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.


EdTech Summit Florence Alabama

I had the privilege of presenting several sessions at the EdTech SummitETT_Leaf_Presenter_HIGHRES 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.

Blogging Buddies

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 bblogging buddieslog 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 TribeBlogging 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.

Final Assignment – Edtech 505

Here you will find the link to my final paper for Edtech 505.

Cascading Schedule: Effectiveness for Students and Teachers Evaluation Report

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.

Final Assignment – Synchronous Lesson

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. synchlessonWe 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


Teacher-Centered vs. Learner-Centered

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.

Far West Laboratory – Proposal

Our assignment for this week in Edtech 505 was to respond to a request for proposal from Far West Laboratory. Our job was to prepare a proposal to perform an evaluation of their training package Determining Instructional Purposes (DIP).  All the information needed to prepare the proposal was provided in the course.

View my final proposal: Far West Laboratory Proposal

Self-Evaluation – Asynchronous Lesson

We have been working for several weeks on an asynchronous lesson. This week we were page1photoasked to reflect and complete a self-evaluation of the lesson. I choose to use the website Teachable to set up my lesson. My school currently does not have a Learning Management System (LMS). Our teachers either set up a Google Site or use Google Classroom if they need a place for their students to visit for class information. This is really uncharted territory for most of the teachers at my school.

Since the whole idea of creating an asynchronous lesson was going to be new to me, I decided I should probably use a topic that I felt very comfortable with. I chose to take a lesson on Scatter Plots and Lines of Best Fit and create the lesson as a set of online sections the student could work through at their own pace. I began with the idea that I videophotowould find some videos online but quickly realized that I would need to create some of my own screencasts in order to break the material down into the pieces that I wanted. I did include other videos and websites for extended references.

In looking at the Asynchronous Lesson Rubric provided by the instructor, I feel that my lesson meets all the criteria in the outstanding category. All of the content requested is available. Some of the information is available in the preliminary area of the site as the student logs in, but most of the content appears in the different sections presented. Videos, websites with written instructions, and websites with simulations are all part of the material provided which I believe addresses many different learning styles. Students have the option to work through the lesson quickly, to review material, to look at extended resources, all of which provides many ways for students to access and complete the sections. Students are also provided with a variety of assessment methods. The one area that I feel is lacking (and this is due to the structure of the Teachable site) is in the student interaction. There doesn’t seem to be a discussion board in this system. As an attempt to work around the lack of a discussion board, I have students commenting on a padlet site to peer review the graphs submitted by their peers. Students should be able to use the adaptive features available on their devices if they need adaptive/assistive help with the lessons. One thing that might be useful if there was more time would be to close caption the teacher created videos. There are several assessments throughout the lesson. Students have a variety of options for completing them. I am probably most proud of the Google Form that is part of the first section. This form provides differentiation for students taking the quiz. If a student misses a question, they are taken to another section to watch a video on the topic and asked another similar question. The final assessment for the lesson allows the student to choose the presentation method for the required elements.

In looking through the Common Core Standards Coaching Guide, again, I felt the weakest area is in student discussion. Students are asked to record themselves explaining their solution to a problem but there isn’t a great deal of student-to-student discussion due to the lack of a discussion board. The material presented begins with the most basic and is broken into small sections that students can work through and revisit if needed. Many sections contain additional resources for students if they need more instruction on a topic. There is also an extension section at the end where more advanced students can learn more about the topic.

Overall, I am pleased with the lesson I created. I look forward to trying it out with my students. I think this would even make a great review for students who need some remediation on the topic. You can read my comments in the Asynchronous Lesson Rubric.