You are on page 1of 30


Comprehensive Examination: A Real-World Experience Walker B. Wellborn Lamar University


Comprehensive Examination: A Real-World Education My professional career paths in technical illustration, corporate communications, editorial illustration, college and university instruction, and the educational technology leadership role I am currently pursuing each continues to involve collaborative productivity and telecommunication technologies used in real world experiences. My visual arts career using educational technologies began in Houston with a technical illustration job that soon evolves into computer-aided drafting (CAD). CAD technology would soon replace the meticulous craft of drawing exploded views using straight edges, French curves, and inking pens with faster and more accurate digital operations. When I started illustrating with CAD I was completing my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Houston Main Campus. After earning my BFA in studio arts another venture into another digital arts technology position began with a corporate communications department serving an electric public utility. There I taught myself to digitally design magazine pages and advertisements using industry-standard tools such as Aldus PhotoStyler, PageMaker, and FreeHand. Their WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) technology conveniently visualizes on a computer screen the work you are designing to match proportionally scaled with its final print output. Such experiences with technology in designing and professional daily work with others relate much to how reliable and engaging educational technologies can be for student learning. My graduate Comprehensive Examination real-world experiences have shaped my position goal, leadership goals, and my educational technology vision as well as what I have learned from the Masters of Education in Educational Leadership program about myself, my technology and leadership skills, and my attitudes in learning. These experiences continue in the reflections and rationale regarding the six courses in the masters program that helped me more than the others, my three-year professional development plan, and my curriculum vitae. Much like professionally evaluating what technology effectively supports and delivers a timely and quality design product, my current role as educational technology facilitator and leader must guide educators to teach using technologies that equitably engage and deliver effective student learning.


Goals Position Goal Launching a new career now at the start of the 21st century would sound however unlikely for me since I am in my late fifties. Yet I cannot be content to not grow or change with the current full time instructor position I have at Texas State Technical College West Texas (TSTC). Not only do I still love teaching the ever-popular digital arts, but I also feel an additional passion to integrate contemporary technology into the 21st century classroom. At first I never intended to teach. I believed a bachelor of fine arts degree was all that was necessary to be a successful professional artist. I believe I could have been a fine arts painter had I not understood I would always need another profession like graphic design to support my fine arts habit. Foremost I love my family and I also would not have had the singular devotion that fine arts painting would demand. Yet, given my passion, confidence, and skill in the visual arts beginning since my youth and my first sixty credit hours in studio arts at Abilene Christian University (ACU), I felt I had to complete my BFA. I had the great fortune to do so with the internationally recognized faculty at the University of Houston. Again I never intended to teach. In fact it was not until 1998 that a fellow artist, now program director at ACU who asked me to be an adjunct instruct for a fine arts figurative drawing course. However, ACU coincidentally began its accreditation process that same semester. Since I did not have my Masters of Fine Arts degree, I was unable to qualify to adjunct instruct the next semester. Yet the experience ignited a tremendous interest in me to teach. Although I continuously learn new technologies and research new ideas and processes, it might not be enough without appropriate educational degree. Any future position at TSTC West Texas may eventually require more than a bachelor degree to instruct. Despite having both studio arts and business management degrees I understood that todays educational institutions would likely compete by having higher levels of instruction to offer. It is about continuous learning and continuous growth for one to be competitive in the 21st century and I believe I must grow my educational credentials to continue the


teaching I enjoy. I found the Masters of Education in Educational Technology Leadership degree credible, expedient, and affordable. This online 12 course graduate curricular program offered by Lamar University Academic Partnerships was perfect. It offers the best program that combines my passions for the digital arts, new technologies, and student instruction. Leadership Goal What I hope to accomplish, as an educational technology leader at TSTC or another local university, is to continue instructing the digital arts in some capacity, yet more importantly facilitate and lead educators in improved technology literacy for their professional practice and for enhancing the learning opportunities for all students in the daily classroom. The Lamar University Masters in Education in Educational Technology Leadership training has provided me with that educational technology experience to not only train at the high school level, but also the university level. Additionally my experience in digital art design and connective technology tools at the work place undergirds my personal passion and qualification for real world facilitation and leadership practice. For nine years at TSTC I have instructed with student-workforce goals in mind, and I still enjoy tremendously experiencing student presentations that pitch and demonstrate design projects in a real competitive workplace manner. Productivity and telecommunication technologies that assist the student to design, present, and demonstrate are some of the constructionist and connective tools teachers must learn and implement into their instruction. Today I find it is interesting that I often used technology in the workplace without verbalizing the process. I learned to do the job intuitively. Now I want to verbalize those processes clearly for others, particularly teachers. Abernathy says (2011), This degree is not about teaching children as much as it is teaching teachers how to teach! (Web conference notes). My goal is to have a leadership role in an educational technology program at TSTC or local university to develop faculty to use technology more productively themselves in order to use it more effectively for their instructional practice. Vision As teachers can be passionate about teaching, they must develop that same passion for their own


continuous learning in order to improve their digital literacy. The amount of time remaining in a school week or semester to learn digital literacy is never enough and the volume of technology to learn can be overwhelming. According to the 2011 Horizon Report, a focused yearly collaborative effort by EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and New Media Consortium (NMC) that forecasts trends in technology that have an influential impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry over the next five years, digital media literacy for both student and teacher ranks the highest challenge (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2011, p. 3). Overcoming the digital media literacy challenge comes by training teachers how important is for them to be continuous learners, observe and use what engages students, and teach digital information responsibility. Although schools often purchase and install many of the productivity and telecommunication tools educators need, often educators complain of the lack of time to learn new software and apply new techniques in communications. This is where educators must create an attitude to learn continuously, at home or wherever time permits. If all what teachers learn is in professional development time, they have little time to make sense of the technologys full worth. Many educators use the technology in the most rudimentary ways, not able to maximize the available features of software. Careful choices have to be made about what tools are more important according to use (Williamson & Redish, 2009, p.103). Many of those choices would be wise if researched according to the 2011 Horizon Report trends. The report found the following six technologies influential to teaching, learning, or creative inquiry over the next five years: electronic books, mobiles, augmented reality, game-based learning, gesture-based learning, and learning analytics (Johnson et al., 2011, pp. 5-6). For educators to improve their digital literacy be aware how amazingly fast children are changing in how they learn. Marc Prensky (2001) explains: Todays students K-12 through college represent the first generations to grow up with this new technology. They have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Todays average college grads have spent fewer than 5,000 hours of their lives


reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV). Computer games, e-mail, the Internet, cell phones and instant messaging are integral parts of their lives. (p. 1) It is interesting how many of the technologies children now enjoy away from the school campus include those found in The Horizon Report 2011 to be widely adopted for education within the next five years. The Kaiser Foundation survey finds that students from the ages eight to eighteen use the Internet and computer twice as much as they read printed material. The survey study further suggests to involve students in learning they must be engaged with media-rich learning experiences (Williamson & Redish, 2009, p. 59). Technologies used by students outside of the school such as mobile devices and game-based learning are expected to be adopted widespread within one to two years and two to three years, respectively. I find both offer flexible, adaptive, and challenging learning strategies that can be a great segue for teachers to engage students and to guide learning for the real world (Johnson et al., 2011, p. 5). Teachers must understand a new educational literacy: most of it is now digital, networked, and overwhelming (Warlick, 2007, p. 23). If digital media literacy is the most important challenge to overcome for educators, then I believe educators must take a careful look at the number one key driver to the six educational technology adoptions (Johnson et al., 2011, p. 3). The Horizon Report 2011 states there is an ever-increasing abundance of resources and relationships for the student accessible from the Internet (Johnson et al., 2011). The Internets continued influence is remarkable only because schools are the places students least use the Internet. Pew and Kaiser reports indicate nearly one third of all teens do not use the Internet at school. Majorities of sixty-five percent of students say they access the Internet at home, whereas only fourteen percent say they access it more often at school (Williamson & Redish, 2009, p. 59). Todays student has never been without the Internet, and I feel that for the educator to provide relevant learning opportunities the student should regularly use the Internet in the classroom, and use it to learn coursework from their home, too. However, with greater access there are greater precautions. Warlick (2007) recommends, We must work hard to decide which information we are going to use, and


which information we are going to ignore. In other words, information must now compete for our attention in much the same way that products on a store shelf competed for attention in the industrial age (p. 21). It is necessary that online safety and netiquette courtesy be taught for students to understand how to protect them more. Names need to be concealed and passwords are needed to protect. It is certainly an ethical issue for these new guardians of information to be sensible and responsible with greater access to these online resources, references, and textbooks (Adelman, 2004, p. 20). Although the fourth key driver to the six educational technology adoptions, according to The Horizon Report 2011, poses a network decentralization of educational resources and tasks, Johnson et al. asserts (2011), The challenges of privacy and control continue to affect adoption and deployment, but work continues on resolving the issues raised by increasingly networked information (p. 3). Therefore the challenge appears even greater for more effective technological tools and filters for finding, interpreting, organizing, and retrieving relevant data is necessary for both teacher and student to keep pace of the rapid proliferation of information (Johnson et al., 2011, p. 4). In the editorial newsroom I learned quickly to collaborate with the news writers and page designers pulling my work into their tightly designed QuarkXPress page layouts. You know how your work will perform in context of other peoples work such as how it queues to print. There is no changing, no slowing, no loss of images or typefaces, and especially no network crashes tolerated during the queue to print. I share this newspaper experience because it underlies what motivates me to lead others, especially educators, as how importantly technology naturally affects collaboration and other cooperative efforts in the workplace. According to Johnson et al. (2011), The world of work is increasingly collaborative, giving rise to reflection about the way student projects are structured (p. 3). This third key driver to the six educational technology adoptions is growing because the simplest of processes in the workplace require a collaborative effort. When I worked in the electric utility corporate communications department, advertising had to be coordinated among hundreds of newspapers and many other colleagues who coordinated your work


against a singular deadline. In addition this need for collaboration comes from the fact that people want to be able to work whenever and wherever they desire, the second key driver to the six educational technology adoptions (Johnson et al., 2011, p. 3). Much the same way technology can bridge the communication and flow of information consumers who want market access from anywhere and anytime to products, goods, and services of companies, it can provide the asynchronous relationship that dispersed online students can have with their instructors, fellow students, and course material. I am not sure how educators can ignore technology as a key component in what and how students must learn in order to be ready for real world experiences. What I Have Learned About Myself As for my experiences in the Masters of Education in Educational Technology Leadership program I have learned much about K-12 educational system. Since I have been a professional in illustration and design and an instructor for college and university, I have had little experience with K-12 education except for online dual credit work with one high school. Yet I have learned I can lead much of the learning for the K-12 education process myself. It is possible for me to improve schools through classroom thinking and questioning. As educational technology leader I now understand it is more acceptable to action research learning solutions. I plan to inquire firsthand from the real experiences found in classroom practices, to collaborate, investigate, and reflect upon my own problems, and finally to trust my findings when facilitating change. I find it interesting that this practitioner inquiry or action research is becoming a best practice to understand daily K-12 educational experiences instead of traditionally relying primarily upon outside theory experts (Dana, 2009, pp. 4-5). I learned how little I understood how to use Web 2.0 telecommunication tools before this program. I have now created my educational technology program blog in WordPress located at Maintaining this blog has helped me to understand how a blog can enable conversation, dialogue, and reflection. Solomon and Schrum (2007) explain: With these possibilities for Web 2.0 tools, educators can weave in the potential for building a


