Welcome to my ePortfolio

My name is Meghan O'Neal. I graduated with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communications and French (Business emphasis) in fall of 2008 from the University of Northern Iowa. After working for a few years, I returned to UNI in the spring of 2011 to begin my Master of Arts in the Instructional Technology program. Currently, I live in Waterloo with my husband, Sean, and accepted a position as an Instructional Designer for John Deere Power Systems starting in January of 2013.

I enjoy many aspects of technology and instructional design. After taking a few courses during my undergraduate years, I knew I wanted to someday come back to UNI to complete a Masters degree in Instructional Technology. The courses I have taken have led to great creative growth in my skills in curriculum design and technology applications. I have practiced these in my internship at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center where I gathered and created resources for K-12 teachers to be used when they’d experienced a show at the center. I have also used these skills during my practicum experience at John Deere developing training curriculum.

Using these skills, I feel I am prepared to be in the workforce as an instructional designer. The ability to develop effective instruction to meet learners’ needs is very important to me. Learners today are processing information fundamentally differently from those of previous generations (Prensky, 2001). Essentially, learning should be focused around actively engaging the student, so they may be in control of their own learning (Bonk, 2009). Increasingly, technology (such as Web 2.0 tools) has become of greater interest- so why shouldn’t we include it in our instruction?

Learning the technology should not be the focus of instruction. Instead, it is essential that it be used as a teaching tool or means by which the instruction is displayed or introduced (Cuban, 1986). Technology has the power to enhance our learning and teaching experiences. It is redefining the way we communicate and interact (Small & Vorgan, 2008). Instead of ignoring technology, we should embrace it as a teaching tool to expand learning opportunities.

This online portfolio exhibits projects and artifacts created as part of the graduation requirements for the Instructional Technology program. Projects include individual and collaborative efforts of fellow classmates over the period of the program. Accompanying these artifacts are personal reflections describing the thought process and purpose behind each artifact. While my coursework is finished, I will continue to learn as I enter the workforce as an instructional designer.

References:
Bonk, C. (2009). The world is open: How web technology is revolutionizing education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Cuban, L. (1986). Teachers and machines: The classroom use of technology since 1920. New York: Teachers College Press.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. In M. Bauerlein (Ed.). The digital divide: Arguments for and against facebook, google, texting and the ages of social networking (3-11). New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin.

Small, G & Vorgan, G. (2008). Your brain is evolving right now. In M. Bauerlein (Ed.). The digital divide: Arguments for and against facebook, google, texting and the ages of social networking (76-96). New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin.