Q: So, tell us more about yourself. How did you first hear about TechChange?
I recently graduated from Swarthmore College, where I studied Educational Studies and Linguistics. During my time there, I was conducting research on minoritized college students’ experiences navigating academic spaces within higher education. I became really interested in learning about and designing educational experiences that best fit the needs of the students. Someone mentioned TechChange as a place that does exactly that — and as a company started by a Swarthmore alum! It seemed like a great opportunity at the intersection of my interests in education, research, and design that I knew I wanted to be a part of.
Q: How has your past experience prepared you for this fellowship position?
During undergrad, I interned at a bilingual school in Monteverde, Costa Rica, where I developed the curriculum for and taught math and English to elementary schoolers. Working in the classroom gave me the opportunity to observe what students actually need in order to thrive in a learning environment. I was able to apply this knowledge through my curriculum and lesson plans in Costa Rica, and this experience will certainly continue to inform my pedagogical decision-making here at TechChange as well.
Q: What is your research topic and what are you most looking forward to when conducting this research?
My research question is, “What is a TechChange blended course?” This means that I get to explore the best of what TechChange has to offer in both the synchronous and asynchronous aspects of their courses. I’m looking forward to being able to learn more about the best practices of instructional design through my research!
Q: What excites you about this fellowship and research opportunity?
I’m really excited about the educational philosophy that TechChange carries into every course that they build. Throughout my time as an educator, I have prioritized philosophies such as constructivist educational theory and human-centered design. I see these as crucial for engaging students and adapting to their needs in order to best set them up for success in learning. It is amazing not only to be researching projects that reflect these values, but also to be working with an organization that will continue to center these philosophies in the long-term.
Q: What is something you look forward to while a fellow at TechChange?
I’m looking forward to working with lots of different members of the TechChange team to learn all about what TechChange has to offer — not just about instructional design, but other aspects such as visual design as well. I am eager to learn and absorb as much as I can!
Q: Lastly, what’s something that not a lot of people know about you?
I lived in Sri Lanka for a year!