This is just one example of how you might use WordPress.com for your EDTECH Learning Log. Remember, the cool part about this activity is that you can easily transform this learning log into your final EDTECH Portfolio–a HUGE time-saver.

Take advantage of the WordPress support page http://support.wordpress.com and our excellent EDTECH community for answers to your questions.

Format and organize this learning log as you want. And remember, you can create a new WP site and import our file, which includes all of the AECT categories, another time-saver.

Experiment and play around with this valuable and powerful tool.

By the way, I clicked the Visibility: Public link and selected “Sticky” so this post would always remain at the top. Experiment and enjoy WordPress. It’s a powerful tool.

School Evaluation Survey

This past week, I was challenged to evaluate my high school’s technology maturity using the Maturity Model Benchmarks from the Technology Use Plan Primer by Peter H.R. Sibley and Chip Kimball.  The maturity model covered five main areas of technology: Administrative, Curricular, Support, Connectivity, and Innovative.  Each of these five categories had subcategories that are divided into two types–Behavioral and Resource/Infrastructure.  By clicking on the link below you will find some background information about the all girls, one-to-one Catholic school where I am currently employed and learn more about my survey findings.

Link to: Google Doc Summary of Survey Findings.

Link to: Organized Spreadsheet Documenting Survey Findings

The all girls, one-to-one Catholic high school where I am currently employed is evidently much more advanced in regards to technology than many other schools in the nation, as it began its technology initiative over 20 years ago.  After analyzing the survey and considering my opinion of our school’s technology implementation in comparison with our key personnel’s opinion, I would place the school in “intelligent” category, as 60% (23 of 38) of the subcategories were rated as intelligent. I was surprised to find that the key personnel and administrators have much different opinions about our technology maturity than the faculty members did. The school is barely making it to the “intelligent” category and has many filters to improve upon, as the discrepancy between key personnel and faculty members are often drastic. The areas in which the school  desperately needs to reassess and improve are the Support and Curricular filters.  It is evident that key personnel (administrators) and faculty members have different ideas about what is and is not implemented effectively.  While 23 out of the 38 categories are rated “intelligent”, the most alarming and significant issue seems to be that the administrators and faculty members are not on the same page and need to communicate more effectively as well as encourage older, more traditional faculty members to either learn and use newer teaching methods that incorporate technology or face the harsh reality that they are no longer effective teachers in today’s education world where technology is at the heart of everything teachers do.

Tech Trends

Last week in EdTech 501, I was asked to read the New Media Consortium publication Horizon Report 2012 K-12 edition.  This report was filled with information about the effective use and future of technology in the classroom.  The most beneficial aspect of this report is the timeline that it presents to give educators a reason of what is going to be implemented/ready to implement at what time. Furthermore, it was comforting for me to read this publication because I felt a bit more ahead of the curve than I believe many educators would feel.  I am lucky to teach at a 1:1 laptop school that is currently trying out new technology such as the Google Glass, tablet/laptop combinations, 3D printing, etc.  While I am not well-versed in how to use all of these technologies, I know that the tech support members are there to help me when I AM ready to use them in my classroom…..so, I decided to research one of these technologies in hopes of inspiring myself to become more innovative in my classroom.

So, this week in EdTech 501, I was asked to find and research a tech trend that I have always wanted to explore.  As previously mentioned, St. Joseph’s Academy has recently acquired two 3D printers that I have, until recently, had no idea how to use, I decided to research the benefits of 3D printing and the solutions it offers in a technology based school.

In itself, a 3D printer can help solve the following tech challenges:

1.   Rethinking the Roles of Teachers (Fast Trend: Driving educational technology adoption in schools over the next one to two years)–Many teachers at St. Joseph’s Academy are older and obstinate in their ways of teaching.  They give the same tests year after year and fail to supplement their lessons with engaging projects.  If teachers, like myself, would take the time to seek help in learning how a 3D printer can effectively support and enrich instruction, perhaps they will be able to dismiss their seemingly unflinching “fear of the new.”

Solution: create professional development sessions geared towards the use of the 3D printer (and other technologies).  Challenge all students to complete at least one 3D printing project by the end of the school year to eradicate the misleading idea that “it’s just too hard and time consuming!”

