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Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Shareen E. Russell
Growth Assessment
Masters of Arts in Education: Digital Teaching and Learning
EDUC 526: Murrieta Campus
Professor: M. Hixson
Live Binder Link:

Introduction:
Growing up my mom would frequently read the book Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
by: Dr. Seuss to my younger brother and myself. We were always told that if you shoot
for the moon, even if we don’t make it that high, we would still reach the stars. I attended
California Baptist University for undergraduate and obtained a B.A, in Liberal Studies
with a minor in English. My intent upon graduating from CBU was to immediately enroll
in a credentialing program to get my multiple subject credentials and be a kindergarten
teacher. However, Gods plan was so much different than my own! I ended up moving
home after graduation to help take care of my Dad for my mom (at this point in my life
my dad had a diagnose of leukemia). Upon moving home my plans to obtain a multiple
subject was put on hold. I started to substitute teach and absolutely fell in love with
special education. I started to look into different special education credentialing programs
near my hometown of Temecula. I originally enrolled in an online program through
National University, but quickly found out that online learning just wasn’t for me. That is
when I started looking into evening classes at Azusa Pacific’s Murrieta Regional Center.
I went to an informational meeting one evening and immediately knew that this was the
program for me. I started classes just 3 days after attending the informational meeting and
haven’t looked back since.
After starting my credential program, I quickly learned about obtaining a Masters
in Digital Teaching and Learning. I had never put any real thought into obtaining a
Master Degree and really couldn’t believe that I was even considering enrolling in a
Masters program. I prayed about it and a few weeks later I enrolled in the program. There
were several goals I had in obtaining this Masters degree. Having been a substitute
teacher and spend a lot of my time in special education classrooms, I have seen how
technology has single handily changed education for these students. I want to become an
educator who incorporates technology into their classroom on a daily basis to help
supplement the students learning experience. I also believe that having a Masters degree
will help me be more marketable in the education field of special education.
Personal Growth:
Growing up school had never come easy to me. I was always the student that
struggled through, while my younger brother could almost sleep through his educational
experience and still receive A’s on everything. I was diagnosed with ADHD and focusing
was always a struggle for me. The best teachers I had and where I learned the most were
my teachers that were very hands on and utilized different approaches to learning.
Starting the credential/masters program through Azusa Pacific caused anxiety in me. I
was unsure of how I would do at graduate level courses. My first class however put my
mind at ease. My professor was extremely nice and very helpful, and my fellow
classmates in my cohort turned out to be like an extended family. I am sure they
relationships I have formed while on my journey through Azusa Pacific will last way
beyond our time here at Azusa, and possibly for the rest of our lives. I am very grateful
for all the amazing friendships that I have been able to build upon through my time here
at Azusa Pacific.
Through my journey here at Azusa Pacific University I have seen Gods hand in
my life on a daily basis. God has provided me with the strength and endurance to not only
completes the program, but to complete the program while maintaining a 3.9 GPA
average. I was also able hold a fulltime time and gain invaluable experience as a
substitute teacher.
This degree is very special to me on many different levels. I have been able to
prove to myself, that if I put my mind to something and trust in God, anything is possible.
Many people would have never thought I would have ever been able to successfully
complete a credentialing program, let alone a Masters degree. This is a huge personal
milestone in my life. I cannot wait to be a personal example to my future students, that no
matter what may be against you (for me it was having the diagnose of ADHD), if you put
your mind to something and continuously work towards it, you can shoot for the stars and
have your dreams come true.
Professional Growth:
Having gone through as Azusa Pacific for my credentialing program and then for
my Masters programs has been a wonderful experience. I could not imagine going
through any other program. APU has not only taught me invaluable things a future
special education educator, but also has helped me grow spiritually. While going through
the program as APU, I was also a substitute teacher. For many of my long-term substitute
positions I was able to utilize what I had learned through all my classes and incorporate
them into real life experiences. Having this plethora of knowledge really helped me gain
the confidence and knowledge a day-to-day as well as long-term substitute. I have also
been able to build upon my resume with all of the experience I gained as long-term
substitutes, which helps with interviews tremendously. I am grateful for all of my
professors and their guidance and unending help while on my journey with APU to
become a special education teacher and obtain my masters in digital technology and
learning.
Technical Growth:
I have always loved learning about and experiencing all the different
technological advances that our society brings to us. I consider myself a digital native and
always have had technology at my fingertips. Through this program I have gained a large
plethora of knowledge on APPs, how to make and edit videos, as well build my own
websites and blogs. I am really excited to utilize all these new tools I have learned while
on this journey of obtaining my masters degree in my future classroom. It is exciting to
think of all the different ways I will be able to engage my students on a journey to
become lifelong learners.
Life Long Learning Plan:
I have a passion to learn knew things on a daily basis. Even though my journey is
coming to an end with APU, I still plan on being a life long learner and to never stop
learning new things. I feel to be an exceptional educator, one must always keep learning.
As our society changes and evolve as well as our students, we as educators need to be
able to change and evolve as well. I am sure that my journey is not over and that God has
many more amazing plans in store for me on the road ahead. I cannot wait to see what
God has in mind as I journey ahead in life as a special education teacher! As in the words
of Dr. Seuss “KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS! So...be your name Buxbaum or
Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, you're off to Great Places! Today is
your day! Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way!”


