To Teach and Serve: Reimagining a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology in the Midst of Pandemic Pedagogy
Abstract: On March 10, 2020, as “triage teaching” and “pandemic pedagogy” struck Michigan, as it had other states and nations, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued her first executive order related to COVID-19 (Whitmer, 2020a). Over time schools were finally told they could implement "continuity of learning" plans (Whitmer, 2020b). Faculty from Central Michigan University’s Master of Arts in Learning, Design, and Technology program knew there was an identified need and the available expertise to support in-service teachers, yet the path and program was unsure given the existing graduate program structure. Faculty then began to brainstorm a potential solution: a transformed, accelerated master's degree program in which students would be recruited pairs of Michigan K-12 teachers from the same district, providing an encompassing support system of mentorship. Key to this would be a refocusing of the traditional 10-course sequence to emphasize the development and delivery of high-leverage, online learning experiences and resulting in tangible results for schools and districts. With hearty administrative support of the dean, provost, and president to offer this focused program for one-half the normal tuition rate, a revised program was built. What resulted is an innovative, engaging, and forward-thinking process to benefit practicing PK-12 teachers, and those connected to teaching in PK-12 schools, in a mission driven process. Data is flowing in, and there is a story to tell.
Presider: Ray Francis, Central Michigan University