Beautiful Boise, Idaho!


This website has been created so that I may demonstrate the knowledge I have learned while in the Masters of Educational Technology program at Boise State University. The purpose of this website is to document my growth in learning and utilizing educational technology to better prepare me for a rewarding career in teaching in the k-12 traditional classroom. 

My goals with the completion of this ed tech program, are to foster collaboration and lead continuous improvement efforts in education. I do not believe that technology will replace excellent teachers, only those who do not adapt to integrating technology into the 21st-century classroom. As an aspiring educator, I want to make a difference in my community and the world.



Final Reflection Post EdTech 543


Snow covered town of Boise Idaho
Snow covered town of Boise, Idaho. Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons.

I was initially excited to take this course, EdTech 543, Social Network Learning. I am an avid social media user and I am a millennial. We millennials have grown up with the need to have “instant gratification” and have had technology accessible at our fingertips. We grew up with having computers in our classrooms but did not have the opportunity to use social media while we were enrolled in K-12. There is always a first for everything and this was my first course focused on explicitly using social media for personal development, professional development, and finally in the classroom.

I did not know what we would be learning or doing in this course, but I later discovered that there is a need for educators to understand how to use social media in the classroom, personally, and professionally. I use social media to communicate with my friends, coworkers, and family. I did not know about the full potential of using social media for professional development and using it effectively in the classroom. I am eager to integrate social media into my future classroom.

One of our first assignments was to explore PLN’s, Communities of Practice, and Connectivism. I know that I have participated online sharing knowledge and ideas on LinkedIn and Facebook, but I have not experienced connecting with individuals using Twitter or Facebook for professional development. I will admit, I was anxious about participating in professional development via Facebook and Twitter. I was happy to participate in the process but began to question the importance of professional development online? I want to connect with new people in my life, but I believe there is a missing element of “personal connection” while we are interacting online. It is not the same as socializing with friends and family at local restaurants or coffee shops. I believe I am not the only one who may feel this way.

I learned about the importance of maintaining a professional image while online. It is extremely important that educators and individuals be aware of what we say and share online. I enjoyed the assignment where we explored the concept of implementing a positive digital footprint. Once I was able to find a local story from Idaho where an educator from Pocatello, ID lost her job and luckily was able to earn her job back, I was able to connect the importance of maintaining a positive digital footprint.

Recently, our nation experienced a negative presidential election campaign from both parties. I will admit I am concerned and shocked by the behavior of our elected President, Donald J. Trump. I reckon that I should probably not express my political thoughts online, but then I would not be allowing myself to express who I am and what I believe. I am not seeking to offend anyone, but rather express my concerns about how quickly social media can be used inappropriately and how it personally affects my core values.

I know that I need to be aware of what I say online because of the potential for what I do say, whether truthful or not, can spread like a wildfire on social media. I am concerned that an individual can tell many lies or half-truths, use social media to effectively target or bully others, and still win an election? I began to realize that part of the problem lies with social media and the spread of fake news. As an individual and educator, I find it important to teach students digital citizenship. It is important for students to be able to distinguish between real, satirical, biased, and fake news.

One of our final assignments was creating a mini-social media curricular unit using social media. This was a group project approach. I really enjoyed working with Jessica and Patricia. Patricia is an excellent leader and came up with the theme, “Games Around the World.” It is an excellent project for elementary school students to participate in and learn from. I look forward to implementing future social media projects and using MOOC’s, in my classroom.

Now that I am being asked to propose a final grade for all of my reflection blogs, I believe that I earned 73/75. I believe I successfully answered all the requirements of the blogs and reflected on what I have learned. One assignment, during module 5, I failed to join and participate in all of the professional development chats online. I did not effectively implement time management skills and failed to comply with the requirements of the assignment. I believe that there is always room for continuous improvement so that I why I chose to deduct two points.


EdTech 543: Social Media Policies

3749806398_240c528fb2_mSocial Media Policies 

This week in my EdTech 543 Social Network Learning course, we were asked to explore social media policies in our school districts and around the country. I discovered that my school district does have a small social media policy. We have a policy that is broad and covers the acceptable use of internet, computers, devices, network resources, and web 2.0. I do believe our school district can update the policy as I see areas of opportunity for improvement. Reviewing multiple social media policies from area schools around the country, I found many districts have a well developed social media policy while others come across simplistic like my school districts’ social media policy.

