3) Please explain how your studies and experiences within the MS in Educational Technology program empowered you to serve as an innovative professional in a global and digital society. Include in your discussion experiences collaborating with all members of your learning community.
My studies and experiences within the MS in Educational Technology program has empowered me to serve as an innovative professional in a global and digital society. In addition, my experiences have led to higher levels of collaboration with my learning community.
My experiences leaning about different lesson plan designs – including T-PACK and UbD led me to a greater understanding of lesson creation. Additionally, bridging together differentiated learning with learning about Understanding by Design reinforced the concept that it is important to start with the end goal (what do you want the students to know?) tracing back to the standards, and achieve that goal through differentiation. As I begin my job teaching technology, these concepts are important as I plan out lessons with the school library media specialist and the rest of the technology team. Instead of starting with ideas of what we think is important – we look at the AASL-CCSS Crosswalk to form the basis for our lessons. This is especially important when taking into consideration the instructional time constraints facing us as teachers – the district technology teachers see each student for only 42 minutes a week – it is key that the standards are being met during this time. Using the UbD lesson design as a guide, I will bring to the table this experience (such as creating a technology rich unit plan using this design and incorporating technology) to benefit the rest of the team, to ensure we are making most effective use of our instructional time. I am equipped with basic guidelines for differentiating. As I begin teaching, it won’t be possible to teach to each individual student – instead I will want to “find ways to get to know students intentionally and gradually” as well as “offer more ways to express and explore learning” (Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006, p.19). In the younger grades (K-2) that I will be teaching in using technology for students to express themselves and explore learning will be key – whether it is through a creation on an app or completing research on a database such as PebbleGo.
I have been empowered to serve as an innovative professional in my school in several facets. After completing my research project, I was seen more as a person with educational technology background and knowledge and was relied on as such. When other math teachers used Khan Academy website and had questions or issues, I served as the schools go-to person for assisting in classrooms and answering questions in regards to the website. Using my knowledge gained from completing the research project, I was able to assist the math specialist in the roll out of a digital summer math packet. Using my knowledge of parent permission letters, analyzing and weighing the pros and cons of using different websites for possible use, troubleshooting the creation of student accounts and assigning appropriate work, and assigning students to specific teachers, my experience with Khan Academy Coach program provided me with the background knowledge to help with this project. I have also served as a computer based testing resource. With SBAC, I proctored testing I computer labs communicating with teachers, students and administrators, and serving as a liaison between teachers and administration. As these tests are new, I was trusted that I would have the know-how to address technology issues that arose and smoothly proctor each test session. When I knew I was not going to be available as a proctor, I taught and provided detailed instructions on how to run the testing session independently. With benchmark testing, I am often called upon to provide technology know how in setting up, running and closing testing sessions.
As a result of my experiences and my master’s coursework, I was recently hired as a K-2 Technology teacher. In this venue I will be able to use my skills and background in new ways. I will be applying what I learned giving it a new dimension and purpose. Going through my coursework in preparing this portfolio, it reminded me of many areas that I can apply in my new job and tools to use, including tech tool evaluations, district tech planning, and lesson plan design.