Hi! Welcome to the blog, EdTech Today - the thoughts and experiences of a Masters of Education Student.
Although fairly new to the blog world, I am a frequent blog reader and I am excited to contribute my own thoughts and ideas to the online world. My name is Laura Gleeson, and I’m currently completing my Masters of Education at Brock University, specializing in the stream of Teaching, Learning and Development.
My interest in technology started at an early age and was fostered through my experiences in high school in a communication technology course. In this course, I was first exposed to HTML, webpages and computer programing. Here, I first fully understood the endless possibilities of technology in the classroom, and gained exposure to cameras, video cameras, projectors and high-tech computers. Since then, technology has become a hobby of mine in my personal life and now in my professional life.
I graduated from Brock University’s concurrent education program in the Spring of 2013. I majored in Child and Youth studies in the Primary/Junior stream. In this unique multidisciplinary undergraduate degree, many of my courses surrounded the topics of child development, identity and the different contexts that surround children in their daily life, including school. I had the chance to complete my undergraduate thesis, which was entitled, “Parental Involvement and Support and Youth Athlete’s Skill Level” and explored the important relationship between parents and their children. In specific, I researched the relationship between parents and youth, and how that affected their skill level in extracurricular sport. The completion of my quantitative undergraduate thesis is where I established my interest in research.
I have always enjoyed working with children and my love of teaching was fostered in my Bachelor of Education year with Brock University. Through placements and course work, I realized my research interests laid within education. In the primary/junior stream, I had the chance to have placements in classrooms that were rich with technology, and those that were not. I was exposed to the possibilities and enriched learning opportunities technology gave not only to the students, but to the teachers as well.
This journey has led me to where I am today. I am currently completing my Masters of Education degree at Brock University and exploring educational technology in my research. In specific, I am exploring 21st century literacy and the use of iPad technologies. Check out the “My Research” link for more information about my Masters research!
On a personal level, I am also a teaching assistant and research assistant for Brock University. I am an avid hockey fan, dancer and snowboarder. I am originally from Whitby, Ontario. For the past eight years, I have worked for the Town of Whitby Summer Camps which has had a great impact on my life. I have acted in different supervisory positions over the years, and last summer I took on the role of “Inclusion Services Director”. As the ISD, I created, implemented and facilitated the special needs inclusion program across all Town of Whitby Camps. I was responsible for the counselors who work one-on-one with our campers with special needs and modifying the camp program in an inclusive setting. I now volunteer as a practice coach for a special needs hockey team in St.Catharines, Ontario.
My goal is to explore the idea of the “21st century learner” and how technology can foster engagement and excitement in student learning. I believe that technology is a crucial part of the classroom in the digital age. In this blog, I will explore the research, deployment, possibilities, politics, developments, questions and frankly, the increasingly neat information surrounding educational technology. I hope you hang in for the ride!