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About the Author -- Daniel Levintow
I am a teacher who works with students who have mild to moderate learning disabilities in a very diverse, high poverty school in the outskirts of Richmond, California (San Francisco Bay Area.) I came to the field of education late in life after a long career in banking and finance. Teaching is by far the hardest, but also the most rewarding, job I have ever had. My students are a source of inspiration to me as I watch them grown in their knowledge, skills, and social and emotional development over time. I am a big believer in lifelong learning and earned a B.A. in Italian at San Francisco State University, multiple subject and education specialist degrees at Dominican University of California, and am finishing up a Master's degree in Innovative Learning later in life at Touro University at California.
Reflections on my Journey
When I entered the Master of Education in Innovative Learning program at Touro University California, I had been teaching in a very traditional way that did not take advantage of many of the technological tools that are now widely available and rapidly evolving. The district where I taught did not have up to date technology, and the district had just begun the process of making more up-to-date tools available to its teachers (without the necessary professional development to teach the faculty how to take full advantage of the new technology.) The program exposed me to many tools and products that had the potential to revolutionize my teaching. As I learned about the new tools, I tried many of them and determined which ones had the most potential to benefit my students. My research allowed me to focus on two of them (an animation product and an adaptive learning) which have already shown very promising preliminary results with my student population.
Lasting Learning from the Innovative Learning program
As a result of the program, my teaching style has changed dramatically and my students have benefited from my expanded technological trans-literacy. My practice now includes much more engaging uses of technology such as using Animoto to create book trailers and adaptive learning technology to assess and guide individualized instruction in English language arts. I have also become much more adept at finding content created by others on the web and finding new ways to have my students interact with it, such as by using Zaption. By the end of this school year, my students should have the long awaited one-to-one devices they need, and with my newly acquired knowledge I am much better positioned to put these tools to good use for my students' benefit.