Welcome to my Learning Log.
I will be using this learning log to gather artifacts as well as reflect upon my journey as a Master’s of Educational Technology student at Boise State University. I look forward to receiving feedback from my fellow students and faculty members throughout this adventure.
One semester down and only five more to go. Truly, I can’t believe I have made it this far. I am ecstatic and relieved all at the same time. A huge thank you goes out to my teaching colleague and fellow student, Kristie Clawson. I know for a certainty that I would have given up weeks ago if I didn’t have Kris by my side providing encouragement, input, help, feedback, and snacks during our long, after-school study sessions.
For this log, we were asked to answer the following four questions about our experience this semester:
- What challenges did you face in this course? There were several challenges I had to overcome during this first semester. Those challenges I refer to weren’t necessarily class related but more about coming back to school in general. I have been teaching for over 30 years and have become quite accustomed to the schedule of my life and the amount of free time I have to do as I please. Things that previously took priority in my life were now taking a backseat to succeeding in the graduate program. Hours spent with family and friends were now hours spent in front of the computer working my way through the curriculum and the assignments. Though it has been stressful at times, I have no regrets on how I have allocated my time.
- What strategies or other creative resources did you use to address these challenges? The strategy that I used to reallocate my time was re-prioritizing my life and my time. I made it very clear to family and friends that I would still be spending quality time with them, but just not the quantity that we had all become accustomed to. I focused on tackling my studies early on in the week so I could take the time to relax at the end of the week. By doing this, I was able to still go see my aging parents on most Sundays.
- Which artifact do you feel was your best and why? I enjoyed completing Definition Graphic the most. I am a very visual person and I also do quite well using Adobe software. Usually any project that involves visual creativity, I’m all over it. I also enjoyed learning more about the flipped classroom. I think one of the reasons I enjoyed that so much was I had the ability to focus more than just one assignment (Annotated Bibliography and Tend Trends) on that topic. I felt I had a better and more thorough understanding of the flipped classroom when I was finished. The other assignments went by so quickly, I felt that I never really had enough time to understand them indepth.
- What is one thing you plan to do in your school or business as a result of this course? I plan to implement the Tech Trends Lesson Plan into my Web Design class the next time I teach it. I would really like to flip one of my classes and this will be a good place to start.
What an eye-opening experience this project has been. As a business education teacher, my students and I are continually using technology in my classroom. I strive to offer new and upcoming classes for my students to take and try to give my students the best experience possible when it comes to technology. Initially, this assignment was going to be a walk in the park. However, once I got into the actual document, it became clear that this project was much more than me and those teachers with whom I closely work. It includes all teachers from the older generation of “stand and deliver” to the younger generation of teachers who were raised with technology. I consider myself middle of the road. I’ve worked with technology and taught students on technology my entire teaching career but am one of the older folks, having taught over 30 years now. I must admit, the thoughts of learning “one more tech thing on my own” does tire me out.
After evaluating the school as a whole, it became very clear that we have a ways to go but it certainly is doable. Our school needs more direction from more stakeholders and more on-going training and time for teachers to learn and implement the newer technologies. Teachers are frustrated with the added demands placed on them and not enough training and time to do what is needed.
For this project, I chose to continue the exploration of the Flipped Classroom that I began in the Annotated Bibliography project by planning and implementing a Flipped lesson plan for my Web Page Design students. A technology class works perfectly for flipping the classroom. There are so many great tutorials and videos online to help with instructing the students on how to use the different computer applications available to them. The ability to have the students learn the software on their own time works out very well for project-based classes since it frees up class time to work on their projects with other students and the teacher.
This year, I struck it rich! My school purchased My Graphics Lab for my Web Design and Digital Media classes. My Graphics Lab includes presentations, videos, a textbook (Classroom in a Book), and quizzes that the students access to help them learn how to use Adobe products–specifically Dreamweaver CC for this project. My Graphics Lab works out perfectly for a flipped classroom. The students are able to work through the videos, presentations, and short readings in the textbook at home. When they arrive to class, they are able to work through the projects and then take the quizzes.
I chose to create a lesson plan and a web page as my artifacts. The web page is created for mobile devices as well as laptops or desktops. I’m hoping that even though a student may not have access to an actual computer at home, they will be able to access everything that they need via their smart phone or tablet.
I will be starting the Dreamweaver Unit in about a week. I’m very excited to see how the students take to this way of doing things.
Link to Annotated Bibliography
I chose to do the research for my annotated bibliography on “The Flipped Classroom.” I’ve often thought that flipping the classes that I teach on the computers–Web Design and Digital Media–would be a great switch for me and my students. A plethora of videos are already available for the students and it would just take time to organize the instruction for the students to do at home. My biggest concern is that the students would not do the work at home. Most of the students I teach do not do any work at home even when it is assigned. I’m contemplating maybe flipping the instruction but having it all take place within the classroom instead of the “home” work aspect of it. That way the students can still benefit from having the videos there to review whenever they need, those students who understand and do not need to repeat can move on, and as a teacher, I am still available to help/coach the students along as they need. This might work out to be a win-win situation given the student makeup of my classes.
Digital Divide Presentation
This was a very interesting and new experience for me. First of all, I had never used Google Documents to create a presentation. Nor have a used a Voice Thread to attach to a presentation. I’m not a big fan of Google’s presentation editor but I can see its use. I like the ability to add my voice to the presentation but actual audio editing software would have been my preference.
I have been aware of the Digital Divide but the actual term “Digital Divide” was new to me.
I plan to discuss with the principal and our CTE coordinator to open up a lab after school. Also, I will be more aware of the ways that my students struggle to complete my assignments.
I plan to improve my presentation by making it more professional and providing better references.
Ethics is an essential part of the entire process of implementing Instructional Technology into the classroom. As members of society, we are all bound to ethics in all that we do. Without ethics, a society would fail. More specifically, as educators we are obligated to uphold a more formalized and stricter code of ethics. Education is constantly changing and evolving; therefore, the code of ethics by which we are bound must be continually evaluated and revised to meet the needs of our ever-changing profession.
Here is the link to my paper:
I used Adobe Illustrator CC to create the above Infographic. I then converted the file to a .gif to be used on the web.
The definition of Educational Technology according to Januszewski and Molenda “is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.”
My graphical interpretation of the definition above illustrates the study and practice of the entire process. The key to the entire process, in my opinion, is the creating, using, and managing of the technological process and resources in order to ultimately improve performance and facilitate learning, which is the goal of any educational endeavor.
Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (Eds.)(2008). Educational technology: A definition with Commentary. NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.