Columbia Alums Impart Wisdom During Careers in Education Panel
In a lecture at Columbia University, four experts in the field of education shared their expertise in roles outside of typical classroom experience. With the dearth of positions available to all job seekers now — even the most qualified candidates — the advice given to the standing-room-only crowd of Columbia alumni and students was welcome. Katie Embree, the associate vice provost at Teachers College, moderated the discussion.
Luyen Chou, who live-Tweeted the panel discussion from his iPad, is currently the chief product officer at Pearson K-12 Technology and has had years of experience integrating technology and education. Dr. Pola Rosen, the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Education Update, has been a classroom teacher, college professor and special education supervisor. She said that digital journalism is permeating the industry, and every new initiative the paper undertakes relates to this sea change in publishing.
Rob Maitra is currently the director of programs at Harlem RBI, but spent 12 years at The Boy’s Club of New York. He has worked as a public school teacher, a teacher education professor at Bryn Mawr College, Teachers College, and Hunter College.
In Maitra’s introduction, he said that he left his job at The Boy’s Club in June without another job lined up. He said he was due for a change, and reached out to his professional network. Shortly thereafter, he had three or four offers on the table, emphasizing that the only way to get a job in this economy is through networking.
Chou added the importance of social media to the equation, saying that it’s important to learn those tools to help advance one’s professional persona. Rosen added that reaching out to the career services office at the job seeker’s university is often helpful for recent grads.
Chou said that education is seen as a growth sector in the economy, at least in the short term due to the stimulus package. He championed alternative models for education, namely charter schools for bringing the best practices in private and public education to the table. Globally our students “simply don’t compete,” and this is a crisis never before seen in this country. He feels game-based learning will be a big innovation in education in years to come. Technology will not only level the playing field, but also personalize and individualize education for students.
After the panel discussion, the panelists met and mingled over hors d’oeuvres, exchanging more salient knowledge about their respective paths with recent grads, students and alumni eager to soak up some of their wisdom. #