Using technology to advance education is a STEM teacher’s dream

Tu Phan is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics teacher, what is commonly known by its acronym STEM. Coming from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Tu says the idea of STEM is still very new in her country.

“It’s a new approach to education and a lot of STEM teachers have needed to find resources to expand their expertise on their own, because there are no courses or institutes training specifically for this. In addition, a STEM teacher requires so many skills as well as knowledge about the foundation of learning, collaboration, digital technologies and so forth,” Tu says.

Tu is studying for her Master’s degree in Learning, Education and Technology in the University of Oulu. She is very happy with her decision to come to Oulu and the learning environment she finds herself in.

“I got so much advice from my peers, teachers and friends who were already studying here. I am very happy with my curriculum. I am learning how to use digital tools in education as well as the many methods of learning, whether collaborative, self-regulated or technology-enhanced,” Tu says.

Tu is also using her time as a UniOulu Ambassador to hone up her social media skills, which she says will come in handy in the future in her work.

“There are so many good skills to be gleaned in this. How to improve presentation skills, how to take a good picture, how to use Instagram and so on. Just how to use mobile technology to connect with other people,” Tu muses.

Tu's enthusiasm for technology also means that she loves to spend time at the Fab Lab at the University of Oulu. Fab Lab Oulu is a small digital manufacturing working area (fabrication laboratory) where it is possible to design products or hardware from scratch.

“I have a project where I can use the tools provided in the Fab Lab, like design software and a 3D printer. This is technology that I haven’t had ready access to in Vietnam,” Tu says.

After she completes her Master’s degree, Tu is going to take her new skills back to her country and continue her work as a STEM teacher. But she is sure to bring something else than a wealth of skills and knowledge back home as well:

“When I build a house, I will put a sauna in it. I really enjoy it,” Tu laughs.

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Last updated: 12.6.2020