The Future of Learning: Technology and Teaching
Anthony “Tony” Song Lara grew up in San Rafael de Alajuela, Costa Rica, but now calls Vancouver home.
Before finding his way to New York Tech-Vancouver, he received his undergraduate degree in English as a second language from the National University of Costa Rica. He then looked further from home for his graduate degree since he has always wanted to live in Canada. “Luckily, New York Tech has a campus in Vancouver and a degree that combines my two passions: technology and teaching,” he says.
This passion for teaching has been with him since childhood, Lara says, and he loved working as a teaching assistant at New York Tech. “I helped students develop their online teaching portfolios. It was very challenging since most of them weren’t familiar with web design, but I helped them build stunning projects that will help in their professional development. It was very exciting and meaningful,” says Lara, who hopes to continue working in education throughout his career.
As a recipient of an Edward Guiliano Global Fellowship, Lara traveled to Peru, where he worked with the 21 Digital Literacy project, teaching digital literacy to teachers in communities that are struggling due to the pandemic. COVID-19 created a significant distance between students and teachers and this training significantly reduces the interruption in education.
“It was simply the most rewarding and life-changing experience I have ever had,” says Lara. “I am incredibly grateful for having this opportunity to help teachers and students from a community in need. I learned a lot about their reality, culture, and delicious food, of course! This project has broadened my perspectives on instructional technology to continue supporting instructors in designing innovative, creative, and engaging curriculums.”
Lara is especially enthusiastic about helping teachers like him do what they love: “I completely understand and empathize with teachers who want to create meaningful learning atmospheres for their students but feel powerless because they don’t have the digital resources to teach remotely.”
At New York Tech, he’s also gotten involved in campus life as president of the Vancouver campus’ Graduate Student Association. “I have a team of four fantastic members who help me plan, organize, and develop entertaining events for students,” says Lara, who is also in charge of running Town Halls to address student concerns. “I love helping other students have a pleasant New York Tech journey, and I look forward not only to helping students academically but also giving them a chance to relax and reduce stress.”
Lara says he is “truly in debt” to Assistant Professor Gregory Gerber, M.Ed., Ed.D., whom Lara calls his role model and mentor. “New York Tech has contributed enormously to my career path,” he says. “I have gained so much confidence in myself. I feel unstoppable!”