Monthly Archives: July 2012

Reflecting on ETEC 532

As I consider my learning in 532: Technology in the Arts and Humanities, I find it difficult to isolate the knowledge and skills gained in this course from those I gained in the previous 8 courses I have completed.  Perhaps that is the goal.  The program courses are so networked, so interdependent and interrelated, that it is impossible for me to determine what is unique about this course over the others.  A Creative Commons image that depicts exactly what I am referring to is this:  (my thanks to  Michael Heiss for posting this in Flickr)


A network of learning resources, a network of colleagues, a network of course designers and instructors have surrounded me and yielded fruit.  I am about to end my journey in the MET program and can now move on more confidently than when I started.  I have a much better idea as to how to apply my learning in my daily work with schools in our district as we move ahead with our plans for BYOD and Blended Learning from K-12. Seeing firsthand the benefits of constructivism has been valuable.  The importance of networking with others has been proven to me over and over again.

One final resource that sums up my learning is in this video on Murmuration:  

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Posted by on July 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


Nearing the end of an amazing trip

I’ve spent the last 3.5 years immersed fully in an online Masters program through UBC – Masters of Educational Technology – and what a trip this has been!  I wanted to do a Masters program of some kind for a few years but none of the Masters of Ed programs excited me – policy? no thanks admin?  no thanks either  curriculum? I was a curriculum consultant for 4 years!  So I was searching for something that would excite me – and technology always did. Got that from my dad I guess – he taught me how to fix things – cars, tractors, tools – my whole childhood and so I was always fascinated by technology.  As a 70 year old, he bought his first computer because he couldn’t stand being out of the loop – what a role model for me!

So I am now completing my last 2 courses and in 3 more weeks, I will be logging off the UBC VIsta site for the last time with very mixed feelings.  Happy to have my evenings and weekends back, but very sad to lose the incredible connections I have made – yes, in an online program.  Pooh pooh to all of you face-to-face advocates – this was an amazingly well designed program based on the most current constructivist learning theory.  And it worked!  I feel like I know my colleagues as well as if I was in the same room – perhaps even better than those who meet once a week in a huge lecture hall.  Try chatting every single night!  That’s how you get to know someone!

The final assignment for this graduating course was an ePortfolio.  Check it out if you want to learn more about the MET program at the University of British Columbia.


Now it is time to put my learning into practice – stay tuned for the application!

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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


Three Artifacts for Reflection

In preparation for Peer Review of 3 artifacts representing facets of my learning in the MET program, I reviewed my journals to recreate the steps in the construction of my understanding of educational technology.

For my final ePortfolio for ETEC 590, I have chosen the metaphor of my Rear View Mirror, which is a critical tool necessary for driving ahead.  As I move forward in my journey, I need to always pay attention to the mirror, to take note of what is learned in the past, remember it well, and recognize the impact for my future.  I have also included a Big Idea for each course that captures what I am seeing in my mirror and taking the memory with me as I move ahead.

Within my ePortfolio, I will be reflecting on many of my artifacts created throughout the program, but for the Peer Review process, I have chosen three:

1.  My First Media Production in ETEC 531, Cultural and Media Studies

Based on my Big Idea:  Technology as a Shaper of Culture

To set the context, this was my first attempt at creating a video other than basic family photo albums in Animoto.  I wanted to try Adobe Premier Elements 7, but quickly discovered that my media production skills were far too basic to manage the advanced features of this software.  I persevered, just as one would when forced to drive along a temporary stretch of rough road, happy to see it pass in my rear view mirror and promise to be certain to take a different route next time!  My video is still quite basic, as was my bank of knowledge in the MET program.  531 was my third course, and so my depth of understanding of educational technology was paralleled by my skills in video production!

As for the content of the video, in 531 I explored a side of technology that I had been ignoring because of my enthusiasm for all things digital.  Mackenzie and Wajcman, as cited in Murphie and Potts (2003), warned us that even though technology may clothe us, feed us, and entertain us, it also pollutes and kills us.  These were alarming words.  Stephen Hill, in the Tragedy of Technology, as cited in Murphie and Potts (2003), also warned that technology was controlling us.  My sense of self was challenged.  Am I a technology user or a technology victim?  Is there a dark presence in my rear view mirror?  Am I forgetting that even though I want to shape technology, instead, it may be shaping me?  My video reflects more of this dark side of technology – a warning to myself that I should not be lured by the latest gadget or online service that asks for my personal information. Technology does indeed shape culture.

Murphie, A., Potts, J. (2003). Culture and technology. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Here is my Media Production Attempt # 1:

2.  Blended Learning Wiki in ETEC 510

Based on my Big Idea:  Good Design Requires System-Thinking

This artifact is an example of how collaboration with peers enhances learning, as well as evidence of a group’s understanding of systems-thinking.  My partner, Sharon Korpan, were not only co-authors in this assignment, but colleagues at work.  I knew and respected her technological skills and she was instrumental in guiding me through the new skills that were needed for this assignment.  My partner was always in sight in my rear view mirror as she guided me from the back seat, and more often, in the seat beside me.  I was able to assist with the systems-approach, from my understanding of the Bates and Poole’s (2003) SECTIONS model. I learned to be a collaborator in a community of practice.

Together, we were able to showcase one of our initiatives at our school board – Blended Learning.  When starting this site (on Wikispaces), the work of Dick, Carey & Carey (2004 ) in the Systematic Design of Instruction, introduced me to the notion of components in a system.  Their list included learners, instructors, materials and environment.  Later, we decided to use the SECTIONS model as it provided the broader framework schools need to consider when adopting a new technology.

So now, in my mirror, I began to think more holistically.  The views in my mirror were no longer isolated images but an interdependent mix of infrastructure components of the road that ensured I could reach my destination safely.  My skills in negotiating through my route increased.  I learned to add content and create navigation tools in a wiki, embed video and audio. I learned about Glogster, Audacity, Prezi and many other Web 2.0 tools thanks to collaboration and co-learning.

Welcome to our Blended Learning Wiki

Bates & Poole. (2003). A framework for selecting and using technology.  In Effective Teaching with Technology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bates, 75-105.

Dick, W., Carey L., & Carey, J. (2004). The systematic design of instruction.  Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

3.  My CMap in ETEC 530

Based on my Big Idea:  Learning is a Construction Zone

ETEC 530 was my eighth course in the MET program, and by this time, I was recognizing the construction of my own learning.  The images in my rear view mirror were coming together into a cohesive whole.  For metacognition important that I am able to name what I see in the mirror:  the road itself, the aggregate made of tar, stone, and sand, the guard rails, the signs and traffic lights, the scenery around me, the clouds in the sky, the colleagues and theorists in the back seat, the painted markings on the road, and lone cyclists and joggers as well. I came to recognize that all of these components created an infrastructure that made my travel possible.  These visible signs in my mirror must be remembered as I continue to travel forward in my learning.

In the same way, I needed to name the components of my learning in 530 – the building blocks of learning called Constructivism.  My CMap names them, and identifies the linkages within them as I understand them to be. The power of concept maps was new to me.  I had used simple versions of mind maps to organize my previous writing tasks, but never thought about the connections between the objects as important concepts to include.  I now understand how these maps can be informative assessments of student learning and for the learner, important structures to develop metacognition.  CMaps are now a part of my present and my future!

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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Uncategorized