Join me in reading about my journey towards a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology at Boise State University. My Learning Log will be a place to reflect on and store the artifacts created as part of this degree. It will also be a place to receive comments and critiques from fellow students.
This semester I have enjoyed learning more about different leadership theories. I had a wonderful opportunity to research effective professional development for teachers and the leadership methods that can be used. This is especially helpful in my job as Director of Technology. I work at a small school and our technology department is made up of three people. Professional Development for teachers falls under my job description. I really love working with my fellow teachers. One of my main goals through the Masters program at Boise State was to gain the skills needed to lead teachers in technology integration. It is fun and exciting but also challenging. My fellow teachers don’t always respond in the way I envision. Why is that?
While completing research from my final paper in the Leadership course I learned some interesting information. To quote from my final paper:
“The greatest challenge to teachers as they work to integrate technology is the challenge of teaching in a fundamentally different school environment than the one they were taught in or have experience with (An & Reigeluth, 2012; Ertmer, 1999). This brings about the necessity of changes in pedagogy (Ertmer, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Sadik, Sendurur, & Sendurur, 2012).”
I found that there are two types of barriers that teachers face: first- and second-order barriers. First-order barriers are easy. These involve things outside the teachers control. Things that the technology department or administration can address; resources, planning time, and support. Second-order barriers are where things get tough. Second-order barriers confront teacher beliefs about teaching practices and are more difficult to address because they involve changing a teacher’s beliefs and practices. This statement made things so much clearer for me. I am asking teachers to change their beliefs which is a difficult task. Teacher training programs should begin to emphasize professional growth over professional learning. Professional development should be directed at effectively reaching the vision for teaching and learning with technology integration rather than proficiency in using specific software or hardware (Ertmer, 1999; Hew & Brush, 2007). Many times professional development is geared towards teaching how to use a specific tool. This helped me see that I need to be modeling effective technology integration and the benefits this has for teachers and students. Until the teachers grasp the vision of technology integration, they will never “buy in” to learning the new tools.
Granted, there are other “techy” teachers like me who love using technology but researching for this paper helped me understand how I can better help those teachers who are somewhat resistant to change. If you are interested in learning more about my project, I have included my video presentation and the link to my paper.
An, Y.-J., & Reigeluth, C. (2012). Creating technology-enhanced, learner-centered classrooms: K-12 teachers’ beliefs, perceptions, barriers, and support needs. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 28(2), 54-62.
Ertmer, P. A. (1999). Addressing first- and second-order barriers to change: Strategies for technology integration. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47(4), 47-61.
Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Sadik, O., Sendurur, E., & Sendurur, P. (2012). Teacher beliefs and technology integration practices: A critical relationship. Computers & Education, 59(2), 423-435.
Hew, K., & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: Current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Educational Technology Research and Development, 55(3), 223-252.
I need to apologize first thing. I have been a terrible blogging buddy. I moved into a new position at my school as Director of Technology. I also decided to continue my education at Boise State University taking courses to complete an Ed. S. degree in Educational Technology. My experience at Boise State working on my Master’s Degree was amazing. My degree has been so helpful in leading my school to create a true technology department and provide more assistance to teachers in the classroom. The workload from both of these activities was far more than I had envisioned. I am glad this semester is over.
I chose to begin my coursework with Rapid Course Design and it was so interesting. I realized while working on my Master’s Degree that I really love online learning and the processes that go into creating courses online. Rapid Course Design is classified as a Special Topics course and was taught for the first time this fall. We learned about the processes of Rapid Course Design as well as how to use Adobe
Captivate to complete the design. The course was fun and interesting but definitely the most labor-intensive course I have taken so far. As a former computer programmer, the interactive components of the course that I wanted to create exceeded my level of knowledge. I found myself spending a great deal of time trying to create the interactive assignments for my lessons.
We had a great group of people working on this course. The peer evaluations were so helpful in seeing what others had done. We were able to share ideas and collaborate on design options. For our final project, we created a website to showcase our design document and the actual course we designed. You can take a look at my completed project here. How to Be a Google Super Sleuth
I had the privilege of presenting several sessions at the EdTech Summit in Florence Alabama. It was such a great time to refresh and rejuvenate with others in similar positions at schools in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennesse, and Kentucky (there may have been more). My job is often a lonely one. I am the only Educational Technologist at my school and even though I am building my online PLC it is really nice to be face-to-face with others in my field. It is also nice to work with teachers to share ideas that they can take back to the classroom.
We had some amazing keynote speakers. Ken Shelton shared the power of images and video. His keynote made me think about how I will create video that resonates with my students when I flip my classroom next year. Rachel Mann was insiprational as she shared her #teachliketed presentation. Holly Clark gave us a better understanding of who our Generation Z students are. I learned so much about video production in my short hour session with Ken Shelton but I could use hours to soak in the knowledge that he has. Holly Clark taught me about the Google Infused Classroom with Socrative, FlipGrid, and Talk and Comment. I was already in love with FlipGrid (#flipgridfever) but I definitely need to give Socrative another try. I can’t wait to try Pear Deck in my Pre-Algebra class next fall. It is really important to me that I can walk around the classroom but run my presentation. I love all the different questions types that I can provide for my students and provide feedback immediately.
