EdTech 501 Reflection

Wow. I feel like I have come a long way from 7 weeks ago. I remember that I felt pretty good about assignment #1 (making the blog) and then assignment #2 I immediately began to panic. Many thoughts ran through my mind…”What I am doing? I haven’t written a paper in 2 years! Is this really how I want to spend my last 7 weeks of summer? Am I doing this right? What the heck is this RSS thing? WHY APA!?” etc. I questioned whether I was in way over my head and if I could really handle this class…let alone the whole program. The challenges that I faced were related to the initial “I haven’t used this tool before or am unaware of this type of technology…so I probably won’t do well.” This was my mindset in the beginning and I was not as confident with technology as I was when I signed up for the course.

I believe the turning points was during the RSS in Education assignment. I remember exploring Feedly and thinking how cool it was! I even texted some of my friends about it and shared my “how to use Feedly” video! At that point I began to relax a little and really see the big picture. I was learning new technology and could use this stuff right away in my classroom!

I found it was quite easy to communicate with our instructor Anthony Saba (thank you!), and also our classmates. Many times a question that I had was already posted by someone else. This was a great way to overcome the challenges that I faced. By communicating through Google + I received timely and quality feedback and assistance with the questions that I had.

Not only was this a great way to overcome the challenges, but it was a great way to just communicate with one another. I believe that this collaboration is rare, especially in an online class. I think we were very lucky to have this open communication. In the beginning, we were “required” to comment and give feedback to a certain number of people. As the class progressed, it became natural. I found myself getting excited to see other peoples’ posts and ideas! It was also encouraging to receive feedback from others on my own assignments. I really hope to work with some of these classmates in the rest of my EdTech courses!

The artifact that I feel was my best was my EdTech Graphic. When I saw this assignment I was super excited to begin (weird, I know). I took my laptop to Panera and sat there for a solid 3 hours making it “as cool as I could.” I probably could have thrown something together in less than half the time, but I love making artifacts that allow you to be visually creative. While doing so, I got to explore a new tool (Piktochart) and share it with my classmates! I am excited to (eventually) make this a poster in my own classroom!

In my school, I plan to show students and staff members how to use Piktochart, share my new knowledge of Google Docs, Feedly, Voice Thread, etc. I have learned about several new tools and ways to use technology. I am very excited to use the tech tool that I explored, Kahoot! in my classroom this year as well. I have already shared some of my knowledge. A friend of mine is student teaching this semester and is working to flip a computer technology class. I was able to help and let him know of the site Screencast-O-Matic that was used!

Finally, I thought I would give a little advice for future students taking this course. Please keep in mind that this was the first EdTech Course that I took so I was a little overwhelmed from the start!

  1. Start early and stay organized! Even if it is just reading through the plan for the week, it is good to know what is ahead and many of the assignments are VERY time consuming (maybe it was just me…)
  2. Collaborate! Use your instructor and classmates as resources. Everyone is willing to help!
  3. Read all module steps and assignment rubrics carefully! There are many parts to each assignment and the rubric is very detailed, letting you know  exactly what you need to do to get the most out of the assignment and receive a good score as well!
  4. Don’t get too discouraged or give up. We have all been there! Stick with it!
  5. You may think you are very tech savvy in the beginning, but there is SO much more to learn! Embrace it!

I really enjoyed this class and am looking forward to the rest of my classes in this program! Thanks to everyone who was along for the ride! Here is a nice summer smiley pic because I am one grad class down and have one more week left before I have students!


EDTECH Definition Graphic


Click on image to enlarge.

According to Educational Technology: A Definition with Commentary, “Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources” (Januszewski & Molenda, 2008).

This was by far my favorite assignment. I LOVED being able to create an info-graphic and used the site Piktochart. This tool allows you to modify free templates or start from scratch and create your own. It was very easy to navigate and had many icons, images, shapes, fonts, colors, etc. to choose from. I ended up spending a lot of time creating my info-graphic because it was fun to be creative and I wanted to make my graphic so that I could post it somewhere in my own classroom! I will definitely be using this site again. I also added a QR icon and code, using goo.gl/ so that anyone that views this graphic from Piktochart will be directed to this post. This was such a fun assignment and I really enjoyed being allowed the freedom to create from our own perspective, however we wanted!

I created this image by breaking down each part as I read. My take on the definition is that it is a journey. That is why I chose to use the winding lines that lead throughout the definition. There are so many parts to the definition, and I tried to use visuals and fonts that I felt uniquely represented each part. Even though it is a journey, I believe all parts are related in some way and build off one another.