Social media is here to stay whether or not our society is ready to fully embrace all of its potentials. The assignment was initially difficult for me to get excited about until I remembered an incident that occurred in Idaho back in 2013 to a Pocatello High School Female coach. A reference to this incident can be found HERE. The coach was fired for a photo that was posted on Facebook. The photo image initially upset some community members. Supporters and sympathizers of the coach advocated that the school board rehire the coach and create a social media policy for the school district. Eventually, she was rehired in January of 2014 and the school district decided to proceed with enacting a social media policy for educators and students.

Imaginary Elementary School Social Media Policy

Definition: Social Media- forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos). Merriam-Webster

Social Media Guidelines For Employees

Personal Use

The line between professional and personal relationships can be blurred within a social media context. Employees should exercise good judgment and common sense while maintaining their professionalism as a district employee. (Bloomington)

Be Aware-Be aware of your audience and remember that what you believe to be private posts can instantly become public information. We at Imaginary Elementary school believe that administrators, educators, and staff need to act in a manner that not only represents themselves but the image of the school. Remember, integrity matters. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching!

Be Professional- Do not accept “friend” requests from students or request to add students as “friends.” Employees need to maintain professional communication in all forms; email, websites, blogs, images, videos, and word. Employees will refrain from using profanity and vulgar language on any social media websites. Employees must be respectful and professional in all communications (by word, image or other means). Employees shall not use obscene, profane or vulgar language on any social media network or engage in communication that is considered harassing, bullying, libelous, or defamatory. Employees will not encourage the use of illegal drugs, sexual harassment, bullying, sexual behavior, inappropriate use of alcoholic beverages, and any other illegal activity not listed. (Minnetonka Public Schools)

Be Safe:-Do not share your private information online in public forums to protect yourself from identity fraud. Use privacy settings provided by social media sites.

Be a Role-model- Ask yourself if you are adding value and are demonstrating leadership online? It is vital that all staff remember that people are watching and judging what you say or do on-line.

 Communicate Effectively with parents and students using official school email and software applications. Do not use your personal email or devices to communicate with parents or students. Glenbrook High School suggests, “Use school or district provided resources to communicate school related issues. School employees are to utilize district-provided social media and technologies for school-related purposes.” (Glenbrook High School) 

Social Media Use For Students

Be Responsible- Do not give out your personal information online to strangers and always ask your teacher for help if needed. When in doubt, ask for help! Do not friend people you do not know or at least get permission from your parents first. Follow the school district rules regarding the acceptable use of internet and technology.

Be Respectful- Be respectful to yourself and your classmates in your school and around the world. Do not bully or use unkind words towards others while using social media.

Have Fun- Embrace social media and enjoy exploring the world around you at your fingertips. Just be cautious of what you say or do while using social media.

Protect Your Digital Footprint- Remember to THINK before you post?


Social Media Policies Reviewed












Adopting Social Media Policy Steps

I would use these suggested steps to ensure appropriate feedback from stakeholders. One of the first steps for administrators and school professionals can do is examine their school culture?

Administrators and staff can ask these questions: “How are social media products currently being used by students? By teachers? By administrators and parents? How can they be leveraged for better communication? What are the fears around social media in school? Are there any “bright spots” where social media is already being used successfully?” (Edutopia)

The second step is to organize a team.

The third step is to conduct research.

The fourth step is to draft social media document and submit for comment or feedback.

The fifth step is to ensure appropriate school district personnel review the draft, ie school district attorney and school board as examples.

The sixth step is to present to your school community.

The seventh step is to periodically review and update social media policy as needed.


