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Form Follows Function: An Exploration of Educational Technology in Practice

Lauren Pinto Junior High Language Arts Teacher, St. Francis Xavier School, Burbank, CA November 11, 2013

My name is Lauren Pinto and I have always been technologically inclined, finding gadgets and gizmos easy to understand and work with. When I was in college studying to become a teacher, I found myself becoming increasingly passionate about working with technology and its ability to impact education. In 2008, I began my job as the junior high language arts teacher at a small Catholic school in Burbank, California. Because of my age and fresh from college smell, a member of the parent-teacher organization approached me about my opinion on having SMARTBoards installed in classrooms. Since I had just graduated, I knew what a SMARTBoard was, how to work it, and how powerful it could be for students. The school still had blackboards, and no one really took advantage of the projector cart, so I involved myself in helping the school update. The purchase and installation of the SMARTBoards, along with my fearless use of technology in the classroom, caused me to become the go-to person for ideas, questions, and troubleshooting. That prompted me to attend the annual Computer Using Educators (CUE) conference in Palm Springs to get further ideas on how my school could expand our use of educational technology. I came back prepared to pitch the idea of 1:1 laptops along with a host of web 2.0 applications to improve the junior high program. I was successful with my proposal, and with that, felt that I needed to get neck deep in educational technology theory and practice. This is what brought me to Boise State Universitys M.E.T program. The past two and a half years have provided background information, tools, and theories that have helped me become an expert and leader in the field of educational technology. This has helped me move my school from laptops to a 1:1 iPad program for the entire junior high. Now, thirty units and ten classes later, I have reached this culminating portfolio and paper. As I

investigate the variety of artifacts, papers, and projects completed over the course of the M.E.T. program against the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) standards, it will be apparent that Boise State University has made me into an educator who wisely uses technology to expand the horizons of students as well as a resource for other professionals looking to evaluate technology usage or add it to their curriculum.

Standard 1: Design
There is a common phrase known by every artist, architect, or designer: form follows function. In order to create something, the planner must have a specific purpose in mind. Form follows function not only applies to the creation of cars, homes, or fashion, but it applies to education, too. The first AECT standard concerns itself with educators creating content that is planned with the learners, the message, and the outcomes in mind. 1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD): Driving Question (EDTECH 542), Information Processing Map (EDTECH 503) The first sub-strand of design is ISD, and it concerns itself with analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating instruction (Initial Standards, 2001). It essentially represents backwards planning; an educator determines the outcome first and then plans everything around that. Two artifacts generated during the MET program come to mind when relating to this sub-strand. The first artifact is the driving question from EDTECH 542. Here, a long-term projectbased learning unit was created to highlight sustainable living and, in the process, make the school community a better place. The driving question from this project was chosen to highlight ISD because it captures the heart of the project in clear and compelling language, which gives students a sense of purpose and challenge as well as guides me, the teacher, in planning the

lessons, resources, and activities that will help [my] students answer it (Writing a Driving Question). The driving question, written first, acts as the design for the creation of the rest of the project-based learning unit, and this is at the heart of ISD. The second artifact is the information processing map drafted during EDTECH 503. The map was part of my instructional design project which was meant to aid adolescent girls in dealing with others who may be causing them problems. This map demonstrates ISD because it represents the essential point of the project, and it was used as the crux all lessons stemmed from. Moreover, this map encompasses ISD because it was designed and developed with a constructivist perspective that gets learners to obtain information through the interpretation of their own experiences and environment (Smith & Ragan, 2005, pp. 17). Since this map is central to instruction and is based in theory, it reflects all of the things that make for quality ISD. 1.2 Message Design: Toys of Nobility (EDTECH 532) The second part of designing a lesson deals with how learning theories aid the obtainment of knowledge as well as how they communicate with the learner (Initial Standards, 2001). EDTECH 532 was a games and simulations class, and the toys I used when creating my alternate reality game demonstrate my mastery of message design. Within my game students needed to uncover the reason for a teachers suspension and help reinstate her. Dipity and BlendSpace were the toys players would use to organize information and to present a persuasive presentation. They allow players to develop their understanding of the games premise by working with their surroundings, managing information as they unraveled clues, and effectively communicating their point of view with an audience. Not only were these toys couriers for the games message, but they incorporated technologies that would help students guide and promote their own learning, thus creating their own message. Moreover, the use of these toys met the four

