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.




Relative Advantage of Game-Based Learning in Secondary Social Studies

Game-based learning is a valuable tool to use in any classroom. I still remember one of the educational games that I played in school, which was Oregon Trail! (Of course, the original game is still available to play online)!

I have been interested in using game-based learning in my current and future classroom. I am currently teaching social studies in a special education resource setting. When I first began, I noticed that my students were not engaged with the traditional paper and textbook way of learning. I have begun to utilize more technology in my instruction and hope to incorporate more game-based learning.

What I love about game-based learning is the level of engagement that I see that students possess, younger and the older. In my previous classroom, (yes I went from teaching preschool to high school this year), I was eager to use iPads in my instruction. Now that I am teaching social studies, a subject that I love, I desire to enhance my instruction with the use of technology to include, game-based learning. My school district participates in a 1:1 program.

An obstacle that I will have to overcome is the old school vs new school ideas regarding technology in the classroom. I am from a generation that values technology but I do believe that many older generations are resistant to technology use in the classroom and personal use. Some educators believe that many students are “babysat” by technology and they want to encourage young students to develop their speech and language skills. I believe that many believe that game-based learning is more suited for secondary education rather than Pre-K and elementary school.  I believe that technology and game-based learning provide opportunities for students to be active in their own learning.


Why Game Based-Learning?

  • Reward System
  • Engagement
  • Problem solving
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Individualized learning
  • Games have data that help to monitor student progress.






MD, J. W. (2011, April 14). A Neurologist Makes the Case for the Video Game Model as a Learning Tool. Retrieved October 24, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/neurologist-makes-case-video-game-model-learning-tool
New Research Proves Game-Based Learning Works—Here’s Why That Matters – EdSurge News. (2017, March 6). Retrieved October 24, 2017, from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-03-06-new-research-proves-game-based-learning-works-here-s-why-that-matters






EdTech 541: Acceptable Use Policy and Why Have in Place!?

Why do schools and organizations need to implement an acceptable use policy? Rules and policies are inevitable in order for a society to function. With the invention of the internet, schools, and organizations needed to create policies that instructed individuals on what was the acceptable use of technology and the consequences for not following the acceptable use policy.

What is an AUP?

Education World states from the National Education Association that an AUP includes:

Preamble: Explains policy goals, why the policy is needed, and how the policy was developed.

Definition section: Need to define key-words used in the policy.

Policy Statement: Need to advise what computer services are covered under the AUP.

Acceptable Uses Section: Must define appropriate use of technology in the organization or school. Will need to be clear and specific to which websites students or individuals can access. Best practice is to list sites that are not permitted.

Violations/Sanctions Section: Needs to advise students, parents, administrators, teachers, and staff on where to report violations of the policy.

Examples of AUP:

Boise State University:


Idaho State University:


University of Idaho


College of Western Idaho


To those who believe this is a cumbersome process and not worth implementing, I suggest focusing on the broader picture. As educators, we are tasked with teaching students young and old digital citizenship. We live in a world where information can be discovered at our fingertips and we want to teach our cultural values of what it means to be a responsible digital citizen.



Education World: Getting Started on the Internet: Acceptable Use Policies. (n.d.). Retrieved October 8, 2017, from /a_curr/curr093.shtml
Why Have a Technology Policy in Your School or Library? | Librarians | Scholastic.com. (n.d.). Retrieved October 8, 2017, from http://www.scholastic.com/librarians/tech/techpolicy.htm





EDTECH 541: The Relative Advantage of Using the “Basic Software Suite in Education”


The Basic Software Suite consists of three software tools; Word Processing, (MS Word or Google Docs) Spreadsheet, (Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets) and Presentation (Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides)(Roblyer, 2016). Both Microsoft and Google software suites offer educators and students improved productivity, appearance, accuracy, and increased support for interaction and collaboration.

Word Processing software: Create documents consisting of pages with text and graphics. According to (Roblyer, 2016) “Perhaps no other technology resources has had as great an impact on education as word processing. Word processing offers versatility, flexibility, and it is “model-free” instructional software.” Word processing saves time, enhances document appearance, allows sharing of documents, allows collaboration on documents, and supports student writing and language learning.

