AECT Convention Internshipby



Computer Science (miscellaneous)


10 TechTrends • November/December 2012 Volume 56, Number 6

One of the ECT Foundation’s most rewarding endeavors is our support of the AECT Convention Interns. Dr.

Mendenhall’s article is the last in our series that spotlights the 2011 AECT

International Convention Interns.  Dr.

Mendenhall was a student at the Florida State University and is one of four

Cochran Interns for 2011.

The Cochran Internship was named for Lee W. Cochran. Dr Cochran began his career rewinding films in the

Visual Services at the University of

Iowa in 1923. During World War II

Lee served in the Training Aids Division of the armed forces. This Division provided visual material and films to help teach essential skills in various service branches. In 1945 the

National Education Association created the Division of Audiovisual Instruction (DAVI). Lee served as president of DAVI from 1955-56 during which time he organized the Education Media Leadership Conference at Lake

Okoboji, Iowa. After a major reorganization of DAVI in 1969-70 DAVI’s name was changed to the Association for Educational Communications and

Technology. Dr. Cochran retired as

Director of the Audiovisual Center at the University of Iowa in 1966. The

Lee W. Cochran estate provides the funding through the ECT Foundation for the AECT Convention Cochran Internships.

The ECT Foundation is the independent charitable arm of AECT. We exist to aid the organization in many 3. Emphasis is placed on collaboration and teamwork, which cultivates the development of problem-solving and negotiation skills. 4. Service is a main tenet of the internship experience. Serving members of AECT and the ECT Foundation develops good citizenship skills that are essential in becoming a leader.

Before I address how I observed these principles and practices within the internship, I will provide an introduction on my experiences with

AECT and its members that lead up to the actual internship at the AECT 2011 Convention in Jacksonville.

As I reflect on the AECT Convention internship, I can’t help but dig deep within my memory bank and reminisce on my first experience at

AECT. I completed my master’s degree in Instructional Technology at Utah

State University and was working as a manager for a teaching and learning department at a small private university in Hawaii. It was at that university where a colleague and mentor, who was also a former Instructional Techways particularly through awards and scholarships to our members.

We know that this is a particularly difficult time for all of us. Any and all donations are fully tax deductible [501.(c)3] and deeply appreciated by our organization, the Foundation and ultimately the recipients of your gifts. During these tough times we especially urge you all not to forget us.

Foundation Board members serve on a voluntary basis and accept no honorariums, stipends or support of any kind. – Don Descy, Editor he AECT Convention Internship provides an authentic venue that fosters skill development and leadership preparation. This internship program encompasses many effective teaching, learning, and leadership principles and practices. These principles and practices are aimed to groom future leaders within the

AECT organization and also in the

Educational Communications and

Technology field. Some of the principles and practices that are enveloped in the internship experience include: 1. The internship is centered in an authentic environment providing the interns with real-world experiences and interactions with leaders in the field. 2. Guidance is provided upfront and is later diminished so the interns can gain independence.

Anne M. Mendenhall ect Cornerstone

AECT Convention Internship

By Anne M. Mendenhall, 2011 Cochran Intern


Volume 56, Number 6 TechTrends • November/December 2012 11 nology professor of mine, suggested

I attend the 2005 AECT Convention in Orlando. With the financial support from my department I was able to make the nearly 6,000-mile journey to Orlando. When I walked through the doors to the convention I ran into many of my former professors and classmates – it was like coming home.

Immediate feelings of relief and comfort overcame me when I saw so many people I had come to know during my time at Utah State University.

Jumping ahead a few years, I was once again able to attend the 2008

AECT Convention in Orlando but this time as a PhD student at Florida

State University. I have attended every year since 2008 and found the associations I’ve made through AECT to be incredibly beneficial and worthwhile.

I was first introduced to the AECT internship through a few FSU classmates who were selected as interns.

They shared their exciting experiences and encouraged me to apply for the internship when I was ready.

After a couple of years of coursework, research, and various other academic related responsibilities I felt I was ready to apply for the internship. By this time I was already volunteering with some of the divisions by being a proposal reviewer, attending division member meetings, and preparing flyers and other materials for the conventions, so whether I received the internship or not I was committed to

AECT. However, to my great surprise and honor I was selected for the AECT

Convention Internship Class of 2011.

Real-World Experience. The internship is centered in an authentic environment providing the interns with real-world experiences and interactions with leaders in the field.

The AECT internship is enveloped in a real-world environment where we can gain valuable leadership skills. Instead of sitting back and watching the leaders and conference organizers do their jobs we were able to step in and help where needed. AECT leaders encouraged us to help division leaders in various capacities like selling tickets for the ECT Foundation raffle, greeting members at keynote addresses and member meetings, and helping set up for evening events. In addition, we had multiple opportunities to serve AECT members by, among other things, helping them find specific concurrent sessions and introducing other student members to AECT leaders and affiliates. The convention venue is not the only real-world environment for us to gain leadership skills. After the convention the interns have the opportunity to collaborate on a project, virtually. Gaining additional experience by collaborating virtually prepares us for real work and leadership opportunities in a global society.