learning community as they become familiar with blogs, wikis, podcasting, and social bookmarking. Not only can educators connect with their peers, but they can have access to experts in a variety of content or process areas. (p. 111) I now see how learning requires more than only knowledge and skill. Real learning involves understanding understanding more. Wiggins and McTighe (2005) state, Understanding requires more: the ability to thoughtfully and actively do the work with discernment, as well as the ability to self-assess, justify, and critique such doings (p. 41). Therefore when students are able to judge well in adapting what is learned to new challenges, then they understand the learning. Although firsthand experience is a viable resource for my learning, additional reflective thought and questioning should better equip me to facilitate learning with educational technology that promotes understanding and adapting to change. About My Technology and Leadership Skills I know had to become more proficient in the use of Web 2.0 telecommunication tools. With my WordPress blog site I am now learning to use telecommunications technology better. Although I am proficient with most productivity tools, I was however less experienced in multimedia technology. Through the internship activities at Bonham Elementary I was able to facilitate other instructors and students to create multiple media that predominantly include visual and auditory to construct two entire multimedia presentations. Multimedia technology proves to be a valuable tool to facilitate for teachers to enhance student learning. According to SEG Research (2008), when information is presented using both the visual and auditory channels, working memory can handle more information overall (p. 3). As I became more aware how the K-12 system works I was able to understand how much a vision plays a part in the technology adopted by a school leadership and its professional staff. Although a vision statement may be created at the national, state, or district levels the educational technology leader can affect strong leadership and a shared vision to enable new ways to of teaching and learning campus wide, not just used in traditional manners of instruction (Williamson & Redish, 2009, p. 179). Also for effective educational technology leadership I understand more about the planning for technology to lead to learning opportunities. The planning must be both useful and achievable. For



effective action to happen the plan has to be clearly stated and contain tasks that are achievable with the human and financial resources available. The actions should be set out in measurable goals with defined resources for evaluating the progress and celebrating its success (Williamson & Redish, 2009, pp. 182183). About My Attitudes An attitude represents a like or dislike for something and often requires a judgment based on an experience or observation for something. As for a preference I enjoy being a facilitator who is an educational steward who demonstrates technology at the campus level close to the actual users of technology and students in the classroom (Williamson & Redish, 2009, p. 5). I desire to be a continuous learner. Through professional experience I understand it is the means to grow at the pace you desire and it sustains your competitive edge to do quality work, serve your clients better, and remain desirable. I have a strong loyalty to the education for American students. I prefer their understanding for technologies and learning to lead the world in the 21st century Information Age. Digital natives are over-rated. They may be more natural users, yet they still need to develop more as continuous learners. Most college students whom I instruct are technical savvy, yet they need practical guidance in using technology more broadly and productively. Digital immigrants often show a great determination to overcome stagnation to compete and to continue to learn. Having known what it was like without the digital technology in our lives, I believe digital immigrants often appreciate the advantage of technology. Therefore having a better work ethic may prove the determining success factor for either group to succeed as continuous learners and productive citizens in a global marketplace. As leaders in educational technology both sets of learners must be engaged with what they use everyday. For the rest of the learners technology must be exposed for its clear advantages in seeing the world and competing in the 21st century (Prensky, 2008, p. 45). I see the necessity for digital equity for all learners, but I dislike the socialization in forced distribution of community funds intended for additional technology for their local schools. I strive to offer



diverse learning processes that address a quality access to current and emerging technologies, digital resources and connectivity for all students, teachers, staff, and school leaders for enhancing knowledge and skills to function competitively in the real-world (Williamson & Redish, 2009, pp. 124-127). I prefer the continuous formative assessments to summative assessments. I dislike the reality that summative assessments carry more weight in school acceptability ratings. I believe the formative grading in the first four weeks of the EDLD 5370 Internship in Educational Technology Leadership course will help the student understand the curricular content better and provide a more realistic week five summative grade. Fortunately my Lamar University graduate program has taught student-centered learning as an effective approach to instructional design. As an educational technology leader my intention is to continue engage the student in the classroom with the technology-rich reality for which they are accustomed, and lead them towards the light in learning (Prensky, 2008, pp. 42-43). My Six Most Helpful Courses There are six educational technology leadership graduate program courses that helped me more than the others in understanding my technology facilitation and leadership role. Especially courses in leadership accountability, research, school law, and curriculum management helped me understand how similar the leadership responsibilities and traits of the K-12 principal are to the educational technology leader. Although my primary field of facilitation and leadership will be for the college or university level, the K-12 educational practices, technology management, and leadership service training are certainly related. Selecting courses that provided new understanding in educational technology knowledge and practice helped me narrow my course choices to six. These courses are EDLD 5306 Concepts of Educational Technology, EDLD 5368 Instructional Design, EDLD 5301 Research, EDLD 5363 Multimedia and Video Technology, EDLD 5364 Teaching with Technology, and EDLD 5362 Informational Systems Management. EDLD 5306 Concepts of Educational Technology



At the beginning of the graduate program an overview was necessary in order to summarize what an educational technology leadership program entails for the facilitator and leader. From the beginning EDLD 5306 Concepts of Educational Technology helped me better understand the decision-making role of a technology leader and a clearer understanding of the learning processes gained from current educational technologies. I already immerse myself in most current industry-standard programs, technical equipment, and Web 2.0 communication technologies. I learned for the first time about webquests that enable student interaction for active inquiry into some real world study. This tool engages and allows the student collaboration with web-based technologies so that each student can assume special job roles much like real life and pool their acquired information into a synthesized solution. This educational technology is so real world in many ways, plus it involves further innovative use of educational technologies (Pitler, 2007, pp. 145-147). I learned how the national law No Child left Behind Program transforms our schools as it shapes the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology (LRPT) and the School Technology and Readiness (STaR) educational technology planning tools for campus administrators, teachers, and educational technology leaders (TEA, 2011, para. 1-2). Additional state technology standards set out in the Technology Applications Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) provide schools a more detailed instructional design for the future 21st century student should know and be able to do (TEA, 2011, para. 1). EDLD 5368 Instructional Design The methodology of learning has always intrigued me. Besides my interest in the theories of learning, it was the concept of understanding in this second course, EDLD 5368 Instructional Design that shows me what to aim for in learning for the teacher and ultimately for the student. Learning theories should help me make better sense of what methods Im using in everyday instructional practice. To make order out of chaos is the idea behind the Gestalt Theory, which is the embedded theory behind the Cognitive Theory where the student learns from coding and structuring activities (Dabbagh, 2006). This Gestalt Theory lies behind much of my instructional practice I apply for teaching compositional design in digital arts and advertising design.