Spreadsheet software: Puts numerical information in row-column format; allows quick calculations and recalculations. Using spreadsheet software in education saves time, will allow teachers to organize displays of information, supports asking “what if” questions,” and increases motivation to work with mathematics. (Roblyer, 2016)

Presentation software: Displays text and graphics (with or without audio and/or) in a slideshow. Presentation software helps teachers organize thinking about a topic to present, enhances the impact of spoken information, and allows collaboration on presentations. (Roblyer, 2016)

Relative Advantages:

Improved Productivity: Helps educators with the organization producing instructional materials, and accomplishing paperwork tasks more quickly when utilizing software tools in the classroom. Using technology sofware tools in the classroom allows for more time to be spent with working with students or creating lesson activities. (Roblyer, 2016)

Improved Appearance: Does help teachers and students with producing solid looking materials that closely resemble the work of professional designers. Students desire to produce quality materials and find it rewarding to create products of their own. (Roblyer, 2016)

Improved accuracy: Software tools, such as Excel or Google Sheets allow teachers to keep accurate records of students’ progress and events. The software programs offer an alternative solution if schools do not use a grading software program. (Roblyer, 2016)

More support for interaction and collaboration: Software tools offer opportunites for teachers and students to collaborate and work together on classroom activites and projects. Instant feedback is available for both teachers and students. (Roblyer, 2016)

The basic software suites have improved over time. I remember when I was in school, we would use Microsoft because Google Apps were not available to us at the time. I do plan to utilize the basic software suites when I do become a teacher. It is important for students to know how to use both software suites because it is an expected skill in the 21st Century.


EdTech 541: Future Report

Horizon Report 2017

Horizon Report Download

Horizon Digital Tool Kit

Horizon PowerPoint Presentation


The Horizon Report does provide an overview of the current and future trends in educational technology and innovation. A majority of the trends that I discovered are areas that are important and need to be adopted in the K-12 education setting. One area the report highlighted was the need for coding literacy to be taught in public and private K-12 schools. Educators and educational technologists have been advocating for coding literacy to be added to the curriculum in K-12. The report states,  “Code.org recently stated that computing occupations are among the fastest growing and best-paying
jobs in the US and that there are currently 500,000 unfilled jobs in that sector.” (Horizon Report)

My selected content area for the EdTech 541 project is Social Studies, US History Grade 11. What I could most connect with in the report was the growing focus on measured learning, improving digital learning, and rethinking the roles of teachers.

Measured learning or assessment tools have been a part of all aspects of my formal education, whether or not I loved the results I received. I can see how many educators have been resistant to tying teacher pay to performance outcomes by their student’s performance, would construct a culture of distrust and dislike for those policy makers or legislators who seem to discount socio-economic factors outside of the educator’s control. When students do not have a solid home base or our facing other obstacles in life such as homelessness, food malnutrition, or abuse from a trusted adult, it would be hard for most students to be successful in their educational pursuits. However, the positives from the new data mining software that has been developed, is the software allow for school administrators and teachers instant data and feedback on their students which allow teachers and administrators to assess the direction of their teaching or school district wide educational goals.

The second area in the report that caught my attention was rethinking the roles of teachers. Teachers have been focusing on facilitating learning rather than just dispensing information. The classroom has become student-centered rather than teacher-centered. The report also states, “Teachers are now addressing social and emotional factors affecting student learning, mentor students, model responsible global citizenship, and motivate students to adopt life long learning habits.”

For some teachers, the current demands for accountability and school reform have caused extra stress for some teachers and a loss of autonomy in their own classrooms. Positive relationships with policy makers and legislators have been strained for many years as a result of educational reforms. The report states that schools who support a culture of collaboration and cross-disciplinary working environments help teachers transition to the new role required of teachers.

The final area from the report that connects to my project of this course is improving digital learning. Schools have increasingly have had to take on the responsibility of teaching digital citizenship. This skill is an area that deserves attention from parents or other legal guardians. The Horizon Report states, “A recent study from Stanford
researchers found that K–20 students in the US are unprepared to judge the credibility of news and information they come across in their daily lives: “despite their fluency with social media, many students are unaware of basic conventions for identifying verified
digital information.” (The Horizon Report)

Honestly, I have noticed that adults my age are not able to discern what credible news sources are and those that are misleading or opinion based. Our elected President, Donald J. Trump, of the United States of America routinely calls any media that is reported about him in a negative manner and does not support his status of popularity, he automatically refers the news information as “fake news.” Teaching social studies at the secondary or elementary level requires educators to teach digital citizenship and proper civic duties as citizens of the United States. We can not afford to wait to teach our students proper netiquette and digital citizenship just at the high school level. Elementary educators will have to begin to teach these skills as early as kindergarten.

The Horizon Report was informative and at the same time overwhelming to review. The fast pace of technological advances these past 15 years is remarkable. Reading this report allowed me to think back to when I was in elementary school and the memories that I had with educational technology? I am somewhat jealous that this new generation of students is going to experience all the exciting advances in educational technology! I am ready as an educator to enjoy the ride we will be experiencing!