constructivist strategies for technology integration mentioned by Roblyer & Doering (2013) because of their inherent ability to allow users to scaffold, collaborate, and create. Dipity and Blendspace foster creative problem solving and metacognition, build mental models and increase knowledge transfer, foster group cooperation skills, and allow for multiple and distributed intelligences (Roblyer & Doering, 2013, pp. 49-51). Doing so lets the message be transferred in many different modes to meet different learner capabilities. These tools demonstrate my ability to choose aids which enable learners to understand material and manipulate it to further grasp meaning. 1.3 Instructional Strategies: Project Timeline (EDTECH 542) This design strand is perhaps what educators concern themselves with most because a successful lesson is just as dependent on sequencing as it is with outcomes and communication. An artifact which speaks to this element is the project timeline from EDTECH 542, since it clearly defines how instruction will be completed within a given amount of time. As mentioned before, this class was about developing a multi-week project-based learning unit. Anything that spans days and weeks requires fastidious planning on the part of the educator. This timeline shows the variety of elements that go into creating a project-based learning unit, from opening the project, to disseminating necessary information, to evaluating progress in a variety of ways. Without heavy, upfront planning, the project wouldnt be successful. And while this project may demonstrate more planning than most day-to-day lessons, the basic principle of time management is displayed. Educators must account for learner characteristics, instructional strategies, the learning situation, and the nature of the content in order to be successful at teaching a lesson and this timeline demonstrates just that (Initial Standards, 2001).

1.4 Learner Characteristics: Needs Assessment (EDTECH 503) As obvious as it may seem, each student is truly different. They all bring their own separate experiences, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs into the classroom, and it is up to teachers to understand these things in order to determine that there actually is a need for new instruction to be developed (Smith & Ragan, 2005, pp. 43). My needs assessment from EDTECH 503 best displays my prowess of understanding and working with learner characteristics. To create an effective instructional design plan, it was imperative I understood the learners. To do that, I had to ask questions, collect data, and look at previous attempts at instruction. All of these things made up the needs assessment, and it revealed the problem, how the instructor would facilitate the transfer of information, how the communitys environment would play into the acquisition of skills, and the success of past attempts at resolving the issue. I found completing this assessment to be very valuable. The information I gleaned gave me an insight into how to best plan the lessons, support the students, and evaluate the success of the seminar. I continue to use needs assessment for all my students yearly since finishing EDTECH 503. I feel that taking the time to complete an analysis of my students as they start my class helps me to build better relationships and to connect content to their experiences. This, in turn, improves the overall quality of my students educational experience. I am by no means a perfect teacher, but understanding the idiosyncrasies of my students has certainly made a big difference in how I teach them.

Standard 2: Development
With design completed, the next stage of high-quality lesson planning is about development and using tools and other resources to enhance instruction. Just as form is necessary to function in the creation of lessons, it is also necessary in the choice of those things

which amplify engagement. Educators must be cognizant of all they add into a lesson and be sure each addition serves an identifiable purpose. This is the underlying point of the second AECT standard and its sub-standards. 2.1 Print Technologies: Pop-Up Constructivism (EDTECH 532) The first aspect of development is using mechanical or photographic processes to create materials which are informative and static. Despite the new presence of digital technology, books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, journals and other so-called traditional print materials
are integral information sources providing at-hand information that serves as a crucial complement to computer-based information sources (Strommen & Lincoln, 1992, pp. 470). As part of EDTECH

532, I needed to take an existing educational theory and use that, along with my ingenuity, to create a new learning theory. The result is this Pop-Up Constructivism poster. This artifact was chosen because it has verbal and visual cues which are the basics of print technologies. These can easily be seen in the posters definition, necessary questions, relevant examples, and pictures. Being able to create an informative display shows I can recreate others for use within my classroom as well as instruct students on how to produce their own. 2.2 Audiovisual Technologies: GoogleDrive Tutorial (EDTECH 511), Network Presentation Video (EDTECH 541) When I think about audiovisual technologies, my mind immediately goes to slideshows, videos, and presentations. Throughout the M.E.T. program, I have produced a plethora of these, but two shine as particularly good examples of my proficiency in this area. The first example is the video I produced on using GoogleDrive as part of my EDTECH 511 course project. For this project, I wanted to develop a way for my students to become proficient with GoogleDrive, since prior to being in my class, many have never used it before. The video walks users through the linear steps of logging in with a user ID, creating a document, and naming a document. In

