Faculty fosters future EdTech innovators

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Faculty fosters future EdTech innovators

Published on February 07 2014

Submitted by Dr. Camille Rutherford

Graduate students Laura Gleeson and Jason Ribeiro recently attended the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) as part of their EdTech Internship.

The MEd internship provides graduate students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and understanding they have acquired in the graduate program to a growing industry that may provide them with future employment opportunities.

Regardless of technological ingenuity, the effectiveness of any educational technology is dependent on its ability to address the needs of practitioners. Unfortunately, most EdTech entrepreneurs have advanced technical training, but lack a comprehensive understanding of pedagogy, educational research and the realities of being a classroom teacher.

This lack of educational insight can greatly hamper the product development and eventual success. Pairing EdTech entrepreneurs with interns that are pursuing a Masters degree in education provides these startups with the educational insight needed to ensure that their products address the needs of educational practitioners, while also ensuring these products are informed by best practices and current educational research.

In addition to working with their assigned EdTech startup, the interns will be required to participate in weekly meetings with their faculty advisor, Dr. Camille Rutherford. These academically focused meetings and required reading assignments enhance the intern’s knowledge and understanding of the EdTech industry and related research. During these weekly sessions, interns will discuss the required research and industry readings as well as discuss and share insights gained from their individual readings, field placement, and knowledge dissemination activities.

To further support their understanding of the EdTech industry, the interns will have the opportunity to attend in-person or online a variety of EdTech conferences (FETC, SXSW EDU, CONNECT: Canada's Learning & Technology Conference) or other networking opportunities. During these events, the interns will be expected to network and interact with attendees to enhance their understanding of current industry challenges and opportunities, while also building a professional network.

To support knowledge dissemination, the interns are required to create a Twitter account and professional blog. Their blog and Twitter posts highlight their experience while also sharing links to the key articles, blog posts, podcasts, and conference presentations that enhanced their knowledge and understanding of the educational technology industry. Their most recent blog posts highlight their experience at the Florida Educational Technology Conference:


fetc block letters with students posing