From Now On
The Educational Technology Journal

 Vol 15|No 5|June|2006

About the Author

Cindy C. Emmans, Ed.D., is an educational consultant and grantwriter based in San Diego, California. Her specialties are online teaching and the design, development and evaluation of online programs, particularly at the graduate level. She can be reached at .

Cindy's teaching career has spanned 30 years and has included a wide variety of settings and age groups. Most recently she has been teaching online at the graduate level for various universities, concentrating on curriculum courses for teachers. Prior to that her main focus was computer applications courses, primarily for in-service and pre-service teachers. While teaching is her first love, she has also been directly involved with the design of entire doctoral and master's degree programs and with the development of specific courses for online or traditional delivery, as well as having been a senior administrator in charge of professional development programs for educators.

Cindy started as a music teacher, teaching briefly in Stevens Point, Wisconsin and then for 10 years in Roseville Minnesota. In 1983 she moved to Europe and switched gears to the computer applications field, working as a trainer for various U.S. software companies with European contracts and then as a computer coordinator for Radio Free Europe in Munich. The latter involved assisting reticent foreign journalists (reticent toward computers, not reticent toward journalism!) with their computer questions and concerns.

In the late 1980s she decided to become more deeply involved with computer applications, particularly the use of technology in K-12 situations and related professional development for K-12 educators. She earned a doctorate in Educational Media and Technology from Boston University in 1991. In 1994, after 11 years in Europe, she returned to the United States and taught at Central Washington University in Ellensburg until 2001, earning tenure and the rank of full professor.

She maintained her ties with University of Maryland University College and found herself in a position to assist them as they started a master's degree program for educators that was offered totally at a distance. At the time (1999) this was a novel idea, and universal access to the Web was somewhat unusual. Some of the first students in the program had only text-based email access to the courses, although this situation improved steadily and soon the courses were Web-based. The educators who enrolled in the program were teachers in English-speaking international schools located around the world and the courses were asynchronous; they had to be due to the fact that the students lived in so many time zones. The first students graduated in 2001 with master's degrees that were fully accredited and that had been earned 100% online. Online degree opportunities are now prevalent, but the students were pioneers in many respects even if they didn't realize it at the time.

Changing hats yet again, Cindy was a full-time grant writer for San Diego State University for 2 years, and still writes grants on a consultant basis. She continues to teach online and also teaches occasionally for San Diego City Schools. Music has always been a favorite hobby and she plays violin and viola with various groups in the San Diego area. She can be reached at