addition to showing the steps visually, text cues occur on the bottom of the screen further reinforcing what needs to be done for each step. The video is hosted on YouTube which allows students to rewind, pause, or review the video at a later time if necessary. The logical outline of the video along with the different learning modalities exhibit how I can use audiovisual technologies to support all learners as well as those who need additional modifications such as repetition and visual cues. The second artifact which applies to this sub-strand is the network presentation video done for EDTECH 541. This presentation uses a combination of text, pictures, and voiceover narration to discuss the abstract topic of explaining what a network is and how it works. Much like the GoogleVideo, this presentation uses several different methods of information transfer to help viewers grasp the concept. The presentation is proof I can create practical audiovisual technologies to teach abstract ideas so as to help learners literally see an idea. Since I have created many audiovisual presentations for the M.E.T. program, I am very proficient and comfortable with conveying information this way. This has translated into my classroom, and my students have been tasked with creating various audiovisual presentations. For example, in May 2013, sixth-graders had to create an informative presentation about a television show and include an embedded video clip. During the 2012-2013 year, eighth-graders wrote, shot, and produced a news show called Good Morning, Lancers where they did a variety of segments involving current events, commercials, and how-to demonstrations. With the implementation of 1:1 iPads in August 2013, my students have been working with creative apps such as SonicPics and GarageBand to create other materials. It is apparent when watching the presentations I created as well as student presentations that I am comfortable working with and teaching students how to use many audiovisual applications. Moreover, student use of

audiovisual technologies has given them media literacy, design and video principles, and creative thinking all while making them consider their audience and learn how to effectively communicate. All these further show I can tie development theory to educational practice (Roblyer & Doering, 2013, pp. 184-185). 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies: Final Synthesis Paper (EDTECH 504) Computer-based technologies are perhaps the most common use of educational technology in the classroom, and these are often the first purposes that come to mind when thinking of how technology can enhance a classrooms environment. Throughout the course of the EDTECH graduate program, I have used a computer to compose many blog entries and papers, most notably, my final synthesis paper for EDTECH 504. This paper was chosen to demonstrate my proficiency in this sub-strand because it required research, planning, and writing, all done with my computer. My experience of writing this paper was enhanced as a result of using a computer because I was able to easily complete Internet research, draft quotes and outlines, and format and submit my paper according to my professors instructions. Receiving a good grade on the paper was due in part to how competent I was at being able to work on a computer. In order to compete for jobs in the global market and be successful in their general dayto-day lives, students need to be able to effectively search the Internet, know the components of computers, competently use a variety of productivity programs, and troubleshoot problems. In order for schools to prepare students for their futures, technology must be thought of as an
integral component of the curriculum, a chameleon-like tool that can be used with almost any content (Strommen & Lincoln, 1992, pp. 469). Since I am comfortable with computer-based

technologies and have given them omnipresence in my classroom, I have been able to show to students the value of computer-based technologies on a daily basis, stressing the importance of

being digitally literate. I feel that in doing so, I have been giving my students a leg-up for the rest of their lives. 2.4 Integrated Technologies: Internet-Enriched Lesson (EDTECH 541) Being able to watch videos and word process are common ways students experience technology in schools, but using hypermedia technologies that give them the power to create and access information online is an even better way to use the tools and resources at a teachers disposal. There are a plethora of hypermedia web 2.0 applications on the Internet; these programs run strictly online and give users the power to create authentic content. EDTECH 541 focused primarily on integrating the Internet into the classroom as a viable teacher resource. During 541, I created an Internet-enriched lesson about writing narratives with web 2.0 tools and hypermedia components, and this lesson shows my command over this part of the development standard. Roblyer & Doering (2013) state that hypermedia impacts education through increased motivation, flexible learning modes, development of creative and critical thinking skills, and improved writing and process skills (pp. 196). The many tools used within the lesson speak to what Roblyer & Doering mention by giving students the ability to choose, think, and collaborate while learning important subject-matter knowledge. At the end of the lesson, students not only have a handle on the content, but they have proved competent in working with technology. This lesson truly is a great example of how I can use hypermedia to generate engaging, standardsbased lessons. I have found that hypermedia is powerful as an integrated technology and I use it frequently in my classroom; this further demonstrates my ability to work with integrated technologies. Through my use of Edmodo and ClassJump, I communicate with my students and parents, as well as assign, collect, and give feedback on student work and participation. I even

