Previous educational technology graduate award winners
Learn about the successes of our Educational Technology
Award’s previous recipients.
2010: Dallas McPheeters
With five of their six children in college,
McPheeters and his wife decided to return to school as well. Dallas completed a
BA in Sociology at Northern Arizona University and continued on to pursue a MEd
in Educational Technology.Read more
During his two-year journey to a master's degree, Dallas
enjoyed a year working as a technology liaison in a Tucson elementary school.
After budget shortfalls eliminated his position, Dallas developed programs to
help teachers increase their proficiency with technology integration in the
Research convinced him the missing link to the technology
integration gap demanded professional development efforts for which teachers
had little time. Therefore, Dallas designed a capstone project targeting such
professional development gaps using the 3D virtual platform “Second Life” as a
time-and cost-saving tool.
The course was designed to be accessible enough to ensure
ease of participation by busy teachers. Possible options included:
- 2D web-based
- 3D virtual
As a result of this blended instruction delivery, Dallas'
virtual classes were attended by more than 40 professors and instructional
designers from North and Central America, Western and Eastern Europe, and the
One participant commented, "I teach Caribbean studies
at a NYC [New York City] university. It is not possible for students to go back
in time in RL [Real Life] and going to the Caribbean is cost prohibitive.
Virtual learning environments open up the possibility of exploring these places
as though we were there."
Dallas plans to continue researching alternatives to traditional
education including virtual, augmented, and mobile delivery platforms. He
enjoys teaching in blended environments that combine face-to-face with
web-based, virtual, and mobile possibilities.
You can see Dallas' capstone
project and enjoy his brief video explaining virtual worlds as a
cost-effective platform for busy teachers.
Find out more information about Dallas.
2009: John Spencer
For the past five years, John Spencer has been a
social studies teacher in the Cartwright School District. After earning a bachelor’s
degree from Arizona State University and working for an inner-city nonprofit
organization, John began at Frank Borman Middle School.Read more
Working with a low-Socio-Economic Status, largely English
language learner (ELL) student population, John has developed an in-depth
service learning program. His students
paint murals, volunteer for local charities, participate in advocacy, create
documentaries, and work toward communicating their social voice to the outlying
community. As a result, John has taught professional development workshops on
service learning, authentic learning, and student-centered classroom
After creating a class website and leading students in their
first documentary, John heard about the MEd Educational Technology at Northern
Arizona University. He saw the potential
to learn innovative ideas from peers, delve deeper into educational theory, and
find a more research-based, constructivist approach for integrating technology
in the classroom.
“The teachers were amazing.
The classes were flexible. I
could meet with my group at eight in the evening and then work on a project at
four in the morning. I felt like each
class resembled a community in a deeper way than most of my traditional,
Currently, John is branching out and teaching a technology-integrated
English language development (ELD) immersion intervention, one technology-integrated
social studies class, and two computer classes.
Over time, he plans to develop a technology-integrated
social studies curriculum and use his “Teacher Commons” site for professional
development and curriculum development.
Eventually, John’s plans include writing a book about
technology literacy. His goals also include working toward a doctorate and
speaking at conferences.
Visit his capstone project, Social Voice.
2008: Kate Klonowski
Kate Klonowski is a language arts and journalism teacher
from Cleveland, Ohio. Kate received her
undergraduate degree in English and secondary education from the College of
Wooster in Ohio.
She has attended several graduate schools for
enrichment in journalism and literature, and has since instructed in many
different public and private schools in Ohio and North Carolina. Currently, she teaches reading to incarcerated
male youths in a detention facility in Cleveland.Read more
When considering a degree program for her master’s, Kate hit
a wall. “I had no idea what I wanted to
do when I grew up. I love teaching, I enjoy the dynamics of the classroom, but
where to go from here?” She had no
intention of leaving her career, but something was missing.
“When I discovered that Northern Arizona University had an
all-online master’s program in educational technology, I was thrilled. I had always wanted to pursue an advanced
degree, but had no way to fit it in with a family, work and other
Kate was right at home in an online learning
environment. “I love online learning,
and I have really grown in the program as an educator. I have been so honored to work alongside some
of the most incredible teachers from all over.”
Kate hopes to take her role as an educator a step further by
working with the technology implementation program at her facility to develop
interdisciplinary lessons to raise awareness about environmental issues and
counter the increasing violence that her students deal with every day.
In addition to teaching, Kate was recently married and has a
pre-school aged daughter who can already e-mail her friends and burn CDs. Klonowski also has an online knitting
business, and sings soprano in the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus.
Meet Kate at her Facebook page.
2007: Maggie Leivas
Little did Maggie Leivas know how computer technology would
change her life when in 1982 she stated, “Why do I need to do this computer
assignment? I’m going to teach English!”
Her fascination with computer applications began
in 1989, when she received her first classroom computer. Today, teachers and
students view Maggie as a technology leader who is eager to help others
integrate technology to enhance learning.Read more
Born and raised in Carrington, North Dakota, Maggie earned
her teaching degree in English/speech/theater at the University of Minnesota,
Moorhead (formerly Moorhead State University).
Accepting an English teaching position at Wallace Junior
High School, she relocated to Parker, Arizona in 1983. The next 24 years with Parker Unified School
District brought a variety of assignments:
- elementary and high school librarian
- English department chair
- instructional specialist
- testing coordinator
- junior and senior high school teacher of:
- library science
- computer skills
In her current position as Parker High School’s
librarian/instructional specialist/testing coordinator, Maggie provides on-site
training and enrichment programs, suggestions and examples for integrating
technology, technology mentoring, and much more.
She credits Northern Arizona University’s MEd Educational
Technology program for providing her with additional skills, experience, and
knowledge in both learning theories and instructional strategies to help her
successfully guide students and staff through the educational technology maze.
Have a look at the capstone project
Maggie created for Parker Unified School District 27.
2006: Lynette Nield
Lynette Nield was born and raised in Green
River, Wyoming, and attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming.
Lynette received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with an emphasis
in special education.Read more
Throughout her teaching career, Lynette has held several
positions, including teacher in a 5th and 6th grade classroom, Gifted Resource
Specialist in an academically accelerated gifted program, and for the past
year, Educational Technology Specialist for the Kyrene School District in
Lynette’s current position as an Educational Technology
Specialist allows her to mentor and support teachers in the area of technology
and curriculum integration.
Visit her capstone project for the Kyrene School District 28.