Discovery, Professional Practice, and Blog Performance

This course taught me a lot about social media. I did not use a significant amount of social media (in fact almost nothing). I could not get over the negative stigmas that involve social media and education. I have heard how it can be a place where people have no accountability and they use it to complain and slander others. I did not think that there would be an important role for it to be used in education. I discovered that there were many valuable ways in which social media could be used as a strategy in my classroom and as a professional development tool.

There are many ways in which I will implement social media into my professional practice. I have already accessed Pinterest on several occasions to locate resources for some the classes in which I teach. Many of my staff members use it for recreational purposes, but some also use it as a professional resource. I have also provided two in-services for colleagues of mine who are looking for a way to connect more often and more in-depth with their parents. I have several staff members who are now hosting a Facebook page for their classroom. Two other staff members are using Twitter as a communication tool with their students for assignments and activities in their classroom. I also have a teacher who sends out message almost daily to the parents/guardians of her students. She sends them information about classroom current events. She also Tweets suggestions from students regarding things that they have learned.

I will also be using some social media tools to communicate what is happening in my classroom. I will be using Twitter to allow students to reflect on what they have learned in class and we will also be using Twitter to have classroom discussions. I feel that it is an excellent voice for students to participate in class activities. It gives a voice to students who may not otherwise speak up in a whole class discussion. I also really enjoyed learning about all of the different hashtags that relate to education. I found the professional development that Twitter offers to be very worthwhile. I will continue to follow many different hashtags for my own learning.

My blog performance met all of the requirements of the course. I have two blogs that both pertain to the courses that I have taken at Boise State University. I enjoy blogging more so now than I did when I began taking courses. It really provides a time for me to reflect on my learning. I believe that blogs are a wonderful tool for education. In the past classes that I have taught I have had my students keep a blog. It is a relevant way to create a PLN and a personal learning environment. I have encouraged my staff to use social media, in particular a blog, to set up a collection of what they have learned, resources they have collected or created, and to connect with other professionals. I think that my blog performance was done well and it displays a lot the knowledge that I gained from this class.

Posted in EdTech 501 Learning Log

Social Media Policy

Developing Our Social Media Policy

Below is the social media policy that our school is in the midst of developing. Our school believes that collaboration with the school community is invaluable for our student’s learning. As such, we are asking for your feedback on these policies. Please leave a comment below that includes your feedback on the social policy we are developing. In one weeks time, we will review all of the comments left on this blog. We will then make any required changes to our policies based on the recommendations provided by the school community (students, staff, parents and guardians), our school division, and the research we have conducted. Thank you in advance for your input.

Social Media Policy

1. Do not disclose any confidential or personal information about peers, colleagues or their families in online communications. Do not post photographs or videos of students without the informed consent of the student and their parent(s).

2. Protect your personal information. Do not share your password, address, phone number, birthdate, or other information (except with parents or staff).

3. Be aware of what you post online.  Social media venues including wikis, blogs, photo and video sharing sites are very public.  What you contribute leaves a digital footprint for all to see.  Do not post anything you wouldn’t want friends, enemies, parents, teachers, or a future employer to see.

4. Respect copyright laws. It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others. You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else’s work, and always attribute such work to the original author/source. It is good general practice to link to others’ work rather than reproduce it. Please see Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency for more information.

5. Monitor all content you or others post to your personal social media accounts to ensure that it is appropriate and pertains to the content being taught in accordance with the Saskatchewan Curriculum. Remove any material which is inappropriate or contrary to this policy.

6. Online activities must not interfere with the performance of your school work or your effectiveness as a student or employee.

7. Social networking sites and online postings are not private. You should follow communication protocol if you have an issue or a concern with someone else. Approach the person and address the issue or concern in a respectful manner.

8. Your on-line existence is an extension of who you are. Do not blog anonymously, using pseudonyms or false screen names. We believe in transparency and honesty. Do not misrepresent yourself by using a different identity.

9. Inappropriate material or material that you do not feel is suitable for school use should be reported immediately to a teacher.

10. Any online communication should be honest, respectful, responsible, and considerate of others.

11. It is your responsibility to act in accordance to the social media policy. Failure to respect the social media policy will be subject to disciplinary action by school administration.


