Service learning may greatly benefit students. I saw it increase the students’ confidence, enhance their knowledge and skills, boost their self-esteem, motivate them to produce work of quality, and help them build professional networks.”
Dr. Leh has been integrating service learning into her courses and grant projects since 2003. She implemented service-learning and reverse mentoring strategies in a federal grant project, “Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3)”. As a result, students in her course “Practicum in Instructional Technology” provided individual technology training and mentoring to College of Education faculty members. Additionally, through a technology conference she created and continues to oversee annually, EdTech Classroom Conference, Dr. Leh’s students in “STEM Education: Service-Learning Fieldwork” have been providing technology service at the conference, while K-12 educators, parents and administrators come together to learn how technology is shaping teaching and learning.. For the future, Dr. Leh’s students in “Computer Based Technology in Education II” will provide technology training to parents at the Conference.
Dr. Leh describes the impact of service learning on her teaching and on her students: “Because of service learning, I always ask myself how I can connect my curriculum to the real world so they can be more meaningful to my students. When appropriate, I integrate service learning into my courses. Through past research on service-learning student outcomes, I found that service learning increased my students’ confidence on delivering technology training and boosted their self-esteem. The students greatly enjoyed the service-learning experience and found that the network they built from the service-learning experience was beneficial, especially during their job search.”