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Hands down the domain that challenged me most was Technology and Learning.

I deal with
standards and ethics of various kinds everyday as a routine part of my job, and I learn new
adaptations of duties that I have performed for many years. However, upon reflection I
realize that it is somewhat rare that I have the chance to learn something completely new.
Technology Applications for Educational Leaders is the first course that I have taken since
1999. Not only have I changed, but technology is a continually advancing frontier that was
only a dream to someone like me fifteen years ago. Just registering for the course before I
even began the assignments was really my first experience with the first domain,
Technology & Learning.
I maneuvered through registration on Goldlink fairly easily because I often help my dual
enrollment students register, but I experienced my first roadblock when I tried to set up my
student mail account. Because I am faculty at University School I already have an ETSU
email account, and I wanted to merge my new student account with my current account. In
attempting to activate the student account, I managed to freeze my work account and to
shut down all four computers in my office because everything is managed under my
username/password. Although I was not able to correct the issues myself, a very nice
person named Steve in OIT worked his magic and turned me into both a faculty member
and a student co-existing within one email account. I was quickly back in business only to
realize that I needed to create a new gmail account. With limited help I managed to create a
gmail account based on my ETSU account, but even now I have not managed to figure out
how to create a login on my laptop. When I try to sign in about ten student logins come up,
and I have to create a new one for myself every single time. Some day I will figure it out, or
a student will come along, take pity and fix it.
Next in my journey was learning how to navigate D2L to determine the actual assignments
for the class. Once I realized that each instructor has a unique set up in D2L and stopped
expecting my two courses to be the same, I determined that I needed to create an
introduction video. Let me just say that I poured my heart, soul, sleep, family time, and the
dregs of my dignity into that video. Looking back it amazes me that I found it so hard, but it
took me hours and hours to make it. I was about as proud of that video as I was of my
newborn son six years ago. I learned so much about simple features of my MAC that I had
never experimented with before, and I learned how to create a video adding sound, music,
titles, and slides. It was not a very polished product, but it was by far the most
technologically advanced product that I had ever created.
At this point, please note that I have not even begun working on the projects assigned in the
Technology & Learning domain, but I have already learned so much. And more important, I
have enjoyed every minute of that learning. It has been a long time since I have been
excited about academic learning, but my foray back into the world of graduate study has
been both exciting and stimulating and something that I have approached with enthusiasm.

The assignments for the Technology & Learning domain presented quite a challenge for me
in trying out new technologies that I had not previously used. I would say that I am fairly
technology literate; I can make a spreadsheet, update my website (with a bit of help), and
text on my iPhone. However, unless a technology is required in my job or home life I rarely
find the time to experiment, and the assignments in the first domain required that I make
the time to try something new.
First, I discovered the narrated PowerPoint! I am amazed that I have used PowerPoint all of
these years and had no idea that slideshows could be narrated. Next, I discovered that a
narrated PowerPoint cannot be converted to a movie file on a MAC and preserve the audio
so I quickly moved on to Keynote. In working on the same assignment, I learned to convert
my Keynote to a movie file and to upload it to YouTube which is part of Google+. Who
knew? Now, I know! One little trick that I have not successfully managed is posting an
active hyperlink into a discussion board. I have tried and failed twice, but I will learn.
Second, I got to post my personal journey with technology into the discussion board. In
writing of my experience it was fun to reflect on just how much has changed even within my
lifetime. It was fun to share my back in the day recollectionseven though Im not THAT
old. Reading about my classmates experiences was one of the most enjoyable assignments
for me and was the one that really helped me start to establish connections with my fellow
students allaying my fears of feeling alone in an online environment. Posting to the
discussion board also helped me to develop skills in creating substantive responses and in
reading the assignments more closely to assure that I met all the requirements of the
assignment in a non-threatening topic. Best of all I received a compliment on my writing on
the discussion board and those words really boosted my confidence in my ability to
contribute to the class.
Third, the Case Study allowed me to interact with some of my classmates in real time via
Google Hangout and Google Hangout on Air. I volunteered to operate the Google Hangout on
Air to force me to learn a new skill. After making a few practice runs hanging out with
myself on another computer, I successfully initiated and recorded our groups practice
session and case study discussion and published them to YouTube. Pretty impressive after
a mere three weeks, huh? The content of our case study was engaging, but somewhat
secondary to the fun of meeting and chatting online. In our first meeting we spent at least
half an hour just getting to know each other and making jokes. By the end of our last case
study I felt that I really know these people although we have never met in person. I could
not have asked for a better group, and I hope I continue to be matched with these students
as our cohort progresses. Bonus tech skill in this assignment, Myles introduced me to the
wide-open world of Google Drive and the Google Doc. I LOVE the Google form, but Im pretty
sure my students may hate it by the end of the year.
Fourth and finally, I wrote my Blog. Creating an account at WordPress and actually posting
my blog were the easy parts, but I agonized over coming up with a topic. I really struggled

with coming up with a concept and an original topic. Thanks to some Facebook friends and
the faculty of the Tennessee Online Public School my blog post was a success and created
some interesting discussion. Im not sure that I will ever have enough to say to actually
become a blogger, but if I ever do at least I have the skills.
Technology Applications for Educational Leaders has been the ideal course for me to begin
my new graduate school journey. I have gained technology skills, tools for use in my
coursework, but most of all I have gained confidence that I can still learn and contribute and
have become more engaged and enthusiastic within my profession. From this point
forward I believe that I will be willing to take more risks in learning something new and in
meeting my students on territory in which they feel most comfortable.