2 years)
daughter of two retired Boston Public School teachers and the middle sister of three girls; resident of Boston, Massachusetts; passionate follower of Boston sports teams, international soccer, and the University of Notre Dame Fighting IRISH; runner, soccer player; fan of classic computer games and game design for education and social change; advocate of and mentor to women in STEM careers and college pathways; researcher interested in understanding the impact of media on young people’s moral development and civic engagement; proponent of the protection of children on the internet and the advancement of women’s rights and education around the world; supporter of the fine and performing arts; lifelong learner, curious world traveler and forever fun seeker!
I am a web designer and digital media producer. I enjoy building web sites for small businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals. I have experience in a variety of web authoring and creative tools, web programming languages, and social media. I develop digital content for the web, such as screencasts, videos, graphics, slide shows and animations, and for use in online learning environments. I am a quick learner of new applications and can adapt each project - the choice of platform, the look and feel, and the organization of content – to the client’s unique needs. I also enjoy drawing and painting, writing, and photography and enhancing my original artwork on the computer for print and online display.
My research interests lie in the study of the relationship between adolescent development and digital media.
In June 2009, I completed the Masters in Liberal Arts in Educational Technologies program at the Harvard University Extension School. I presented my thesis, entitled Making Media and Making Citizens, at the Extension School Thesis Forum in June 2009, and won the Dean’s Prize for Outstanding ALM Thesis in Educational Technologies.
My thesis was a qualitative study of what good citizenship means to adolescents and in what ways the making of new media in the classroom might help develop their understanding of good citizenship. I was inspired to pursue this research question by my observations of the apparent disconnect between my students’ offline behavior and their online behavior. Why would an adolescent post a cell phone clip of a bullying incident on YouTube? Why was a teen girl composing her MySpace identity in a way that might be a detriment to her reputation? How do adolescents think about and manage their use of digital media? I realized the importance of my role as a technology educator to develop the adolescent’s understanding of the ethical and moral uses of digital media. In my research, I focused on the adolescents’ production of new media. I was excited about finding the connections my students were making between their work as media makers, or web designers, and their understanding of good citizenship. Moreover, my belief that adolescents want to and can contribute to their communities in positive ways through the use of digital media was justified.
My findings demonstrated a potential contribution to current research at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s GoodWork Project. The development of K-12 curricula, such as the Advanced Web Design course I developed in my study, that teaches adolescents how to make new media and, as a result, positively impact their communities, in turn helps develop their understanding of good citizenship and increases the incidences of good work in our society.
I teach 21st century skills and knowledge to adult professionals and K-12 students. I have over a decade of experience designing curricula and teaching such subjects as web design, eportfolio production, media literacy, animation, online ethics and safety, social media management, game design, and digital video production. In my lessons, I integrate 21st century work-force standards, National Educational Technology Standards (NETS), Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, and service-learning opportunities in an effort to prepare America’s youth for the 21st century workforce and to empower them to become responsible and responsive citizens in both their on and offline communities. I have taught in a variety of learning environments, both on and offline, including after school, in school, community college and summer programming.
I support fellow educators in the use of technology to enhance curriculum, instruction, and administration. I am experienced in designing successful models of technology integration into schools. This includes the selection of and investment in technology products and services, the development of technology-rich, standards-based curriculum, the deployment of learning management systems, and the design and delivery of meaningful professional development.