Shannan Muskopf
Master's Degree in Educational Technology



This page was created in 2003, and remains published as an archive of my graduate work

Current Professional Information can be viewed at LinkedIn

When I entered the University of Illinois, my goal was to earn a degree in veterinary medicine. After three years of intenstive study in biology and chemisty, as well as part-time jobs in animal hospitals, I realized that this career was not a good choice for me, I started to look into other options. I'd always enjoyed working with children, and teaching seemed to be a possibility, though I wasn't convinced at the time that this would be right for me either. I started taking the introductory education courses and truly found this to be my calling. Not only did I enjoy working with students, but I loved the flexibility of the job. I enjoyed looking at topics, trying to figure out what angle would work best for the learner.

When I started teaching at Granite City High School, I spent a lot of my first years dealing with classroom management issues. I loved teaching, but I hated the discipline aspect of the job. Through trial and error, I discovered the best method to handle classroom control was consistency and clear guidelines. After 5 years of teaching, I finally feel confident in my ability to manage thirty or more teenagers.

Two years ago, our district received a grant to improve the technology in the school, I jumped on this opportunity as a way to improve science instruction. I have always known my way around computers, now I would approach the task of using the computers and the technology to motivate students in areas. I'd almost like to toss out the textbook entirely, but I don't think I'm quite ready for that. I've spent the last year or so designing and trying various web based lessons, and gained admittance into the University of Missouri's Educational Technology Program.

When the high school decided to create a web site, I volunteered to help design the site. It was a great deal of effort to create a school site and keep it updated, and it is a constant process. Volunteering to "help" became almost a new full time job. Though I do look at it as a learning experience. There are many factors to consider when creating a public school web site that I never had to consider when creating personal web sites - such as restrictions on what kind of information can be posted.

I've also become the "unofficial" technology aid for the science department. I assist other teachers in minor computer problems and help manage the computer lab. Teachers that have problems with their computers sometimes wait weeks to get the overworked technology director to assist them, whereas I can usually fix the problem quickly, as long as its within my expertise to fix.

I love my job, and I cannot see not being a classroom teacher. Designing curriculum is only half of the process, an instructor must also implement the curriculum and revise according to student needs. Ultimately, I would like to have more time in the day (outside of classroom instruction) to not only develop lessons for science, but also help other teachers acheive integration of technology into their own lesson plans.