Caryn Voskuil

Caryn Voskuil

Job Title
Designer, Education Studio
Company
IDEO
University
University of Wisconsin—Madison
American University
Corps Year: 
2009
Corps Region: 
D.C. Region

Caryn has fantastic memories of the three years she spent teaching, and considers the relationships she built with students to be one of her greatest successes. She developed an obsession with tools and technology emerging to support learning. When computers that she relied on were replaced with smart boards between her second and third year teaching, she became interested in how schools procure technology and make choices about which tools to use, and how those decisions affect students. Her career has since focused on creating solutions and tools that help improve education and student experiences.

Read more about Caryn.

Career Path

Embracing Innovation, Witnessing Inequity
A life-changing high school teacher exposed Caryn to entrepreneurship and innovation. On a college trip to Kenya she saw the vast differences in access to education and was inspired to apply to TFA.
Teach For America: D.C. Corps
While teaching, Caryn became fascinated with education technology. She used technology to increase productivity and differentiate learning experiences for her students.
Rocketship Education: Manager, Innovation
As manager of school model innovation, Caryn designed the education technology that students used and coached tutors on how to leverage it to personalize instruction.
Designer, IDEO: Education Studio
As a designer, Caryn draws on her corps experience to manage client engagements and create technology solutions, new tools and platforms, and systems for innovative education solutions.
IDEO Projects
Caryn has brought human-centered design to projects with school partners, global education companies, and foundations. She helped build a tool for first generation college goers with Beyond12.

Q & A

Q
What did you like most about teaching?
A

I loved small group instruction. I taught for 3 years, and by the second year, I could see that my kids were really growing and becoming independent. I learned what it meant to have a purpose-driven life and how urgent this work is. I learned how much relationships with students meant to me.

Q
How has your career been influenced by your years teaching through TFA?
A

I learned how influential technology and design can be to students’ ability to learn, and I wanted a career that focused on that. I developed a deep sense of empathy, which is critical for a designer. Teaching is one big prototype. It’s a constant iteration and improvement.

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