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EdTech 592

Rationale Paper
Denise Holder
Second Grade Teacher
Johnson Elementary School
Fort Collins, Colorado
February 2015

EdTech 592 Rationale Paper

INTRODUCTION
Technology has always been an interest of mine. Prior to entering this program, I would spend
my free time visiting different technology websites and teacher blogs to keep up on the latest
technology integration ideas and information. Even though my primary responsibility is teaching
second grade, my peers would come to me to me for technology support and ideas for
technology integration. There are many more educational technology tools that I have discovered
in my journey that I am able to use in my own practice and share with my peers.
When a friend of mine suggested that I join her in getting a Master in Educational Technology
with her, I looked at the program that Boise State Universitys program and decided it was a
great idea. Increasing my knowledge and having the opportunity to share conversations with
other like-minded people about a topic that has interested me for years has been an enriching
experience. I have learned so much through the Master in Educational Technology program over
these past two years. The assignments and experiences have not always been easy, but I am so
proud of the products that I have completed in all of my EdTech courses.
This rationale paper examines the work I have completed in this program. This paper is divided
into five sections that represent the five AECT Standards - content knowledge, content pedagogy,
learning environments, professional knowledge and skills, and research. Each section contains
indicators, at least one artifact per indicator, and a rationale for selection of that artifact. The
artifacts have been selected and placed where evidence of mastery is evident. These artifacts
show that technology is a meaningful teaching tool in education.

EdTech 592 Rationale Paper

STANDARD 1: CONTENT KNOWLEDGE


Indicators
Creating - Candidates demonstrate the ability to create instructional materials and learning
environments using a variety of systems approaches. (p. 81)
The synchronous EdTech 521 - Verbs synchronous lesson was created as a different
approach to a learning environment. In a synchronous learning environment, students are
able to interact directly with the teacher even if they are not able to travel to the location
of the teacher. In this lesson, the student was able to interact directly with the instructor as
the content was being delivered. Questions can be answered, student understanding can
be assessed, and instruction can be adapted in real time based on the immediate feedback
received by the instructor.
The EdTech 533 - Communities video & Christmas Around the World video were chosen
as artifacts because they show one type of instructional material that I have created to use
when introducing a unit of study to my students. I have also used these videos when
students have required additional instruction on the topic. These educational videos are
available for viewing in the classroom as well as at home. Others, outside of my
classroom of students and my peers, have also used these videos in their instruction.
When linking to the videos on YouTube, you can see that the Communities video has
received over 3,500 views, and the Christmas Around the World video has received over
2,100 views.

EdTech 592 Rationale Paper

Using - Candidates demonstrate the ability to select and use technological resources and
processes to support student learning and to enhance their pedagogy. (p. 141)
The EdTech 541 - Relative Advantage Chart was developed for teachers that are selecting
and including technological resources as instructional strategies to support student
learning in literacy. Roblyer and Doering (2013) believe that technology-based
strategies offer many unique benefits to teachers as they look for instructional solutions
(p.51). This literacy chart is evidence of understanding how the use of technology can be
advantageous for teachers and can enhance their pedagogy by including advantages of
each technology and its expected outcomes. Teachers may locate an area of student need
and select the technology that would assist students in reaching the desired outcome.
Assessing/Evaluating - Candidates demonstrate the ability to assess and evaluate the effective
integration of appropriate technologies and instructional materials.
In the EdTech 505 - Raz-Kids Evaluation Report, I demonstrated the ability to assess and
evaluate the program. Collecting data from various sources strengthened my evaluation
of the Raz-Kids program. As learner outcomes were analyzed through data, I was able to
determine effectiveness of the Raz-Kids program for second grade students. The data
revealed strengths of the program and modifications necessary to improve instructional
practice and the learning environment. Using the data presented in this report,
recommendations about the future of the Raz-Kids program were shared with
stakeholders.