Learning about privacy in Saskatchewan Schools. Retrieved from:

Social Media Policy for School Districts. Retrieved from:

David Jake website. Retrieved from:

How to create social media guidelines for your school. Retrieved from:


Posted in EdTech 501 Learning Log

Ways Schools Are Using Social Networking for Teaching and Learning

Here is a link to my curation of Social Networking for teaching and learning:

Social Media in the Classroom

I discovered some really interesting ways to use social media in the classroom. I visited a lot of sites that had lists of ideas. The goal for this assignment was to find actual strategies and projects that educators had used. We then had to think about how we would use these projects in our teaching or learning environment. It generated many wonderful ideas and uses for me.

The use of social media in the classroom to give students a voice was a great idea. Some students have wonderful ideas, but they do not readily share what they are thinking. Using a social media tool like Twitter allows students to share their ideas in a non-threatening manner. I have used tools such as Blackboard for my staff to share their ideas around a topic that I require feedback from the teachers. It also provides some excitement and engagement for students. They are able to use a different method to share what they are thinking.

I also really liked the idea of creating an on-line newspaper or magazine. Students would be able to share what is happening in their classroom and school. The students would have a voice for informing the school community about the current events in our school and in their classrooms. It would be unique because it comes from the students and it is their perspective.

The idea of sharing and learning from other students at a different location is also very intriguing. It is far more interesting and relevant to learn about another culture or country from someone who lives their. It would also be interesting to share thoughts about a book or a topic with a class in a different location. It would provide a new perspective to the students.

The use of social media tools in the classroom is a wonderful way to keep parents in the loop. They are able to know what is being learned in real time. It could provide parents with the opportunity to have rich conversations at home about what the students are learning. The more communication that can be had with parents the better it is for the students learning.

I also like how social medial can be a tool for assessment. Teachers can use social media as way of checking in with students. It is another method to find out what the students learned for a lesson and what they are still struggling with. It can also help engage students. They are able to share other things that they are wondering about a topic. They will learn at a deeper level and be more engaged when they make the learning personal. Teachers are also able to provide feedback to students, anytime and anywhere.

This project allowed me to see the many possibilities that exist for using social media in the classroom. I think that I will delve deeper into this idea. I will do more research and look at some the sites that were not allowed to be used for this project. I think that it would have been interesting to add some websites that discussed suggestions or lists. I would also like to spend a professional development day with my staff and explore social media tools. It would be great for my staff to have the ability to “play” around with some social media tools and be more familiar with how they work and how they could be incorporated into their classrooms. I will ensure that I have some educators at my school that have significant experience using social media. Students would probably be the best educators to have on hand : )

Posted in EdTech 501 Learning Log

Chris Mason’s PLE of On-line Communities

PLE Online Communities

I have learned that I have a lot of social media connections. My Ed Tech 543 class has opened up a new world for me. I just barely beginning to understand and access the opportunities available through social media for my professional learning environment. I guess I had been using some aspects of  social media for my PLE, but not to the extent I am now.

The diagram represents the Internet and my social media connections. The light at the top of the picture is the Internet. It contains the information that is created by on-line users. I don’t mean to overstate the power of the Internet, but it is source for much of what we do in our society. From it come all of the social media sites that we access. They are becoming the pillars for what we learn and what we share. That is the reason that I put them on the cables that hold up the bridge. The city in the background symbolizes the world that accesses the internet and its social media sites. You can vaguely see a person with a smart phone. That represents me. I really liked the picture. I actually discovered it when I was on a Twitter chat one evening. The picture really spoke to me and I knew that I wanted to use if for this project. The picture, to me, shows that social media is a very important aspect of the Internet. My professional learning environment is becoming increasingly dependent on social media.

Most of my peers included the same social media sites that I did. I should have included Blackboard and Moodle as I still use them through my job and school. There are others that I am not familiar with. I have not used Prezi, Scoopit, Adobe, and to name a few.

