EdTech 533 – Final Reflection

What were the three most important things I learned this semester?

This course had me learning a lot from the very beginning. I was definitely new to being a YouTube user when beginning this course. In the past, I knew that Gmail accounts had a YouTube account associated with them and I had uploaded a few teaching video clips here and there. However, it wasn’t until week one of this course that I learned what a YouTube Channel was and how to develop this through the creating of Playlists, Saved (curated) Playlists, Featured Channels and Subscriptions. I really have enjoyed learning about Playlists and I have started to put these together on topics I am supporting teachers with at my school site.  Here is the link to my own YouTube Channel. Of course, it is a continual work in progress as I am adding and tweaking over time.

Another important item I learned this semester was creating a short-form educational video as a Screencast with the added ability of zooming on sections of the screen and annotating during the presentation. I used Screencast-O-Matic for this first time through this course and was pleased with the capabilities. I have been able to share my created video through email with many teachers already. It is a great way to teach something without having the time to meet with a teacher one-on-one. Attaching my screencast video right in an email has been wonderful! Not to mention they can also locate it on my YouTube Channel.

A third important topic I learned a lot about this semester was the process of creating a mini-documentary. From storyboarding, to gathering and defining media assets to using movie editing software this process was exciting and informative. I think a big piece of learning for me on this was how important the storyboarding process can be when creating your actual movie. The outline and gathered resources are so essential to make sure you have a movie worth creating.

Has my opinion of YouTube in education changed or remained the same? Describe three or more specific examples.

I don’t know that I had much of an opinion about YouTube in education prior to this course. I viewed YouTube as a place to find videos to show whole class when appropriate. I definitely have grown in my understanding of the specific uses for YouTube in education and thus have an even more positive opinion towards it.

The use of YouTube Channels is a great way to organize teacher collected resources by topic and for multiple use across grade level teams or from year to year. The use of Playlists allows for a teacher to create a lesson plan with specific purposes for videos that tie them together around a theme.  Google Form embedded videos allows for a wonderful way to have students respond to videos, answer questions or write and submit responses.

What have I learned about media literacy and how will that information impact me as an educator? In your response, discuss three or more core competencies of media literacy: access, analyze, evaluate, reflect, or act.

As media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, reflect, act and communicate information in many forms this is very impactful for any educator. As a technology instructional coach this is impactful as I work with teachers who engage their students in media literacy of the print or non-print variety. I have been able to provide media access information to teachers through my YouTube channel for teacher education.  I have also worked with teachers as they have created digital citizenship lessons on topics about analyzing media lessons. It has also been helpful to share with teachers how to embed YouTube videos in forms for students access to responses and independent reflective student work.

In what specific ways will I use the projects, skills, or ideas from this course in my teaching or training? (If not currently a teacher how might you use what you have learned?)

I have already been using my YouTube Channel for my work as a technology instructional coach. I have created Playlists to focus on specific technology integration topics that teachers have needed support with in their practice. I have created additional screencast videos as well to share information with colleagues through educational short-form videos. It is also helpful to have more knowledge on more advanced video editing software as classrooms need my support with this as they create videos showcasing work. I was also able to share Powtoon with some teachers as a way to create easy short-form videos to showcase learning during a Twitter chat.

Select at least three of the projects you created this semester and read the description of the related AECT standard. Then answer this question: How do these projects demonstrate my mastery of the AECT standards?

Short Form Educational Video: For this project we created a short educational video and then hosted it on YouTube with closed captioning.

AECT Standard 3.5 Learning Environments-Ethics: I made sure to obey copyright and fair use rules when creating my video.

AECT Standard 3.6 Learning Environments-Diversity of Learners: My educational video will appeal to learnings with a range of abilities as it enables teachers to connect to a printer without the help from an IT staff member. This is an enabling learning video.

Mini-Documentary: For this project we created the mini-documentary video project. We were able to storyboard, choose media and edit the final video.

AECT Standard 3.4 Learning Environments-Managing: I was able to improve learning by sharing this video on Blended Learning in DCPS with my site staff.

AECT Standard 3.5 Learning Environments-Ethics: I made sure to obey copyright and fair use rules when creating my video, including audio usage. I also was able to credit myself for video and photos where appropriate.

