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  • 1. Technology  Trail:  The  Path  I  Travelled   By  Estee  Adery                                                   I,  like  Robert  Frost,  took  the  path  less  traveled  by.    And  it  has  made  all  the   difference  in  who  I  have  become  as  a  student,  teacher,  and  role  model  for  those   important  in  my  life.    I  have  been  on  a  path  of  introspection,  reflection,  and   evaluation  of  who  I  am  and  who  I  want  to  be.    The  path  less  travelled  has  taught  me   a  great  deal  about  myself  and  I  have  one  of  my  best  friends  to  thank.     I  began  my  journey  down  this  path  one  Sunday  Spring  2008  morning  at   brunch  as  we  sat  on  the  patio  laughing  and  talking  as  we  often  do.  The  sun  was   shining  and  the  birds  were  singing,  as  we  were  about  to  discuss  our  future  in   Education.    Abbie,  who  is  usually  filled  with  excitement,  was  stressed.         1  
  • 2. She  can  be  absent  minded  at  times,  but  only  because  she  tries  to  accomplish  too   many  things  on  her  “to  do”  list  and  over  schedules  herself.    With  this  in  mind,  her   teaching  certificate  was  about  to  expire  and  therefore  it  needed  to  be  renewed  prior   to  the  beginning  of  the  next  school  year.    My  provisional  certificate  didn’t  expire   until  2012,  and  after  a  year  of  teaching  under  my  belt  in  Huron  Valley  Schools,  I  was   not  thinking  about  my  masters.  I  was  more  worried  about  having  a  job  for  the  next   school  year.    She  had  researched  various  masters  programs  online  and  one  that   spoke  to  her  was  through  Michigan  State  University.    Abbie  and  I  are  both  Spartans,   so  when  she  mentioned  green  and  white  I  was  all  ears.    The  program  that  she   examined  was  to  attain  a  Master  of  Arts  in  Educational  Technology.    Abbie  knows   how  organized  I  am,  so  she  even  had  dates  and  courses  written  down  on  purple   sticky  notes  to  show  me.  We  furthered  our  discussion  about  why  MAET  would  be   best  for  both  of  us.    Personally,  I  had  no  desire  to  attain  a  Master  of  Arts  in   Curriculum  and  Teaching,  nor  Counseling  or  Administration.    If  I  was  going  to  spend   countless  hours  broadening  my  intellect,  it  was  going  to  be  an  area  that  spiked  my   interest.    Initially,  I  was  apprehensive  about  diving  into  a  technology-­‐based   program.    The  thought  of  having  to  create  a  website  scared  me.      I  enjoy  doing  things   in  which  I  am  the  best,  as  I  do  not  enjoy  participating  in  areas  in  which  I  am  less   than  adequate.  This  is  when  I  had  to  make  a  choice.  Do  I  take  the  path  less  travelled   by?  Will  it  make  all  the  difference?      Abbie  promised  me  that  we  would  do  this   together.    Collectively  we  travelled  down  the  technology  path  and  I  assure  you  it  has   made  a  beneficial  difference.               2  
  • 3. THEME  1:     IMPLEMENTATION  OF  TECHNOLOGY:  A  TOOL  TO  MOTIVATE  STUDENTS  AND  INCREASE  ENGAGED   LEARNERS  WHILE  SPEAKING  THEIR  WEB  2.0  LANGUAGE       Through  the  Master  of  Arts  in  Educational  Technology  program  I  was   exposed  to  various  courses  that  taught  me  how  to  use  technology  as  a  tool  in  order   to  enhance  student  learning  at  various  levels.    As  a  k-­‐12  Heath  and  Physical   Educator,  it  was  important  to  me  to  find  ways  in  which  to  motivate  my  pupils,  while   also  following  the  curriculum  standards  and  benchmarks.      Three  technologies  that  I   have  found  to  motivate  students,  speaking  their  Web  2.0  language,  are  blogs,   Webquests,  and  the  use  of  digital  videos  and  images.     In  order  to  engage  adolescent  learners  at  the  high  school  level,  I   implemented  blogging  into  the  physical  education  and  health  curriculums.    The   problem  that  blogging  solved  was  two-­‐fold.      Huron  Valley  Schools,  specifically   Lakeland  High  School,  incorporated  writing  across  the  curriculum  in  all  subject   areas.    Therefore  it  was  expected  that  each  domain  had  students  writing.    