use these sites to share lesson resources such as worksheets, videos, articles, and quotes. Giving students and parents access to my classroom in this way has turned out to be an ally in making education accessible and meaningful. From Edmodo to ClassJump to the myriad web 2.0 tools I employ, I can say integrated technologies help make school easier to manage, and this in turn breeds success for students. Form follows function, yet again.

Standard 3: Utilization
Thus far in the AECT standards, educators must plan for outcomes and learner needs, as well as develop tools for them to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. Building upon these prior ideas is utilization. Now, teachers and administrators must actively use principles and theories as they implement technology in their schools and classrooms. This third standard addresses just that and ensures technologies are being used to meet the needs of the learners. 3.1 Media Utilization: Virtual Field Trip (EDTECH 502) This aspect of utilization not only requires educators to match content to media, but that the media is founded in established design principles. The artifact which best demonstrates my skill of media utilization is the virtual field trip I created for EDTECH 502. This field trip seeks to connect students to new information through the key factors of using that which they are familiar with, using many different media (like videos and songs), and pulling content from a variety of credible sources. The result is an experience where students learn information and continually build understanding so they can comprehend a complex brain disease. The variety of media used in this field trip show I am able to find things which are applicable to a lesson and match media to important topics. The skills of media utilization which I have developed throughout the M.E.T program have translated to my classroom. For example, I recently used songs to teach literary concepts

and then had my seventh-grade students write their own song using GarageBand. I also just worked with my sixth-grade students on visualization; we read the text of Earnest Thayers Casey at the Bat, watched a cartoon version, and then compared/contrasted the two experiences with regards to visualizing. Both of these lessons were successful in transferring the content, and further prove I can effectively utilize media as an educational resource. 3.2 Diffusion of Innovations: Social Media Lesson (EDTECH 541) Living in the early 21st century has brought about many innovations: smartphones, tablets, steaming video, and wireless Internet. Perhaps one of the most innovative things is the advent of social media. Social media has exploded and many different platforms are available for people of all ages. This innovation powerfully relates to the constructivist idea that learning should occur (or be situated) in realistic settings, and this is why an EDTECH 541 lesson that uses social media has been chosen to show my understanding in the area of diffusion of innovations (Smith & Ragan, 2005, pp. 20). Constructivism tells us that powerful gains are made
when children work together, so within the lesson plan, students are given several opportunities from different social networking platforms to learn from each other face-to-face and online as they build their knowledge of figurative language (Stommen & Lincoln, 1992, pp. 468). This lesson plan harnesses an innovation and puts it in an educational context thus showing my capacity to make educational content relevant while still focusing on a learning task.

3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization: Parent Information Packet (Professional Artifact) In August 2013, my school implemented a 1:1 iPad program for the entire junior high. Being the technology pioneer left me with the responsibility of deciding which model to use, choosing apps that should be purchased, and distributing surveys to collect information. I was also in charge of writing and distributing a parent information packet to detail the diffusion of

this choice. These are why the parent information packet has been chosen as the artifact to prove my mastery for the implementation and institutionalization standard. The information packet relates to the AECT standard for implementation and institutionalization because it details dispersal, adoption, and distribution of an innovation meant to help and improve student learning. The packet provides the schools parents with the information to understand why the iPad was chosen as the device to be used rather than what was already in place, how teachers intended to use the devices in their courses, how to purchase an iPad, and all the other information needed to be comfortable and supportive of the goals of the school. From writing the information to distributing the packet, this document reveals all facets that go into a school implementing and institutionalizing a 1:1 technology program. 3.4 Policies and Regulations: Netiquette Page (EDTECH 502), Acceptable Use Policy (Professional Artifact) The utilization of media and implementation of devices in the classroom is exciting, but many students and teachers often use these for personal matters. Thus, it is increasingly important that a sense of responsibility and appropriate behavior is fostered from the moment of implementation. For this reason, guidelines for how the resources are to support learning as well as standards of behavior must be set-up. Two examples of my understanding of policies and regulations are the Netiquette page from EDTECH 502 as well as the updated Acceptable Use Policy for my school. Both of these artifacts establish standards, ethics, responsibilities, and policies for using technology as part of the classroom, and these are the primary tenets of this AECT sub-standard. Writing two artifacts meant to bolster expectations and awareness indicate that I not only understand the importance of policies and regulations, but that I can apply that understanding to real-world scenarios.