AECT Standard 3.6 Learning Environments-Diversity of Learners: This video is able to empower teachers to understand what blended learning is and the benefits for their classroom.

Media Literacy and YouTube: I was able to create a media literacy lesson which focused on gender stereotypes in media. The project was hosted as a Google Form assignment with embedded videos.

AECT Standard 4.3 Professional Knowledge & Skills-Assessing/Evaluating: For this project I was able to evaluate media and reflect on this message for myself and students.

AECT Standard 5.3 Research-Assessing/Evaluating: For this assignment I was able to embed YouTube videos into Google Forms and assess how easy this is for students to use and answer student created questions at a differentiated level.



Screencasting – Short Form Educational Video

For Module 4, I explored the topic of screencasts as a short educational video. I had never used Screencast-O-Matic but quickly learned how to manipulate the free software to showcase the tutorial I was looking to teach. There are many screencast programs available some paid and others have free and pro models with differing capabilities.

Screencasts are recordings of both the audio and visual of what occurred on a computer screen throughout the recording. This can include the instructor switching between tabs as well as the possibility of recording a webcam image or possible cursor highlights or indicators

Screencasting has many powerful implications for the educational world. The major concept of the “Flipped Classroom” thrives on the ability for teachers to create and record videos teaching a particular concept or topic. Teachers can record themselves teaching with whiteboard apps or powerpoint slides as a possible way to create these videos. Flipped classroom videos allow students to “move at their own pace” (Ruffini, 2012). With videos, including screencasts, students can pause, rewind, fast forward all with the purpose of enabling students to control their understanding and increase their learning and comprehension. Michael Ruffini (2012), with EDUCAUSE Review Online, suggests also embedding Google Forms below screencast videos on classroom blogs for students to turn in answers to questions or write reflections based on the video. This reminded me of our Media Literacy lessons where we embedded videos into our Google Form itself – as this has been an upgrade since 2012.

Screencasts can also be a way for teachers to record themselves leaving feedback as they reflect on digital student work. Imagine a teacher recording a video as they score or revise a student’s paper. That student can watch the video of their own teacher editing their work for better insights into the feedback being delivered. This method will allow for much more feedback through audio rather than a teacher trying to write or type everything.

A third way that screencasts can be meaningful for students is if they themselves are creating videos. Apps like Educreations and Showme easily allow students to do this. I also encourage my teachers to use their SMART boards as a center and teach kids to create a screencast (using SMART record) to teach a concept to the class. Sometimes these videos are shared with parents, played for the whole class or shared with a small group. This is very motivation for students and allows them to practice many language skills.

These are just three of the many ways screencasts can be used in the K12 classroom. Have you tried integrating screencasts into your work? Have you had any successes you would like to share?

Student Screen Cast Sample


Ruffini, M. F. (2012). Screencasting to engage learning. EDUCAUSE Review Online. Retrieved fromhttp://er.educause.edu/articles/2012/11/screencasting-to-engage-learning

ID: Learning Outcomes

When reading this statement, reflect on the Instructivist and Constructivist.   Do you see a connection between the two learning outcomes?  Illustrate your position by using an instructional experience and an understanding of Bloom’s.

Instructivist theory is the idea that students will learn through direct instruction approaches and constructivist hinges on students learning through discovery. It is important that teachers do not decide to pick one or the other exclusively, but rather approach teaching from the lens of a responsive pendulum. The video in the presentation really challenged teachers to go beyond one vs. the other but to utilize both theories (along with connectivism) to support individual learners where they are and move them forward.

The best teachers are those that model or scaffold through discovery moments when deemed appropriate and only for the students who need that support. This is discovered by the teacher through continually gathering formative feedback. It is important that students participate in constructing their own learning so that they can make connections and create meaning, but the teacher doesn’t have to leave the room for this to happen. The teacher can still play a pivotal role for students who need guidance in this process.

