Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2019: Oneonta – Lee Graham
Dr. Lee Graham started her career in online education in 1997 at Mississippi State University while pursuing her doctorate in Educational Technology. While at Mississippi State, Dr. Graham served as the Visiting Coordinator of Web-based courses. Over the following years Dr. Graham experimented with and created online graduate programs for mass consumption in both public and private higher education institutions. The online programs that she developed for Graceland University and the University of Alaska, Juneau remain in use as online models for students moving through those universities.
Dr. Graham received the United States Distance learning Association’s Platinum award for Best Practices in Online Programming in 2007. She was awarded Instructor of the Year for the University of Liverpool online Ed. D. program in 2012. In 2015 she received the Technology Leadership award from The Alaska Society of Technology in Education.
“I grew up in Mississippi, in a very small town. I spent much of my childhood and adult life in books. After school I used the public library to read in and imagine life in different parts of the world. During the day I sought information from those who had it so that I could understand how things make sense, and why things worked the way they did.”
“In 1989 the internet came into my home – and suddenly the world opened up. I started out using GOPHER, and retrieving scholarly articles for use in my Master’s Program. I sought out educational experts and emailed them to ask questions of controversy in my courses. When I got responses, I shared them with the class and the faculty. While teaching 7th Grade I engaged my students in communication with a Holocaust Survivor list. They asked questions and received answers, and engaged in conversation with the survivors. I saw the power of this tool – particularly in moving our perspectives beyond those of our own small communities and in learning about many things beyond the public library.”
“I maintain that wonder of the way that the internet opens communication between different worlds and new ways of thought and being. Online learning makes education available to those who might not be able to attend college; however the tool is so much more powerful than only that. My students have indicated that they have been able to develop relationships with teachers around the world. They express gratitude as we explore new tools and test their applications in the classroom. They express wonder at the many ways that the internet may be used to enhance human communication, human relationships, and human interaction. It is my goal to create teachers who see the internet as a place to assist in educating those without access through sharing their own learning; to create an ethical space of their own on the internet, and through that space to engage in sharing knowledge, pedagogy, and their own collaborative interests; and to remain up to date with technology regardless of its evolution and its new forms and uses.”