My mission is to help empower people to become creative problem solvers. Everyday I meet people who are both fascinated and overwhelmed by the rapid pace of change and concerned about how to leverage the technology around them.
In 2001, Marc Prensky first described todays students as Digital Natives - individuals who have always known the existence of digital tools. Over a decade after this initial work, Watson (2015) and Koutropoulos (2011) both called into question the generalizability of Prensky’s claims. After studying three universities in Malaysia, South Korea, and the UK, Watson (2015) asserted that a single profile of a Digital Native does not exist.
Depending on the student’s culture, prior experience, nationality, and economic status, their use of technology to support their learning varied widely. Additionally, many Digital Natives lack the literacy, information-seeking, and problem-solving skills that they need to take advantage of technological advancements in society (Koutropoulos, 2011).
They all have devices, yet many do not always know how to best apply their use in educational and professional settings. They understand the different skills needed to succeed today, yet they are not always sure how best to aply them, as a result we end up substituting what we did with pen and paper with our devices, often times leading to more frustration.
I often talk about whether we are creating students who will apply for jobs or students who will create their own. When I say "create their own" it does not necessarily mean that they must become an entrepreneur. These students who will create their own jobs are those who are creative problem solvers. Those who are able to build professional learning networks and seek out opportunities, companies and people who they are interested in working with. In an era where employers and admissions officers are turning to Google to search applicants, it is essential to help students put their best foot forward online and offline.
I've always been passionate about how we use technology for teaching and learning. While teaching at Fairmont Private Schools in 2010, I led our 1:1 technology-enhanced curriculum initiative. We often see children or young people using technology and believe that they know how to maximize it's use. However it wasn't until my sister began as a graduate student at KeckUSC that I realized the need for helping students leverage technology in professional and educational settings was monumental. These students had grown up in one world, yet the one they were entering was quite different.
In the video below I share this journey in a 3 minute story that I told at an Institute for Apple Distinguished Educators, a group I'm honored to be a part of.
Today, as Director of Innovative Learning at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (Family Medicine Department) I work with faculty and students. I'm working with faculty to redefine what learning looks like when teaching in a world that extends beyond the four walls of your classroom. Moreover, I'm also working with students to use digital tools to work smarter not harder and how to build digital portfolios and leverage social media to pursue their passion.
As a presenter, it's an honor to be able to share the lessons I've learned and strategies for success. Join me for one of my workshops and learn how to use digital tools to work smarter not harder to solve the problems around you and the ones that have yet to come.
If you'd like to invite me to work with your school, business or would like a one-on-one session, I'd be honored.
Together let's reach new heights.