Student Profiles: CTL-Ed Tech Archives

Kaitlynn DeGrano

By Pamela Van Halsema on October 9, 2015 10:23 AM

Kaitlynn de Grano is a Masters candidate in the Curriculum Teaching and Learning program with an emphasis in Reading and Language at Sonoma State and works as a kindergarten teacher at Roselind Creek Elementary School

Kaitlynn, after earning her credential, hopes to work with etchers, helping develop more effective ways to structure curriculum in order to meet students' needs. She is enthusiastic about the collaborative environment in the credential program because of the chance she gets to connect with other educators and learn from them in addition to the professors.

Tara Lyon

By Russell Brackett on December 3, 2014 2:56 PM

Area of Emphasis: English Language Development

Tara Lyon picture

Tara has been a teacher for fourteen years. She began in 2000 after graduating from Sonoma State University. Her first job was in a first grade classroom, followed by two years of Kindergarten. After that Tara took a leave to serve in the United States Peace Corps with her husband where she traveled to Azerbaijan and lived, studied, and taught English for just over two years. When she returned, she got right back into teaching with a move to the upper elementary grades.

For her Curriculum, Teaching and Learning master's cognate project, Tara began by wondering how to best help move English language learners beyond an intermediate CELDT level (California English Language Development Test). While in this program she closely examined her classroom practices, curriculum, and methodologies and found many ways to be a more effective teacher for her English Language Development (ELD) students.

She continues to closely examine the practices and lessons within her regular day, specifically within a Project Based Learning Unit, to see what types of language learning components are included in her content lessons, and to determine whether her ELD students are getting the explicit direct instruction in English that they need without being pulled out of class.

Tara has taught at many grade levels and currently teaches sixth grade within the Santa Rosa City School District.

Darin DuVander

By Lina Raffaelli on February 24, 2014 4:05 PM

Area of Emphasis: Educational Technology
Darin DuVander with his project

Darin is a strong advocate for the "Maker" and "Tinkering" culture. This mindset applied to teaching and learning invites creativity, experimentation and accidental discovery into the learning process.  Tinkering, when folded into the curriculum, has the potential to form a bridge between school subjects and their applications.

For his CTL master's cognate project, Darin created a large interactive kinetic sculpture that was showcased in the Commence: Sculpture Projects 2013 at Sonoma State. The mechanical workings of his sculpture were kept visible and explorable, so that through hands-on investigation a person could experience the physics involved in making the mechanical parts move. Darin video documented throughout the construction process to demonstrate the "Maker" and "Tinkering" culture in action and its viability as a learning/teaching method.

Darin is currently a stay-at-home dad and someday hopes to bring tinkering-maker mentality into local schools or his own classroom.

Lisa Brown

By Lina Raffaelli on February 24, 2014 11:07 AM

Area of Emphasis: Educational Technology
Lisa Brown at desk

Lisa is a teacher at Alexander Valley School in Healdsburg, where she teaches 2nd grade. Her interest in educational technology was sparked in a Media and Information Literacy class, EDCT 559. She became interested in integrating Digital Citizenship into her classroom and felt it was lacking in her school's curriculum.

Her cognate project took the form of a parent information night on digital citizenship for elementary age students. Digital citizenship is teaching students how to use technology appropriately, ethically and effectively at school and at home.

Lisa shared with parents what she's been doing with her 2nd grade students and shared a variety of online resources to help them join the conversation about how to best prepare our students to be digital citizens.

Kristen Sorensen

By Lina Raffaelli on February 24, 2014 10:40 AM

Area of Emphasis: Educational Technology
Kristen Sorensen

For her thesis, Kristen sought to understand students' processes when creating a pathogen Public Service Announcement using iMovie, and to examine the benefits and challenges for students when integrating media production into an 8th grade science class.

Based on the study findings she argued that video production, in addition to teaching students how to use and understand the new media they are immersed in during their everyday lives, enhanced their understanding of science concepts and developed real-world science skills and practices.

Christina Sanders

By Lina Raffaelli on January 24, 2014 3:55 PM

Christina Sanders headshot

Christina has been teaching for 22 years in the Sonoma Valley, where she currently teaches 5th grade. She has taught everything from kindergarten to high school algebra in her career. 