In   addition,  I  wanted  my  students  to  improve  their  writing  skills  in  order  to  become   better  writers.    After  researching  the  benefits  of  blogging,  it  was  determined  that   “…teachers  whose  students  blog  within  the  context  of  lessons  report  improved   writing  and  dramatically  improved  attitudes  toward  learning,  classrooms  and   schools”  (Blog  Rules).    I  wanted  to  speak  their  Web  2.0  language  while  also   motivating  students  to  increase  their  writing  skills.     A  Health  Blog  was  created  for  Lakeland  High  School  and  was  a  beneficial  tool   for  my  students.    Health  related  open-­‐ended  questions,  relating  to  various  units  of   study,  were  posed,  requiring  much  thought  and  analytical  review.           3  
  • 4. Students  responded  to  the  topic  question  as  well  as  other  peer’s  answers.    This  is   considered  active  dialogue,  which  promoted  inquiry  based  learning.    Questions   pertaining  to  real  world  scenarios  would  actively  engage  students  to  respond  to   blogged  questions  that  I  posed.    Blogging  “spoke”  to  my  students  using  their   “language.”  Blogging  is  a  technology  with  a  positive  connotation  and  allows  students   to  enjoy  writing.     “Open  up  your  Health  textbook  to  page  128  and  answer  questions  1-­‐5.”  This   is  a  typical  statement  you  might  hear  coming  from  a  classroom.    My  classroom   differs  from  most,  as  I  use  differentiated  instruction  to  reach  all  learners.     Technology  has  not  only  enhanced  my  teaching  style,  it  has  increased  student   motivation  while  speaking  to  each  learner.    Instead  of  having  students  answer   review  questions  in  order  to  check  for  understanding,  I  created  a  Webquest;  an   inquiry  based  online  learning  activity.    A  Webquest  is  an  assignment  or  group  of   assignments  that  ask  the  student  to  utilize  multiple  resources  such  as  the  World   Wide  Web,  to  learn  about  and/or  synthesize  knowledge  with  respect  to  a  specific   topic.     I  created  a  Nutrition  Webquest  to  allow  students  to  embark  on  a  journey   where  learning  is  fun  while  exploring  various  resources  to  broaden  their  knowledge   and  understanding.    The  attention  grabbing  introduction  and  visual  appearance   were  intriguing.      “You  are  about  to  embark  on  an  exciting  adventure,  learning  about   one  of  the  seven  wonders  of  the  world:  the  great  pyramid  of  nutrition.  You  do  not   even  have  to  travel  to  Egypt  to  see  this.  The  key  to  success  is  at  your  fingertips  as   you  explore  the  known  and  the  unknown  and  learn  the  secrets  to  good  nutritional     4  
  • 5. choices.  Through  this  wonderful  opportunity,  you  will  research,  document,  and   design  a  personal  meal  plan  tailored  to  your  fitness  and  nutritional  needs.”    Students   were  able  to  learn  important  life  lessons  while  being  actively  submerged  in  their   learning  and  retention  of  material.         The  computer  based  instructional  object  spoke  to  my  target  audience.     Students  worked  diligently  while  completing  the  Webquest  requirements.    In  turn,   they  learned  a  great  deal,  while  motivated  by  real  life  application.    Students  not  only   felt  a  meaningful  connection  to  the  material,  their  hands  on  experience  allowed   them  to  become  active  participants  in  knowledge  retention.    This  Web  2.0   technology  included  hyperlinks  to  websites  containing  videos,  pictures,  and  articles   to  enhance  student  learning.    In  addition,  the  visual  design  and  layout  spoke  to  the   students,  making  the  lesson  more  captivating.    The  implementation  of  the  nutrition   Webquest,  created  for  high  school  health  education,  spoke  Web  2.0  echoes.     Lastly,  with  the  help  of  the  Carol  M  White  PEP  (Physical  Education  Program)   Grant,  I  attained  a  digital  camera  for  my  curriculum.      At  the  elementary  school  level,   teaching  Physical  Education,  I  was  able  to  utilize  a  small  wonder;  an  RCA  digital   camcorder.    The  digital  camcorder  was  beneficial  for  both  me,  as  a  physical   education  teacher,  as  well  as  my  students.  As  an  educator,  using  the  digital   camcorder,  I  was  able  to  review  student  assessments  and  provide  immediate   feedback.  Students  were  able  to  benefit  from  visually  observing  a  previously   recorded  assessment  and,  in  turn,  gained  a  greater  understanding  of  how  to   improve.  I  was  also  able  to  capture  still  images  of  my  students,  which  allowed  me  to   analyze  their  form  for  various  object  control  and  motor  skills.         5  
