Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 2.1 Creating, 3.1 Creating, 3.2 Using, 3.5 Ethics

WebQuest: Logos

This WebQuest follows the model developed by Bernie Dodge and Tom March. It is used to explore the design process in developing logos. The quest guides students through gathering information, brainstorming, refining, and delivery.

For the HTML portion of the program, I opted to use a home-grown template. I had issues with some of the other pages I made from pre-made templates. When working with a template, there is a lot of time spent getting familiar with the code and how it works. Sometimes it takes you a while to figure out the template isn’t going to work for what you wanted it for. So to spare myself all that time and energy, I wrote the code myself. I am happy with the results. The site is flexible, has responsive elements, and looks good.

Take a look…

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 2.1 Creating, 3.1 Creating, 3.2 Using, 3.5 Ethics

Tour the SHS Wood Shop

This EDTECH 502 assignment expanded on the HTML/CSS skills learned so far in the course. The main requirement is to be a multi-paged website that uses consistent navigation and styles. I chose to use Bootstrap again, like I did last week with the Wood Types M-Learning Activity. This week though I did run into coding issues with the templates. When working with templates, this is a common problem to come across. I opted early on to make a fresh start which corrected the problem but I still wasted a lot of time troubleshooting. I overcame the coding issues and was able to focus o the virtual field trip around the wood shop. Going in the order the students are introduced to the machinery, the virtual field trip visits most machines in the shop. There is plenty of room for growth down the road when I want to add machines.

Check it out…

Posted in 1.1 Creating

Educational Technology: A Definition

For this final EDTECH 501 assignment, we are tasked with creating an infographic based on the definition for Educational Technology. I used the course textbook: Educational Technology: A Definition with Commentary for the definition and my reflection of the meaning. I enjoyed breaking the definition down into the smallest pieces in an effort to make the definition flow through the graphic.

I opted to use the suggested Piktochart online tool to create my graphic and was looking forward to getting to play around with it. I’ve heard about the tool in the past and seen some neat stuff people have created with it but I just didn’t have a need until now..

Piktochart was easy to use and has a huge library of assets to use. I opted to start from scratch as I really wanted to explore. As a graphic designer who is fluent in complex layout programs, I found the simplicity  of the tool refreshing. I didn’t have to create everything from scratch and the result was pleasing to the eye. Sure, I found some limitations to the tool but my expectation was simplicity and that’s what I got. Overall, the process was enjoyable and fairly pain free. Enjoy…


Posted in 5.3 Assessing/Evaluating

Maturity Model Evaluation Summary

After familiarizing myself with what the heck a Technology Maturity Benchmark was, I used this Maturity Model Benchmark rubric to analyze my small school district. I had a difficult time finding technology plan information for my specific school so I chose to expand my research to my school district.

My process for completing this assignment started with learning about technology plans in general. I was able to find my district plan and status updates for it. I read the technology plan and mapped each section to where I felt it landed on the benchmark rubric. Based on my findings, I completed the summaries for each section. You can check out my evaluation summaries here. You can see by the chart below that the district dominated at the Integrated and Intelligent stages.smalltownSchoolDistrictChart

Having worked in the district for a couple of years now, I am familiar with how technology is being used. I was not too surprised to find that overall the district is in the integrated stage of the maturity benchmarks. My district uses technology a lot. We have iPads for classrooms, special apps, online programs, administrative systems, ample computer lab access, and more. With full time employees devoted to the cause, we have little excuse not to. I was surprised at how poorly we did with assessments and then I was surprised that I was surprised. Assessment tools is highly dependent on the teachers choice and many teachers still prefer traditional methods. Progress has been made using tools like Socrative and Kahoot to gamify quizzing for assessment but on a whole, pen and paper is where it’s at.

Overall this assignment was an in-depth look into all the aspects required for a school technology plan. It was interesting looking deeper into my own district and learning more about the community I work in.

Check out my Maturity Benchmarks Survey Sheet to see where Small-town does well.

Check out my Technology Use Evaluation Summary for Small-town to read summaries for each category.

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using

Wood Types M-Learning Activity

For this assignment we focused on building responsive sites that will display correct on phones, computers, and everything in between. I feel pretty strongly that any web presence should be responsive. There are a couple of approaches to achieving a web site that works across devices. In my career, I’ve played with many approaches. For this assignment, I opted to try Bootstrap which comes with Dreamweaver. This was my first time working with the codebase and I found it easy to adapt to. The CSS code is a bit bloated due to its ability to handle so many different types of applications. But it’s ok as long as you understand all that your template can do for you.