I recently was observing a teacher deliver a whole group mini lesson. She quickly determined through a formative poll that many students were ready to explore or practice on their own. She quickly changed her plan and separated students so that some were working on creating Educreation videos to teach others the concept. Another group took a sentence stem handout to work through the problem, and she invited another 7-10 students to remain on the carpet to continue working through the mini-lesson. Even then students were “released” from the mini lesson at different times as they gained the confidence needed to construct meaning around making tens. This teacher had students working within differing Blooms levels, after realizing every student did not need direct instruction. Did I mention this was a first-grade classroom with 32 students?

Larson and Lockee state “‘Changing workforce needs in the 21st-century demand that instruction and assessments build learner abilities such as expert thinking and complex communications, defined by Willis as ‘recognizing and organizing patterns and relationships and identifying and solving new problems as they arise.'” Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement. How should this impact the assessments we create?  

I agree with Willis’ (2006) statement as Larson and Lockee point out the changing landscape for learners today. There is so much access to technologies and information learners need to understand how to access in order to solve problems and redefine our understandings. It isn’t enough to simply memorize and regurgitate, as access to information is immediate.  I appreciated the comic at the beginning of chapter 7, that suggests people wouldn’t be happy allowing someone to give them a shot if they have never practiced actually doing this before. Getting an A on the test wouldn’t cut it as a learning assessment for this learning outcome. It also was pointed out that a multiple choice exam can highlight if a student can recall or can recognize – and recognition is sometimes the key necessity to follow-up application.

It is important that educators take care to also develop alternative assessments to foster assessment for and assessment as learning. For learners to grow to be capable of supporting and enhancing the 21st-Century workforce they need experiences authentically showcasing their understanding of learning outcomes throughout their educational career. The ability to respond to open-ended questions, produce a concept map or successfully navigate a performance assessment asks a student to exist on a higher level of skills.

Explain a lesson from your class and the levels of interactions within that lesson. Are there some interactions that are more essential or more important than other interactions? Explain what makes the difference. How did these interactions change the instructional strategies you chose? Be sure to discuss learner-to-content/instructor/context/learner/self.  

Recently I was working with a 1st-grade class that had to write letters based on books they had read. The letters were written for a kindergarten class to help them learn the lessons from the books that the 1st-grades had learned. The Learner-to-Context interaction had the 1st-grades interpreting the morals of stories and describing them in ways younger learners could then understand them.  The Learner-to-Instructor interaction came in the form of the teacher asking probing questions to help the 1st-grade writer determine if they had included enough detail for their future kindergarten audience. The Learner-to-Context interaction was well thought out in this classroom. Students work at small table groups but are encouraged to keep voices down during conferencing to minimize distractions. When peers are conferencing they sometimes go to the reading corner or other areas to allow students who are still writing to continue unphased. The Learner-to-Learner interactions come as discussion and peer conferencing. The Learner-to-Self interaction was highlighted in the form of a self-reflective rubric. Students were asked to make sure that their letter contained certain elements and the rubric was used by students to self-evaluate.

In this example all of the learner interactions were important. That by itself caused the teacher to create procedures and methods for students to write, conference, peer conference and self-evaluate. I have seen this teacher incorporate student friendly rubrics this year in an effort to support learner-to-self interactions as it was determined that some students needed assistance and scaffolding to become more self-aware and reflective.

Different pedagogical approaches use different planning processes to address content and learning experiences. Which of the five strategy frameworks have you used to develop the type of learning outcomes you have identified in one of your lessons or assignments?

Prior to this course, the only strategy framework that was somewhat familiar to me and my work was Gagne’s Nine Events, and even now I have a much better handle on it. However, Keller’s ARCS Motivation Model has really stood out to me as something I want to keep in the forefront when I plan. As a technology instructional coach, I am asked to take data throughout my cycle with a teacher to show student growth over time with relationship to our coaching goal. Many times the goal hinges on student engagement and time on task. The ARCS model alone or even in conjunction with other models fits this goal so well. What better way to increase engagement and time on task than with planned increases in confidence, motivation, relevance and attention-getting strategies.

Case study 06 was about K-12. Case study 08 discussed higher education. Case study 23 focused on the private sector. Which one did you most identify with and why? 

I definitely identified most with Case Study 6, due to the K-12 content. Not to say that Case Study 8 wasn’t interesting, I am always facisnated by people who do not work in a school setting all day! Learning about the main character who got a masters in instructional design reminded me that I wasn’t even aware of this position a few short weeks ago,  however, I digress.

