By Jounghun Kim |Staff Writer|
Assistant professor Mihaela Popescu was selected as one of the best users of technology in the classroom in the whole California State University system.
Popescu was honored by the 2012 Sony Electronic Faculty Award. The award is something that early career educators receive for their innovative uses of technology in the classroom.
This system-wide award, which means that the Cal State University system selects the best professors of the year.
This year there were four professors that were selected out of 23 Cal State University campuses. Popescu was one of the selected professors.
“The first time I started using social media systematically in the classroom, I did so because I found that what we were doing with that class it was basic communication which was deadly boring to be frank,” said Popescu.
She goes on to say that they were just using the textbook, having students read from them about all of these new technologies, but at that time none of them or few of them had experience with those technologies.
So she decided to revise her classes and build concepts like online identity and how we deal with it.
Popescu had students think about constructing their own online identities using the theories they discussed in the classroom in order to explain to their peers their design decisions as they were.
Because they were all learning these technologies as a class, they said they had fun and bonded as they went along.
Popescu mentions that it was not just lecturing and that she just had conversations with students through Twitter or the Blackboard discussion columns and the issues that were pressing for the class about online access and online identity construction.
“It was a great learning experience because for the first time ever in my career as an educator I saw most of my students being engaged in the classroom and not actually wanting to leave the classroom,” said Popescu.
She is also doing more research on digital literacy focusing on privacy on mobile environments and digital literacy in cultural capital.
Due to the research Popescu has been doing she has begun to question why it is that there are certain groups of students that get more benefits from digital technology than others.
To answer her question Popescu is going to offer online classes to see if they are going to give equal benefits to all the students who are interested in being part of the classes.