Ann Thompson receives high honors

University Professor Ann Thompson’s dedication to advancing technology in the classroom recently earned her high honors in the educational community.

For her work, research and innovative programs at Iowa State University, Thompson received the Upton Sinclair Award for 2011, an honor Education News bestowed on 10 people worldwide.


The award recognizes people who ensure educational issues stay in the forefront of discussions among leaders.

Thompson, who specializes in instructional technology in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is well known in education circles for her work on advancing technology in the classroom to improve the overall learning process.

Most recently, EdTech magazine interviewed Thompson about her areas of research in technology and education for a story that will be published within the next few months.

Thompson’s interest in advancing technology in the classroom began when she started working at Iowa State 32 years ago.

“When I came to Iowa State I was interested in microcomputers and their possible impact on education,”  Thompson said. “I was thinking about how technology can be used in the classroom. I thought, “Ëœwhat a time to have a career in this field.’” 

Since then she has researched and developed several technology-based educational programs at Iowa State, which have helped undergraduates, graduates, and faculty members incorporate technology into the classroom.

Thompson was founding director of the Center for Technology and Learning and Teaching (CTLT) that includes a research and resource center where students learn how to incorporate technology into the classroom through hands-on approaches.

CTLT offers whole-classroom instruction, group collaborative learning, and individual instruction. It’s one of only two in the country housed in colleges of education.

Thompson also developed the College of Human Sciences Faculty Technology Mentoring Program, which serves as a model for other universities in the U.S. and abroad such as George Mason University, Ball State University, the University of Virginia, the National Sun Yat Sen University in Taiwan, and Selà§uk University in Turkey.

“We pair graduate students with faculty members,”  Thompson said. “The graduate students teach the faculty members about using new technology in the classrooms, like apps on smart phones, and the faculty teaches the graduate students what it’s like to be a faculty member.” 

Besides receiving the Upton Sinclair Award, Thompson was recognized by Technology and Learning magazine earlier this year as one of the world’s 10 most influential people in education technology.

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