Era grad embraces online learning to assist students

Completing a graduate application is rigorous and time-consuming. Just ask Marty Petrosky, who lower back to being a pupil after spending greater than a decade instructing college students.

“I pondered beginning a master’s software for probably five years earlier than I sooner or later took the proverbial plunge,” stated Petrosky.

As the generation director for the Shanksville-Stonycreek School District (SSSD), a function he has held for the past 13 years, Petrosky said continuing his training become something he wanted to do as a way to assist his district advance twenty-first-century mastering. But that might mean that he might end up a twenty-first-century scholar — and that becomes an intimidating idea.

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“I had by no means taken an internet class before and I wasn’t certain if I ought to handle it or even what to expect,” he said. “I became worried for a long time about acclimating back to being a scholar and being comfy with online studying. That’s probably what scared me the most and made me apprehensive.”

In 2015, Petrosky faced his worry and enrolled at Penn State, within the College of Education’s educational technology integration graduate certificates application supplied via Penn State World Campus. The structure of this system made it clean to transition returned to being a pupil, he said, and his first-class — LDT467: Emerging Web Technologies and Learning — was ideal in assisting a returning adult scholar to acclimate to online learning.

“We were getting to know about web technologies to combine into studying environments. But at the same time as we had been studying, we additionally were modeling it so it became a state of affairs in which we were studying by doing,” Petrosky said. “The elegance was very thrilling to me and was pupil-orientated. It virtually helped me transition into the online gaining knowledge of revel in.”

Petrosky said that first elegance showed him that he should take care of the commitments of a graduate application, and he determined to sign up within the grasp of training in learning, layout and era (LDT) program. Ironically, on the identical time he started out his first magnificence, he started out coaching his son’s travel football crew and both of his youngsters determined to add journey hockey to their already busy extracurricular schedules. Together, his youngsters currently are on a complete of 5 unique groups at some point of the 12 months.

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“All of a sudden my biggest mission became time. How do I manipulate my family, who usually come first, my process, my education, and my coursework?” he stated. “I had to parent out the way to juggle the whole lot and get the coursework performed after I ought to. It ended up being a few bizarre conditions of wherein and after I become doing work, whether it becomes the midnight or if it becomes in an ice rink or in an eating place.”

His busy timetable and time management even inspired Petrosky’s faculty adviser, Joshua Kirby, assistant professor of education and coordinator of the net LDT graduate program.

“Luckily, it has now not been my function to determine out how Marty has achieved it all,” Kirby stated. “I don’t continually exactly understand how Marty fits in time together with his family, his teams, his paintings, and his studies. Thankfully, our online software is flexible to satisfy his non-public timetable constraints and he continually contributed thoughtful dialogue factors to his classmates and submitted great paintings.”

No area like Penn State

When Petrosky decided to earn a graduate degree, he said Penn State become an apparent desire. Not handiest is Penn State an enormously ranked university, he stated, but it’s also region he has always loved journeying.

“My wife is a Penn State College of Education graduate and we’ve got spent lots of time on [the University Park] campus, and I’ve just continually marveled at how there was this educationally nurturing feeling while you are on campus,” Petrosky said. “For being the sort of large faculty, I am amazed at how welcoming Penn State constantly is.”

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Ultimately it became David Popp, retired professor of getting to know, design and generation, who suggested Petrosky look into the online graduate application.

“Since it turned into Penn State and I’ve usually had an hobby in Penn State, I regarded into it. It took some time however I finally applied and enrolled,” he said.

Now, three years after he took that first class, Petrosky is ready to graduate on Dec. 15. In addition to earning his grasp’s of training in mastering, layout, and generation, he additionally can have obtained 3 postbaccalaureate certificates — Educational Technology Integration; e-Learning Design; and Teaching and Learning Online in K-12 Settings (TLOK12). He is the first student at Penn State to finish the TLOK12 certificate program, an approved issuer of the nation’s Online Instruction Endorsement for certified educators in Pennsylvania.

“The mentality that Marty applies as a teacher for his youth sports activities teams is also carried out to his work existence and studies, and this is to try for excellence thru careful, well-deliberate, personal development,” Kirby stated.

The flexibility of the web LDT application is a key characteristic that draws adult learners, mainly current instructors.

“The application and the TLOK12 certificate prepares K-12 educators for the evolution of education and the lodging of the diverse needs of newbies and households,” Kirby stated. “We are considering evolution manifest these days as the access to a great on-line training grows important for increasing numbers of students.”

The online route layout capabilities and schooling technology information that scholars learn inside the program are right away relevant to educators and their college students. In truth, consistent with Kirby, “most LDT college students use their route projects because of the start of recent curricula or techniques that they launch in their expert place of business.”

This surely turned into authentic for Petrosky.

Impacting students and teachers

Working in one of the smallest, single-building districts in Pennsylvania (SSD’s K-12 enrollment is less than 350 college students), Petrosky is continuously busy. He is the only era professional within the district and similarly to being the “wires and pliers” man, he also enables teachers to combine era into their school rooms and he teaches diverse era schooling guides to high school college students.

“Learning more about instructional era and on-line learning is definitely critical to me because I want to help improve the academics and students in my district,” he said. “I had some goals for my district related to integrating technology and I desired the rules for you to try this and do it nicely.”

One of his goals is to offer more authentic learning experiences for students in his district, something he believes is essential in order for college students to be successful.

“I even have already created a web course for one of the training I educate,” Petrosky stated. “And there are some college students that war and they’re not certain what to do. If I did not meet with them as soon as a week and tell them what to do, they would not be capable of the feature in a web path. And that is a hassle. Our students — all students — need to be organized to function inside the real world.”

Changing the lifestyle of SSSD to be extra twenty-first-century primarily based is some other aim, he stated.

“Sure, we need to enhance instructors’ use of technologies to educate and college students’ experiences with an era, however, there may be also the culture of lecture rooms that desire to change as nicely,” he said. “Classrooms want to become more scholar-based and active-gaining knowledge of with mission-based studying as opposed to the standard lecture, notes, test structure.”

Petrosky stated he is fortunate to paintings in a district this is receptive to change and supportive of his desires. In addition to growing an online direction for students, he also has created on line expert improvement modules for teachers which will enjoy actual on-line mastering too. On body of workers in-carrier days, lots of the trainings are added via Google Classroom.

“With this approach, teachers are as a minimum experiencing what it’s far like to analyze in an online environment and that has price for each our teachers and our students,” he stated.

His superintendent has the same opinion. “Marty has been developing online lessons for our personnel and has integrated assessments for each task as a part of our expert development programming, and it forces our team of workers, maximum of whom have no longer participated in on-line guides themselves, to have their first studies with on line gaining knowledge of simply as our students had been,” said Samuel Romesberg III, superintendent of SSSD.

Petrosky is epitomizing the “cost-added” idea of public training, Romesberg stated, adding that their small district is inspired with Petrosky’s dedication and perserverance. It is the one’s characteristics that make Petrosky a position version in his district.

“Our district is proud of him for finishing this application and we admire his creativity and progressive wondering as a way to expand and offer valuable educational stories to our college students and personnel,” Romesberg stated. “Beyond the abilities and abilities related to his task, Marty additionally possesses crucial traits that we are hoping to instill in all of our students, together with creativity, honesty, being concerned and excessive standards for his college students as well as himself.”

Petrosky stated finishing a graduate program at Penn State and incomes the additional certificate is something he’s pleased with.

“The whole revel in has been overwhelming but it is one among the biggest accomplishments of my life,” he stated. “It feels just like the cease however I recognize myself and I’m always seeking out something extra so I see myself to maybe similarly this down the road.”

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