  • 6. Both  still  images  and  recorded  footage  allowed  students  to  increase  awareness  of   their  skills  in  order  to  strive  for  self-­‐improvement.    Additionally,  the  digital   camcorder  promoted  visual  literacy  for  the  k-­‐12  student.    With  the  assistance  of  this   technology,  learning  was  enhanced.    As  an  educator,  I  learned  how  to  provide   constructive  feedback  to  my  students  with  the  help  of  video  and  still  images.       “Ms.A,  may  I  see  please?”  is  a  question  that  one  would  hear  often,  coming   from  my  students  in  the  gymnasium,  as  they  ask  if  they  can  see  what  they  look  like   in  various  skill  based  assessments.    With  the  increase  in  technology,  elementary   aged  students  are  intrigued.    More  importantly  they  are  able  to  fully  comprehend   and  understand  how  to  improve.    It  has  been  said  that  a  picture  is  worth  a  thousand   words.  A  digital  image  coupled  with  recorded  footage  is  worth  more.    To  provide   students  with  technology  such  as  the  digital  camcorder  is  to  speak  their  language.     THEME  2:   ADAPTING  TECHNOLOGY  IN  ORDER  TO  BE  GRADE  LEVEL  APPROPRIATE           Certified  to  teach  Physical  Education  (k-­‐12th)  and  Health  (7th-­‐12th),  my   pedagogy  varies  from  year  to  year.    As  a  non-­‐tenure  teacher,  I  have  been  at  three   different  schools  over  the  course  of  three  years.    Subsequently,  this  also  means  three   different  grade  levels  and  domains,  during  the  course  of  completing  my  Master  of   Arts  in  Educational  Technology.    When  I  first  applied  to  the  program,  I  was  teaching   high  school  Physical  Education  and  Health.    I  chose  to  embark  on  the  technology   journey  to  motivate  my  students,  promoting  active  engagement.    I  was  then  “pink   slipped”  and  re-­‐called  to  educate  young  minds  at  the  middle  school  level.       6  
  • 7. Holding  an  NP  endorsement,  I  was  given  the  opportunity  to  inspire  young  minds   teaching  7th  grade  Information  Technology.    At  Oak  Valley  Middle  School,  I  taught   Information  Technology  for  2  semesters.    With  the  retirement  of  a  Physical  Educator   in  my  district,  an  opening  to  teach  elementary  physical  education  arose.    In  turn,  I   was  placed  back  into  the  field  of  Kinesiology,  in  the  gymnasium  once  again,   educating  young  minds.    Although  I  have  taught  various  grade  levels  and  realms  of   study,  I  have  been  able  to  apply  technology  into  the  curriculum  –  finding  ways  in   which  to  reach  each  student.     Utilizing  my  technology  expertise,  I  found  ways  in  which  to  adapt  it  into  each   curriculum  taught.    Tools  that  I  implemented  at  the  high  school  level  might  be  too   complex  for  the  elementary  aged  student.    Therefore,  it  was  important  to  reach  into   my  technology  toolbox  and  determine  ways  in  which  to  employ  technology  at  each   level  and  domain.      Educating  young  minds  at  the  secondary  level,  teaching  PE  and   health,  I  was  able  to  put  blogging,  a  Webquest,  and  PowerPoint  StAIR  into  practice.     These  technologies  are  more  complex  and  require  much  thought  and  analysis.    At   the  middle  school  level,  teaching  information  technology,  the  world  of  Web  2.0  was   at  my  fingertips.    I  was  excited  about  sharing  my  knowledge  and  understanding   gained  through  the  MAET  program.  Although  excited  to  incorporate  new  Web  2.0   technologies,  I  had  veteran  teachers  doubt  me.    Teachers  thought  it  was  a  bad  idea   to  integrate  Google  docs.    I  then  began  to  reflect.  Am  I  stepping  over  boundaries?     Am  I  doing  what  great  teachers  do  –  try  new  things?  I  went  with  the  ladder  and  felt   overjoyed  as  I  watched  the  look  on  each  student’s  face  while  they  embarked  on  a   journey  of  learning  a  new  Web  2.0  technology.         7  
