LT Feature Student: Jesse Avant

Learning Technologies (LT) is pleased to spotlight Jesse Avant, a student in the Learning Technologies (LT) program undergraduate courses.
Background and Current Interests:
I am an undergraduate senior in the Liberal Arts program and will be graduating this spring with a degree in English. Before my enrollment in the University of Minnesota I received my associates degree through the PSEO program offered through my high school. I then transferred and have since focused my studies and energy on becoming a published author. My focus in writing lies primarily in literary nonfiction with additional interests in realistic fiction relating to issues of poverty, race relations and suburban and rural family dynamics.
Since my enrollment here at the University of Minnesota I have enjoyed the opportunities I have been given to learn from some of the best professors imaginable. Through this experience I have learned a larger set of skills and a deeper understanding in areas of writing and publishing, and I now look forward to using them in a ‘real world’ setting. It is always said that you must find out what it is that you love, and when you do, work will not feel like work. I feel that through my experiences during my college career I have been extremely lucky to find that at such a young age, and for that I am grateful.
Future Directions:
Despite the confidence I feel in my abilities, I am very aware that my dream of major publication is not something that I can use as a reasonable plan for my future. Therefore, I will be applying for my master’s degree in the area of education. With my love for learning, reading and writing I hope to help others realize their passion and potential in the area of English as well. Between that endeavor and my graduation this spring I plan to take advantage of the freedom I will have during this portion of my life and accomplish a piece of writing that I hope will prove useful at some point in the future. In addition to this, I plan to begin work with the Minnesota Reading Corps, an organization that provides trained literacy tutors to young children in order to help them become skilled readers at an early age.
Interest in LT program:
Considering that my career aspirations include working with children and teens, I believe it is important to know all that I can on issues that may affect them. Through my education in the Learning Technologies program at the University of Minnesota I feel that I have accomplished much of what I had been searching for. The LT program has allowed me to better understand issues in the areas of communication, education and technology. Before having even started my studies in the area of education I feel that my experiences with the LT program have prepared me well for further learning opportunities in graduate school as well as a future career in education. With the program’s interest in innovation in areas of social and technological education, I feel extremely fortunate to have experience just some of what the program has to offer, both as a current student as well as a future educator.
About LT’s Undergraduate Programming:
Learning Technologies is a multi-disciplinary field of study in CEHD within the Department of Curriculum & Instruction that fosters knowledge about the development, adoption, and diffusion of emerging technologies for lifelong and life-wide learning. The LT program has a long history of success providing high quality graduate and professional programs, and new directions in LT have resulted in the development of several undergraduate courses that address technology ethics, digital literacy, and social media. These incredibly popular, fun courses meaningfully contribute to contemporary knowledge in a wide range of fields of study and are relevant for undergraduate students across the University.
LT continues to seek ways to increase the impact and reach of our undergraduate courses and we are exploring the possibility of further developments that would lead to an undergraduate degree program focusing on the intersections of learning, technology, and equity. Very few such programs exist within the U.S., and the implementation of a bachelor of science degree in learning technologies within CEHD would position the University of Minnesota as a national leader in academic innovation that reflects and meets the needs of a global marketplace that is increasingly being mediated by digital technologies. Contact Dr. Angel Pazurek if you are interested in more information or would like to enroll in one of our undergraduate courses!