The study of the Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism learning theories offers other possibilities for student-centered learning processes. With more than one learning process to choose from one should be able give greater attention how to teach to diverse and original knowledge, skills, attitudes, and cultural differences students bring to creative problems in my classes (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000, p. 133). When a student really understands, one makes sense of many distinct pieces of knowledge. Dewey (1933) sums up his idea: To grasp the meaning of a thing, an event, or a situation is to see it in its relations to other things: to see how it operates or functions, what consequences follow from it, what causes it, what uses it can be put to. (pp. 137, 146) Understanding puts what one knows in context of a meaningful application. I especially appreciated how the tiling a floor with only black and white tiles analogy from Understanding by Design explains how we may internalize knowledge like individual bits of facts can also form simple relationships, or group to form even more complex relationships. Although certain facts may be simple and common to all, our understanding is able to rearrange them and find different meanings according to our unique perception (Wiggins & McTighe, 2000, p. 38). Whereupon a student understands a thing, not only is knowledge and skill used, work is done with discernment without familiar cues, i.e., not only does one change the oil accurately and effectively, but one also has reason to change the oil accordingly shorter or longer depending on the number of miles the six-cylinder sedan is driven. Because it is a used vehicle, the best viscosity of oil is critical. The student also justifies the time and attention given to change the oil regularly in order to extend the life of the used vehicle for another four or more years, until college is completed, and hopefully a better job is found that will make a newer vehicle affordable. Changing oil serves the bigger idea to fulfill a dream. A student, who goes beyond what is expected and performs with design rather than by luck or a memorized list, capably transfers understanding from one situation to another (Wiggins & McTighe, 2000, p. 43). EDLD 5301 Research



When actively instructing a course I have a difficulty in slowing to observe where I need to improve. Active research in the third course, EDLD 5301 Research, sets up how to reflect and discern best practices for effective educational technology instruction and student learning. Active research or active inquiry seems to be such a simplistic name for a practitioner engaging in insightful study at the classroom level, different from most traditional remote university research processes. It requires a systematic approach to reflective inquiry and investigation. Harris et al. (2009) says, Inquiry is examining data, asking questions, and requesting more information (p. 5). Moreover it is up close and personal with the student, teacher and classroom subjects. Dana explains that inquiry becomes realistic with data collection that uses a certain extent of quantitative or test scores, field notes to capture objectively what is occurring in the observed study, interviews to understand point of views of subjects in the study, student works such as digital photography, digital video, reflective journaling and blogging, surveys, and literature data readings. They provide a strategy to collect and measure systematic inquiry data (Dana, 2009, pp. 71-94). After an inquiry ones own practice the educational technology leader it is time to act on its results for changes. Necessary changes require a reflection on the practice and posing questions or wonderings, collect data, analyze it along with reading relevant literature, make best practice changes based on the understanding from the inquiry, and then share with others in professional Web 2.0 communications (Dana, 2009, pp. 2-3). Continue to inquire up close with students and teachers what is learned through educational technology enhanced practices. EDLD 5363 Multimedia and Video Technology Many project-based assignments I use already involve multimedia and video, yet this fourth course, EDLD 5363 Multimedia and Video Technology, provided excellent reading, videos, and collaborative practice to demonstrate how effective multimedia is for higher-order learning. The course also presents an opportunity for outcomes to understand and teach a technology that demands much student work, yet truly engages students for learning. It provides a greater perception using most of the senses than most technologies for any message or story. Edutopia (2002) shares the following story about



a young student that attests to the learning appeal for multimedia and video, Junior Marisol Garcia had a choice between really big-deal cheerleading and SFETT [San Fernando Education Technology Team]. She chose SFETT. It is more than just a class, she says. It is lots of work, but work I look forward to. There are always new things, new opportunities. Its exciting. She says if all classes were hands on like in SFETT, students would learn much more in school than they usually do (para. 6). My personal digital story created in this course using multimedia reveals for me that the engagement is real. Despite I had to plan and plan before I could produce a meaningful presentation using sound, imagery, and text, the experience became both fun and rewarding. EDLD 5364 Teaching with Technology The extending of collaboration into this instructional technology-relevant set of readings, videos, and assignments makes this fifth course, EDLD 5364 Teaching with Technology, a favorite for using 21st century educational technologies for the new student-centered constructivist models of learning. Teachers can feel threatened to teach a new way. It might mean acquiring a new attitude for selflearning. Bransford, Brown, and Cocking, (2000) state: Teachers generally are accustomed to feeling efficaciousto knowing that they can affect students earningand they are accustomed to being in control. When they encourage students to actively explore issues and generate questions, it is almost inevitable that they will encounter questions that they cannot answerand this can be threatening. Helping teachers become comfortable with the role of learner is very important. (p.194) It is up to the teacher to support the ways students learn in the new active student-centered constructivist learning that often requires teaching with technology. One of the key components to greater learning after a Constructivist model in learning is accepted is for social networking to become commonplace for educators and the students to learn collaboratively. McPheeters (2009) posits, Its when a technology becomes normal, then ubiquitous, and finally so pervasive as to be invisible, that the really profound changes happen (para. 3). Although technology is integral to both styles of learning found in the new classroom, it appears it is more about the attitude