Course COURSE
TITLE &
INSTRUCTOR
TERM
COMPLETE
KEY SKILLS
REQUIRED
COMMENTS/
SUGGESTION
(Rating)
EDUC
511
Foundations in
Digital
Teaching
and Learning
~ J. Gilbreath
Spring 2- 2014 Create
Livebinder and
overview of
entire program
program in
technology
I thought that this course
was extremely helpful in
giving me an overview of
the expectations of the
masters program at APU.
Prof. Gilbreath was very
helpful with any and all
questions I had. (4/4)
EDUC
512
Instructional
Applications
Productivity
Software
~
Spring 2- 2014 Create a
Webquest
through a
program called
Questgarden
I really enjoyed this class. I
have seen many teachers
incorporate webquests into
their classrooms but was
unsure of exactly had to
make them and use them in
a classroom setting. I plan
on using webquests on a
frequent basis in my future
classroom. (4/4)
EDUC
514
Digital Video
in the
Classroom
~ T. Temple
Summer-2014 Create several
videos using
iMovie and
understand
how videos
can be
incorporated in
the classroom
Temple was by far one of
the best professors I have
had. He always made class
really entertaining and set
the bar really high for what
he expected of us as his
students. He always gave
really constructive criticism
and input on all the videos a
I made for his course. (4/4)
EDUC
515
Evolving
Educational
Technologies
~ L. Martin
Spring 1- 2014 Create a
Twitter
account, blog,
and website.
My favorite thing I learned
through this program was
how to make a blog. I have
made my own personal
blog and post on it
regularly. I am definitely
planning on building and
using my own websites in
my future classroom. (4/4).
EDUC
522
Learning in the
21st Century
~ Rodriquez.

Spring 2- 2014 Create a unit
plan that
integrates the
understanding
I have never really learned
much about Gardner’s
Multiple intelligences until
this course. This was a real
of Bloom's
Taxonomy and
Howard's
multiple
intelligence
eye opener for me in
regards to how students all
learn differently. This will
be crucial knowledge I will
use when lesson planning
in the future. (4/4)
EDUC
526
Capstone
Experience/
Digital
Teaching and
Learning
~ M. Hixson
Summer- 2014 Create a
portfolio of all
I have
completed in
my EDUC
classes.
This course is where we
made a online portfolio and
combined all the different
assignments we have done
throughout the masters
program. I plan on using my
online portfolio in my
interviews to showcase my
abilities to incorporate
technology into my
classroom. (4/4)