EdTech 592 Rationale Paper

Managing - Candidates demonstrate the ability to effectively manage people, processes, physical
infrastructures, and financial resources to achieve predetermined goals. (p. 178)
The EdTech 505 - Request for Proposal (RFP) required decisions to be made as if I was a
program evaluator called to submit a proposal for services. In this assignment, a fictional
company is seeking an evaluator to help determine the feasibility of implementing their
educational product to the market. Even though this proposal was for a fictitious
company, I took my role as the program evaluator seriously. This process required
selection of an evaluation method, creation of a task schedule, determining staffing needs
and selection of project personnel, and defining a reasonable project budget to evaluate
this product. After submission of the RFP, the course instructor commented that he
believed the acceptance of my proposal was feasible.
Ethics - Candidates demonstrate the contemporary professional ethics of the field as defined and
developed by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. (p. 284)
It is important to make sure that proper credit is given to the creator of the work, whether
it be an image, song, or article. In the EdTech 541 - Summarizing for Second Graders
Slide Presentation artifact, great care was taken in making sure that each image in the
presentation has a corresponding source. A small link is included under each image,
which directs you to the source, and all images selected are labeled for non-commercial
use. As I continue to create public, informative presentations, this practice of citing
sources is evident in my final products.

EdTech 592 Rationale Paper

STANDARD 2: CONTENT PEDAGOGY


Indicators
Creating - Candidates apply content pedagogy to create appropriate applications of processes
and technologies to improve learning and performance outcomes. (p. 1)
Inspired by the webquest assignment in EdTech 502, I created a Four Seasons Webquest
as part of a weather science unit I designed for second grade students. With guidance
from the teacher, students are able to work collaboratively in groups when completing the
webquest. Technology is used when participate in learning about the topic of seasons.
Even though this webquest is structured, it allows students the flexibility to explore the
topic. Students research, collaborate, and synthesize new information they receive when
completing this webquest. Vidoni and Maddux (2002) states that webquests may be
useful in the quest to find ways to develop or enhance critical thinking in students. My
students enjoyed working in groups to research seasons and complete the task outlined in
the webquest.
When creating the EdTech 521 - Severe Weather Asynchronous Lesson, special attention
was given to creating materials in the lesson that allowed students to be supported.
Directions were given in both written and oral formats. Visual aids were created and
academic activities were designed to enhance student learning and increase collaboration.
This asynchronous environment is flexible and supportive to students. Creating this
lesson allowed me to meld best instructional practices with technological resources so
that students may learn content in a more engaging and authentic way.

EdTech 592 Rationale Paper

Using - Candidates implement appropriate educational technologies and processes based on


appropriate content pedagogy. (p. 141)
Giving students access to information through use of the internet is important in a
blended learning environment. The EdTech 541 - Using the Internet for Instruction
assignment is an example of how using a Blendspace page can guide students through the
process of learning the required content. This Blendspace page was set up so that students
can independently learn the important information about the Painted Lady butterfly in a
structure and order that is logical for them to follow. I plan to incorporate this lesson this
April when we begin studying insects and butterflies.
Assessing/Evaluating - Candidates demonstrate an inquiry process that assesses the adequacy of
learning and evaluates the instruction and implementation of educational technologies and
processes (p. 116-117) grounded in reflective practice.
Reflective inquiry was used after completion of each week in EdTech 501. Using the
EdTech 501 Learning Log, I was able to reflect upon my learning after each module. This
tool guided me each week as I had to reflect upon the lesson for the week. This inquirybased process assisted me as I thought about the effectiveness of my instruction, the
student learning that occurs, and the tools I use to facilitate learning in projects. Having
this opportunity to self-reflect allowed me to understand and improve the methods of
incorporating technologies in my current practice.

