Throughout the pursuit of my Master of Art in Educational Technology (MAET) at Michigan State University, I was pushed to my limits to create work that I am proud to share here today. If you’re interested in more information on the specific courses I completed, please visit my annotated transcript page.
I’ve chosen nine of my best creations and divided them into three sections that describe them and their purposes best:
- work that developed my growth mindset (willingness to learn from failure),
- work that pushed my creative limits, and
- work that enhanced my curriculum design and assessment abilities.
The title of each piece links to the specific page for that piece, where you can find more in-depth descriptions as well as pictures and/or videos.
Growing (ha!) My Growth Mindset
Creating, advertising for, and hosting a Maker Faire is not an easy task. In fact, while putting together our own Maker Faire, we failed many times. Having a Growth Mindset means being willing to learn from your failures, and that is just what I did. I learned the importance of iteration and persistence, and created a Maker Faire with my friends.
|Networked Learning Project|
The things you can learn to do on the internet are almost limitless. Do you want to learn the ukulele? How about how to French braid your hair? I chose to learn how to build a retaining wall using only internet resources, and boy did I fail so many times along the way. To this day it is still a work in progress, but I have learned so much throughout. Every failure pushed me to try something new or to simply try harder.
Education and educating our students will always pose challenges. Sometimes there are problems in education that cannot be solved with the tools currently available to us a society. I learned that sometimes even though we try our best, we might have to accept that there isn’t an answer to some of education’s most challenging problems. Not yet, at least!
Pushing My Creative Limits
I learned how to use Google SketchUp to design and model my ideal classroom. I had no constraints and could include anything I thought would be best for my students. I then justified these choices with appropriate research and displayed my classroom for the world to see.
|Modeling French Culture|
Using my own creative brain, I came up with an idea of how to model the complex concept of French culture and how outsiders might view the different aspects. Many people think of the things at the tip of the iceberg, but fewer people realize the depth of what lies below.
Digging deep into my creative being’s best ideas, I used ThingLink and many hours of reflection to create a patterned representation of French language structure. Grammar and structure can be a hard topic for students to grasp, so I decided to simplify it by making visible patterns with the language.
Designing Curriculum & Assessments
|Literacy Learner Analysis|
I picked a student in one of my French classes and took an in-depth look at their abilities as a literacy learner. I created and then gave assessments and used that data to create and modify future lessons to create gains in their literacy achievement. My report talks about the assessment and lesson choice, strategies I taught to the student, and the growth the student showed throughout the semester. The student’s growth highlights the importance of differentiation in lesson design.
|Online Course Module|
Using Google Classroom, I created a fully functional online course module, complete with lessons and assessments, for a typical French I class. Designing this module was actually another step in the growth of my Growth Mindset. Using Google Classroom as a CMS (class management system) has its own sets of affordances and constraints, but I learned to work through them. I am confident that in the future I could use this for a real class.
|21st Century Lesson|
Using the new perspectives I had gained from my studies (shameless plug for TPACK), I reworked an old 6th grade exploratory French lesson to take advantages of the affordances of technology in bringing my students closer to the culture that they are studying. In this lesson, I used Google Cardboard and student devices to give them a VR tour of the caves of Lascaux, so they could feel like they were really there.