Her love for gardening and being outside lead her to participate in a Jr. Master Gardener Program at her current school. Watching the students' engagement in the outdoors with this curriculum motivated her to incorporate it into everyday classroom experiences.

With her CTL Master's cognate project, Christina looked into whether the type of aesthetic experiences students have make a difference in their ability to learn and retain information. The purpose of her study was to investigate the connections between Aesthetic Learning Experience Theory in an outdoor classroom and student engagement and motivation. The conditions included in the Aesthetic Learning Experiences are: connection, active engagement, perceptivity, multi-sensory, risk-taking, and imagination.

Three lessons were developed and implemented and in-depth observations and reflections were collected from students and classroom teachers. The data consisted of fourteen participating classrooms, including over 337 students, spanning the K-5 grades. The findings show that if a teacher focuses on the 'Aesthetic Learning Experiences' and incorporates them into their daily lessons, students will not only be engaged and motivated, but the information will be retained by the students and stored long term in their episodic memory.

Jennifer Poovey

By Lina Raffaelli on October 17, 2013 1:50 PM

Jennifer PooveyJennifer Poovey was born and raised locally in Sonoma County. While in school she always wanted to become a teacher. Her father was a retired schoolteacher as well as various relatives. She started college in the early 1970's at Santa Rosa Junior College in the Dental Hygiene program. She trained for years in this field and was offered a teaching position just before her graduation from the dental program. In 1974, Jennifer graduated from SRJC with her Associate's Degree and dental assistant certificate. She later went on to get her Associate's in Dental Hygiene in 2004.

Jennifer wanted to continue her schooling in either education or dental hygiene so she could teach full-time at the JC. After looking into SSU's master's programs and speaking to Dr. Karen Grady, she found that the CTL program fit her needs perfectly. Her motive is to further her own knowledge and simultaneously improve her teaching abilities. She believes that this can only be done by furthering her own education. She is in the Curriculum Teaching and Learning program and is also taking some Educational Technology classes.

She is now in her third semester of the program and is loving her experience and all of her professors. She hopes to be able to use technology to engage her students further and get them more involved in their own learning. She strives to be proficient in her subject and make sure her students get the most out of their education.

Gary Brunet

By Barbara Moore on October 1, 2013 10:42 AM

Educational Technology Certificate: Merging Instructional Technology and Emerging Technologies

With an ever-increasing adult student population seeking to update and improve knowledge, skills, and abilities it is vital those in the instructional technology field integrate emerging technologies more thoughtfully into instructional technology settings. Understanding the conflict or disconnect between emerging technologies and adult education and training environments will lessen or mitigate the divorce between instructional technology and participatory culture and learning. The venue to link those in the instructional technology field with the emerging technologies of our digital technology age is an Educational Technology Certificate through an educational lens. My cognate project "Educational Technology Certificate: Merging Instructional Technology and Emerging Technologies" is an opportunity for those in the instructional technology field to nourish a vision and ideological sense to learning, knowledge, and literacy in our emerging technologies digital technology age.

Johnathan Wright

By Barbara Moore on October 1, 2013 10:21 AM

The Media Literacy Classroom

Johnathan's thesis, The Media Literacy Classroom, is a curriculum plan incorporating media literacy and social media into a Language Arts classroom. The 21st Century Student has an expectation of a certain level of technology in his or her life, and teachers miss an opportunity to engage them in compelling and accessible learning activities by ignoring this. Even the most basic internet-capable computer lab can give young learners access to a powerful set of student-centered tools. This curriculum uses progressive education techniques, emphasizing critical thinking on the part of students to create a media-literacy classroom, which maps the tools of analyzing and understanding the student's own media landscape onto more traditional forms of literacy. Just as a traditionally literate student produces written work to demonstrate content mastery, so to will a media literate student produce audio and video productions to demonstrate their understanding. Many traditional language arts texts, such as the works of William Shakespeare, lend themselves to this form of analysis. The goal of the media literature classroom is to empower students to turn their analytical minds from the classroom into the media landscape itself, and to demonstrate how they can have a voice in the world.