A curated selection of work created for my Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET)
Listed below is a sampling of work completed during my Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program.
Learning at any level is fundamentally about changing one’s view of some aspect of the world. Change is at the very heart of both technology and what I do as an educational technologist. Likewise, the process of earning my master’s degree is a story of growth and change. The five artifacts below represent change in many forms, from the intellectual to the philosophical to the physical, that I explored throughout the writing of that story.
Changing Minds & Spaces
Changing Minds & Spaces
James Paul Gee's theory promoting the importance of situated and embodied learning changed my thinking about how we learn and, consequently, how best to teach. Once I discovered it, I better understood many valuable learning moments. This video examines Gee's ideas through the lens of the student-teaching experience.
As a Technology Coordinator, I am frequently required to bring others along on the technology journey I have been traveling for many years. At the Cayman International School, the task was to guide understanding of how to implement Project Based Learning (PBL) to address the problem of student engagement and advance their goal of 21st century teaching and learning.
I am an unabashed Apple fanboy with roots long before Apple's "Think Different" campaign. But I believe the message of that campaign rings as true with me today as it did back in 1997 when first introduced. In my own small way, I try to use technology to change the world and make it a better place. This artifact (from this blog post) is my personal tribute to the genius of believing in change.
Creativity is an important characteristic in my life. I believe at the intersection of technology and art, one finds creativity. In almost everything I do, I frequently find myself looking for a unique way to accomplish a task to make it more interesting. The Master of Arts in Educational Technology program afforded me many such opportunities. While the three examples below certainly are representative of those occasions, I hope others see a creative aspect within all of my work.
This artifact addresses the seven skills necessary to develop and enhance one's creativity, one of the four C's identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning. I wrote it for one of the most influential courses I took as part of my degree program, Creativity in Teaching and Learning, and it contains many ideas I continue to practice and explore long after the course has ended.
The mixture of technology and creativity is a theme I return to often. The creation of this online learning experience combines my passions for technology, education and the exploration of several disciplines through a creative lens. It invites students to examine topics through "art colored glasses" and expand their creative vocabulary in a discovery learning environment.
In education, the Maker movement draws on problem-based and project-based learning to solve authentic problems via hands-on experiences. This particular project applies the creativity inherent in the Maker ethos to exploring physics at the elementary level, including topics of optics, light and shadow, basic circuitry and simple mechanics.
Student centered has always been essential to my approach to teaching, regardless of whether the student was six or sixty years old. As a Technology Coordinator, I taught administration, staff and parents how to take advantage of the tech available all around them. I also assisted other educators in the development of lessons integrating technology into their curriculum. Below are three lessons developed during the master’s program in which I learned how best to do all of the above.
Lessons Taught & Learned
Lessons Taught & Learned
While also being an incredibly fun activity, this lesson takes advantage of littleBits™ kits and a Maker philosophy to help students develop confidence in their problem solving skills as well as establishing the concept of their role as learners who create their own meaning as opposed to attempting to figure out what it is the teacher wants.
This lesson plan employs a "flipped lesson" model to train teachers in the use of Flipped Lessons. As such, it is a demonstration of situated and embodied learning wherein the educators are developing tech skills to create lessons where they themselves will employ technology to teach content. A corresponding reflection on the activity is available.
Co-created with Gabriel Metzger, this professional development workshop on the Google Art Project is important and useful for teachers from many disciplines. While it can be used to foster higher order skills in both visual thinking and comparative analysis, with an interesting piece of art as the hook, engagement becomes less of a problem.
What would a master's program be without research? More fun? But, all kidding aside, research can provide a scientific basis for the validity and reliability of claims that some educators instinctively believe. It can help build knowledge of best practices and can inform policy decisions in a more unbiased fashion. Research is frequently my first stop in understanding and assessing changes in educational policy and practice or whenever I'm simply trying to work out what would be best for students. The document below represents just such an attempt.
Having long promoted the use of video technology with teachers from all disciplines, I also had to acknowledge that the application of digital video projects as assignments in the classroom can be technologically challenging. But that challenge appears to be worth the cost. This research synthesis confirms the benefits in creativity, engagement, and authenticity of such a learning experience.