Carolynn Mortensen, Ph.D.
Philosophy of Education
It is not enough for us, as educators, to simply meet the needs of our diverse student population. Instead, we must strive to surpass meeting their needs and bring about growth. I am passionate about the role of technology to support life-long learning and help motivate students to participate fully in their own academic and personal growth.
In order to reach these goals, educators need the support which will enable them to provide the kind of technology integration that supports their content and enhances student understanding. Just like our students, our educators have diverse needs in order to accomplish this and we are responsible for meeting those so that the students will benefit. The process must be purposeful and relevant to the students’ needs. I believe wholeheartedly that a teacher will embrace any idea that will benefit their students and that one of our responsibilities as technology specialists is to ensure that administrators and educators are able to relate the benefit of technology integration to the success of their students. This connection leads to successful technology integration.
We are preparing students for jobs that may not even exist today. Therefore, we have to provide the students with meaningful learning that can be related to those future jobs. Students and educators need to understand the role of the digital citizen. They must understand how to remain safe and use technology for worthwhile endeavors. As technology specialists, we are charged with supporting students and educators in the ever-changing landscape of digital ethics and citizenship.
These kinds of changes and learning opportunities occur when the learning environment is a safe and positive place to be. Whether we are teaching in the classrooms or administrators providing professional development, learners must feel a partnership with their teacher and with each other. To accomplish this goal, a positive attitude, patience, understanding, empathy, and a sense of humor must be part of the learning opportunities. It is critical to acknowledge accomplishments whether they are small or large and recognize when a shaky, but forward-moving new step has been taken. Most importantly, high expectations must drive all learning. A belief in the learner and their ability to accomplish what they may not even realize they can achieve is a driving force to positive movement toward a goal.
As educators, students benefit when we collaborate together. Because of the many opportunities technology brings to education, we are able to work with students and build environments that provide 24/7 learning support. We can provide those same types of support for educators so that they can visit just-in-time resources that help them integrate technology. When we do this for teachers, we model to them what can be done for their own students.