It was definitely a great learning time and I also made some great connections with teachers and instructional coaches from around the area. I look forward to sharing ideas with my new colleagues as we get ready for the upcoming school year. I am sure the summer will go quickly.
What is life going to be like with Graduation one week away?
Well, first, I applied to the Ed.S. in Educational Technology program at Boise State. I just haven’t had enough of the wonderful teachers and courses. There are some areas that I want to learn more about and I figured “why not get credit too?”
Second, I find it hard to be disciplined and blog now that my courses don’t require me to. I saw a great opportunity to join a Blogging Buddies groups created by the ISTE Ed-Tech Coaches PLN. I am the only Educational Technologist at my school and sometimes it is a very lonely position. I work with a wonderful group of teachers but sometimes I need a fellow Ed-Tech Coach to bounce ideas off of. I need the accountability to blog that will come from being part of a group who are blogging. I have planned all Spring Semester to begin blogging so that I can share and reflect so now I have to because my Blogging Buddies are watching.
What is Blogging Buddies? Blogging Buddies were inspired by Jennifer Hogan’s Compelled Blogger Tribe. Blogging Buddies are designed to be a chance for ed tech coaches (and those tasked with helping teachers integrate technology) to connect, network and learn from other coaches via blogging. Those who have signed up are committed to blog once a month and respond to the posts of others in the group. I am anxiously awaiting the email that will tell me who my blogging buddies are.
Stay tuned…..there is definitely more to come.
Here you will find the link to my final paper for Edtech 505.
This paper was a great learning experience. It was very intimidating as I began the semester but Edtech 505 and Dr. Perkins worked through each step involved in an Evaluation Report. With each activity, the paper came together and what seemed very intimidating to begin with became very manageable. I am very please with the result and feel that I produced a very valuable evaluation report for the new schedule that my school adopted this year. There are some things that worked really well but there are also some areas for improvement. I am happy I can provide this resource to my school.
I invited two former students who are currently taking an online class during one of their class periods to meet with me. They are super bright young ladies who are ahead of schedule on their work. They did not have any experience with an online meeting room. We had a great discussion when we completed the recording about what they liked about the experience. They currently communicate with their online teacher through telephone calls (and I think they have the option to Skype). They really liked the fact that I used the webcam and they could see me. One student commented how much she liked the fact that we were able to visually write on a whiteboard and she could see what I was doing as we talked about it. We all agreed that this would be a great idea for a teacher to offer a help session after school maybe one or two nights a week. I really appreciate these young ladies being willing to work with me on this. They were super sweet.
One issue we did encounter was the echo. The students did not have earphones. There were two solutions to this problem (I failed to realise either one until we were finished). I could have instructed them on how to mute their microphones until they wanted to speak or I could have muted their microphones. Earphones would also be an option to cut out the echo. Overall, I felt really good about this first attempt. Of course, I had put a good bit of prep time in getting ready to meet with them. I really enjoyed using Adobe Connect.
Here is a link to the recording: D. Killen Graphing Linear Equations
I love the video clip our professor provided for this week’s lesson.
I think we have all been in classrooms and felt like these students. This is definitely not what I want my classroom to look like. As a math teacher, I feel like my instruction has always leaned towards the student-centered side. In math, it is so important that students actually practice the skills needed to solve math problems. It is almost impossible to learn math by just listening to someone lecture.
Since I took a position as Educational Technologist, I no longer spend my time in my own classroom. I do get to travel to many different classrooms and try to bring about my own little “student-centered teaching” rebellion. Our school has been slow in adopting technology (and that is why I am in the position of Ed. Tech). We have struggled with bandwidth issues, resources to purchase equipment, and, honestly, teachers who don’t know what to do. I had already begun to use Nearpod, Kahoot, and any other interactive components I could bring in to add excitement to our practice time in math class. After completing the asynchronous lesson from last week, I would love to record my math lessons and provide the lecture or instruction component of the lesson before class for students to view so that they come to class ready to practice. It is very difficult to squeeze in time to answer questions on previous homework, lecture or instruction time, and time to begin practicing the new skills for the day. It would be great if all we needed to do in class was answer questions and practice our skills.
We were also asked to reflect this week on lesson ideas or strategies that might be especially suitable for live meetings using synchronous delivery tools. I can’t think of any math lesson that wouldn’t work well using synchronous delivery tools. There would have been a time when I felt that it would be difficult to demonstrate for students the skills needed to solve problems in math. With the addition of graphing software like Desmos, a teacher can easily demonstrate graphing. There are many interactive whiteboard software packages that will allow teachers to annotate on the screen while having a discussion. There is also the “good-ole” document camera that can be projected so that the teacher can write out explanations. I think Khan Academy is a great example that any math concepts can be taught in a synchronous or asynchronous manner. I am so looking forward to our final weeks as we partner up and practice teaching using a synchronous method.