The content in this assignment is a tool to help students identify types of trees and the characteristics of the wood they are made of. For my Woods 1 course, there is a single wood science unit that is barely memorable in the scope of the year long course. I want to emphasize the tools that one would reach for when identifying a problem. My goal with this page is that it can be a bookmarked tool that students can use to easily find the right information. It is with this intention that I created the Wood Types M-Learning Activity.

Posted in 4.3 Reflection on Practice

BYOD – A practical example

BYOD or BYOT stands for Bring Your Own Device/Technology. BYOD as an emerging technology is much more complex than students just being allowed to bring their devices to school. There are students who do not have devices to bring, connectivity issues within districts, privacy & legal issues, difficulties delivering content consistently across devices,  and a daunting task to give proper training to educators. While researching this project, I found that there is no shortage of information on how difficult a BYOD environment is to manage. No matter what obstacles that are in place, I feel this is an important policy to fight for. With more than 80% of teens owning cell phones there is such a great need for education inclusive of the technology. Smartphones are not going away and information is just going to keep getting easier and easier to access on the fly. School budgets are not getting larger and the expense of attaining and maintaining device libraries is expensive. It seems like a no-brainer to incorporate student owned smart devices into the classroom.

The school I work at has a BYOD policy and I have actively pursued ways to incorporate fair activities in my classroom. My biggest hurdle is usually students who either don’t have devices or have devices that won’t perform well. Depending on the lesson, I will usually solve this problem by signing out a technology cart or have students group up. I find that my (high school) students seem to feel empowered and with excitement of using their own devices right out in the openness of a classroom. Students don’t have to hide their device in the depths of their backpacks or try to camouflage their texting under their books. Which segways right into the challenges of allowing smartphone use: keeping them on task! It’s “teacher 101” that an engaging lesson is the key to successful classroom management. Unfortunately, cell phones in the classroom are another distraction for teachers to manage but with engaging lessons and applicable use of the technology, success can be had.

I recently stumbled across a tool called Kahoot that basically turns quiz type activities into a competitive game. I’ve had the chance to deliver lessons that include Kahoots and I am impressed with the tool and all that it can offer me. Check out this short presentation I created that describes how to create and deliver engaging assessments and activities.


I’ve had the opportunity to use Kahoot! for unit pre and post assessments, lesson initiations and closures, and just for fun on a Friday afternoon. No matter what I use it for, when the students hear Kahoot! they are instantly excited and almost race to log in.

Creating a fun activity is one thing, tricking students to learn is another, but so far the best use of Kahoot! for me has been using the data it produces to quickly assess where a class is in meeting their objectives. If a class does poorly in one area, I can easily adjust instruction to focus more on that area. Likewise, if a class aces a pre-assessment, I know I don’t have to spend as much time with the content.

5805548The Kahoot! tool falls between the Modification and Augmentation levels on the SAMR model. While the tool is JUST a quiz app, the actual functionality of the tool just substitutes a task that already existed before. It enhances the mechanics of the task but it doesn’t change it much. I feel that the game aspect including competition can bump Kahoot! up to Modification as this is functionality you would not get when traditionally delivering an assessment.

Without my school’s BYOD policy, I would not be able to take advantage of such great teaching aids like Kahoot! I am thankful that I work in a district that is not afraid to address the difficult issues associated with implementing such a policy. There are still bugs to work out but I will continue to seek applications such as kahoot! to keep incorporating use of personal devices in my classroom.


Sign up for your own Kahoot!

Students log in to take a Kahoot!

Learn more about Emerging Technologies by reading the Horizon Report, 2015 K-12 Edition:

Learn more about the SAMR model


Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 2.1 Creating, 3.5 Ethics

Concept/ Image Map

Using my Graphic Arts syllabus, I created a concept map that lays out the highlights of the course. I created this image in Photoshop and used Dreamweaver to create the image map. I envision the page being used on day 1 to give students a chance to explore what to expect.

I found this an interesting assignment. Having been in web development for so long, I feel like an image map is so 2002 and haven’t really thought about them since then. What was interesting was applying this very easy technique in creating a valuable learning tool that doesn’t feel like 2002. Go image maps!