I am not sure how one could access and use all of the social media websites that are available. I wish I could. I feel as if I am missing out by not accessing some of the other sites that people sited in their PLE diagrams. I think that a person needs to find that sites that will meet their needs and, if possible, explore other sites if possible. As I participate in this class, I often feel that I am far less competent as an educator than I thought I was. There is so much to learn and so many places to access it and so little time. I have been flipping back and forth from our Facebook page and I wonder what, am I missing on sites like Suncloud and engrade. I guess I should feel good about what I am doing because I am attempting to learn through the social media sites I use.

I really liked the connection some of my peers displayed between themselves and the social media sites they used. I saw words like connect, reflect, learn, share, and mash up. They caused me to think deeper about how most of these sites could represent anyone of those descriptions. Social media sites, used for professional development and learning, really encompass that metacognition piece of learning. They are such a wonderful way to collaborate with others who share common passions and areas of expertise.

Posted in EdTech 501 Learning Log

Real Time and Live Virtual Professional Development

Posted in EdTech 501 Learning Log

Positive Professional Online Presence

Posted in EdTech 501 Learning Log

Ed Tech 543 Twitter and Hashtags

Here are the hashtags that I chose to follow:

#educoach: This hashtag is a resource for helping coach educators. As an administrator I should try to be present everywhere (after school, before school, recess time, and in classrooms). I also picked up an excellent resource for formative assessment ( ).

#cpchat: This hashtag follows educational leadership. While I was perusing the tweets I can across a link to leadership quotes ( I also read about eight leadership essentials. They made me realize that I am on the right path and that I do a good job of following these recommendations (

#mathchat: This is a wonderful hashtag to follow to get some excellent resources for math. It is very current. I found a neat link about using lego in math (

#edadmin: This is great hashtag for administrators. There are many topics that are easy to follow and have relevant information as an in-school administrator. This article had some tips for how to be a technology leader in your school. The most important thing I learned was lead by example and take risks.

#ptchat: Parent/Teacher chat is a hashtag where teachers and parents chat about issues in education. They have a main chat once a week. The topics that were available to be research included family management techniques, ways to engage parents in project based learning, apps for staying organized, parent volunteer advice, and how to gage the appropriate amount of time your child spends participating in extracurricular activities.

I think that Twitter has some excellent opportunities for professional development. I enjoyed reading the tips and advice. My concern is how I can manage the amount of opportunities that are available for professional development. In my life, I am receiving an exorbitant amount of professional development. Through my school division I attend at least one professional development opportunity each month. I also subscribe to ASCD magazine and enjoy reading it cover to cover. I also spend fifteen hours or more working on this class. I am at my limit on the amount of information I can process and use effectively. One thing I value is that this class has provided me with the tools to find professional development opportunities after I have completed my Masters.

Posted in Ed Tech 543 Learning Log

Personal Expression of Module Concepts

Connectivism is a learning theory where learning occurs through a series of networks. Strong and Hutchings (2009) believe that it attempts to capture and reflect the complexity of learning in a world of proliferating information. Learning can reside outside of us and is focused on a collection of information and the connection between those collections. The pictures I chose display several different ways to generate power. The pictures relate to the theory in that they are all methods of collecting power similar to the way learning is focused on a collection of information. The power is all connected on a grid that channels its way back to a person’s house. The collection of power, like knowledge, comes from and outside agency and is connected through a series of networks.

Personal Learning Networks are a group of people who share information for many reasons. The information is shared in person and more often on-line. They are great for professional development, collaborate, and share and find resources. Rajagopal, Joosten-ten Brinke, Van Bruggen, and Sloep (2012) feel that “the skills at the centre of networking involve an ability to identify and understand other people’s work in relation to one’s own, and to assess the value of the connection with these others for potential future work.” Personal learning networks are more often self-driven and allow for personal autonomy. The picture I chose is of a gamer. They really enjoy playing video games. They go on-line and seek information and share information. They do not do it because they have to but because they want to.

Communities of practice are a group of people who share a career or craft. Members of this group share information and experiences. These communities are often structured with rules and definite outcomes. Fred Nickols (2003) claims that there are three characteristics of a community of practice. These characteristics include practice (their work or a set of practices for doing that work), an identity (identities are developed at work) and a joint enterprise (a mission or objective shared by the community of practice members). The picture I chose is of ants working together. It looks as if there is one ant that is orchestrating work. The other ants are working together to get the job done.