teachers must change for becoming new learners in order to best teach students to learn. I certainly struggle with how important it is for me, the teacher, to become comfortable with the role of the learner. Practically everyday a student now asks me something I feel I must online search to have a more contemporary or accurate reply. Part of being the learner gives me the right to speak to partner with students in the task of finding the answers. I share with my college students how best to use web resources and often after only one time soon the student is leading off our discussions with the latest or the most interesting information they found. I admit I still feel awkward admitting I am not sure, but I am becoming more confident, or feeling in more control, for challenging and expecting a mutual quest using the latest web resources for learning with my students. EDLD 5364 Teaching with Technology helps me understand that educators must continue to understand students master the technologies often used in todays learning at home, not at school. And now even higher academic standards must be reached. Technology appears to be the key to that educational opportunity. Different ideas must be able to be communicated via different media to help accommodate the diverse ways students learn. Once calculators were banned from solving math problems because such supports were rejected in problem solving because they appeared to be a crutch. We now realize that in real life problem-solving scenarios such technologies are seen very much reasonable and appropriate for scaffolding the learning to the level of the learner. For this course a collaborative effort by me and three other graduate students were assigned to create lessons for students with different needs. Not only did we have to create lessons that targeted each individual students needs, but also we had to make sure that we incorporated technology into them. Our team was composed of four different professionals ranging from elementary grade level teachers to college professors. We brought all of our expertise together to design a science unit that was fair for a group of thirty-eighth grade students. It is because of each team members effort in the collaborative creation of this unit that the completion of this project was possible and a solution to the scenario problem was created.



Working collaboratively is a way for educators with different levels of experience to come together and share their expertise with others. Through the creation of this unit, all team members were able to share different activities, support each other, and come up with different solutions to the same problem. Many students were challenged to show leadership and others found greater strengths that resulted in compensation for certain disabilities. This allowed all team members to see the many diverse ways that one common goal can be achieved (Lopez, Moore, Patel, & Wellborn, 2011, para. 10-12). The course presented the need for teachers to become learners in order to teach in a new student-centered 21st century approach. EDLD 5362 Informational Systems Management Three topics involving the information technology affecting our school systems are discussed in the sixth course I chose. Two of these topics were interviews that provided me a real world point of views for these topics. The impact of the Internet on learning and teaching, student information systems, and future classroom are areas found in the course EDLD 5362 Informational Systems Management. I had the opportunity to interview with the almost 25-year veteran teacher, Mary Margaret Smith (personal communication, April 15, 2011), who still talks about her students with the enlightened zeal of a new teacher. Smith started teaching high school English and Reading to the gifted and talented in the Abilene Independent School District (AISD), served thirteen years as a high school librarian, and currently teaches English for the contemporary 21st century AISD Academy of Technology, Engineering, Math, and Science (ATEMS). From our conversation she wholeheartedly embraces new technologies in education and the present use of Project-Based Learning (PBL) in her ATEMS course curricula. She was most eager to share her experience and attitudes about her students use of the Internet for learning. According to Smith (personal communication, April 15, 2011) an intense engagement of students today continuously using the Internet causes a loss in everyday interpersonal communication and social skills that most people would use in the workplace. Looking at the person in the eyes when speaking has to be intentionally taught to more students each year. Although the Internet offers an ever increasing abundance of answers and information, Smith is adamant about teaching her students to question



responsibly all online resources to determine what is and what is not credible to use in PBL experiences. Lastly Smith shares how she has seen ATEMS students overcome their remote West Texas geographical disposition to access rare learning opportunities with elite professional educators; for example to watch, hear, and question expert surgeons from such respected medical research centers as the Institutes of the Texas Medical Center, or to participate with a trained curator in the show and tell of visual, literary, or entertainment arts associated with major metropolitan cultural centers. With the geographical displaced collaborations possible through the Internet more AISD students now have an open opportunity at ATEMS to become global equals in knowledge and skills with any student in the world today. The Student Information System (SIS) software discussed in EDLD 5362 Informational Systems Management matches the administrative and instructional system used by the Harlingen, Marshall, Waco, and West Texas TSTC college campuses. It is Datatel Colleague used for the scheduling, student and testing reports for faculty; Datatel WebAdvisor for grading, student financial aid information, formative assessment input, and faculty human resource data access; and Moodle for online class development, grading, and communication. Through an email interview the Vice Chancellor of Educational Effectiveness at TSTC, Francette Carnahan, Ph.D. (personal communication, April 24, 2011), provided me expert administrator information about the SIS software used throughout the TSTC System. Carnahan stated that the fiscal year 2012 Annual licensing and support for Datatel Colleague software is expected to be $303,780, based on budget planning documentation from Datatel, Inc. The original cost for the software system is not available since its license was purchased over 25 years ago. Carnahan (personal communication, April 24, 2011) shared in the interview that the Datatel Colleague software supports all administrative functions and process for the TSTC System. Carnahan further provides that the system office management includes four broad areas defined by the following topics: Core, Student, Financials, and Human Resources. These SIS individual features support various administrative and learning functions. This SIS adds to the school informational system already powered by the Internet resources and social networks.



The effective classroom for the contemporary school in five years study in this course showed a definite need for educational technology to support the teacher or student learners needs in the 21st century classroom. Over the next five years the model classroom should provide more opportunity for the educator to customize learning to the individual students needs. According to Watson and Watson (2007), This requires education to shift to an entirely new paradigm, from one with a focus on standardization and sorting with a high rate of failure to one that supports customization to meet all learners needs (p. 31). Both the new Information Age and the model classroom infrastructure will resources and relationships more easily accessible via the Internet. Online classrooms are possibilities since the expectation to work, learn, and study wherever and whenever one wants continues to grow. Coursework and online connections should continue to support collaborative work. The SIS and information technology support and software tools are all expected to be cloud-based, decentralizing the labs and classroom work using educational technologies (Johnson et al., 2011, p. 3). The modern learning for the model classroom will provide technological software and programs that challenge students through effective course scaffolding, research-based inquiry, higher-order thinking skills, and differentiated or diverse learning. Changing and growing access to information inside and outside the school campus continues to show educators that a careful look at the ways educational technology best serves learners (Johnson et al., 2011, p. 3). Overall Degree Program Thoughts Self-Assessment The Educational Technology Leadership Program at Lamar University revealed how educational technology is an integral link in educating all levels of students for the 21st century. Although all my educational experience has been in higher education, such K-12 educational tools as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Technology Applications, the campus improvement plan, action research, a leader vision statement, multimedia and video technology, cyber law and safety, collaboration, student-centered learning, formative and summative assessments, The Horizon Report, open source and Web 2.0 software, the abundance of resources and relationships readily available from the Internet, and



