Welcome to a glimpse into my journey to become an innovative educator and instructional technology leader. During this journey I have experienced many successes and many failures. I have had the opportunity to explore and learn how to utilize a wide variety of new technologies, as well as to gain a deeper understanding and learn new ways to utilize technologies that I have already been incorporating within my classroom.
The purpose of this page is to showcase many of the things that I have created as a student in the Master of Arts in Educational Technology program at Michigan State University.
Learning Management Systems
As part of my coursework I have had the opportunity to sample a variety of different resources that could potentially be used as Learning Management Systems (LMS). These include Google Classroom, MyHaikuClass which is now owned by PowerSchool, and Weebly.
I redesigned the myths, legends, and fairytale unit that I am already teaching in my Spanish 3 courses so that it could be taught entirely online, face-to-face, or as a hybrid course. In my final project (linked above) you will see what our unit objectives were, the formative assessments that I used, as well as the final product that I asked my students to create.
New forms of digital media can be powerful tools if properly harnessed in the classroom that can make new and different types of learning possible for our students. These new types of media can be incorporated in any subject across our curriculum. I once again redesigned my Spanish 3 myths, legends, and fairytale unit so that students would be provided with a multitude of opportunities to work with new digital media in order to enhance their learning. This time I used Weebly to drive the instruction of this course unit.
Educational Philosophy and Technology Integration
I had the opportunity to design a professional development course to help teachers integrate technology within their own classrooms. This PD was a hands-on experience that enabled classroom teachers to redesign a lesson plan or a unit based around the SAMR model. The objective was to design a plan that would push them beyond merely substituting technology for something that they were already doing, and to reach the modification or redefinition stage by using New Media Technology Tools.
As educators we all have a theory of learning and we use this theory of learning to drive
everything that we do within our classrooms, from the culture that we build, the way we interact with our students, and the methods that we choose to drive our instruction. Throughout my coursework at Michigan State University I was able to think about my own theory of learning, and write about how it has evolved as I have grown as an educator. Click on the link above to read my essay.
I conducted a survey about how often and in what ways my colleagues at Clarkston High School are already incorporating technology into their classrooms. From this survey I was able to learn what tools they were already using, which teachers were not using any new technology tools in their classrooms, and conclude where we were overall as a school in terms of the SAMR model (mentioned above). Using this survey data I will be able to design professional development opportunities that meet the needs of our faculty as we move forward as a school. You can view a full size version of the infographic to the left here.
High Definition TV Antenna
One of my favorite projects that I have done was create a High Definition TV Antenna. The purpose of the assignment was that as students we can learn more if we are asked to create something, but will take a deeper interest in what we are doing if it is a topic that we are passionate about and allowed to choose on our own. I am a cord cutter and loathe the idea of paying a large cable company $100 or more a month of my hard earned money to enjoy content that I can get another way. You can pick up a HDTV antenna in stores ranging anywhere between $30 and up over $100 depending on how committed you are to getting free content as well as which channels you wish to achieve. I constructed mine for about $10, and it works better than the $70 antenna I purchased a few years ago.
Individualized learning is an important part in a student’s education. While not all lessons permit for a free manipulation of desired grammar and vocabulary structures there are ways to include a level of individualized instruction, even when all students are expected to acquire the same vocabulary and grammatical structures. In language and narration, one of the primary methods to help students be able to summarize, speak, and narrate on a topic is the use of video and pictures.
The difference between expert learners and novice learners is vast. It is important for educators to understand this difference and to meet the strengths and needs of all students within their classrooms. In the game of football a novice player might understand what he needs to do in his position, as well as why he needs to do his job for a play to be successful. An expert will understand how his role fits into the bigger part, that is, what the other 10 players on the field are doing. Here is an example of an expert video on our base Inside Zone play.
Haiku Logo [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 1, 2017, from https://tusd.haikulearning.com/tusdconnect/tusdtechnologycommunityhaiku/cms_page/view/16008467
[Keep Calm Poster]. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2017, from http://www.keepcalmandposters.com/poster/865899_keep_calm_and_get_straight_as
[Scratch Logo]. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2017, from http://blogs.umass.edu/onlinetools/learner-centered-tools/scratch/
The SAMR Model [Digital image]. (2015, August 11). Retrieved March 20, 2017, from http://lingomedia.com/stages-of-edtech-the-samr-model-for-technology-integration/