by Alison Kohler
If the saying, “We want what we can’t have,” holds true, then it isn’t difficult to understand why a child who grew up learning with a simple overhead projector would later pursue a career in educational technology.
From teaching English and language arts to students in her native Wisconsin to educating Guatemalan students who have limited daytime electricity, it’s safe to say Katy Auchter ’11 has seen education span the far ends of the technology spectrum.
“The kids I was teaching [in Guatemala] had access to the electricity for eight, or sometimes four, hours a day, but their interest in technology was so overwhelming,” Auchter said.
It was this similarity in interests and passion for technology that her students—of vastly different backgrounds—shared that led her to the realization that education and technology should go hand in hand. It led her to Adelphi to earn a degree in educational technology.
“Once I researched Adelphi and talked with [Matthew Curinga, Ed.D., assistant professor in the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education] about the program, it seemed to be a great fit,” Auchter said. Through her eyes, fun and entertaining learning makes for a more robust experience.
“My specific interest is in game-based learning and simulation-based learning. When you’re able to analyze real events through games and simulations, you can create a deep engagement and practical application,” she said.
The academic courses Auchter completed at Adelphi provided her direct experience in the programming and other skills that she uses every day in her career today as an instructional technologist at New York University’s College of Global Public Health.
Adelphi’s close community of faculty, staff and students is an advantage that is not easily replicated, Auchter noted.
“One real asset of the Adelphi program is the faculty,” she said. “They are so interested in the success of their students. They go out of their way to find practical experience that will help you. They’ll find internship programs, but what I found surprising…was that they were willing to invest in my personal interest.”
Auchter invested most of her time at Adelphi completing her course work but, during her final semester, was able to get a job with Pearson Education, Inc., to help develop a digital language learning tool for English language learners. Having a job later in her educational experience allowed her to apply everything she learned.
“I found it really beneficial to dedicate a lot of up-front time at Adelphi,” she said. “[It] let me see the immediate value of the Adelphi program,” she said.