Owner of TheCollective
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Melody holds a degree in early childhood education and once both of her children entered elementary school, she re-entered the workforce looking to put her degree to work. After serving in various project management roles for several startup ventures, she returned to school, earning her Masters degree, which enabled her to teach English Language Learners (ELL). As a graduation gift, she received her first iPad, which completely changed the way she used technology, specifically cloud computing. “That device redefined everything for me, and iOS worked the way my brain worked,” she explains. “At that point I committed to making a shift from hard drives to the cloud.” And she hasn’t looked back.
Her classroom of ELL students at a low-income middle school in Nashville, Tennessee, was the perfect place to infuse technology into all aspects of her teaching. “The kids loved it and were much more engaged. We didn’t need to speak the same language to collaborate on projects that used this kind of technology.” While paying close attention to the rapid growth of mobile device usage and the evolution of cloud computing in the business world, Melody became increasingly concerned and frustrated with the education realm’s struggle to incorporate relevant technology instruction. With her own two children now in middle school and high school, she knew that it would be essential for them to have a much deeper level of digital literacy and tech skills in order to succeed once they entered the workforce.
Melody eventually traded the classroom for the freelance world, working as a virtual project manager for a local marketing company. Managing a team of 20 contractors and client projects entirely from the virtual “office” in the cloud gave her the evidence she needed to proceed wholeheartedly with her mission to equip adults and children with more relevant digital skills. Melody knew she was on the right track but says, “All my suspicions were true! Everything I had been learning and researching about technology was happening in the virtual freelancer world.” She re-focused her consulting efforts and reached out to small business owners, doctors, parents and baby boomers who use technology on a daily basis, but who lack the understanding of how it all works together. “People come to a situation with varying degrees of information and abilities. They also have varying reasons to use technology,” she explains. “Once people understand how to identify what they need their technology to do, then we start filling in the blanks with the skills they need. It’s just like learning a new language!”