Overview Of Key Trends

Short-Term- Educational Technology Adoption Trends, 1-2 years.

Coding as Literacy

Rise of Steam Learning

Mid-Term- Educational Technology Adoption Trends, 3-5 years.

Growing Focus on Measuring Learning

Redesigning Learning Spaces

Long-Term- Educational Technology Adoption Trends, 5 Or More Years.

Advancing Cultures of Innovation

Deeper Learning Approaches

Significant Challenges.

Solvable Challenges.

Authentic Learning Experiences

Improving Digital Literacy

Difficult Challenges.

Rethinking the Roles of Teachers

Teaching Computational Thinking

Significant Wicked Challenges.

The Achievement Gap

Sustaining Innovation through Leadership Changes

Developments in Educational Technology

Short-Term Developments in Educational Technology, One Year Or Less.



Mid-Term Developments in Educational Technology, 2-3 Years.

Analytics Technologies

Virtual Reality

Long-Term Developments in Educational Technology, 4-5 Or More Years.

Artificial Intelligence

The Internet of Things




NMC/CoSN Horizon Report > 2017 K-12 Edition. (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2017, from https://www.nmc.org/publication/nmccosn-horizon-report-2017-k-12-edition/










Mission and Vision Blog EdTech 541

“Education is evolving due to the impact of the Internet. We cannot teach our students in the same manner in which we were taught. Change is necessary to engage students not in the curriculum we are responsible for teaching, but in school. Period.” – April Chamberlain

Education is constantly evolvi14500327_1792698591006222_5411189752152805290_ong. Students in the early 1900’s had access to a one room school house and now today’s students have access to distance education, laptops, Chromebooks, mobile devices, and many other digital technologies. Students and educators no longer use typewriters and green chalkboards. Now classrooms have access to desk top computers, laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, SMART Boards, and white boards. Advances in digital technology have forced educators to continuously improve their abilities as teachers.

Digital technology historically has been categorized by four different eras; pre-microcomputer beginning in the early 1950’s, pre-microcomputer era, beginning in the late 1970’s, internet era, starting in 1993 with the invention of the web, and lastly the mobile technologies, social media, and open access era of today. (Roblyer, 2016)
With all these advances in digital technology, a teacher must be able to successfully integrate technology into the classroom curriculum.  It is not an issue of just using technology in the classroom, it is a matter of effectively integrating technology into the classroom. (Roblyer, 2016)

Educators and school districts face obstacles with integrating technology into the classroom effectively. There are social, educational, equity, and ethical issues that have to be navigated. Educators, school districts, and parents must protect students private information. There are concerns that the use of excessive technology may cause health related diseases due to long periods of non-physical activity. Students have to be mindful of what they do share on the internet. Educators have to teach students of all ages digital citizenship. Educators are aware of potentially harmful malware, viruses, spam, and hacking. (Roblyer, 2016)

Educators often face a lack of technology funding within their school districts. Even if there is a desire to effectively integrate technology into the classroom, not all schools are created equal because of the funding mechanisms provided to school districts to operate. There is increasing pressure from outside interest groups and politicians demanding accountability from educators and school districts. Common Core State Standards and emphasizing accountability using testing to the standards have driven the use of technology in the classroom.

There are two opposing perspectives regarding effective instruction. One view is called directed instruction while the other perspective is inquiry-based learning. Direct instruction involves the teacher leading and organizing predetermined lessons to students. This view originates from objectivism, or “a belief system grounded primarily in behaviorist learning theory and the information processing branch of the cognitive learning theories. Inquiry-based learning perspective arises from constructivism, “which evolved from other branches of thinking in cognitive learning theory. Constructivists do believe that learners should create their own knowledge by their own experiences and teachers only serve as facilitators. My personal belief is that direct instruction and inquiry-based learning should be utilized in all classrooms whenever necessary. Educators must remain flexible and adaptable when teaching. (Roblyer, 2016)

Integrating technology into the classroom is exciting but demands educators learn how to integrate technology. Just having access to digital technologies does not equate to effective technology use. Educators have to continually examine whether the technology used in the classroom provides meaningful learning opportunities for all students.

Roblyer, M. (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (7th ed.). Massachusetts: Pearson.

20 Popular Technology in Education Quotes – EdTechReviewTM (ETR). (n.d.). Retrieved September 4, 2016, from http://edtechreview.in/news/2112-technology-in-education-quotes