James Nye, Mat Filling the Gap Between Geeking and Teaching

Although he already had a strong background in technology, James Nye wanted to reach more people with his knowledge. An engineer at Sovernet Communications, James had completed his bachelor’s degree in managing information systems and was starting his master’s in information technologies at Marlboro College Graduate School when he also joined the Master of Arts in Teaching with Technology program.

“After speaking with a few MAT students and faculty members, I decided that the MAT program would benefit me in my role at Sovernet,” said James, whose job often entails working with people to understand new technology or use it more efficiently. The MAT program gave him the opportunity to explore the proper methods to use technology to educate people, and to educate people about technology.

“I’ve always looked at teachers and thought, ‘Why are they using technology here? Why are they trying to force it when it doesn’t fit?’” said James. “The MAT program seemed to answer the questions of when to use technology and when not to, and how to evaluate them from a pedagogical standpoint.”

A majority of James’ classmates were teachers, and James at first felt a little out of place being from a corporate background. But after working with teachers for a few months, he realized how helpful it was to be able to talk across professions. “Finding out how they use technology, and coming from my place of always using technology, I was able to work with them to understand how IT could be used properly both in the educational environment and in my corporate environment.”

At Sovernet, James works on training materials, keeping everything updated and making sure all employees know exactly how to do their job. When a new employee comes in, he makes sure they are brought up to speed properly and quickly. The MAT program has allowed him to review the materials and technology he currently uses in the workplace, and research new technologies and better ways to actually implement them.

For his Capstone Project, James evaluated Sovernet’s current knowledge database, testing and re-testing models for new software that worked for more technicians. “I used the concepts that I learned in the MAT program and the MSIT program to reevaluate the current software, and build a new knowledge database.”

“The MAT program is not just for educators,” said James. In technology-centered businesses like his, materials are constantly being updated, and employees regularly need to learn new updates to their job. James found the program to be extremely useful for anyone maintaining training materials or reference documents that people need to use on a daily basis in quickly evolving companies.