FACULTY LEAD: Dr. Ross A. Perkins
“Boise State has enjoyed the reputation of its EdTech program for many years as being the largest and best in the nation. Our latest innovation, that of building the best and most rigorous online doctoral degree, is a key factor to the future success of Boise State and its rise within the Carnegie research rankings.”
– Brett Shelton, Department Chair and Professor, EdTech
Boise State Ed.D. graduate Kellie Taylor lives and breathes innovation and she’s sharing her enthusiasm, knowledge and skills with Treasure Valley elementary students.
Taylor earned an Ed.D. in educational technology in May 2016 and, like her fellow graduates and students enrolled in the program, she said her ultimate goal is to make a difference in education.
“As a classroom teacher, I wanted to develop the skills necessary to assist educators in creating powerful connections for their students through purposeful integration of educational technology,” Taylor said. “I wanted to be able to conduct research and publish articles with scientific evidence that directly applied to the classroom educator.”
Taylor was able to achieve her goal even before graduating. She presented at the Northwest Council for Computer Education conference on robotics integration in elementary curriculum in 2014 and 2015, taught workshops at I-STEM summer institutes from 2013-2015 and has shared her experiences with fellow teachers at numerous conferences.
Today, she teaches engineering at the Galileo STEM Academy in Eagle and tailors her instruction to 530 kindergarten through fifth-grade students in 22 classrooms each week. She describes her classrooms as “fantastically organized chaos that comes from student-centered learning.”
Her students work with 3D printers, build working models from Legos or K’nex and even learn robotics. They may be working independently, with a partner or in small groups depending upon the project for the day.
“Dr. Taylor embodies the research expertise and teaching creativity that is possible with mentoring from world-class faculty,” said College of Education Dean Rich Osguthorpe. “The recent innovation and success of the EdTech doctoral program is a big reason why the College of Education at Boise State University is the fastest rising graduate school of educa- tion in the country in the U.S. News & World Report rankings.”
The Ed.D. is inspiring educators from Boise to Buhl, Idaho, to Bangladesh — many of whom never visit campus until, perhaps, their commencement ceremony. The fully online program allows students from anywhere in the world to earn their degree on their time. The doctoral program builds on successful master’s programs in educational technology, which officially became an academic department at Boise State in 1997.
“The EdTech department has a long legacy of being a pioneer in distance education,” said Mark Wheeler, dean of Extended Studies. “They were leaders in putting their degree online and making it available to anyone in the country, anyone in the world. Much of what I try to do at Boise State is to facilitate in other academic departments what EdTech has been doing for many years. Let’s make our great programs accessible not only to those who can come to our campus, but let’s make them accessible to every town across Idaho, to people from every part of the country, and even to those abroad.”
Those currently teaching in the Gem State, like Taylor, receive a $1,000 scholarship to get started in the EdTech program.