certainly ISTEs Technology Facilitation and Leadership Standards have all equipped me to lead and understand how to teach all teachers to teach using suitable educational technologies that increase student learning, understanding, and achievement. Learn as a Learner My field-based activities facilitated as an intern technology leader for Bonham Elementary helped make the eight ISTE TF/TL Standards for me meaningful, understandable, and even enjoyable. I saw Bonham students visit their schools booth at the district technology showcase quickly find a place to wait out the looping 21 digital How-To-Stories on the monitor for their own particular multimedia piece to begin. Then they would point excitedly to the show they helped create, laugh, and comment only to make sure all around them knew it was show time, and where their own name and a friends name appeared on the rolling credits. It proved to me by watching the behavior and expressions of several students that they felt ownership for their collaborative efforts in narrating and/or illustrating step-by-step instructions from the scripts other students wrote. The entire collaborative process from beginning to end demonstrated how an initiative for a districts continuous improvement in academic achievement and prepare all students for success in college and workforce readiness goals could be achieved using engaging educational technology productivity tools such as Painter.NET and Photostory using Wacom digital pens and tablets (AISD, 2011, para. 6-7). With my facilitation the teachers learned to understand the use of these tools themselves in order to accommodate the various talent levels, interests, and learning styles of 21 groups of fourth and fifth grade individuals who performed a complex digital task much like that of a real-world group of technical publication writers and illustrators. In the end that task showed how teachers would allow their students to control most of their learning process to choose topics, narrate, illustrate, and write to create a talking book that supported key literacy skills such as fluency and reading comprehension, and increased engagement and motivation in reading, writing, and visual arts (CITEd, n.d., para. 5). Lifelong Learning Skills



After having used productivity tools in the workplace for over 15 years before I had become an educator, it was exciting to learn how people learn best through real-world learning experiences such as project-based learning activities, learner-centered constructivist teaching methods, and collaborative learning. Key to how people learn points directly to finding ways to make the students learning experience more active and more related to actual job roles in the workplace, to learner-centered applications of the students diverse talents and learning styles, and to collaborative processes in solving problems. From my 18 months of educational technology degree program the new K-12 educational tools and active learning practices helped see the educational value of technology more clearly. Now technologies have more value me than just their production value. I want very much to understand what the degree program has taught me in order to effectively improve or change our schools and universities. I want to be able to explain what I have learned, to interpret it, to apply it, to see its big picture, to be insightful about it, and especially to be self-aware for what I have learned. The action research technique for self-reflection should be a valuable technique to help me grow in self-awareness (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, pp. 82-104). Understanding is vital in order to confidently lead teachers to embrace modern technologies to enhance their own professional practice and productivity, and subsequently nurture their students to become capable and continuous 21st century learners (Williamson & Redish, 2009, p. 101). Three-Year Professional Development Plan I want to take the educational technology understanding learned through my graduate program and first improve my new Digital Arts instruction position at TSTC West Texas. I plan to use my new learning to merge my synchronous face-to-face instruction and asynchronous online instruction into blended instruction that uses both active learning and formative assessment processes. Fortunately active project-based learning has already been a part of the creative and production process inherent in the Digital Arts concept arts used in the gaming or entertainment industries. For both natural and digital art



projects my students produce now, design contracts, collaboration work among artists, writers, and directors, and the promotional presentations to clients are normally practiced. I hope to equip myself through the Web 2.0 tools and content management systems (CMS) a better communication of course material in dialogue and reflection for what students are doing as artists. I plan to use not only Flickr or Picasa web galleries and online CMS tools such as Moodle for student demonstration, peer-evaluation, and self-promotion of works created, but also have students create work directly into the digital medium with Adobe Photoshop artistic tools and Corel Painter natural media software. Within the next year I do not expect a change from instructor to educational technology leadership. However, I do believe I can create opportunities to facilitate trainings for the use of educational technologies to fellow instructors. Already an EdTech group serves TSTC West Texas, yet I believe my use of contemporary instructional technologies for the blended classroom will eventually be noticed. I already work closely with the EdTech Vushi facilitators who maintain a secure virtual campus for learning in Second Life (SL). My SL virtual classroom provides students learning opportunities to visit and study global sites and organizations. SL organizations range from cultural to informational to promotional. Since students can participate in the SL campus in real time with actual voice, body movement, pin-point zoom viewing from almost anywhere, 3D modeling, animated demonstrations, and presentations shown from their own media boards, the SL virtual environment provides an engaging after class experience for students to do class work individually or collaboratively from remote locations. I plan to grow old being a continuous learner. Already I have taught an 83-year-old nontraditional student who graduated and began to design websites for others. She inspired me to not allow age to influence learning as long as my health permits. ISTE workshops and the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETST) provide virtual professional development learning opportunities for technology leaders and teacher educators. Such professional development over the next several years will be important to maintain and keep their technology standards fresh in my professional work. The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), Educause, and Centage



Learning offer higher education online workshops, trainings, and local state conferences that will help renew training capabilities. Texas Education Agency also features a series of free self-paced online workshops covering a wide variety of educational technology topics in strategies for making classrooms work. Professional development online works well with the Texas State reductions in funding throughout the TSTC System. I wonder, in what ways can I continue to grow with continued pursuits of learning as an educational technology leader after the graduate work that Lamar University has started for me stops, and in staying current with the use of video, podcasts, and wikis as valuable tools for teaching, and in exploring the use of social media sites, including Second Life, as tools in collaborative learning, and in staying prepared through online training and educational literature, will such pursuits help me continue to grow as a teacher who can teach other teachers to teach using suitable contemporary educational technologies that will increase student learning, understanding, and achievement in the classroom (Dana, 2009, pp. 67-68)? I am thankful for all the professors and instructional associates at Lamar University who have instilled within me an attitude to continue learning.