Having policies and regulations in place are not the downers they appear to be. In my experience of working so closely with technology in the classroom, these boundaries give students and teachers the freedom to explore many educational aspects of technology to make it a viable resource as well as give people an understanding of how to manage their digital lives. As stated before, form follows function, and in order for technology to be used for educational purposes, it is imperative schools have limits set up so devices are used for the purpose of helping students become talented, life-long learners.

Standard 4: Management
As educators work through the planning, development, and utilization stages, they now come to the part where they must organize and supervise. The AECT standards within this section ask that educators check on progress once lessons and implementations are in full swing. 4.1 Project Management: Course Project (EDTECH 503) Creating an entire educational project entails accounting for several factors: needs, context, objectives, evaluation, and ongoing support. All of this was accomplished in my EDTECH 503 course project and that is why it was chosen for this sub-standard. Here, I acted as an instructional designer and produced an entire seminar to teach adolescent girls how to handle conflict within their peer group. In order to be successful at the project, I had to effectively manage the project. This entailed aligning outcomes to address an issue, outlining a logical progression, conducting a thorough needs assessment, writing a detailed instructional plan, and developing external support for the learners once the seminar ends. The finished product displays my ability to successfully develop and plan a project. The skills I acquired throughout the 503 project translated to my professional life; I am currently the project manager for the recently adopted iPad program at my school. Now that the

iPads are being used daily in the classrooms, it is my job to collect data, conduct parent information meetings, ensure students are effectively using the devices, provide support and guidance for any disciplinary infractions, and answer questions. The work I did in EDTECH 503 gave me the knowledge and resources to be a good project facilitator for the iPad program. Without that course, I doubt I would be able to understand the full scope of managing the iPads. The information I have gained from these two project management experiences will make me an asset for managing larger scale projects my school might later like to put into practice. 4.2 Resource Management: Technology Use Planning Overview (EDTECH 501) In looking at resource management, it is necessary to understand what helps educators and administrators determine a technology plan that will work for their teachers, students, community, and facilities. There are many different ways to plan, but outlined in my Technology Use Planning Overview, done during EDTECH 501, are the basic things educators must consider when implementing any plan or making changes to a current one. This overview was chosen because it highlights my knowledge of resource management and because it acts as guidelines to assess how technology can make students work smarter. The considerations I listed nearly two years ago in this plan, some of which came from John Sees Developing Effective Technology Plans (1992), were the very things I used when making the choice to move my school to iPads. In allocating the resources for iPads, Sees short-term, research-based plan was at the forefront of my mind. I wanted my students to be able to schedule, study, and stream-line the way a business person might. In hindsight, I feel confident in the choice my school made; this artifact validates why the devices have been chosen and it gives me a basis for planning future choices.

4.3 Delivery System Management: WebQuest (EDTECH 502) Teachers must be aware of how educational content is delivered, for the more organized materials and information are, the better chance students have at grasping and remembering content. This is what guides the third sub-strand of management; it is about controlling how materials are organized. The WebQuest I created in EDTECH 502 stresses the nuances of delivery system management and that is why it was chosen. The quest was set-up to neatly organize the flow of information, the assignments process is separated into easily identifiable sections, and a sidebar explicitly states what must be completed as well as gives the necessary links. Furthermore, the overall look of the site is neat; there is no extra clutter that causes confusion or pulls away from the task at hand. The clear, organized delivery system from the WebQuest shows I am able to create content that that stays on topic within each section and which keeps learners on track during various parts of an assignment. 4.4 Information Management: Final Project (EDTECH 511) Students learn through many different modalities and when teachers present information in different ways, they are able to access those different learning styles. The last sub-strand for the management standard speaks to providing information in a variety of formats, and the final project I completed for EDTECH 511 is a great example of information management. The way information is presented in this project displays the many different ways I can present information to students and offer support during a self-direct lesson. For example, the content is presented with audio, video, and text. Moreover, users can revisit the site as many times as needed, review specific sections as often as required, and test their knowledge if they desire. The fact that information within the project is presented to access different learning styles and that it

is dispersed in a clear, concise manner displays my capacity for designing lessons to keep the learner engaged and on task.

