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Meet Florence Martin Professor of Learning Design and Technology: 'We want to give students the knowledge and skills they need for their careers'

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Florence Martin joins North Carolina State University of Education for the 2022-23 academic year as Professor of Learning, Design and Technology in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences.

Martin previously directed and taught graduate programs at the Cato College of Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the Watson College of Education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She earned her doctorate in educational technology and her master’s degree from Arizona State University.

In the following Q&A, she explains why she chose a career in teaching, how she chose her research focus, and what academic achievements she is most proud of in her career.

This Q&A has been edited for clarity.

Why did you choose a career in teaching?

After completing my bachelor’s degree in engineering, my passion for education and technology led me to the field of education, specifically educational technology. I chose a career in educational technology because I believed that through educational technology I could support the design of systematic instruction and the effective integration of technology for education in a variety of settings.

What made you want to pursue a PhD?

As I approached my master’s degree, I realized that I needed a PhD to teach and research at the university level. This inspired me to pursue a PhD in Educational Technology. Through my research and teaching, I am now able to impact several more classrooms and courses.

What are your research interests?

I conduct research to create transformative learning experiences through effective design and integration of digital teaching and learning innovations. In recent years, I have researched the design of online learning environments, cybersecurity and computer science education, and the ability of learning and development professionals to provide equitable learning opportunities.

What sparked your interest in those topics?

As an online teacher, I was looking for a way to effectively deliver an online course. This prompted me to research the topic of teaching and learning online. The need to keep students safe in this digital world inspired me to do research on cyber security education. Also, the importance of computing in our daily life led us to conduct research on computer science education.

What is a moment or project in your academic career that you are particularly proud of? of?

I am proud of my work on digital safety. Through this project, funded by the National Science Foundation, we were able to reach nearly 200 elementary school students with his summer camp on digital safety. Children are exposed to technology from a very early age, so we are happy to educate them through these camps on how to stay safe in this digital world.

what is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that well-designed instruction enhances the learning process and inspires learners to engage in original thinking. Teaching technology is also a profession that requires a commitment to knowledge acquisition and opportunities for lifelong learning experiences.

What do you want your students to learn from you?

We want to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need for careers such as instructional designer, learning technologist, technology facilitator, e-learning specialist, distance learning coordinator, researcher, and professor.

What makes a person an “extraordinary educator”?

Aspects that I believe are essential for someone to become an “extraordinary educator” include being a student-centered instructor, responding to the needs of diverse students, being a lifelong learner, and being a change Keep up with trends in your field, use student and peer assessments to improve teaching, and use data to make decisions. Also, in this digital age, it is important for instructors to be able to effectively use different modalities to teach. Face-to-face, hybrid, synchronous, asynchronous, and bichronous online courses.