Nickols, F. (2003). Communities of practice: An overview. The Distance Consulting

Rajagopal, K., Joosten-ten Brinke, D., Van Bruggen, J., Sloep, P.: Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them. First Monday 17(1) (2012)

Strong, K.E. & Hutchins, H.M. (2009). Connectivism: A theory for learning in world of growing complexity. Impact: Journal of Applied Research in Workplace ELearning (1)1, 53-67

Posted in Ed Tech 543 Learning Log

Ed Tech 543 Week 1

What are you initial reactions about joining these social networks for use in this course?

I do not mind joining these social networks for this course. I do not subscribe to any of these social networks except for twitter. I don’t often post to twitter, but I enjoy reading breaking news and sports stories. I think it will be healthy for me to see how social networks are used for the purpose of education.

What is your experience in using social media for your own professional development?

I don’t use social media for professional development. I am on a mail list for several blogs that I love to read. It seems that I don’t have time to read and review what others are doing. I work full time, have two young children that involved in sports, and I am taking these classes from Boise State. These classes and the professional development that my school division requires me to attend are professional development enough for me. I can see social media being useful to me when I have completed my M.E.T.

What is your experience in using social media as an instructional strategy in your learning environment?

I have never used social media as an instructional strategy in my classroom or with my staff.

What are your expectations for this course?

I would like to see how to use social media in a learning environment. I predominantly teach elementary students. I want to know how to use social media in a relevant way to my classroom or to my job as an in-school administrator. I want to see how elementary to high school students can use social media for learning and not for entertainment and socializing.

Posted in Ed Tech 543 Learning Log

ID Job Description

Job: Instructional Designer

 Synthesis Job Description

As the instructional designer for our company you will be responsible for designing, developing, and initiating innovative learning plans. You will ensure that our employees have the skills and knowledge to be at the cutting edge of our industry.


1. Create an inclusive training program and training methodology, including the design, development, implementation, and evaluation.
2. Maintain, develop, and distribute e-learning courses offered through our Education Administration System.
3. Manage and integrate the involvement of other of experts to ensure project success.
4. Design, develop, and deliver training programs for employees.
5. Manage project teams and provide guidance and coaching to project staff.


1. 3-5 years developing, planning, and implementing training programs in an e-learning environment
2. University degree in education or business
3. Certification in instructional design

 Preferred Skills:

1. Expertise with differentiating learning plan to fit the needs of all learners.
2. Expertise in curriculum design.
3. Expertise in project based and inquiry learning.
4. Expertise in assessment and evaluation.
5. Experience of working collaboratively in a team environment

Questions for Reflection

1. What are teachers expected to do that instructional designers are not?

My job experience is an elementary school teacher and administrator. A teacher is responsible for the well being of their students. They also have to focus on the human aspect of their learners. They are not only facilitating learning, but they are also educating the whole child. They are concerned with all aspects of the learner (physical, mental, social, and spiritual).

2. What are instructional designers expected to do that teachers are not?

Instructional designers are responsible for the creation of the curriculum, learning plan, and the assessment of the learning. Teachers, while they may have to adapt or modify the curriculum, are not responsible for creating it. Many instructional designers are responsible for the creation of the curriculum to meet the learners’ needs. There are very extensive experience requirements for many instructional designers.

 3. What are the three major differences between a teacher and an instructional designer?

 This is a question that I am struggling to find the answer to. I am not convinced that there are a significant amount of differences between the two. I have never looked closely at a instructional designers job description or responsibilities before. Now that I have, I do not see anything in there that do not do in a grade five classroom. I understand that the main difference may be that one designs curriculum (instructional designer) and one delivers it (teacher). Instructional designers may also need to be subject matter experts whereas the teachers where I work need to be generalists.

 Here is the way I look at this question, I am not sure that one can be successful at writing curriculum if they have never delivered it. Teachers also need to be able to design or write curriculum (for students with special needs or students that are gifted). I have a better understanding of what I do as a teacher than what an instructional designer does. Based on my readings so far, there are few significant differences.

Links to jobs:

Posted in Ed Tech 503 Reflections