  • 8. Along  with  integrating  Google  docs  into  the  7th  grade  information  technology  course   I  also  created  an  online  computer  technology  unit.    This  website  contained   announcements,  assignments,  tutorials,  and  examples  of  student  work  along  with   other  features.    At  the  elementary  level,  teaching  Physical  Education,  I  did  not  want   to  include  the  more  complex  technologies,  such  as  those  integrated  at  the  middle   school  and  high  school  levels.    I  needed  to  think  simple.    As  mentioned  earlier,  the   Carol  M.  White  PEP  Grant,  allocated  money  in  order  to  enhance  learning.    With  this   in  mind,  I  incorporated  digital  images  and  video  using  a  digital  camcorder.     Technology  is  important  to  integrate  into  all  grade  levels  and  domains.  However,  it   is  important  that  one  adapts  each  technology  to  the  specific  grade  level  and  realm  in   order  for  success  to  occur.     THEME  3:   PATIENCE  IS  A  VIRTUE     “Patience  is  a  virtue.”  Patience  is  an  excellent  quality  for  one  to  have.    It  is  an   admirable  quality  that  I  have  learned  to  possess,  specifically  as  it  relates  to  the   learning  and  implementation  of  various  Web  2.0  technologies.    This  is  not  to  say  that   I  was  not  a  patient  person  prior  to  walking  down  the  technology  path.    I  have   obtained  more  patience  than  I  once  had.   If  there  is  one  thing  I  have  learned  as  a  teacher  and  a  student,  it  is  to  be  more   tolerant.    As  an  educator  applying  technology  into  my  curriculum,  I  have  learned   how  to  not  only  employ  patience  with  my  students,  but  also  with  myself.    As  a   student  in  the  Master  of  Arts  in  Educational  Technology  program,  I  have  learned   patience  through  hands  on  experiences.         8  
  • 9. As  a  student  learning  how  to  become  a  better  teacher,  there  were  many   moments  of  frustration  where  I  wanted  to  “throw  in  the  towel.”    However,  these   moments  were  learning  experiences,  allowing  me  to  reflect  upon  myself  as  well  as   my  teaching.    I  have  come  to  realize  that  no  one  is  perfect,  but  I  strive  to  come  close.     When  technology  glitches  arose  that  were  out  of  my  control,  patience  became  my   virtue  (along  with  a  headache).   There  were  a  few  bumps  in  the  road  or  glitches  that  occurred  as  I  put   blogging  into  practice  at  the  high  school  level.      I  had  a  responsible  and  reliable   student  in  my  3rd  hour  attempt  to  post  to  the  blog  the  night  before  the  in  class   blogging  assignment.    This  was  done  in  order  to  iron  out  any  possible  problems  that   might  occur.    When  I  logged  onto  the  Lakeland  Health  Blogging  website  at  10:00pm   the  night  before  and  did  not  see  a  post  by  my  stellar  student,  I  knew  something  had   to  have  gone  wrong.    She  came  to  class  at  the  beginning  of  3rd  hour  and  said,  “Ms.A  I   tried  and  lost  my  post  in  the  process….  I  wrote  out  the  blog  in  the  comment  box  and   I  finished  it.    I  hit  the  ‘post  comment’  button  and  it  said  I  had  to  choose  a  profile.    I   did  not  understand  what  this  meant  and  started  to  try  the  different  options.    I  ended   up  losing  the  entire  essay.”   From  this,  I  learned  that  one  could  not  just  type  their  reply  into  the  comment   box  and  click  ‘post  comment’  unless  they  have  signed  up  for  the  blog  first—choosing   a  user  profile.    This  information  was  very  beneficial,  as  many  students  would  have   lost  their  essay  in  class  had  Kelsey  not  realized  this  the  hard  way.    I  was  very   grateful  to  her  for  figuring  out  this  problem.       9  