References Adelman, H. (2004). Teaching online safety. Voices from the middle, 11(3), 17-22. Abernathy, K. (2011). Web conference for edld 5370 internship in educational technology leadership. Retrieved from Abilene Independent School District (AISD). (2011). District initiatives. AISD Bonham campus improvement plan. Retrieved at Bransford, J., Brown, A., & Cocking, R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school (Expanded edition). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd). (n.d.). Multimedia applications for the classroom. Retrieved from Dana, N. (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action researcher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Dewey, John. (1933). How we think. Boston, New York & London: Heath. Edutopia. (2002). Multimedia serves youths desire to express themselves. Retrieved from Harris, S., Edmonson, S., & Combs, J. (2010). Writing a plan of action. Examining what we do to improve our schools: 8 steps from analysis to action. Larchmont, NY: Eye On Education. Johnson, L., Smith, R., Willis, H., Levine, A., & Haywood, K. (2011). The 2011 horizon report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Lopez, K., Moore, L., Patel, D., & Wellborn, W. (2011). Team reflections. Technology project. Retrieved from McPheeters, D. (2009, March). Social networking technologies in education. Tech and learning. Retrieved from Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom technology that works. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.



Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants: Part 1. On the horizon, 9(5), 40-45. Prensky, M. (2008). Turning on the lights. Educational leadership, 65(6), 1-6. SEG Research. (2008, September). Understanding multimedia learning: Integrating multimedia in the K12 classroom. Retrieved from Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: New tools, new schools. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Texas Education Agency (TEA). (2011). Overview and step-by-step instructions. The star chart. Retrieved from Texas Education Agency (TEA). (2011, April 11). Texas essential skills and knowledge. Retrieved from Warlick, D. (2007). Literacy in the new information landscape. Library media connection. Linworth Publishing, Inc., 20-21. (2011, February 11). The medium is the message (phrase). Retrieved from Williamson, J. & Redish, T. (2009). ISTEs technology facilitation and leadership standards: What every K-12 leader should know and be able to do. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Appendix Curriculum Vit

2610 Susan, Abilene, Texas 79606 e-Portfolio e-Gallery



Seeking an educational technology facilitation & leadership position in higher education. Experienced digital and fine arts instructor in higher education who can provide qualified educational technology facilitation & leadership to enhance student-centered learning opportunities for the visual arts, marketing, and education programs.

Qualifications Summary
Currently instruct full time for digital arts applying face-to-face, hybrid-blended, fully online, and virtual classroom methods of teaching with contemporary use of educational technologies. Recently instructed as an adjunct instructor at McMurry University for Multimedia & Life Drawing courses, at Abilene Christian University for Figurative I & II Drawing courses, and at Cisco College in Abilene for Drawing 1 & 2 and Painting 1 courses. Experienced to instruct face-to-face and online courses for 1) basic graphic design, 2) senior level portfolio development and internship, 3) intermediate small business management and entrepreneurship, 4) introductory to advanced digital imaging using Adobe Photoshop, 5) vector graphics design using Adobe Illustrator, 6) introductory to advanced digital publishing using Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress, 7) natural media concept art using Corel Painter with Wacom digital pen & tablet, 8) multimedia using Adobe Premiere, and 9) 3D rendering/animation using Autodesk 3Ds Max. Professional experienced as a technical, editorial, & advertising illustrator using current technologies. Experienced in management and as program chair for illustrators, ad artists, and college faculty.

Practice project-based learning for university and high school dual credit instruction. Instruct painting, drawing and illustration using traditional visual arts media and digital natural media with the digital pen & tablet while staying contemporary practicing and exhibiting my own work. Challenge students to instill passion into their work in order to practice quality, innovative, and imaginative creative expression in visually communicating ideas. Educate in the synchronous face-to-face classroom. Educate in the asynchronous online and hybrid classroom aided by digital content management systems such as Moodle or Blackboard using their discussion, demonstration, assignment, workshops, gallery, and peer/instructor assessment tools. Educate in the synchronous virtual or immersive classroom using traditional lecture, field trip, discussions, 3D modeling, and media board presentations in the Second Life environment. Educate students and teachers how to explore and learn with Web 2.0 communication technologies and open source tools in a collaborative manner for workforce and educational outcomes. Design syllabi, curricular instruction, and assessments for workforce and educational outcomes.



Perform public relation efforts to promote, inform, showcase, judge, and demonstrate educational technologies, visual arts, and digital arts. Judge digital game projects and student artwork for Abilene ISD Academy of Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Science (ATEMS) students and the Region 14 High School Visual Art Scholastic Event Competition (VASE) Competition. Assist students as faculty advisor in their degree planning, course registration, transfer credits, and course substitutions. Educate students how to practice professionally in an ethical, legal, and safe manner. Encourage private university students to lead a spiritual life in Christ as professionals.

2011 1999 1983 1977 Master of Education in Educational Technology, Lamar University. Bachelors of Science in Business Management, McMurry University. Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts, University of Houston. Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts, Abilene Christian University. (Did not graduate but completed 90 semester hours of BFA on deans list at ACU before completing the degree later at UH. Much artistic confidence and formative skills in drawing took place here.)

