My name is Marija Musselman. I am a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa’s Instructional Technology Master’s Program. This ePortfolio was created as a graduate requirement for this program to demonstrate my learning acquired over the past two years. Evidence of my learning are demonstrated on the following web pages through examples of my work, reflections on the Educational Communications and Instructional Technology (ECIT) Standards, and a summative reflection.
Currently, I am employed as the 5th and 6th grade Technology Teacher at Prairie Creek Intermediate School in the College Community School District in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My responsibilities include designing and implementing technology curriculum for 5th and 6th grade students, supporting teachers with the integration of technology in content area curriculum, and responding to technical issues in our school building. At the district level I am involved with several committees. As a member of the School Improvement Advisory Committee I participate with district staff, parents, and community members in analyzing data, setting goals, making recommendations, and evaluating overall performance in relation to district goals. As a member of the Digital Literacy Team I collaborate with administration and colleagues across buildings and grade levels to develop district and building professional development regarding the integration of technology and monitor technology implementation through Instructional Practices Inventory (IPI-T) data collection and analysis. As a member of the Strategic Technology Advisory Committee I work with administration and colleagues to re-evaluate and revise the district vision for digital learning to guide our continued Digital Literacy (1-to-1 program) implementation. The knowledge and skills I acquired during the Instructional Technology Master’s Program has prepared me to better serve students, staff, and district with the integration of technology where learning is the focus at a personal, student, staff, building, and district level.
I have included the Prezi I created for the Emerging Instructional Technologies class, one of the first classes of the Master’s program. This was the Media-ography project to introduce myself to the cohort on a personal and professional level. It also provides a look at my initial vision coming into the program. Also included is a Moovly created for the Coordinating Technology in an Educational Setting Class, one of the last classes of the Master’s program. For this project we were challenged to try a new digital tool to share our vision, goals, and future plans. I have included these projects to demonstrate the broadening in my thinking educational philosophy.
As an educator I believe students construct new knowledge through learning experiences that build upon their schema. This is accomplished by providing instruction and support that will prepare students for their future, through student-centered learning experiences that encourage higher-order thinking, collaboration, and communication skills. These experiences should expand learning beyond the classroom walls, engage their lives outside of school, and build upon their passions.
I believe as a technology teacher, my job is two-fold. The first part of my job is to provide opportunities in the technology classroom for my students to become independent life-long learners that use 21st century skills and technology to improve their lives and the lives of others. The second part of my job is to help facilitate opportunities in the content area classrooms for students to integrate 21st century skills and technology to prepare students for their future. Fulfilling these responsibilities as the students’ technology teacher, I will help prepare students to participate in and contribute to an information-based society that requires critical thinkers and problem solvers.
I believe that students learn by doing. Creating student-centered, inquiry, challenge, or problem-based units from the Common Core Standards provides authentic learning experiences where students construct their knowledge independently and collaboratively. Understanding by Design (UBD) provides a framework that enhances my ability to create content and technology integrated units that begin with the end in mind, have clear learning targets, use examples and non-examples, and provide effective feedback which motivated and engaged students. (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). The use of instructional models such as TPACK, ASSURE, and ADDIE (Reiser & Dempsey, 2012) for developing curriculum and planning instruction ensures the effective integration of technology which focuses on the learning.
The teaching profession is rewarding on many different levels. The relationships built with students and seeing students evolve into independent thinkers and learners inspires my teaching. Education needs to change to fit the needs of students today, for their future. I believe I can help to facilitate the change in education to meet the needs of our students. How will I make a difference in the lives of my students? I will help to create learning experiences that will allow my students to take responsibility for their learning to prepare them for their future.
Reiser, R. R., and Dempsey, J. V. (2012). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology. (3rd ed.) Pearson publication, Inc., Publishing as Allyne & Bacon, Boston.
Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J., (2005) Understanding by design, (2nd edition) Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.