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Kimberley Gonzales

Kimberley Gonzales

The College of Education gave me a meaningful way to bridge my undergraduate degree in computer science with my passion for education. I learned so much from others in my graduate cohort because of their diverse backgrounds. There were students who came from instructional design companies, some that were teachers who had led the implementation of education technology at their schools or actively used technology to teach their subjects, and people like me who came straight from a university and had a background in technology or education. I also found diversity in the professors’ interests, and from each class I gained a new definition of what learning technology could mean.

Why UT?
As a native Texan, I always wanted to someday bleed burnt orange. I was so sure my choice was right that I didn’t apply to any other graduate programs. Dr. Min Liu, who’s in the College of Education’s Learning Technologies Program, reached out to me immediately upon my applying and asked me to become part of a group that works with her on an award-winning science education game called Alien Rescue. When I came to visit before officially enrolling, I immediately knew I’d made the right choice.

UT’s location was also attractive because of the number of technology companies located in Austin. I never imagined just how connected UT and its professors are to the greater Austin community and beyond. Education professors have research projects in collaboration with local K-12 schools, other UT departments, and even other universities.  Many major technology and education conferences come to Austin once a year, and sometimes conference speakers make pit stops in the learning technologies classes.

Life After UT
I’m currently a digital content engineer at Texas Instruments (TI) in Dallas. At TI, I manage the development of educational content for various platforms and facilitate the updating of content based on software changes. I use the skills I learned in the Learning Technologies Program to help students and teachers enjoy success with our TI technology’s educational content.

Advice for Students
One of the benefits of a small program like learning technologies at the College of Education’s is that you eventually get to know all students in your cohort very well. Collaborate with your peers as much as you can and learn from their experiences.