Instructional Experience
2002 to Present Full Time Instructor for Texas State Technical College West Texas DID Program Chair (2004-2006) Digital Arts program Digital Imaging & Design program 2011 Adjunct Instructor for McMurry University and Abilene Christian University McM: MMA 2310 Introduction to Multimedia and ART 2300 Life Drawing ACU: ART 112 Figure Drawing I & II 2010 Adjunct Instructor for McMurry University MMA 2310 Introduction to Multimedia (2 semesters) and ART 2300 Fundamentals of Drawing 2009 Adjunct Instructor for Cisco College in Abilene ARTS 2316 Painting 1 and ARTS 1317 Drawing 2 2008 Adjunct Instructor for Cisco College in Abilene ARTS 1316 Drawing 1 1998 Adjunct Instructor for Abilene Christian University



ART 112 Figurative Drawing 1

Professional Experience
2000 to 2002 Editorial Illustrator Abilene Reporter-News, A Scripps-Howard Newspaper, Abilene 1987 to 2000 Corporate Communications & Advertising Graphics Designer The West Texas Utilities (WTU) Company, headquartered in Abilene Also worked remotely from Abilene for: The Central Power & Light (CPL) Company, headquartered in Corpus Christi 1985 to 1987 Creative Services Manager in Graphic Arts for Retail Advertising Abilene Reporter-News, A Harte-Hanks Communications Newspaper, Abilene 1979 to 1984 Technical Publications Illustrator/Illustrator Groups Manager Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc., Houston

Exhibits, Shows, and Awards

1976 1976 1976 1977 1977 1979 1981 1982 1983 1986 Tri-College Student Art Exhibition at Ryan Graves Gallery, McMurry University Shipman Art Scholarship, Abilene Christian University Midland Regional Art Exhibition, Honorable Mention Tri-College Student Art Exhibition at Ryan Graves Gallery, McMurry University Dallas Regional Group Art Exhibition University of Houston Art Scholarship in Painting, Houston Lawndale Open House, Presentation of Student Work. UH student show, curated by James Surls, Lawndale Art Annex, Lawndale Arts Alliance, Houston Walker Wellborn & Alison Nieves Art Show, Taft Street Gallery (Bruce Wilson, gallery proprietor), Houston, Texas Senior & Graduate Painting Exhibit, Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston Abilene Regional ADDY Awards Competition, MHA Pro Indoor Invitational Tennis Tournament Poster Design, American Advertising Federation Abilene Chapter, ADDY Award recipient Paintings & Illustrations: Solo drawing and painting show featuring collaboration with multimedia poetry readings by Dr. Chris Willerton, Professor of English and Honors Studies, ACU Department of English, at Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene Texas Visual Arts Association State Juried Show, Dallas, Honorable Mention Abilene Regional ADDY Awards Competition, Big Brother/Big Sister Tournament Invitation Brochure Design. AAF Abilene Chapter, ADDY Award recipient


1993 1994




Silver Link Award of Merit for Community Relations: Company 1997 Electric Business Initiatives, The Tulsa Chapter Public Relations Society of America, Central and Southwest Corporation Electric Utility Corporate Communications Group. Alumni Art Exhibit: Amy Shore Gallery, Abilene Christian University Ruminations: Drawing and painting show, Drawing and painting exhibit shared with Robert Green, Professor of Fine Arts, ACU Department of Art & Design at CCA, Abilene Passages: Solo drawing and painting show at CCA, Abilene Texas Associated Press Managing Editors (APME) Newspaper Convention/South Padre Island, First Place in graphic design for A Guide to West Nile Virus Infographic Design (Award shared with staff writer Brian Bethel), Abilene Reporter-News, Abilene Big Country Art Association Annual Exhibit, Juried exhibit, Abilene, Second Place Texas Visual Arts Association State Juried Show, Big Country Art Association, Juried exhibit at the Grace Museum, Abilene, Honorable Mention Sidelines: Solo drawing and painting show at CCA, Abilene Passages paintings from solo CCA exhibit are on display since 2003 at Bogies Specialty Deli in downtown Abilene by previous owner, Sheldon Greene, and presently remains on display by new owners, Phillip and Heather Ratliff Exhibited painting for the Art et Fleurs exhibit at CCA in March. See (go to view selected works from this exhibit)

1998 1999 2002 2003

2003 2005 2006 2011


Spiritual, Professional, and Community Relationships

1974 1977 1981 1983 1983 1990 1993 1997 1997 2000 2001 2006 2008 Confessed, accepted, and baptized into Christ Jesus Deans List, five semesters at Abilene Christian University Artist member of Lawndale Artist League Deans List, final semester at University of Houston Member of Golden Key Honor Society, UH Artist member of the Abilene Center for Contemporary Arts; CCA was founded by Abilene Cultural Affairs Council support in 1989. Abilene Professional Speakers Toastmasters Member, (three year member) Artist member president for the CCA, Abilene Team member for the ACU Visiting Committee Chairman for the ACU Visiting Committee Team member for Hillcrest Church of Christ Technological Ministry Team member for TSTC Laptop Committee Team member to review college graphic design course descriptions/outcomes, Texas Workforce Education Course Manual (WECM), Midland




Guest presenter for NISOD Professional Development Webinar Series, Enhancing Instruction and Engagement with Second Life, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Jubilee Committee Member, digital graphic design and layout responsibility for the congregations official fiftieth 160-page anniversary publication: Golden Jubilee Guest tour presenter for educational session in Second Life, Successful Approaches to Virtual World Education, Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education ( Juried student artwork for Region 14 High School VASE Competition Juried student artwork for Region 14 High School VASE Competition Member of Abilene Cultural Affairs Council Outdoor Sculpture Committee since 2000 Signature Artist Member of the CCA, an exhibiting artist member since 1990

2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011

Professional Development
1996 1997 1998 2000 2000 2011 Macromedia International User Conference & Exhibition, San Francisco, CA Community Relations Training, Boston College, Dallas Adobe Photoshop Workshops, Capstone Communications, Dallas Web Site Development & Design Conference, CompuMaster, Abilene On-Demand Printing & Publishing Conference, New York City, NY Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED Certification, American Heart Association Emergency Medical Training, Abilene