Reading the first chapter of this book really clarified the definition of education technology. The authors did a great job of clearly defining each sub-part. Before taking this class, my idea of educational technology was using computers or devices as a part of learning and it was a very broad and vague picture. Now, I see that it is so much more. The definition is all about finding the best ways to not only use our knowledge to teach students, but also how to do it in an appropriate way that will promote life-long learning.

Technology is constantly evolving, and in my eyes, a journey as well. The graphic that I created has a light bulb at the end of the road. The reason why I chose this image is to show that the journey is never ending. Every second a new idea or advance in technology is occurring. While it is our duty as educators to keep up, at times it is necessary to take a step back and look at the big picture. In this case, breaking down the definition really provided clarity of what educational technology truly means. By creating this graphic, I will always have a visual to remind me on days where I get caught up in the newest devices and trends. Although these are important aspects, the bigger picture and definition of educational technology show the key essentials.

School Evaluation Summary

I really enjoyed this assignment because I was able to take a closer look at the technology plan of my school as well as explore and break down the areas that are more advanced and the areas that need improvement through the Maturity Model Benchmarks Survey. I was very interested to read our district technology plan that I did not even know existed! It was encouraging to read the positive goals that the district has in place for technology in the future. If given the opportunity, I would have liked to talk to our Director of Technology to learn more about a long-term plan since it seemed only a short-term plan has been communicated to the public.

I am interested to read what other people have to say about their school’s technology use and plan. I am very lucky to teach in a school district that a majority of the areas scored in the “integrated” or “intelligent” level. I know this is not always the case and I would have liked to have compared this to the district that I taught in last year. I know that the other district would have scored lower in most areas.  It is amazing to me to see the differences in technology integration that takes place in different school districts only miles away! This just shows that the digital divide has become more apparent than ever.

I am excited to see what will come for our district in the next few years! I feel as though the district is very open to embracing new technologies, it is just a matter of finding the funds and ways to train the staff to be able to use these technologies positively in the classroom. Students will be using technology for the rest of their lives and it is our duty as educators to prepare them by incorporating it into our daily lessons.

Please note that a pseudonym has been used in both the School Evaluation Survey and the School Evaluation Summary.

Tech Trends: BYOD + Kahoot!

For this assignment, I chose to research the tech trend Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). I wrote a paper discussing the advantages as well as the challenges of implementing this trend. In addition, I explored a quiz tool called Kahoot! that can be used with BYOD. Kahoot! allows for interactive learning in a fun and easy way in any classroom, subject, or grade level! This tool is so great and I plan to implement portions of the trend such as a having a “BYOD Friday” in class and definitely will be using Kahoot! Please read my tech trends paper and see below to explore what BYOD and Kahoot! are all about!

Watch the video How to Play a Game of Kahoot! and then follow the steps to sign up for a free account and play my practice quiz!

1.) Click on this link: Get a Kahoot! Click on the purple square that says Get My Free Account. Choose your role (I am a teacher). Fill out the information and then click Get an Account.

2.) Now you can use this to create your own Kahoot! quizzes!

3.) Play my EDTECH 501 practice quiz!

*Note: you will need 2 devices to do this (laptop/iPad and smartphone). Normally the first device would be the teacher displaying it on the board in the classroom and the students using their own device. Since I do not have all of you currently in my class, try it this way if you have multiple devices! I used my laptop for the game and then used my smartphone for my responses.

Follow @GetKahoot for posts and updates!

EdTech Research

To be honest I really struggled completing this assignment. It was difficult to find sources that allowed you to read the full text (even after logging in the Boise State library) and then it was even more difficult to find the doi of the sites. In addition, the crossref site never pulled up any doi’s for me when I pasted the citation even though I am sure I was doing it correctly! When I did find a good source, many times it was 15-20 pages long! The assignment probably took hours longer than it should have and I am just hoping that I did it correctly. However, despite my frustrations, I did learn a lot. I had never heard of a doi before and it makes sense to include this in your reference rather than a URL. I just wish they were more easily available! In addition, I learned several things regarding APA formatting, another tedious process that is a pain but gets a lot easier once you do it more. I now definitely have a better understanding of how to cite in APA ! Again, I am just hoping that my annotations and citations were done correctly!

