Senior Lecturer and Director of Technology, College of Education & Human Services
Nathan Smith is always hearing people say, “Nathan, I need help with...” or “Nathan, I’m looking for…” He understands the tools and technologies that are out there, and he loves helping people find awesome resources.
Nathan has taught students of every age, from young children to senior citizens. He spent twelve years teaching elementary school. Now he works closely with organizations around the state to support pre-service teachers, all because he loves the classroom.
In Nathan’s popular Photoshop classes, students get real clients and work on projects to build their portfolios. Nathan encourages his students to think outside the box of lecture and regurgitation. He is passionate about designing problem-solving classroom environments.
Most of Nathan’s students know more about how to use technology than professors. What they don’t know yet, and where Nathan comes in, is how they can use and integrate technology effectively for teaching and learning. While Nathan can help students who don’t know how to use technology, he is more focused on projects that help technology be effectively integrated into teaching and learning. His course on Technology Integration is always full and always rated with high marks, showing how much his work impacts students.
Nathan is married to Phyllis. They have seven children. Nathan also is an artist, graphic designer, and photographer.
Board of Director of Utah Coalition for Education Technology
Nathan has been on the UCET board since 2005. UCET promotes the effective use and development of information technology, providing a forum for collaboration and the exchange of ideas. Nathan serves as the voice of the organization. He runs the listserv, helps with the yearly conference, and has written thousands of pages of newsletters. See more at https://www.ucet.org/.
Adele & Dale Young Education Technology Center
When Nathan first became director, the Young Education Technology Center (YETC) was a resource center for k-12 teachers. Thanks to Nathan’s vision, the center has become an open-access computer lab, an official NASA Educator Resource Center, and a hub of curated educational resources. There is also a help center with student employees. Nathan’s goal for the center is to bless someone every day. For more information, see https://teacherlinkusu.weebly.com.
Open Educational Resources and Online Classes at USU
Nathan has developed open resources for many different projects. These resources are invaluable to classroom teachers and learning designers. The Tech Integrated course focuses on ITSE standards for integrating technology into classrooms. (https://techintegrateed.weebly.com) Nathan’s Photoshop I class at USU is a popular course that focuses on learning and mastering the basic Toolbox skills of Photoshop. (https://nmsmithphotoshop.weebly.com) The Gifted and Talented Teacher Resource project contains descriptions, videos, and links to some great educational resources that teachers and students can use, particularly those that teach gifted and talented education (https://giftedtalentedusu.weebly.com.) Nathan’s Open Education Resources site was started in 2013 as part of a workshop he conducted for teachers in Jordan and Lebanon. https://oerresources.weebly.com
Phenomenal Websites for Senior Citizens
Every summer, about 1000 senior citizens and retirees come to USU for the Summer Citizens program. Nathan developed the Phenomenal Websites site to help the Summer Citizens find awesome online resources. He is constantly updating the list to include the very best of what the internet has to offer. See more at https://pwebsites.weebly.com
Find Your Passions in Life
Nathan uses Find Your Passions to help middle school and high school kids find something they care about. He exposes them to big problems that their generation can help solve. Kids explore their interests through engaging in real projects and experiences. They meet mentors, put together a portfolio, and gain real work experiences that set them up for careers they will be passionate about (and portfolios great for getting scholarships and college apps!). See more information at https://fypil.weebly.com.
In 2011, Nathan was invited by the U.S. State Department to go to Amman, Jordan, to train high school teachers from Jordan and Lebanon in the use of technology in education, and to share open education resources with them. IREX is a global development and education organization. They focus on people, working in more than 100 countries on issues such as education, leadership, information, and youth. For more information, see https://www.irex.org/who-we-are
Technology Integration ITLS 5500
Beginning Photoshop and Graphic Design Courses
Advanced Photoshop and Graphic Design Courses (get numbers from the online course)
MS in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at USU-Logan, 1990
BA in Elementary Education with a Minor in Art at Brigham Young University, Utah, 1980