I found Case 6 interesting as our school is newly rolling out some new technologies due to a Summer renovation. We are adding an additional wing this upcoming fall and we again will be funded for technologies within there buildings thanks to student/teacher success, and my coaching trackers. It it is happy to see that technology and the role of the technology instructional coach is being valued and having a positive affect at my site. If only this could happen everywhere.

PBL: Designing Integrated Curriculum

A Necessary Challenge

It can be very hard to build curriculum across content areas, especially when you begin to move into departmentalized grade levels and teachers teaching specialized courses. However, it is essential for students to have experiences working through content integration experiences in order to understand how the real-world functions. For example, adults don’t go through their day compartmentalizing math, writing and science. But rather use their knowledge in an integrated way to better problem solve or understand their world and their contributions to it.

At my school site we have some good things in place for designing integrated curriculum, but more can be done. Our district produces skeleton structures for integrated units which is a good helpful start. As an elementary we have both departmentalized and non-departmentalized classrooms. Once each unit teachers are given time to come together as a grade level team to backward map their unit around the lines of inquiry and unit texts. This is usually done with a literacy and writing unit sometimes tied with science or social studies and then a totally separate math unit. It would be great to integrate the math more closely with the opposite unit. Time is already provided for curriculum development, math just needs to be more authentically integrated. It would be great to pull in a coach to this meeting to help teachers grapple with this process.

I appreciate in the video below how the teachers allow time for content area specialists are given time to explain and break down their area’s standards for each other so that way integration opportunities can develop and be more linked to approprate standards.

PBL Research

I enjoyed looking at different PBL projects for the elementary level. I focused my research on both ELA and math projects at this level because I work as a coach in an elementary school. I was amazed at how easy it was to search for projects within the BIE website. This was a seamless process. I appreciated that you could filter by standard and subject area.
During my research, it was evident that many projects had similar components and common features. It was evident just in the set up (website) used that the teachers spent a lot of time planning and developing their PBL. There was a driving question that led the problem as well as standards and target objective throughout. Many PBL’s contained rubrics for teacher and student assessments for tasks or deliverables. I also noticed many of the samples I looked at had Steps to Completion with hyperlinked resources but then also an additional resource section as well.
I found one-second grade PBL project titled, “Honey, Where are my bees?” That seemed so engaging for students. I was impressed by the driving question and the critical thinking and rigor this would invoke for such young students. The students were investigating the decline of honey bees and how this would impact their community. I appreciated that this was a real issue but that the class would be focusing locally. The teacher planned to bring in guest experts and students would do small group research. I liked that the plan included options for student presentation and that a real authentic audience would be utilized at the culmination of the project.

Joining Online Communities

From Lurker to Participant (or at least working on it)

group-42917_1280Over the past week, I have worked to join a few more online communities. While I may not keep up interactions in all communities, I appreciated exploring some new groupings. I will have to decide over the long-term that will be most helpful as I learn and grow in my profession. While I was already a member of quite a few groups, I was surprised at the avenues there were new to me. Professional educators are very motivated in online communities.

Over the past week, I explored Google+ Communities, Pinterest, Classroom 2.0 and edConnectr (through Connected Educators).



For edConnectr, you have to sign-up and wait for verification. From there you fill out a fairly extensive profile, for the platform to match you with educators you can help and who can connect and assist you.  When you have completed your profile, it shows you all of your “matches” with you being in the center. You can sort by job position and look between the quadrants: “My role”, “I can help with”, “Interests”, and “I would like help with”. You can also join groups within edConnectr. I joined the “Teaching with Tech” group. Unfortunately, it seems inactive as a post hasn’t been made since 2013. EdConnectr also suggests reaching out to individual people connections called “pins,” I have contacted a few, and I am waiting for a response. I did appreciate you could search by school district, of which I found one librarian in my district.


