Franklin received her Ph.D. in Instructional Technology from Ohio University and M.S. in Occupational Technology from the University of Houston. She teaches graduate courses in instructional design, online course design for teaching and learning, research and assessment as well as research in the field of instructional technology.
Her research focuses on the integration of technology through curriculum development for face-to-face and online learning, the development of virtual learning environments and e-learning; mobile technologies in the classroom; and teacher/faculty professional development in integrating technology for differentiated instruction and improved student achievement. Dr. Franklin's scholarship addresses issues related to both higher and K-12 education and access to mobile technology nationally and internationally. She serves as a site visitor for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
“I have always been interested in teacher preparation,” says Franklin. “You can’t make higher education better if you don’t have better teachers in your K-12 classrooms.”
With the development of quality teachers as her passion, Franklin has become internationally known for the development of quality assurance processes to establish teacher education, certification, and accreditation in higher education institutions in the Middle East. Franklin spent the fall of 2013 at Sakarya University in Turkey, as a Fulbright Research Scholar working on a project called Connecting Web 2.0 and Teacher Preparation, which examined the use of mobile technologies to deliver content in rural areas. She has worked in the Middle East for the past decade, including teacher preparation workshops in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
“I’m very interested in technology and have seen the things that technology can do,” Franklin explains. “It offers an avenue for lifelong learning for all of us. In places like the Middle East, it’s allowed them to connect with one another and allowed access to information, such as health information, and (the opportunity to) continue their education. I realize how connected technology allows us to be.”
Franklin became interested in helping to provide teacher preparation and educational technology integration in the Middle East when a former graduate student from Amman, Jordan, called her and asked for help. “We have built workshops and partnerships throughout Jordan, some of Saudi Arabia and Turkey helping people use technology to improve access to educational content and information,” says Franklin. She has taught and mentored many international graduate students who have gone on to do similar work in their countries.
With improvements in technology and communication networks, she is now better able to stay connected with former students and others who are experts in their own cultures wherever they may be. “Now we have this ability to get places we couldn’t before and talk to people (via technology) abut teaching and learning.”
Franklin served as a K-12 teacher of science, math, and computer science for 18 years before entering higher education. She describes technology as a powerful tool to help people learn and connect.
“Students are using their personal technology in school anyway, so we had better figure out how to harness it for good,” she says. “In both K-12 and higher education, teachers are able to have more up-to-date content. They’re also able to use the technology to reach students that may not normally be reached, assess students, and help identify areas where students need some extra help, coaching, or mentoring.” Franklin says educators need to become digitally literate so that they are using mobile devices and technology to support learning, not detract from it.
Presently, she is examining the use of simulations in math and science education with middle school children, preparation for online teaching in K-12, mobile devices in higher education to capture informal leaning environments, and the distance education environments used to provide professional development, training, and adult education. Dr. Franklin has been the recipient of two National Science Foundation GK-12 Grants, a Department of Education – Star Schools Grant, and a Department of Education – Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) Grant. She is a co-author on a leading science education textbook in its 5 th edition, Science for All Children, as well as a journal editor and the author of a number of technology publications.
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