She is the woman to help you understand Moodle. She is the go-to resource for learning how to maneuver a SmartBoard. Using technology for classroom engagement is what she is all about. This is Sara Vanderpool, the newest member of the Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) staff.
In her position as an e-learning support specialist, Vanderpool helps faculty, staff and students learn to use Moodle effectively. She also plans to apply her strong background in SmartBoard technology to train faculty members across campus.
Working in education since 2008, Vanderpool says it was the Elon environment, along with the ability to explore her technology interests that led her to this position.
“I am open to pursing my interests [here on campus],” Vanderpool said. “Elon has a sense of community that’s very obvious. It’s what really drew me here.”
Vanderpool says she looks forward to sharing her technology expertise with the Elon community. However, Vanderpool says she benefits from the strengths that surround her – namely, those of her peers in the TLT office.
“I learn so much from [the TLT team] every day,” Vanderpool said. “It’s amazing how we’re so different with different passions and expertise. If I have a question, someone here is the expert or knows more than I do. I am surrounded by all this knowledge.”
Vanderpool’s professional background
Vanderpool received a Bachelor’s degree in English and elementary education in 2007 from Madonna University in Michigan. Then, she got her Master of Arts in Education with a focus in instructional technology from East Carolina University in 2013.
Vanderpool has worked in the Alamance/Burlington school system since 2008. She started as a first grade teacher. However, taking an interest in the trend of technology, she became an e-coach, or a technology support specialist, at her school.
“During my first year of teaching, I started seeing technology come into the classroom, and how it engaged students and how it could enhance my teaching,” Vanderpool said. “This got me interested in e-coach, and I found my passion for teaching my colleagues.”
As an e-coach, she was responsible for educating other teachers in technology integration and how to use technology tools in the classroom. This is where her passion turned from teaching students to teaching her peers.
Come introduce yourself
If there is one thing Sara Vanderpool wants the Elon community to know, it is that she wants to be a technology resource that works for you.
“I’m here to help – that’s the biggest thing,” Vanderpool said. “I want anyone who I have interactions with to walk away saying, ‘She answered my question. She pointed me in the right direction.’ I want them to feel as though I met their needs.”
If you want assistance from Sara, check out her Elon Directory page and reach out to her.