Google+ Communities

Prior to this assignment, I had never looked into Google+ Communities. Searching through the groups there are so many choices. I was careful to find groups there were more active than others. I joined four groups through Google+ communities, two of which were free to join and two others I had to wait for approval. Communities2My interactions through the Google+ Communities have been most beneficial.  I have felt comfortable contributing and asking questions or seeking help. Members of these communities are quick to respond with suggestions or help. It has been amazing the resources people are willing to share with you.

Here are some interactions I have had with my Google+ Communities:

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I had some educators offer some very helpful tips and advice almost immediately and I wanted to share the permalinks to those interactions as well.

Microsoft 365 Help

Interactive Whiteboard Assistance

Adobe Voice Interaction

Twitter Chat Archive


A few years ago I was active on Pinterest, but it was mostly a place for me to pin recipes to try some evening down the line. Or I would pin the latest appetizer recipe that I hoped would not be another Pinterest fail. However, my experience with Pinterest lacked any sort of community interactions. Of course, I had “followed” friends boards, but we didn’t comment on each others. It was a way to pin, bookmark and collect, that was it. For this activity, I attempted get back on Pinterest to experiment with the networked community as an active participant. I followed some EdTech boards and found posts and resources I liked. I posted comments to educators posts and thanked them for the resources. I also tried to ask people a few questions, of which I received one response. I am happy that I experimented with Pinterest again. Will I rely on it for PLN in the future? Probably not, but there are good resources there if you don’t mind getting lost in the scroll!



The final online community that I joined was Classroom 2.0. This community is a place for educators who are interested in social media, classroom technology use and the Web 2.0 to interact and engage with one another. I definitely still have some exploring to do with this platform. There are groups and forums as well recordings, videos and guest speakers. I like that they have video and FAQ resources for educators who haven’t posted to forums before. Classroom 2.0 also has RSS feeds that you can utilize to stay on top of new blog or forum posts and comments. I will have to play around with he happy medium on how much of this I want notifications about. While I do use Feedly for RSS feeds, I need to decide how to organize my new online community notifications so that they don’t overwhelm, but become an asset to my PLN.

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Reflecting on My PLE



I enjoyed the process of creating this representation of my PLE. I usually shy away from artistic projects, feeling inadequate. However, the use and exploration of digital tools gets my creative juices flowing. This assignment, rightly so, turned into an extremely self-reflective activity.

While creating my PLE, I learned that I have come a long way. It wasn’t that long ago that none of these tools was around. And now look at the learning, networking and connections that have been formed. In creating the “Guide to My PLE” I found there were a lot of connections I have made and at differing levels of success.

I decided to divide my PLE into four main categories all of which are interconnected. I questioned putting the same icons into multiple circles then decided to place them where they fit by definition and then connect each category as they really can go between all categories.

I learned that there were a few tools that I use or taught I used well. For example, Diigo has been my go to bookmarking app for a few years personally, but the social aspect was new to me for this class. While I have been on Twitter for a year professionally, Twitter chats were new to me for this Module. I learned that I can keep honing my skills in most all of my PLE tools. That is one of the reasons I am pursuing a Masters in Educational Technology, to focus really on my skills and continue to learn and research in directed areas.

I also learned that while I am getting better, I definitely continue to be a lurker more than I want in many areas. I will read online resources from a whole host of people for hours, but contribute far less. This is a pattern I need to work on. Reflecting on this is a great step to being a more active member in my personal learning network.

Comparative Analysis

Having the opportunity to explore my course PLN’s PLE posts, as well as other classmates creations, I come away feeling positive and that I am doing the right things to build my PLN. There are so many similarities that I noticed throughout our representations. Differences were mostly program specific, not different in the idea itself. We all find it important to communicate/share, organize, learn and collaborate. The tools we use may be different, but the reasons for using the tools are universal.

There were definitely tools that I utilize, however, forgot to include in my own PLE. Reviewing my classmates representations reminded me of these resources as well. A big one that I left off was Tweetdeck. I think a major reason I hadn’t been successful with Twitter in the past, was the lack of organization I had made around hashtags or ways to follow a Twitter chat. This tool should have made my diagram for example.

This might be a good process to use with teachers at my school when I work with them as a coach. We could explore their PLN and areas they want to grow.  This would be a work in progress, but this process was definitely beneficial to reflect on my PLE, what it is and what I want it to be.