New Academic Technologist to Bring Innovation to Classrooms

Emma Tarleton '19, Staff Writer

SLS students and teachers now have the opportunity to incorporate cutting-edge technology into their academic and artistic lives thanks to Ms. Mathrani, a brand new addition to the SLS faculty.

Ms. Mathrani is the school’s Academic Technologist, a position that allows her to work with various members of the community, mostly teachers, to brainstorm and implement specific classroom-friendly technology. Her deep interest in technology, as well as her dedication to helping teachers and students, drew her to this position.

“I love getting to know people and supporting their goals of teaching while using technology,” she says.

Ms. Mathrani is well-versed in the fact that each person in the SLS community, whether teacher or student, has specific technology needs. Therefore, she understands the need to be flexible in order to effectively assist everyone.

While her work may be as simple as helping someone print or install new software, Ms. Mathrani is also focused on bringing innovation to SLS classrooms. As a new member of the school community, she is simultaneously trying to adjust to her new position.

“My biggest goal is to get to know everyone and integrate myself into the community,” she says.

This includes getting to know teachers, who tend to have very distinct teaching styles and needs. By educating herself on the current technology practices in the community, Ms. Mathrani hopes to understand where there is room for growth.

Ms. Mathrani plans on visiting and observing classes in an attempt to contemplate how she might be able to improve them. She also hopes to set up meetings with teachers to discuss their goals and the ways in which technology can support them.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to the different types of technology that Ms. Mathrani hopes to incorporate into the curriculum. So far, she has introduced several teachers and students to augmented and virtual reality, both of which could complement any subject.

Through virtual reality, Ms. Mathrani can help students create a virtual tour. Augmented reality – which focuses on interaction with objects – has served as an incredible opportunity for various art students; with the use of an iPad, an art piece can move and even play a song.

Ms. Mathrani hopes that students will seek her out to help incorporate new technology into their academic lives. While her primary role may be working with teachers, she wants to “get to know students as well and be their partner.”

“My role may be very much teacher facing, but I really want it to also be student facing, so if students are interested in [learning about new technological opportunities] I would love to work with them.”

Though Ms. Mathrani is a Connecticut native who lived in Fairfield until she was seven years old, she ultimately moved back to India, where most of her family still lives. Her return to Connecticut for this job is a complete coincidence – but a lucky one for us.