Standard 5: Evaluation
The final AECT standard is evaluation, and it marks itself as the end of creating educational content. Once teachers have planned, developed, implemented, and managed, it is now time to take stock of progress. This is done in the form of assessment. There are several different aspects of evaluation, each offering a unique view to the educational process. 5.1 Problem Analysis: Program Cycle Analysis (EDTECH 505), Course Evaluation Project (EDTECH 505) A problem analysis is vital to determining the degree to which a program is leading to achieved objectives (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2011, pp. 77). Not only does it reveal goals and objectives, but it records activities and reveals the management in place (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2011, pp. 77-78). Both the program cycle analysis presentation and course project completed as part of EDTECH 505 do just that, and this is why these assignments apply to problem analysis. Written in 2012 to understand the first year of my schools laptop program, the program cycle analysis is a good example of problem analysis because it required me to understand whether or not my schools goals were being met and if there were issues which needed to be addressed. The analysis revealed my schools philosophy, identified the goals and needs, and determined effectiveness with formative and summative evaluation. Having completed the rigorous program analysis, I am now able to provide strong input and feedback about programs and how they address issues or problems. The course project establishes my competency in problem analysis because in order to complete it, I had to successfully utilize many factors and activities that go into determining

program effectiveness. Determining goals, collecting data, and assessing information allowed me to determine if a problem was, in fact, a problem. Because of this project, I now have the ability to authoritatively assess situations and determine recommendations. The knowledge I gained from these two projects has become part my classroom teaching. I frequently evaluate, and these analyses allow me to check-in with how things are going for my students and me. I find doing these analyses has helped my students learn better since I am constantly referencing goals and adjusting lessons to fit them. It has helped me to become a more effective teacher because student achievement is related to my capacity for transferring information and determining achievement. 5.2 Criterion-Referenced Management: Products and Performances (EDTECH 542), Music as Poetry Lesson Plan (EDTECH 541) Judging student work can be a difficult task if a teacher is unsure of what they are looking for. In using criterion-referenced evaluations, commonly known as rubrics, teachers can simplify evaluations by giving clear standards for student work and providing students and parents with clear feedback. My EDTECH 542 project-based learning unit product and performances page and my EDTECH 541 Music as Poetry lesson plan are two good examples of my ability to understand criteria and implement criterion-referenced management. When developing these assignments, I needed to come up with a variety of criterionreferenced evaluations. The criteria in each evaluation follows Boulmetis & Dutwins (2011) goal-based method of evaluation which [identifies] the tests and standards for evaluation...[and] [looks] to measure specified outcome variables, using quantitative or qualitative measures (pp. 109). Each rubric clearly aligns to content standards, and that is what provides the levels of student achievement. Moreover, there are sections for teacher feedback, adding another

dimension to the evaluation. The clear delineations within these projects are based on established standards and expectations which guide the lessons. My aptitude for creating rubrics and matching standards to assignments show I am a master of criterion-referenced management. Since completing the EDTECH courses, I now use criterion-referenced evaluations daily in my classroom practices. Specifically, I measure one goal at a time and as new skills are taught, I add those to rubrics, creating a diverse picture of student achievement. This helps my students hone one skill at a time while still holding them accountable for prior information. While I think that criterion references are important, I think it is unwise to get bogged down in solely measuring student achievement in terms of meeting standards; this puts pressure on teachers and students alike and transforms the classroom environment into one that values grades over one that values learning. 5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation: Assessments Page (EDTECH 542), School Evaluation Summary (EDTECH 501) Formative and summative evaluations are two different ways to measure progress and knowledge attainment. As Boulmetis & Dutwin (2011) state, Formative evaluations focus on examining and changing processes as they are happening, whereas summative evaluation does not make adjustments (pp. 16, 60). Formative evaluations are things such as reflections, notes, and practice events meant for students to come to their own understanding by learning a process or concept and how to improve. Summative evaluations, on the other hand, do not include helping students to remediate; they assess a final product so as to get a pure idea of skill and knowledge acquired. Many of my artifacts contain examples of formative and summative assessments, but two specific ones stand out: the project-based learning unit assessments page from EDTECH 542 and the school evaluation summary from EDTECH 501.

