FEATURING: Jayme Woods, first graduating student from the Graduate Certificate in Digital Teaching and Learning
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I graduated from UW Seattle in 2013 with a BA in Art History. After graduation, I worked for a company that was contracted at Microsoft and did facilities management for about two years when I realized that the thing I enjoyed most about my job was actually creating training materials and on-boarding new hires. I decided to quit my job, do some solo traveling in Europe, and then started my Master's in Education at UW Bothell in Winter 2016. I realized after one class with Jane Van Galen, that I really enjoyed education technology courses and immediately worked the Certificate in Digital Teaching and Learning into my degree pursuits. I will be graduating with my M.Ed. and the certificate at the end of this Spring quarter! Additionally, I have been working as the Lead Peer Advisor in the Student Success Center at UWB.
What drew you to the Education program here at UWB?
I studied on the UW Seattle campus as an undergrad and I liked the idea of experiencing another campus, especially one that was closer to home for me. I also liked the freedom of the M.Ed. program at UWB because it gave me the chance to focus on topics of interest for me and I was tied to a set curriculum. I have been able to take several classes at UW Seattle still while in the M.Ed. program here, so I think I've had a lot of opportunities and gotten a lot out of my time at UWB.
Can you tell me about the process for applying for the Graduate Certificate and completing it?
I applied for the graduate certificate online, the application can be found on the M.Ed. page. All that is required is a personal statement, so the process was very easy. I actually had completed all of the core courses for the certificate before applying so I knew that this was something I wanted to add to my degree before I graduated. The last thing I need to do is create my own website and present it as a portfolio at the end of the quarter.
What is something you’ve enjoyed or gained from being in the certificate program?
I believe I've acquired a lot of skills that are transferable to a career in education. I have a ton of resources to use for projects and the program has allowed me to really play with technology and become more confident with trying new resources. I've learned how important it is to stay on top of innovations in ed tech and to think critically about whether a digital tool is valuable for an educational purpose or if it's just a way to modify something students already benefit from in their current curriculum. I've also learned how to present myself professionally online and interact with other professional educators. To a name a few things.. :)
How has this graduate certificate supplemented your graduate work in the School of Education?
I have gotten more creative with how I approach projects in my other graduate work. There are ways to transcend traditional teaching and presenting with digital tools and I have learned how to do that through my certificate courses. I have also been able to directly utilize some of the tools and skills from the certificate to improve processes and products in my work in the Student Success Center, so I have seen immediate use of this certificate in my everyday life.
Any advice for other graduate students that are considering a Graduate Certificate, or are graduating soon?
I would highly recommend at least taking a few of the digital education courses if not completing the whole certificate. The skills are highly transferable to work and school and they push you to think beyond traditional methods in education. I have a strong professional presence online and will have many examples of my work to share with possible employers as I start job hunting and interviewing. Also, the head of the certificate, Jane Van Galen, is one of the best teachers I have ever had. She is insightful and pushes you in all of the right ways to expand your current vision and skills.
Perhaps something you didn’t know going into the program that you wish you would have known?
How fun and useful it would be! I took a course and only realized a few weeks after it ended, how much I had learned. When I realized how substantial the learning was and how useful the things I learned were, I had to keep taking more courses.
What are your plans going forward?
I would love to work in a museum planning the education programs. I know that I could utilize many of the tools from this certificate program in that position, making art approachable and interactive to museum goers. I can use my BA, M.Ed., and Certificate in Digital Teaching and Learning in a position like that and I know it would be very fulfilling.
How has your program helped you prepare for your career/further academic goals?
I believe the M.Ed. program as a whole has supplied me with so many skills I didn't have before. I can write proposals, make webpages and mediate writing, and research in a professional academic way. I also learned a great deal about equity in education which I believe will help me use digital education to improve equity for all students and people in education later on in my career.
Anything else we should know about you?
I love to travel, wakeboard, read, play video games, and I am a bit of a virtuoso with pub trivia!