Florencia Gomez Zaccarelli
Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies, Learning Technologies
Field of Study: PhD Educational Studies-Learning Technology
Year in Program: 4th year
Geographic Region: Santa Clara, CA
Undergraduate: Universidad Catolica de Chile
Prior to UM: Prior to coming to the University of Michigan I was an educational researcher and developer at Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile. I led a research team that conducted studies on supporting collaborative learning with portable computers in schools. I also provided pedagogical advice to graduate students in engineering who wanted to develop technology to support learning. Before that job, I worked as elementary teacher in a school and supported teachers in using technology in their teaching.
Why your program? I chose Learning Technologies as my concentration because I wanted to learn how technologies could support learning in a more transformative way. I was also interested in how to prepare teachers so they can use technology to support learning. I have been able to take courses on teacher education and learning about the use of different forms of technology for education. In addition, I have explored how technology can support collaboration among teachers to better understand their work and the areas they need to improve on their teaching to support their students' learning.
The best part of SOE so far: The best part of SOE has been the level of teaching in the different courses I have taken. I have been able to experience excellence in the way my instructors prepare and deliver their classes, and overall, I have had remarkable experiences on how to conduct graduate classes so they can be intellectually challenging, engaging, and very participative. Other things I love from SOE are the Brandon Center and the enormous amount of alternatives for advancing your knowledge and skills that are available in the school and throughout campus. For instance, the library is amazing!!
After graduation: I plan to go back to my country to continue researching and teaching in the school of education at my university there. I would like to develop research in partnership with other institutions that are oriented to practice so as to produce new knowledge that can be applicable and responsive to the context of schools.
Teach me something! For one thing, I would suggest dedicating some time to think about what you want to get while you are at UM. What are the questions you would like to research? What new knowledge would you like to acquire? What skills do you want to develop? If you think about that in advice, you will have more time to enjoy the many resources that are available at UM, such as learning relevant methodology to pursue your questions by taking a class in ISR, or pursuing that dream of singing in a choir, or working on a community project with the Ann Arbor schools. On the other hand, I would not miss the concerts and performances in the UMS program. You will be able to experience world-class events at ridiculous prices. Seriously, don't miss that opportunity!
Gomez Zaccarelli’s program of study: