head and shoulders photos of James Bettis

Technology in the classroom is a given these days, but schools need to know when it’s helpful to use technology, how to assess digital tools, and which types of technology to implement for students.

Gaining that knowledge was part of what prompted James Bettis MEd ’18 to enroll in the Digital Education Leadership master’s program at SPU.

Bettis taught Spanish and English in the Northshore School District before he applied to the graduate program.

“I decided to pursue the DEL program after looking at similar programs at other universities. David [Wicks, director of the DEL program] was the first professor to call and talk to me in person,” Bettis said. “He took the time to explain the program to me, and he asked about my teaching experience and assured me the DEL program would be a good fit for me … and it was!

“During the program, I was able to move from being a classroom teacher to working as an Instructional Technology Coach, so I used the learning from the program in my day-to-day work. I draw on my learning around coaching, ethics, and digital best practices daily in my current role,” Bettis said.

At SPU, all DEL courses are team-taught by an SPU professor and an expert practitioner —teachers and content experts on the front line of digital education. The program also emphasizes the use of ebooks, free journal articles, and open educational resources instead of textbooks to help students save money and also teach them how to use open educational resources in their own classrooms.

While Bettis was working on his master’s degree at SPU in 2017, the Edmonds School District hired him to be an elementary digital learning coach. After completing his graduate degree, Bettis became a digital learning coordinator for the district which has him working as a liaison between the technology department and students. Bettis also plans and implements district-wide technology projects and trains teachers to use the new instructional tools and devices in classrooms.

Find out more about SPU’s programs where you can earn a certificate, master’s degree, or doctorate of education degree in Digital Education Leadership.

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