Definition of SOCIAL MEDIA. (n.d.). Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social+media

edutopia-anderson-social-media-guidelines.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/edutopia-anderson-social-media-guidelines.pdf
Shear, B. B., & 03/17/15. (n.d.). 5 Ways to Keep Social Media From Being a Legal Headache -. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from https://thejournal.com/articles/2015/03/17/5-ways-to-keep-social-media-from-being-a-legal-headache.aspx
Social Media: Guidelines for School Administrators. (n.d.). Retrieved November 7, 2016, from https://www.districtadministration.com/article/social-media-guidelines-school-administrators
socialmediaguidelines / FrontPage. (n.d.). Retrieved November 7, 2016, from http://socialmediaguidelines.pbworks.com/w/page/17050879/FrontPage

EdTech 543: Research Ways Schools Are Using Social Networking for Teaching and Learning

EdTech 543: Research Ways Schools Are Using Social Networking for Teaching and Learning

This week, I was asked in my EdTech 543 course to research ways schools are using social networking for teaching and learning. My content area focus is elementary and special education. I wondered at first if I would find any case studies done is these content areas because of the age group and abilities? I often can find social media use in secondary and higher ed and I believe it to be more warranted for those age groups.

As an educator, I am hesitant to encourage social media use in an elementary setting. I absolutely support teaching digital citizenship but believe social media use should be closely monitored and used for special education and elementary students. So, I set out to research social media use in both content areas. My eyes were soon open to the potential of social media for younger students.

What I discovered while researching case studies of teachers integrating social media into their classroom, I found teachers pushing boundaries outside of their classroom walls. Teachers were having students create blogs, communicate with other students around the world using Skype, and creating content on YouTube.

I noticed it was difficult to locate case studies where elementary educators were using social media in the classroom. I noticed that for myself, I have been hesitant to believe that social media can be used effectively with younger elementary students. I want to ensure that we are keeping students safe online and maintaining students’ privacy rights. We as educators must find the right balance of social media use in our classrooms.  I did come across an article that shared how a kindergarten teacher used a Twitter class account to communicate with other classes around the country. The teacher facilitates the typing but the class collaborates together on what words would be shared. The teacher also maintains the privacy of the students by controlling who can see the posts and who can follow.

What I have discovered is that the use of social media in the classroom is still new and many educators may not fully embrace social media in the classroom. However, there are many options out there for educators to use their creativity and comfort level integrating social media into their classrooms. One can begin with a “Futurebook” bulletin board and end up one day fully embracing the use of a Facebook classroom group page to engage students in their learning.



Here is a link to my curated research. Google Doc: Research Case Studies Social Media Use .


Case Studies Research





EdTech 543: Joining Online Communities

Joining Online Communities


This week we were asked to join social groups online. We had opportunities to join Google Plus, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Diigo, and other websites. I have joined groups before on LinkedIn so this was not a new adventure for me. However, I am not an active participant. I noticed that some of the groups were inactive and it took at least a week for a couple of the groups that I joined on LinkedIn for the administrators to add me.

EdTech 543: My Personal Learning Environment



My Personal Learning Environment



For this week, we were asked to create a representation of our own Personalized learning environment. I chose to use Piktochart as my final presentation. I organized my graph into 6 categories; Technology Tools, Connecting, Sharing, Researching, Reflecting, and lastly, professional development. I choose to include professional development which included an organization that I belong to, Idaho Education Association. I believe we sometimes only focus on professional development via the internet and we forget about person to person professional development. I also added Boise State University as an outlet for professional development.

What did you learn about yourself when looking at your PLE? 

I am not sure what I learned about myself while creating this assignment. I feel that I am not as creative as some of my other classmates. I did try two different website applications, Piktochart and Popplet to create my PLE. What I do notice about me is I am willing to go back and “fix” a design or completely start over if I feel I can do better. I never shy away from continuous improvement. I ultimately decided that my Piktochart design was the best.

How does your PLE compare to other peers in class?

I believe that most of us had the same representation of social media sites that we use daily, such as Facebook and Twitter. Some of my classmates created Venn Diagrams to represent their PLE’s.  I noticed a few of my classmates were extremely creative with their presentation of their own personal learning environments. For example, one classmate incorporated an Alice in Wonderland approach ( Buffy Naillon) while another classmate created a Beehive or an abstract version, (Alanna Shaw). Ben Killam, Katie Lauritsen, David Yargo, and Patricia Smeyers, all created a Venn-diagram to represent their PLE’s.

It really does not matter in the end what we as individuals created. What matters the most, is we all are unique and hold separate values regarding personal learning environments. Some of us may prefer in-person professional development while others absolutely love connecting with people online for professional development. My goal is to be more accepting of professional development through the use of social media.







