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SXSWedu 2014: How mentorship puts the "ed" into "edtech"



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Panel Presentation from "Lightning Talk Series - At The Helm: Women's Impact in EdTech" sponsored by EdTech Women (
In this presentation, I share four stories of graduate students I mentored from the Learning Technologies program at the University of Texas at Austin who are putting the "ed" into "edtech" in their current work. I call for all of us to mentor others, especially those underrepresented in the edtech field, and to ensure that the "ed" is in "edtech" and to seek help if you are unsure. Ultimately, collectively we will continue to shape and change education.
Audio for this presentation is located at

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SXSWedu 2014: How mentorship puts the "ed" into "edtech"

  1. 1. How mentorship puts the “Ed” into “EdTech” Joan E. Hughes Associate Professor of Learning Technologies The University of Texas at Austin @techedges
  2. 2. Shantia Kerr, Ph.D. So many students of color see me sitting at my desk, knock on my door and sit down to chat. I’ve had undergraduate students tell me that they never had an African American professor.
  3. 3. Gloria Gonzales Dholakia, Ph.D. You prepared me to do this type of work: Understanding what edtech looks in most schools, what students want it to look like, what teachers need from edtech to be practical in their classrooms.@gloriagd
  4. 4. Rachel Barrera, Ph.D. I could not have graduated without all of your guidance, advice, encouragement and support. I related to you as a female in academia, which helped me think about where to go in my academic career and life. Mentors can make all the difference. @rachelbalam
  5. 5. Xavier Maldonado, M.Ed. When I’m at work and we’re trying to grapple with how we keep pushing the edtech boundaries, I think WWDHD (What would Dr. Hughes Do). It helps keep me focused on what’s important. @xmaldonado41
  6. 6. Mentor. Put the ‘Ed’ in EdTech. Change education.

Editor's Notes

  • I shape the edtech ecosystem through mentoring and focusing on the ‘ed’ in edtech.Mentoring is a catalyst for inclusive participation, perseverance, and success.
  • Such success leads to my former students (orange circles) to contribute to edtech across the globe.
  • Shantia, Gloria, Rachel, and Xavier, are 4 former students who earned Ph.D.s or M.Eds in Learning Technologies and they put education in edtech by: Prioritizing research-based educational perspectives in their work. Directly impacting students, teachers, principals, parents, and others.
  • Dr. Shantia Kerr is one of only 20 African American faculty at University of Central Missouri where she teaches Educational Technology. Her expertise in online teaching and learning made her a key leader in her university’s initiative to grow online course and program design. She also reviews for Quality Matters, an international organization focused on research-based assessment of quality in online courses, serving over 500 institutions. She recognizes her value to the edtech field but also, as her quote reveals, her presence as an African American woman in higher education. In terms of my mentorship, she learned from observing me working in a male-dominated field, and noted my fortitude, work ethic, spirit of excellence, and trust in her.
  • Dr. Gloria Gonzales Dholakia is a game development consultant. She is the only K-12 education expert helping Cycorp create a 6th grade math video game where she says, “Game developers often do not think about the game in a ‘real’ classroom.” She tests the game with real children and teachers; and she improves the game design interface so children, especially girls, and teachers will want to use it. It will debutin the 190 DODDS schools. In terms of my mentorship, she highly valued our edtech research in classrooms which prepared her to consult. In her spare-time, she also has led 8 summer technology camps for 120 children using an instructional approach called “Adventure Learning,” mentors a middle school robotics team who is earning accolades (state championship?), and leads the Leander Educational Excellence Foundation.
  • In her spare-time, she also has led 8 summer technology camps for 120 children using an instructional approach called “Adventure Learning,” mentors a middle school robotics team who is earning accolades (state championship?), and leads the Leander Educational Excellence Foundation.
  • Dr. Rachel Barrera’s expertise is in online learning and MOOCs. She worked with an international, multi-lingual team to develop the first MOOC in the field of journalism here at UT. As a post-doctoral fellow, she assisted in all phases of design, teaching, and evaluation for the 8 journalism MOOCs, that have reached more that 33,000 people from over 150 countries since the Fall of 2012. She believes the core of MOOC learning is responsive teaching practices. She felt my mentorship helped her complete her degree and consider options for her future. She is open to new professional opportunities.
  • Mr. Xavier Maldonado is an Assistant Principal at Garcia Middle School in Northside ISD and former classroom teacher, instructional technologist, and Air Force Major (retired). He focuses away from the shiny new technology du jour and, instead, strives to change curriculum, structures and pedagogy. In BYOD at his school, he insists on: * more substantial PD that battles inertia * a framework for thinking critically about how they integrate technology making tech integration a key element in new teaching hires.He values my voice and ideas that remind him to focus on the ed side of edtech.
  • These are snapshots of four students I’ve mentored who put the ‘ed’ in edtech, but there are many more students in our program today (who will seek employment now or in the future…). And thanks for many of them who contributed to this presentation.  
  • Whether you work in K-12 schools, higher education, edtech startups, professional organizations…You, too, can expand the edtech ecosystem. Mentor someone – especially those underrepresented in edtech field. Put the Ed in your Ed Tech and if you don’t know how, hire an expert.Ultimately, Change education.
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