EdTech 592 Rationale Paper

Gary Bingham, Teri Holbrook, and Laura E. Meyers believe that self-assessment can
play a powerful role in the relationship between a childs motivation and academic
achievement. (p. 59) Hoping to increase student motivation and academic achievement,
student collaboration and self-reflection was built into the EdTech 542 Weather Project I
created. Evidence of this reflective practice can be found in the EdTech 542 - Weather
Reporter Rubric. Students are asked to work together on the project and then reflect and
evaluate themselves in each area before completing a peer evaluation.
Managing - Candidates manage appropriate technological processes and resources to provide
supportive learning communities, create flexible and diverse learning environments, and develop
and demonstrate appropriate content pedagogy. (p. 175-193)
EdTech 533 - YouTube playlists are an example of managing a technological resource
that will be used by teachers and students. Prior to taking EdTech 533, I was unaware that
playlists could be created. I have found that playlists are a great way to organize content
for different topics. They allow me to save and quickly locate videos that I know are
valuable to concept understanding. If students need a refresher on a topic, they can find
these videos easily through my YouTube channel. These playlists continue to be curated,
managed, and used in my current practice.
Ethics - Candidates design and select media, technology, and processes that emphasize the
diversity of our society as a multicultural community. (p. 296)

EdTech 592 Rationale Paper

The EdTech 501 - Digital Inequality project identifies the diversity we have when
technology is used. The research opened my eyes to problems that occur because of
digital inequality. In this presentation, these problems are addressed as well as strategies
and processes that can be implemented to close the gaps that are found in access and
skills. I have implemented some of these suggestions, specifically including keyboarding
time and partnering up my students with fifth grade students to be tech buddies, to
close the digital gap in my own school.
STANDARD 3: LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
Indicators
Creating - Candidates create instructional design products based on learning principles and
research-based best practices. (pp. 8, 243-245, 246)
When developing the EdTech 503 - Instructional Design Project that focused on second
grade students creating a Google Slide to put in a shared Google presentation, a great deal
of time, thought, and research of best practices went into the planning of the project.
Because of the Instructional Design methods taught throughout this course, I was able to
design, develop, and implement instruction to all students on how best to teach the
process of creating a Google Slide to second grade students. Martin (2011) believes when
all of the steps in the instructional design process are being followed, focusing on critical
needs and conveying essential knowledge and skills is ensured. To make sure that my
process was appropriate, a subject matter expert was consulted. I used this project in my
classroom this year with great success. Students were able to complete the task using the

EdTech 592 Rationale Paper

design that was created. As a result of my efforts, this project was chosen to stand as an
example for future students.
Using - Candidates make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate processes and
resources to provide optimal conditions for learning (pp. 122, 169) based on principles, theories,
and effective practices. (pp. 8-9, 168-169, 246)
Deciding on resources that will guide the learning of students is important. Based on best
practices, the activities listed in the EdTech 521- Weather Asynchronous Lesson Tools
and Resources assignment will aid student learning by providing resources that
encourage cooperation, literacy skills, and weather information in kid-friendly formats.
Students will be able to work independently on most of these resources, which will
encourage student confidence and build subject knowledge. This asynchronous
environment allows students to access educational materials at any time, at their own
pace, and as many times as they need to achieve understanding.
Assessing/Evaluating - Candidates use multiple assessment strategies (p. 53) to collect data for
informing decisions to improve instructional practice, learner outcomes, and the learning
environment. (pp. 5-6)
One artifact that shows evidence of mastery of this standard is the EdTech 542 - Weather
Assessments page from my weather project. A variety of assessment strategies were used
to determine student understanding. Formative assessments inform decisions about the
effects of our daily practice and guide the course of future instruction. Without these

EdTech 592 Rationale Paper

quick checks for understanding, we would not know depth of learning until after the
project was completed. Summative assessments of students determine if learner outcomes
were achieved. When teaching this weather unit, the data collected via these assessments
guided my practice and identified areas of improvement to solidify learner outcomes
when the unit is taught in the future.
Managing - Candidates establish mechanisms (p. 190) for maintaining the technology
infrastructure (p. 234) to improve learning and performance. (p. 238)
Keeping all resources in one location for primary students is important for ease of
research. Content-specific websites were curated through the use of Symbaloo. The
Weather Symbaloo & Insect/butterfly Symbaloo were created to manage web-based
content that students can access easily. The simplicity of the Symbaloo layout makes use
use of these visually appealing resource easy for primary students. Each Symbaloo is
used for support as students research topics. As students work with these digital curation
tools, they enhance their learning through research, which increases their academic
performance on our second grade research projects.
Ethics - Candidates foster a learning environment in which ethics guide practice that promotes
health, safety, best practice (p. 246), and respect for copyright, Fair Use, and appropriate open
access to resources. (p. 3)
The US Department of Education (2010) reports that teachers or their students used
computers in the classroom during instructional time often (40 percent) or sometimes (29