2.  Shift to Deeper Learning Approaches (Fast Trend: Driving educational technology adoption in schools over the next one to two years)–This year, my goal is to create a “STEAM” classroom where students are challenged with texts and activities that are also rooted in other subject areas.  Using the 3D printers to complete an English project would satisfy the use of technology as well as the use of the engineering process in a language based class.

Solution: the 3D printer is an excellent suggestion for incorporating STEAM into my lessons.  Teachers can design lessons rooted in all subject areas that culminate in a final 3D printing “product” that they create using the engineering design process.

3.  Increasing Use of Hybrid Learning Designs (Mid-Range Trend: Driving educational technology adoption in schools within three to five years–Instead of reading entire, complex texts inside the classroom on a daily basis and then following up with a worksheet, students should be working on complex projects that require higher order thinking skills.  3D printers can be used for a multitude of project-based learning activities–timelines, character trees, maps of literary villages, etc.  If teachers at St. Joseph’s Academy were trained in how to use the 3D printers, perhaps they would be more willing to try them out in their classrooms.

Solution: Similar to the way in which the 3D printer is a valid solution for my 2nd challenge above, the 3D printer also encourages students to use higher order thinking skills (which is a foundation of STEAM) to navigate their way through a project with teachers serving as mentors and facilitators rather than “models to emulate.”

Click the following link to view my Google Slides presentation on using 3D printers as a solution to the tech challenges I mentioned above: 3D Printing: An Engaging Tech. Solution to a Tech. Challenge

In closing, this assignment has made me realize just how little I do to learn about the many pieces of technology at St. Joseph’s Academy.  I need to be proactive and ask for assistance so that I am confident enough to show my students.  The 3D printer is an excellent way to satisfy elements of STEAM and maintain an engaging, student centered classroom.

Ed. Tech 501: Research in Educational Technology

This assignment required me to research a topic of interest in educational technology and create an annotated bibliography to document my sources. The challenge here, for me, was that I am an English teacher that has MLA format burned into my brain.  I have not used APA since my undergrad thesis that I completed several years ago, so, needless to say, I was nervous.  This was a great assignment that pushed me into the world of scientific, technological research, which I anticipate doing much more of throughout my graduate school career.  I used Google Scholar for the majority of my research and found that the Purdue OWL cite to be an excellent resource as well. After completing this assignment, I realize how many sources I use that are not necessarily reliable; moreover, I plan to encourage my students to use Google Scholar as well.

I researched a topic in educational technology that will benefit me in my classroom for the upcoming school year.  My research involved how to create a student centered learning environment in high school English classes.

Here is a copy of my annotated bibliography.

Pettijohn’s APA Annotated Bibliography

Incorporating RSS into Ms. Pettijohn’s English III Class

This week in EdTech501, we were asked to create an engaging lesson plan that incorporates RSS in a meaningful way.   RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.”  Basically, RSS enables users to access all of their favorite blogs in one place that not only organizes them by topic, but also notifies users when new posts are added.

This assignment was interesting and relatively simple for me, as most of my assignments are tied to at least one aspect of technology.  I operate in a 95% paperless classroom, so I was able to tailor my current assignment to fit the needs of this 501 assignment..  Not only did I make my assignment more engaging for my students, but I also learned how to use RSS to make student feedback and peer review a simple and painless process.

Currently, my English III students are reading Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.  I wanted to create an assignment that connected the characters to today’s student, so I am having my students create a character diagram in Inspiration (a concept mapping program) in which they identify relationships among all of the characters in The Crucible.  Additionally, the students will identify a song lyric of their choice that corresponds to and reminds them of that character (ex: the student might attach lyrics from Britney Spears’ song, “Womanizer” to John Proctor).  Then, I will have them upload their character maps to their Google Blogs and identify the conflicts presented in Act 1 in that same post.

After all students have posted their character maps and conflict analyses, they will use the RSS tool, “Feedly”, to connect with the other students in their class.  This will allow students to organize their class blogs and provide feedback to other students’ work in an efficient way.

In creating this lesson plan to be RSS friendly”, I learned how simple it is to tailor existing assignments so that they a) are more engaging, b) are rooted even deeper in technology, and c) teach the girls about tools that they can use both in and out of the classroom setting.

Click the link below to view the objectives and procedure for my RSS Lesson Plan that centers around Act 1 of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible! Both lessons are the same, but one was created in Google Docs and one I uploaded from MS Word.

