Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Fine Arts (Integrated Arts and Education)

Department or School/College

Creative Pulse Program

Committee Chair

Richard Hughes

Commitee Members

Randy Bolton, Karen Kaufmann


University of Montana


The generation of learners currently in our school systems is very different from those I went through with. These students learn and understand the world differently because of the constant, dominating presence of technology in their lives. Most do not remember life without cell phones, computers, and the Internet, and therefore cannot understand why these would not be used to convey and retain information in the classroom. Many educators, however, including me, have been unwilling to adapt our teaching strategies to reach this "digital" generation, because of time constraints, lack of training and support, and intimidation. We have adopted the thinking that if we learned without technology, then these students can, too, and so we do not adapt to the current times. In fact, I was even hesitant in my personal life to embrace new and useful tools. The problem I now see, however, is that by avoiding the use of technology in my teaching, I am not reaching my students on the level I could be, and not engaging them to their fullest capacities. By challenging myself to learn and incorporate technology into my teaching, I knew 1 could offer students an education they could identify with and buy into. I learned the key to success in this undertaking is creating a carefully designed and constantly analyzed relationship with technology as a support tool.

In my final creative project, my objective was to incorporate contemporary technologies into my classroom and personal life, taking these elements from "toys" to "tools," and by doing so improve my effectiveness as a teacher. Though I understand I was at first idealistic, I know this past year 1 have had success and taught better than ever before. I feel confident, comfortable and committed to persistently adapting my teaching to use new tools and technologies, and plan to spread this enthusiasm to teachers around me.

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© Copyright 2009 Tammy Diane Petzold