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percent). Internet use in schools is increasing as it becomes more involved as an


educational tool. Due to this increase in student use of the Internet in an academic setting,
we must make certain that student online safety is paramount. The projects that were
designed to make certain students understand the rules when navigating this online world
are EdTech 502 - Copyright and Plagiarism Scavenger Hunt, EdTech 521 - Netiquette for
Elementary Students guide, and EdTech 521 - Netiquette and You website. Fostering
good digital citizenship through utilization of these resources is best practice when
students are working in an online environment. These resources are shared with my
students at the beginning of the year to solidify the foundation for good digital
citizenship, and they are always available if the need arises for reteaching these rules.
Diversity of Learners - Candidates foster a learning community that empowers learners with
diverse backgrounds, characteristics, and abilities. (p. 10)
Assistive technologies are necessary tools for students with special needs. These
technologies enable them to be as independent and productive as their peers without the
same needs. Challenges for children with special needs can be overcome through the use
of assistive technology and accessibility features. Judge (2000) states that all individuals
must be better prepared to access, manipulate, and control information and their
environments through the use of technology. A strong community of learners can be
created when using tools such as the EdTech 541 - Adaptive/Assistive Technology for
Students with Special Needs resource. This resource lists technologies that are available
for teachers to use with learners of various backgrounds and abilities.

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STANDARD 4: PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS


Indicators
Collaborative Practice - Candidates collaborate with their peers and subject matter experts to
analyze learners, develop and design instruction, and evaluate its impact on learners.
In the creation of the EdTech 503 - Instructional Design Project, collaboration with my
buildings subject matter expert (SME) was important. The SME reviewed the design of
the Instructor Guide and evaluated the process to determine if learners would be
successful. The suggestions given by the SME can be easily incorporated into future
iterations of this project. I analyzed the instructions and adapted some materials to
achieve learner outcomes. I felt confident that I was designed a project that would be
effective for my second grade audience, and I was correct as each of my students
completed a Google Slide. These slides were printed and used in a class book that was
printed for each student.
The EdTech 533 - Video Use in an Elementary Setting video is a collaboration of my
colleagues that shares their personal views on incorporating videos into their instruction.
Because I wanted to get opinions from teachers in different content areas, I chose one
primary teacher, two intermediate teachers, a "specials" teacher, and an integrated
services (special education) teacher. All of these teachers shared how video use impacts
students in an elementary setting. Each teacher believes that videos impact learning by
enhancing the learning experience and reinforcing content or concepts that are already
taught in their classrooms.

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Leadership - Candidates lead their peers in designing and implementing technology-supported


learning.
The EdTech 541 - Instructional Software Prezi guides teachers in the selection and
implementation of technology-supported resources to enhance student learning. The use
of computers helps teachers perform various tasks in ways that are transforming the
teaching process (Roblyer & Doering, 2013). This resource for teachers, grounded in
research, shows that instructional software can enhance instruction and delivery of
content to students can be more engaging. Instructional software has allowed me to
individualize instruction for each student and provide resources for remediation, if
necessary.
Reflection on Practice - Candidates analyze and interpret data and artifacts and reflect on the
effectiveness of the design, development and implementation of technology-supported
instruction and learning to enhance their professional growth.
Reflection on practice leads to greater learning. The EdTech 501 - Learning Log, EdTech
521 - Reflective Journal, EdTech 533 Final Reflection Video, and EdTech 541 Blog
were tools that were created in each course for personal reflection about improving my
practice. Through use of these tools, I was able to take the time to analyze the artifacts
and interpret the data to determine the effectiveness of the design of the lesson, the
materials, and/or my instruction. These opportunities for self-reflection allowed me the
opportunity to deepen my learning about educational technology theories, tools, and
practices and make connections to my current instructional practice.