Google Doc link:


Google Doc link to MS Word version: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B02ol33kZvTkWWNrNXN0YVRRTFU/view?usp=sharing

“Digital Divide/Digital Inequality”

This week’s assignment required me to research and reflect upon the digital divide that exists in today’s local communities, countries, and on a global scale.  This is something that I read about in the newspaper and hear about on the news, but I have been so fortunate in my teaching career to have always been provided with every piece of technology I need (and more). I work at a “have” school that has had a 1:1 laptop program since 1999 when they began the program with Compaq computers.  So, this assignment really challenged me to step outside of my local community, St. Joseph’s Academy, and develop a better perspective on the desperate situation that many other communities and nations are suffering through as a result of lack of technology.

Prior to creating the presentation for this assignment, I first started with the recommended readings which included the National Educational Technology Plan of 2010.  This is a national plan that the U.S. Department of Education created to encourage all school systems nationwide to focus on using technology efficiently to support learning, assessments, and data analysis.  While this plan is well developed and has good intentions for supporting our students with technology, I was appalled at how anyone could perceive this plan as realistically possible to achieve when the Louisiana state and local governments continue to cut school budgets more and more every year. Schools must have the funds to purchase the tools for a successful, collaborative, technology-oriented learning.  Because the state and local governments are slow to support and encourage seemingly rational changes in legislature, it seems to me that the only way we can provide our students with the tools and learning environments that the National Educational Technology Plan of 2010 suggests is to find support from private businesses and donors in the local community.  While investments from the local community may seem like trivial donations to a much larger problem, this is really our world’s most powerful tools for closing the digital divide.

If I was given more time to complete this presentation, I would continue researching the Digital Divide on a local level.  The things I hear about on the news and in the paper are usually targeted to explain what countries are doing to close the digital divide on a global scale.  However, what they fail to realize is that the change must start from the bottom.  I would like more time to research what others are doing in my local community to close the divide and then I would like to share those ideas with others in my community in an attempt to encourage others to donate time and funds for this local digital divide initiative.

Click below to view my presentation.  I believe it will challenge your thoughts on how we can work together on a local, then national, and then a global scale, to close the digital divide. Then, think of ways YOU can make a difference in your local community to support this initiative.


Code of Professional Ethics in Educational Technology

In this assignment, I have been challenged to identify a scenario at the school where I am currently employed that is closely tied to one or more issues in ethics in educational technology.  A co-worker of mine recently had an issue with one of her students who was using her in class work time to write a sexually explicit letter to her boyfriend about what she planned to do with him the following weekend instead of working on her paper. assignment for A Doll’s House.  My co-worker was able to read said student’s letter using a monitoring tool called DyKnow.

Students at our high school know that teachers have DyKnow and can use it to monitor their activity at any given time; however, they are unable to tell when we are monitoring them.  Is this professionally ethical or does it violate code 1.7 of AECT’s Code of Ethics?  Furthermore, should my co-worker follow AECT’s code 2.1 and honestly abide by our Catholilc high school’s rules for handling such situations?  Or, should she protect said student’s personal integrity and follow AECT’s code 1.4?

Click the link below to read about how Mrs. Bergeron handled Colleen’s indiscretion as well as my opinion on how this situation should have been handled in accordance with AECT’s code.


Educational Technology: What is it?

Educational technology is an evolving field composed of many interrelated parts.  In order to effectively depict the connections between each component, I have created a color coded diagram in Inspiration 6, a program that allows users to create organized visual displays.  The visual is centered around “Educational Technology,” as it is the term being defined.  Additionally, I added a phrase that I feel encompasses the “big picture” of Educational Technology: learning/facilitating > retaining/teaching.  From there, I color-coded the components of the definition into logical groups: study/facilitate/learn bubbles are pink, ethical practice/managing bubbles are blue, improve/technology are green, performance/appropriateness/processes are orange, and, last but not least, create/use are in lilac.  As I was searching for the best location for the “resources” component of the definition, I found that there really is no “one” best place for it…thus, I added text to most all of the arrow links from Educational Technology to indicate that resources play a vital role in all aspects of the educational technology field.  This activity enabled me to deepen my understanding of educational technology using educational technology.  Pretty cool! 

Educational Technology Definition