Ed Tech @ SSU: MA Student Projects in the Schools

The graduate students in the Ed Tech emphasis have the opportunity to pursue the interests and issues that matter most to them and their learning communities. Read about our recent graduates and current students and their projects with an Ed Tech emphasis.

Kelly Sporer


Kelly Sporer obtained her multiple ubject teaching credential at Sonoma State University in 2003 with two supplemental credentials in mathematics and science. She then went on to earn her Master's degree in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning with an added Reading Certification in 2015. She has been an eighth grade teacher at Hillcrest Middle School for fifteen years and recently took an assignment on a district wide creative arts program (ENRICH) which offers art and technology enrichment classes to the students.

As her cognate project, Sporer addressed the Common Core requirements by designing a blogging project that combined writing, communication skills and technology to allow students to express their ideas regarding the readings that were presented. Through the project, students took on the role of facilitators and active directors in their own literature clubs. Sporer used an online blogging platform for the students to complete self-led discussion on literature. Supporting her belief, the students were able to find the social and political themes running through the novels they were reading. They began to make cultural connections and draw conclusions about themes, much more than what she had previously seen them express in traditional assignments with formal prompts and requirements. Sporer's cognate project reflected her interest in finding alternative ways for students to express their learning in the classroom with self-led discussion.

Kaitlynn DeGrano

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 teachers, 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

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.

Lisa Brown

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. http://lbrownedtech.wordpress.com/