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Assessing/Evaluating - Candidates design and implement assessment and evaluation plans that
align with learning goals and instructional activities.
Research by Hattie (2009) shows that self-reporting of grades has the most positive effect
on student achievement. Because I shared the EdTech 541 - Spreadsheet Integration in
Literacy project with teachers in my building, second grade students are able to input data
into spreadsheets instead of filling in paper graphs to report their grades in our weekly
programs such as Rocket Math, Accelerated Reader, Mastering Math, spelling tests, and
more. This graph or chart gives second graders a very clear picture as to their success and
progress throughout each quarter and also connects to a Common Core math standard for
second grade. These products are wonderful for self-reflection and ideal for use in
student/teacher conferences, parent/teacher conferences, and student/parent discussions.
Assessments, both formative and summative, are an important component in the Weather
Unit that was created for EdTech 542. The EdTech 542 Wild and Wonderful Weather!
Assessments were created to align with the learning goals, based on Common Core
standards, for this unit. Students view rubrics prior to the lessons and are given the
opportunity to reflect on their achievement and participation in groups after the lesson
using tools I created for this unit.
Ethics - Candidates demonstrate ethical behavior within the applicable cultural context during all
aspects of their work and with respect for the diversity of learners in each setting.

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By researching best practices in the field of education to determine which strategies


would work best for students, the EdTech 504 - Influences of Constructivism on Student
Engagement and Learning in the Elementary Classroom project is a clear indicator of
application of this ethics indicator. As a result of this artifact, I was able to assist students
with differing backgrounds reach their potential in spite of their diversity. I concluded
that, if teachers purposefully set up a constructivist environment in their classrooms, all
students could demonstrate the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, and
creativity.
STANDARD 5: RESEARCH
Indicators:
Theoretical Foundations - Candidates demonstrate foundational knowledge of the contribution
of research to the past and current theory of educational communications and technology. (p.
242)
The EdTech 504 - Annotated Bibliography is a document that was created by researching
the past and present practices regarding constructivism. This research defined what
constructivist approaches look like, the use of a constructivist approach is used in
elementary instruction, and the effectiveness of constructivist practices when working
with students. The knowledge gained in these articles guided and supported my research
to prove that, coupled with constructivist practices, educational technology can be
integrated into instruction to increase student engagement, allow the locus of control to

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be with the students, and improve student achievement (Shin et al., 2012; Strommen &
Lincoln, 1992; Hickey, Moore, & Pellegrino, 2001).
Method - Candidates apply research methodologies to solve problems and enhance practice. (p.
243)
Few students show automaticity in addition and subtraction math facts at the beginning of
second grade and do not achieve mastery of these facts by the end of second grade. To
combat this problem, I looked for solutions through the research for the EdTech 501 EdTech Research Assignment. The focus of the research was trying to decide if
educational technology used to practice math facts, in addition to the traditional method
of paper/pencil or repetitive practice with flash cards, would increase of math facts
automaticity. I found that using educational technology as an intervention is appropriate
for my students, and immediate feedback that students receive would be helpful and
motivating to them. Based on the positive results of using educational technology to
improve math fluency and math fact automaticity, I created a webpage on my grade level
website for my students to visit so that they may strengthen and improve their math skills.
Another artifact that can be used as evidence for mastery of this indicator is the EdTech
503 - Instructional Design Project. In Part 2- Analysis Report, students were administered
a two-part survey (Part 1 and Part 2). This research provided data that determined learner
attitudes and experience with technology. The results also informed and guided
instruction when creating the Learning Task Analysis, utilizing instructional design