Live Real Time Professional Development Blog: EdTech 543

MODULES 3-5 Assignment:  Real Time and Live Virtual Professional Development

Finish this assignment begun in Module 3 –  to attend and contribute to four (4) live webinars and four (4) live Twitter chats.  Write a blog post on the webinars and live chats you attended, how you contributed, and what you learned both in terms of content and the process of doing real-time professional development. Demonstrate through screenshots and/or a copy of the live chat how you participated.


This week, I was asked to participate in online professional development via Twitter and webinars. I was not able to locate webinars that began after 5PM mountain time or on the weekends. My work schedule demands my full attention during the day. I do not get a prep hour or lunch break during the day as I am not a teacher.

However, I was lucky to find Twitter chats that offered more time flexibility. My experience with professional development has been on LinkedIn. I prefer LinkedIn over Twitter. I prefer LinkedIn over Twitter because I want Twitter to be my voice for what I believe in and not a place where I connect with educational professionals. I would rather use LinkedIn for my professional development. I am still getting used to using Twitter and FaceBook for professional development.

Another issue I am dealing with is not enjoying participating in online professional development. I have had opportunities within my school district to participate in professional development and I prefer connecting with educational professionals in person rather than on-line. It must be strange coming from a millennial who enjoys sharing information about themselves on-line via social media!

I find it odd that we add “connections” or “friends” and do not have personal relationships outside of Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn? Social networking is new and has only been around for more than a decade. I will continue to stay open to the possibilities of on-line professional development.

Here is my first #sunchat on Twitter! Got up early on a Sunday morning, (today). A majority of the topic consisted of providing students appropriate feedback and also getting feedback. Someone mentioned using Voxer. I decided to see what it was all about. In the classroom that I work in, we have acknowledged that we need walkie-talkies for all of us! I found Voxer and realized that this could be an alternative until we do get walkie talkies!

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Post #2 #Read4fun

This chat was for educators or individuals who enjoy reading. I love to read but I do not take the time to read novels outside of required textbooks. I was excited to hear about potential novels to read in my future, not sure when! Someone suggested that I read, “The Things We Wish Were True, ” by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen. I remembered that I knew of someone who lives in Idaho and is an author. I shared her name, Jean Cowden and suggested to those participating in the chat to check out her book, “Gold in the Sunshine: A story of the old west and trials of the Civil War.” I have not read her book yet but downloaded her book on my Amazon Kindle Unlimited account to read. I love reading about the Civil War and history so I believe this book will enlighten me. I believe this chat out of all of them was the most exciting for me out of all of the chats I participated in today.

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Post #3 #21stedchat

This chat topic focused on web tools used to engage student learning.  This topic was wide and we all shared web tools that we have used in our educational classes or as teachers. I mentioned Weebly, WordPress, and Symbaloo. It is hard for me to connect technology in the classroom right now because I work in an extended resource room. The students have a wide variety of disabilities and learning abilities, so we tailor to our student’s needs. The students have access to Ipads and computers which a majority of the student do love to use. From what I have observed,  our students enjoy using the Ipads for learning. I am unsure of how much the students are truly learning when they use the Ipads?

What I have noticed as a Behavioral Interventionist assigned to work with a couple of students in our extended resource room, is the use of technology has created more behaviors because the students become obsessed with the technology and have refused to give up the technology when asked. We are focused on a current strategy of motivating and rewarding students for completing work before the students have access to an Ipad or computer. So far we are seeing success. I am sure most teachers are struggling with implementing technology and students abusing technology use.

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This was my last post participating in Twitter for professional development. It was quiet at 8pm on a Sunday night for this particular chat. I opted to take a survey for Bowling Green University and I have included snapshots to share a few of my answers. The survey focused on my use of Twitter for professional development now and in the future. Right now, I am uncertain if I plan to continue to use Twitter for professional development. I am still getting used to the idea. I may have to create another account to balance out my desire to have a Twitter account focused on media and news information and maintain a separate professional development twitter account.


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EdTech 543: Curated Topic Research

For this week’s assignment, I chose to do research on Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis. Both topics are interrelated. Autism and applied behavioral analysis interest me because I currently work as a Behavioral Interventionist and provide support to students who have autism. Staying up to date on autism and understanding autism is extremely important in my line of work. Here is my link to My LiveBinder.


Here is my My Curation Assessment Doc