Overall, I gained a lot more knowledge on how to properly conduct research and hopefully I will be better at it next time! I really enjoyed all the articles that I read on flipping a classroom and was provided insight on both the advantages and disadvantages of using this type of teaching method. It was also cool to be able to assess the articles and reflect on what I had read. My favorite study that I read involved teaching the educators as if they were students about how to flip a classroom by using the flipped classroom method as a form of professional development. Read Flip my Class! if you are interested! Any feedback or suggestions on my annotations or citations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

EdTech Research

RSS in Education

I really enjoyed the RSS assignment! To be honest, before I began the assignment I was very confused about RSS. The RSS in Plain English video really helped me to better understand its purpose and uses. What an awesome way to keep sites organized and it is so easy to use! I love it! I learned that RSS not only makes following personal sites easier, but would be something great to teach teachers and students how to use it in the classroom (I told my friends about it as well). Teachers would really benefit from knowing about Feedly and integrating it in their lesson plans. Click here to see my video on how to get started and navigate the site!

Something difficult about this assignment was narrowing down the specific unit that I wanted to use for my lesson plan. Being a marketing teacher, I think there are many times that I could incorporate RSS into student learning, that it was hard to choose just one area. I do plan to use this lesson in the future during the promotion and advertising unit of my class. I think kids would really enjoy all the resources and information that they can find by using Feedly! If I had more time to complete this assignment, I would have explored in depth each site that I had my students follow and find more site options that would relate to the assignment.

Here is my lesson plan & rubric using RSS in a high school marketing class!

Digital Divide/Digital Inequality

I examined three issues that I found to be applicable to the digital divide in my own computer technology classroom.  This assignment helped me to better understand the digital divide as a whole, as well as applying and searching for solutions in my own school district and classroom.

Even though I have taught students how to create a presentation and the “do’s and don’ts,” I learned a lot and really enjoyed the Presentation Zen handout on multimedia principles. It was helpful when making my own presentation to see from a different perspective what is and is not acceptable. In addition, I found I had a lot more to say than the 6 minutes allowed! This is a topic that could be infinitely expanded.

When thinking of the digital divide, I always pictured it to be the gap in the use of technology between developed and developing countries. I never really examined it from my own classroom point of view. This assignment really helped me to realize how real of an issue it is and how relevant it can be everyday teaching. With this knowledge, I plan to be an advocate at my school. Everyone can notice issues, but it is until we start voicing our thoughts and solutions that something can actually be accomplished.

Even though I spent numerous hours on this assignment, if I had more time there are a few things that I would like to do. I would like to further explore my solutions in detail and also discuss my ideas with those that would have say in solving these issues such as technology specialists, administrators, and school board members.

Link to VoiceThread Presentation – The Digital Divide

Link to Google Slides – The Digital Divide

Code of Professional Ethics in Educational Technology

As a former computer technology teacher, I chose to use an experience that involved students using other students’ files as their own. Cheating and plagiarizing  has been a common trend throughout the years in education and even though technology has evolved, issues still occur. By examining the AECT Code of Professional Ethics, I was able to realize that there are several underlying issues that occur in such a situation. In addition, this paper made me ask the question: how do we expect teachers to do what is ethical, if they may not have been given the proper guidelines to know what is expected? We can only achieve this by educating staff and giving them the necessary resources (AECT Code) in order for them to follow through as ethical professionals.

To read my analysis on the situation I have experienced, please read my paper Promoting Professional Ethics in Educational Technology.

Hello world!

Ally here from Omaha, NE. I am a High School Marketing Teacher and DECA advisor and I will be using this blog as I journey to obtain a Master’s Degree  in Educational Technology  through Boise State University. Having a blog has always interested me, but I have never really looked into creating one, knowing that I probably wouldn’t keep up on posting. I would say that I am more of a reader than a writer when it comes to blogs. I love reading what other people and teachers have to say and seeing what resources and ideas they have to share regarding education, sports, photography, traveling, life, etc. I am a BIG sucker for what my friend like to call “listacles” (lists + articles) such as EliteDaily, BuzzFeed, The Odyssey, etc. and find myself reading these posts daily. I definitely enjoy the comical side of things and how relatable these posts are! Maybe I will try to incorporate this into my own…

I am actually excited to be writing my own blog. I’m not going to lie it took me a long time to decide on the theme that I wanted! There were many great options, but I had to keep reminding myself that I am not a photographer! Who knows…maybe I’ll get a little artsy eventually. Stay tuned for an updated cover photo! With that being said I will now attempt to add a picture to this post. I am a big believer in being a positive person and teacher and thrive off of good vibes. I instill this in my classroom because I think it is so important to get to know your students and if you create a classroom environment that is warm, friendly, fun, positive, and safe, students will want to be there and it will be a great place to learn. I strive to apply this to my every day life and anyone that I meet.

Thanks for joining me on the ride. Good vibes everyone.