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research to ensure that the content would be aligned with capabilities of the current group
of second graders.
Assessing/Evaluating - Candidates apply formal inquiry strategies in assessing and evaluating
processes and resources for learning and performance. (p. 203)
Using the EdTech 501 Maturity Benchmarks Survey Sheet, I was able to assess and
evaluate the technology processes and resources in my district and at my school. I
discovered that my district has quite a comprehensive technology plan. At school level, it
was discovered that we have to adhere to the district technology plan but we do not have
one of our own. The EdTech 501 School Evaluation Summary allowed me to make
recommendations to school administrators for improved student learning and
performance in each of the five areas listed in the summary.
Ethics - Candidates conduct research and practice using accepted professional (p. 296) and
institutional (p. 297) guidelines and procedures.
When you have read something and wish to share the information learned with others,
there is an ethical responsibility to give credit to the author. Research was conducted for
the EdTech 504 - Influences of Constructivism on Student Engagement and Learning in
the Elementary Classroom paper to define constructivism and demonstrate how a
constructivist approach, along with the use of educational technology in an elementary
classroom, can enhance student learning, increase student motivation, and positively
affect student achievement. American Psychological Association (APA) style was used

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when citing sources to make certain that the author(s) received the proper credit for the
information used to support the ideas in this artifact.
CONCLUSION
As I conclude this paper and this program, I am able to reflect back on the journey to receiving
this Master in Educational Technology degree. It has taken a great deal of my time, but I am so
thankful for the experience. Many quality projects were created due to the well-structured
assignments from my professors, and I have used the majority of the projects I created with my
second grade students. This experience has also allowed me the time to explore various webbased technologies that I might not have been exposed to if it were not for this program. I have
so many educational technology tools in my toolbox now, and I am so grateful for that. My
second graders have had the opportunity to be part of an enriching, blended learning classroom
because of my education at Boise State University. They have used Google Classroom,
Blendspace, Padlet, Wordle, and so many other tools that make their learning engaging and fun.
While I am still loving the experience of teaching second graders every day, I do feel much more
competent to expand my horizons with great thanks to this degree, as well as the Technology
Integration Specialist and Online Teaching K-12 certificates I have received. I look forward to
continuing to blend educational technology into my daily practice, whatever that practice may
be.

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REFERENCES
Bingham, G., Holbrook, T., and Meyers, L. (2010). Using self-assessments in elementary
classrooms. Phi Delta Kappan, 91(5), 59-61. doi:10.1177/003172171009100515
Hattie, J. (2013). Hattie ranking: Influences and effect sizes related to student achievement.
Retrieved from http://visible-learning.org/hattie-ranking-influences-effect-sizes-learningachievement/
Hickey, D. T., Moore, A. L., & Pellegrino, J. W. (2001). The motivational and academic
consequences of elementary mathematics environments: Do constructivist innovations
and reforms make a difference? American Educational Research Journal, 38(3), 611-652.
doi:10.3102/00028312038003611
Judge, S.L. (2000). Accessing and funding assistive technology for young children with
disabilities. Early Childhood Education Journal, 28(2), 125-131.
Martin, F. (2011). Instructional design and the importance of instructional alignment. Community
College Journal of Research and Practice. 35(12), 955-972. doi:
10.1080/10668920802466483
Roblyer, M.D. and Doerling, A.H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th
Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

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Shin, N., Sutherland, L. M., Norris, C. A., & Soloway, E. (2012). Effects of game technology on
elementary student learning in mathematics. British Journal of Educational Technology,
43(4), 540-560. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01197.x
Strommen, E. F., & Lincoln, B. (1992). Constructivism, technology, and the future of classroom
learning. Education and Urban Society, 24(4). 466-476.
doi:10.1177/0013124592024004004
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2010). Teacher's use of
educational technology in U.S. public schools: 2009 (NCES 2010-040). Retrieved from
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2010/2010040.pdf
Vidoni, K. & Maddux, C. (2002). WebQuests: Can they be used to improve critical thinking
skills in students? Computers in the Schools, 19(1/2), 101-117.
doi:10.1300/J025v19n01_09/

NOTE: Parenthetical page references are to Educational Technology: A Definition with


Commentary (2008, A. Januszewski & M. Molenda, Eds., Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.)

Link to AECT standards: https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/aect.siteym.com/resource/resmgr/AECT_Documents/AECT_Standards_adopted7_16_2.pdf

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