Turning Over the Keys to the Students

About this session

Educational Technology has developed a reputation for being a simple, almost magical solution to the long-standing question of student engagement. Teachers are encouraged to incorporate the newest technology and apps into their classrooms. Districts and schools spend thousands of dollars for the latest devices for their students. However, every teacher knows that the question of student engagement is not solved with the introduction of technology. It can even have the opposite effect when used poorly.

In this OpenRICE, teachers will discuss the integration of technology in their lessons with a particular focus on increasing student activity, collaboration, and constructivist learning. They will tell of their successes, struggles, and the lesson modifications made after taking a critical eye to their use of technology in the classroom.

Barrett Doke, teacher at T.H. Rogers School
Bella Gutierrez, student teacher at Heights High School and Rice University undergraduate student
Raul Valdez, development manager for Kinder Morgan CO2, Master of Arts in Teaching student at Rice University
Karla Alcala, undergraduate student at Rice University
Karenza Hildago-Monroy, undergraduate student at Rice University
Rebecca Ahrens, Master of Arts in Teaching student at Rice University


Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021
6:00 PM CT
Live Webinar
Rice Education

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Presented By Barrett Doke, Bella Gutierrez, Raul Valdez, Karla Alcala, Karenza Hildago-Monroy and Rebecca Ahrens

Barrett Doke has taught middle and high school social studies in Houston ISD and currently teaches 8th-grade history at T.H. Rogers School. He also supports pre-service teachers at Rice as an education technology content specialist. Doke will graduate this December with a Master of Teaching from Rice University.

Bella Gutierrez is a senior undergraduate student at Rice University majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She is passionate about understanding and protecting our natural world. This passion for biology has inspired her to become a teacher, so she can share with others her love for the life we interact with every day. She is pursuing my teaching certification in Life Science 7-12, and currently student teaching at Heights High School in Houston, Texas. As a teacher in the 21st century, she understands how critical technology will be in the classroom, and is a firm believer that a teacher should never stop learning and improving how they integrate technology into their lessons.

Raul Valdez is a development manager for Kinder Morgan CO2 Houston, Texas since 2016 and 23 years before that at Shell/Altura/Oxy as the Principal Technical Expert (PTE) in gas injection and sequestration. He has worked on various problems around the globe including assignments in the Netherlands and Oman. He has lectured and taught courses on gas injection and surveillance. He has numerous patents pending in gas injection-related topics and has authored numerous papers. He received his BS in nuclear engineering (fusion focus) and minor in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Throughout his life he has volunteered at primary and secondary schools tutoring and mentoring. He has furthered his own education and growth studying Creative Writing, Piano, Organic Urban Farming, Computer Programming, and Distance Running. He is a new student to the Rice University Master of Arts in Teaching program in Fall 2021.

Karla Alcala recently graduated as a Presidential Merit from The Honors College at Lone Star College-Montgomery. She is now an undergraduate transfer student at Rice University, where she is majoring in Latin American Studies with a Teaching Certificate and a Spanish and Portuguese Minor. Karla got her first experience as a teacher this past Summer 2021 at Breakthrough Houston, where she taught Geometry and Latin American Studies to 8th graders. Contributing to her students’ success and helping them transition into High School solidified her desire to become an educator. Her passion for helping others academically and personally has led her to pursue a career as a High School teacher, and hopes to later become a Research College Professor with a focus on researching and helping the Latinx community.

Karenza Hildago-Monroy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies with a concentration in International Conflict, Cooperation & Security at St. Edward’s University. Upon her graduation, she spent time living in England and traveling through Italy and France, practicing her multilingual abilities and learning more about the world she spent 4years studying. Karenza is now a student pursuing a Masters degree in Education at Rice University and is on the path to becoming a history teacher where she hopes to apply all she learned about different cultures, customs, and histories so she may utilize that knowledge to facilitate her work in her field as an educator.

Rebecca Ahrens is pursuing a MAT at Rice University after more than a decade working in museums and cultural institutions.Her previous experience includes digital strategy, anti-bias facilitation, and elementary instruction. Rebecca is currently co-teaching secondary English Language Arts in Houston ISD. She holds an MA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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You may not copy, reproduce, distribute, publish, display, perform, modify, create derivative works, transmit, or in any way exploit OpenRICE content without prior written permission of Rice University’s Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. For permission to use this content or for other media inquiries, please contact gscs@rice.edu.

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