From Teacher to Tech Influencer

Zoe Huang photo jpg

If Zoe Huang was told four years ago that she would get her Master of Education in Educational Psychology at UVic, she never would have believed it.

Four years ago, she finished her undergraduate in English and education. She taught English in rural China but realized that this was no longer enough for today’s workers. Her teaching was limited by a lack of technical skills in a growing technological age. “Everyone spends a lot of time on their computer and the future of education is no longer limited to a textbook,” says Huang.

This encouraged her to enroll in a programming boot camp with a year of work to follow. This opened the tech world for Huang.

She began work as a technical trainer where she flew to West Africa and Pakistan to teach engineering in telecommunications. Questions about the reasoning behind her work arose and couldn’t be answered through practical experience; she needed to further her education to take the next step in her research and understanding.

While working in the Philippines, Huang met her boyfriend from Salt Spring Island. This led her to search for schools in BC.

“The thing that really made up my mind about UVic was the curriculum design and the way the teaching valued a lot of face to face interaction. It’s very student-centered, and I’m focused on rather than being a small fish in a big pond.”

Huang arrived in Victoria this past June and has since joined the UVic Robotics Club. As their skills development coordinator, she helps to organize the skills needed for a project, such as an automatic system for plant care. Huang plans to design a project for beginners, for those like herself that found technology intimidating.

She hasn’t forgotten her roots in China teaching English. With a stronger tech background, she began to create videos for her friends who still teach back home. Her videos show Canadians pronouncing English words as a real-life resource for Chinese students.

She is currently researching Arduino boards, open-source microcomputer controllers allowing to create all sorts of do-it-yourself electronics. Thousands of beginners and professionals have used the technology for projects. Huang is exploring the potential for the technology’s educational purposes.  

Although she is only beginning her master’s degree, Huang believes her education in Canada will help her solve problems for China by making technology more accessible. She is using the team environment at UVic to learn how to further understand how we can incorporate technology into the teaching sphere.

Huang doubted her abilities to grow and help change the world. Now, she knows it’s all a learning experience.

“Lots of people worry if they’re smart or talented enough. What matters is if you have passion and persistence. These questions and lack of skills you have will be learned along the way.”