The Assessments page for my EDTECH 542 project-based learning unit contains several types of formative assessment, and that is why it has been included. The varying forms of formative assessment show I am able to provide students with several ways to understand the meaning and build skills they will need to use during the summative assessment. The school evaluation summary done in EDTECH 501 displays my command of summative assessment. The evaluation summary is based on cold, hard facts, and the presentation of the results is fair and unbiased. Completing the evaluation allowed me to understand that summative assessment involves an honest outlook based on products and performance and this is vital to understanding the nature of a given situation. Within my classroom, both formative and summative assessments are necessary in understanding student progress. The way I understand evaluation is that formative aides summative. In other words, practice makes perfect. By evaluating students as they work towards goals and benchmarks (the practice), I am able to help them be successful in the specific areas they will be measured against (the perfect). Looking at only one type of assessment does not give me a balanced picture of student achievement, so it is necessary that I take the time to complete both types of evaluations. 5.4 Long-Range Planning: Course Evaluation Project (EDTECH 505) Long-range planning lets organizations and institutions to assess where they are and make specific goals about where they would like to be in the future. Even though John See (1992) advises against long-range planning, it can be helpful so long as goals dont lock schools, teachers, or students into things which have the potential to become outdated. In other words, long-term goals must be broad enough so a variety of different avenues can be taken, but specific enough so they can be measured within a certain timeframe.

An artifact that represents this last sub-strand is the course evaluation project from EDTECH 505; this evaluation measures how well the goals of my schools laptop program had been achieved and uses that information to provide recommendations for future planning. The long-range planning recommendations display my ability to understand objectives and make future goals based on those objectives. It also shows I can make goals for long-range planning which dont pigeon hole educators into not to changing with the times or not surpassing the expectation.

As I look at the artifacts presented here I have noticed several things. The first is these AECT standards build on each other to create a dynamic learning environment that remains fluid for the changing world. The standards will be able to remain the same year after year, and their general sentiment will also be present. The technology used by teachers and schools will, however, change. But that is to be expected; in fact, that must be prepared for. After all, form follows function. Understanding this will help me continue to be a good technology leader for my school. The second thing I have noticed is working with AECT standards has made me a better educator. First and foremost, I have been able to identify myself with a learning theory. Aligning myself with constructivist ideals has helped me to develop great content that fits with my educational philosophy and teaching style, and this in turn has helped make my classroom fun and rigorous. I have also learned about many new tools which were immediately implemented into my classroom repertoire. My students are constantly engaged and I feel this makes them perform better.

Furthermore, I have learned policy making and evaluations; these have led me to become the leader I am at my school. Without knowing the evaluation techniques, I dont think I would have been able to effectively integrate technology across a wide range of students, nor would the school have been able to improve its technological status. Lastly, I have been able to broaden my reflective point of view. Learning to be constructively critical about how I approach certain aspects of education (such as theory, bureaucracy, etc) has made me understand why certain things are the way they are, and, quite frankly, to manage what I disagree with. This helps to make education an open dialogue where no one is right or wrong, but rather where the best choices for students prevails. I cannot express how thankful I am that the Boise State M.E.T. program is set-up the way it is. I have grown from a good teacher into a great teacher. I have become an analyzer, an assessor, an evaluator. In my very first learning log entry, I wrote, Upon completion of the EDTECH Graduate program, I will be able to face the current technological barrage, and be able to create a new generation of confident, intelligent, and technologically-savvy students who are equipped to handle the digital and academic deluge which is headed their way. I can now say with certainty that this is a reality.

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Smith, P. L., & Ragan, T. J. (2005). Instructional design (Third ed.). John Wiley & Sons. Strommen, E. F., & Lincoln, B. (1992). Constructivism, technology, and the future of classroom learning. Education and Urban Society, 24 (4) , 466-476. Retrieved from What are the initial standards? (2001). Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Retrieved from