  • 10. Another  bump  in  the  road  occurred  when  students  who  signed  up  using  a   Yahoo  account  had  difficulty  posting,  as  it  was  not  an  option  to  comment  as  a  Yahoo   user.    This  did  not  make  sense  to  me,  as  that  is  how  some  students  created  their   account  for  the  health  blog.    When  this  problem  arouse,  I  had  students  go  to   Google.com  and  create  a  new  Google  account,  so  they  could  comment.   After  learning  about  this  glitch  in  the  blogging  site  3rd  hour  (the  first  hour  the   site  was  implemented),  I  altered  how  I  guided  my  students  in  the  process  of  signing   up  for  my  blog.      Instead  of  giving  them  the  option  of  using  Yahoo,  I  told  them  to   select  Google  or  AIM  if  they  have  an  existing  account.    If  students  did  not  have  either   of  the  aforementioned  existing  accounts,  I  advised  them  to  click  on  the  option  to   “create  a  new  Google  account.”    This  would  alleviate  any  problems  one  might  have   when  posting  to  the  blog.  Specifically,  this  would  lessen  the  problem  of  what  option   to  choose  when  commenting.    Students  would  either  choose  AIM  or  Google.   After  each  bump  in  the  road,  I  was  able  to  revise  as  I  taught  each  hour.    After   learning  about  Kelsey’s  problem  posting  the  night  before  blogging  in  class,  I  was   able  to  guide  students  through  the  signing  up  process  during  class.    Another  revision   made  after  blogging  for  the  first  time,  to  be  executed  for  the  next  health  class,  was  to   have  students  sign  up  using  Google  or  AIM  and  not  Yahoo.    I  was  able  to  revise  my   teaching  by  guiding  students  through  the  process,  void  of  the  previous  problem  of   not  being  able  to  post  if  a  student  signed  in  using  a  yahoo  account.    Each  bump  in  the   road  helped  me  learn  how  to  revise  the  blogging  process  and  taught  me  patience.         10  
  • 11. CONCLUSION   I  had  set  high  goals  for  myself  in  Fall  2008,  as  I  began  my  MAET  journey,  and   I  have  surpassed  my  expectations.    In  my  personal  growth  plan  I  stated,  “To  educate   young  minds  is  to  continually  learn.    I  feel  that  increasing  my  use  of  technology  will   not  only  affect  me  as  a  learner  but  also  my  students.  Passing  on  information  I  learn   through  this  program  will  take  the  basic  computer  skills  I  have  to  the  next  level.     Through  this  program,  I  will  gain  a  vast  amount  of  knowledge  and  integrate  it  into   the  Kinesiology  domain.    I  hope  to  learn  how  to  create  lessons  that  use  technology  to   engage  student  learning.  I  would  like  to  more  effectively  use  the  programs  that  I  am   already  familiar  as  well  as  learn  new  programs  to  facilitate  student  learning.    Also,  I   would  like  to  learn  how  to  create  a  class  website  in  order  to  reach  my  students  at  a   different  level.    Increasing  my  skill  in  technology  will  better  prepare  me  to  engage   the  minds  of  our  future.”       At  the  beginning  of  my  path  down  the  road  less  travelled,  I  was  a  digital   immigrant,  void  of  a  quality  technology  knowledge  base  and  understanding.    I  am   now  one  step  closer  to  becoming  a  digital  native.  The  Master  of  Arts  in  Educational   Technology  Program,  at  Michigan  State  University,  has  challenged  my  intellect  while   increasing  my  technology  tool  box.    It  taught  me  how  to  implement  technologies  into   my  curriculum,  adapt  technology  to  be  grade  level  appropriate,  as  well  as  to  possess   patience  (as  a  teacher  and  student).      With  the  inspiration  of  my  pupils,  professors,   and  MAET  peers,  I  have  not  only  matured  as  an  educator,  but  as  an  individual.     Through  this  program  and  learning  experiences,  I  have  broadened  my   understanding  of  technology  and  how  it  can  impact  a  classroom.       11  
  • 12.  I  have  learned  a  vast  amount  of  knowledge  to  impart  upon  my  students.  I  was  lucky   to  have  travelled  the  technology  path  with  one  of  my  best  friends,  who  inspires  me   to  be  a  better  person  every  day.  I,  like  Robert  Frost,  took  the  path  less  travelled,  and   it  has  helped  me  to  become  the  woman  that  I  am  today.                       12