Janelle Wallace, MS Educational Technology ‘14
Janelle Wallace aspired to work in the television and film industry. Now, as a graduate student in educational technology, she will have the distinction of publishing in only her first year of graduate study.
Wallace graduated from Towson University in Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in electronic media and film. After applying for a job to be a computer teacher in a school, she was struck with the idea of combining her technological skills with the field of education. She looked for programs in Washington DC, but found her ideal program at Pace: one that included studies in education and technology, with certification.
At Pace, Wallace has been encouraged to be creative, “resourceful, to think outside the box and beyond classroom setting,” she says. In Pleasantville, she’s found “support for the broadening of [my] track.”
It has been a transition from the behind-the-scenes world of television and film production, to one where she is front and center helping others use technology to experience the world beyond the classroom, communicate and process information using emerging technologies. Technology in education is a growing field, and one she believes is full of potential.
“Probably within 10 to 15 years, technology will be more of a force into the educational realm,” she says. “There will be a need for more training for teachers to implement new technologies.”
Wallace and classmate Jennifer Simon have won acclaim in December 2012 for developing an adaptive stylus for tablets for users with limited dexterity. Developed as part of the Computer Hardware, Troubleshooting and Maintenance class, they developed the stylus, dubbed “Smile Gear,” for those who are not able to their hands and arms to manipulate a tablet computer like an iPad, can now use it as the tool is flexible and can even be further used as a head pointer. The appeal for children is that the stylus apparatus can be customized with fun accessories (like eyes and bug antennae) for a fun look.
The Smile Gear has been selected to be profiled in Design and Technologies for Healthy Aging (DATHA) a collaborative, multidisciplinary coalition centered on new technologies to assist the aging. The device also shows great promise for use by people with special needs affecting their dexterity and movement, resulting from conditions such as cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury.