hello-clipart-RidpGyG5TThanks for stopping by! This learning log will serve as a documentary of sorts of my journey toward a Masters degree in Educational Technology (MET), from Boise State University. You’ll find a variety of items that I hope will be a beneficial resource to you as well as inspiring. It will be a continual work in progress, so be sure to stop in periodically. And if you’d like to stay current with my updated posts – click on the “Follow” button to the right of this entry and subscribe to receive email updates. I’m also available to answer any questions or comments via the email posted on my “About Me” tab.

I look forward to sharing more with you and hearing your feedback! In the meantime, browse my blog and enjoy its contents.

=) Lena B.



EdTech 501 – Course Reflection of Learning

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My first course in the  Boise State MET program, Introduction to Educational Technology (EDTECH501), has finally come to a close! These seven weeks flew by and it’s incredible to see all that I have learned as well as created in my artifacts.

To wrap this course up properly, we were to take some time to reflect on what we’ve learned by answering the following questions:

  1. What challenges did you face in this course?

Honestly, I didn’t find the content or method of learning online challenging. My greatest challenge was simply time management. Juggling a full-time job, family and personal life was a bit chaotic and overwhelming midway through the seven weeks. I would stay up late and there were days I had to finish up homework during my lunch hour at work!

2.   What strategies or other creative resources did you use to address these challenges?

I eventually figured out a system that worked for me. Spacing my time out – so I wasn’t spending 6 hours in one day, but rather over a few days. And as our instructor suggested, I chose specific days each week that were strictly dedicated to school time.

3.   Which artifact do you feel was your best and why?

This one is a little hard to answer, especially since I’m my own worst critic and always feel I could do every assignment better. But if I had to narrow it down, I’d have to pick 2 – this blog I created and the infographic I made in my last post to define Educational Technology. I really enjoy creative visual learning tools. Whenever I get to design something or use my artistic skills, I tend to invest much of my time and efforts in making a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing product. I received quite a few compliments on both items, so I guess despite my perfectionism, I am pleased with how they turned out and honored to have received positive feedback about them.

4.   What is one thing you plan to do in your school or business as a result of this course?

After completing the Tech Trends artifact, my initial thought of action was to integrate some of the technology that I thought would be a great benefit to the university where I’m employed. But then I realized upon further reflection at the state of the university and their use of technology, it is imperative to create an improved Strategic Technology Plan;  The improved plan would not only identify the areas in need of implementation and proper planning, but also a well thought out training program to better educate the faculty, staff, and students. Fortunately, the university is still working on this document and making it more relevant to the immediate needs. And my boss, who is well aware of my desire to eventually grow into an Educational Technologist position, will be giving me the opportunity to contribute my ideas to improving the plan.


It’s been a few years since my undergrad degree and due to various reasons, I held out from pursuing my Masters. I’m so glad I finally had the opportunity to get started on my program this summer, and even more content that I took this first course, EDTECH 501. It’s been a great sampler or potpourri of Educational Technology. I was a bit hesitant it might be too over my head or too boring and it was none of that! It over exceeded my expectation and I’m looking forward to my next course this Fall, and all that follows, to better prepare me for my future in the Ed Tech field.

=) Lena B.

Making Meaning – Defining Educational Technology

tech-wakeup_500x2001During this last EdTech 501 Module, “Making Meaning,” our assignment was to delve into the elements of Educational Technology not only as the textbook definition but also how we define it personally. Our artifact was to create a visual graphic, representing or defining Educational Technology. We were to use any tool of choice, so I crafted an infographic with a free online presentation tool called Canva.

Canva is a free, simple graphic design software, completely online. It gives both the novice and advanced graphic designer the ability to create simple, stunning and professional graphic documents. Whether you choose to use one of their templates or make your own, there are a variety of design pieces to choose from: blog graphics, photo collages, posters, social media graphics, presentations, flyers, business cards, invitations and more! All you have to do is sign up for a free account, choose your design, pick a layout and add all the personal touches you desire (special font, color, icons, pics, etc.). Canva is quite easy to use, but if you’ve never worked with it before, you may have to go through a bit of trial and error to get the hang of it.

A majority of Canva is free, but there are a few extra features that are only available through purchase. Overall I found Canva enjoyable and simple to use once I understood how to operate it and I planned out my content and layout process in Google Docs. However, like many free online resources, there are limitations on design options and it might not be the one size fits all tool for everyone. If you want to learn more about how to use the basics of Canva, watch this great instructional video I found on YouTube, by Kimberly Ann Jimenez, here: How to Create Infographics (the ultra-simple & easy way).

I really enjoyed this assignment and creating the artifact. If I had more time I would have tried a few other tools like Adobe Illustrator or Glogster. I would have also included more specific examples of the key elements of Educational Technology and how they are applied in real-world scenarios. You can view my finished artifact here: Educational Technology Infographic, or below (at the end of this post).

In regard to defining Educational Technology –  in the textbook, Educational Technology: A Definition with Commentary (2008), it’s defined conceptually. To be precise:

“Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.”

Although this is the conceptual meaning, I believe it is a mantra of sorts for anyone in the field to adhere to. Educational Technology is not just integrating gadgets into the classroom and hoping that it will improve teaching and learning. It is a continual study; the kind of study that goes beyond traditional research, to prove that technology is effective for teaching and learning. It is a call to ethically sound, professional practice; the kind of ethical practice that maintains a high level of professional conduct. To then better assist learning and enhance performance. By the means of these major functions: creating, using, and managing – the technological tools and methods that are suitable to the people and the setting they are in.

As a future Educational Technologist, I look forward to living out this mantra, not as a conceptual definition but as a real-world application.

Educational Technology Infographic (4)


School Evaluation Summary

SurveySaysSurvey’s can be an excellent tool to closely examine any area you choose to view more carefully. It’s a great method to appraise the current state of an item, to evaluate the good and/or the bad. This week’s Module 5: Technology Use Planning, gave the opportunity to examine more closely the statewide, local and institutional technology plans. And as a result, we were to apply our understanding of the Technology Maturity Benchmarks to our own place of employment, via a survey and summary of our findings.

I was pleased to discover that my workplace, a private university, did have a strategic technology plan in place. It was actually conceptualized in 2013 by a technology vision committee, made up of key departmental leadership. As a result of several meetings and deliberation, the strategic technology plan was created and is an ever evolving document. This 63 page document highlighted the Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Committee Members. It also demonstrated the tech trends to watch, current technology landscape across campus, goals and initiatives, and an implementation plan. I came to realize how essential it is to have a document like this in place, to properly order and implement technology in appropriate and meaningful ways.

But although this document exists, that doesn’t mean that the campus is fully intelligible in regard to the Technology Maturity Benchmarks. After completing the survey, I concluded that my institution is mainly at an integrated state, with some intelligent capabilities and Island like tendencies. I was pleased to see that we are found to be more integrated than I thought we were. Critical areas that need immediate change and attention were in Administrative Planning, Support from Stakeholders, Administrative, Training and Infrastructure, and Innovation in New Technologies. I believe these areas are currently address in the university Tech Plan, so a shift toward integrated or intelligent should be forthcoming.  I also think it is imperative to for the appropriate staffing to be on place to carry out much of the initiatives and training in need to be a technologically mature institution.

You can view my findings and summary artifacts here:

Survey and  Survey Evaluation Summary.

Digital Literacy: Tech Trends in Higher Ed.


Technology trends are increasingly impacting the way we learn. It is rare to find any student today without some digital device in their possession. Traditional tools like paper, books, pens, etc. are practically obsolete, in comparison to laptops or tablets. Homework assignments are delivered via blogs or video. Computers are no longer the only device of choice for connecting to the Internet with the rise of mobile technology. Freshmen who enter college today don’t know the world without computers and the internet, and the generations that follow will likely not know the world without touch screen capabilities.

I consider myself a hybrid, generationally speaking, and my exposure to technology – I grew up in the world that is equal parts tech-driven and non-tech driven. However, as a professional in the field of education, I one-hundred percent adopt full digital citizenship. It is impossible to deny the relationship between education and technology in this age. And after reviewing the 2015 NMC Horizon Report for Higher Ed., the more I am convinced we must embrace the integration of technology into teaching and learning.

Our assignment this week was to review the current tech trends reported by NMC Horizon and to pick one trend of interest. There were so many intriguing topics to choose: BYOD, the Internet of Things, Flipped classroom and so on. I thought back to our Code of Ethics assignment and the Digital Divide, and some of the issues I came across at my current place of employment (a private university). And the more I reflected, the greater my interest rose in what I believe would be a first stepping stone for the issues at hand. Therefore, I chose Improving Digital Literacy. Digital Literacies, as stated by Northumbria University in their Digital Literacy guide, are:

“those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society.”

“Digital literacy looks beyond functional IT skills to describe a richer set of digital behaviours, practices and identities. What it means to be digitally literate changes over time and across contexts, so digital literacies are essentially a set of academic and professional situated practices supported by diverse and changing technologies”

For my artifact, I created a presentation using Prezi. It’s purpose will serve as an awareness  and implementation campaign to the university staff, for improving digital literacy. I begin the presentation with defining digital literacy, followed by a YouTube video. Then, I go over the details of Why Should We Care (with an additional video); Where do We Start; What’s the Scope for Action – Institutionally and in the Classroom; Another YouTube reinforcement video; What Can Staff Do Right Now; and in closing, a recap and time for Q & A. You can view my presentation here: Improving Digital Literacy.

If I had more time on this assignment, I would have included actual statistics and case studies. Hopefully, with the more I learn from this course and other courses I’m taking through Boise State MET program, I will someday be able to implement a proposal similar to the one I created, at my institution. I look forward to the possibilities!

b511c43a-0a91-447c-b39a-ef8e3854ea3e*The following resources were used for this post as well as my artifact:


Research Tools, APA Style and an Annotated Bibliography


Being a Secondary English Ed. major and former high school English teacher, research is an old familiar friend as well as a foe. I have a love-hate relationship with research… gathering information and learning interesting facts to support my arguments, brainstorming the draft of a term paper and devising clever, well-constructed paragraphs are oddly satisfying. But putting it all together, in a cohesive well-formatted, 10 to 30-page paper, in a timely manner, I strongly despise.

To complete our Week 4, Module 3 (Professional knowledge and Skills), we were assigned to learn and apply the use of research tools such as: Googe docs, Google Scholar, Zotero, Albertsons Library online (Boise State), and APA style. Our main artifact was to compose an Annotated Bibliography after conducting research using one or all of the tools we learned about. The topic of research was on any area of technology-supported instruction that was of particular interest to us. I choose to focus on the use of social media in teaching and learning. You can view my completed artifact here.

And in the spirit of annotated bibliography format, I have provided below a snapshot of each research tool we learned about:

imgres-1Google docs: Like many of the Google Applications, Google docs is free and web-based. It functions like any other word processing software to create, edit, and stores documents/files. Being web-based, files can be accessed on any device that has the ability to connect online. As a research tool, there are some useful features, such as: choosing a research format style (APA, MLA, Chicago); automatic citations of an online resource found in Google docs; and so on. To learn more about Google docs, visit Google docs support and for the research aspects, visit Google docs research.


Google scholar: Also free and web-based, Google scholar functions as a search engine that yield search results for both physical and digital copies of articles published. It will widely search within a variety of sources, such as university library databases and academic publishers. You can also use a filter option to find peer-reviewed articles. For more tips on using Google scholar, visit Google scholar tips.


Zotero: Another free resource, that functions as an open source reference management software. It’s an excellent tool to manage and organize research related material and bibliographic data. I can’t say that I explored all of the functionality of Zotero, but on the surface, it definitely serves as a great organizational research tool, housing all the research you’ve gathered. It can format your references, organize your resources and it also offers sharing capabilities I’ve also heard it’s a huge time-saver. For more information on how to use Zotero, visit the Zotero guide.


University Library: Albertsons Library is the library available to Boise State University students, both online and in person. Although portions of the library may not be available to non-students, university library’s are always an excellent primary resource tool for any kind of research. I would highly recommend tapping into the resources available to you at your local university.


APA style: is a format for academic documents such as books or journal articles. The format and all of its attributes can be found in a style guide known as the Publication Manual of the American Association of the American Psychological Association. APA style consists of rules and guidelines that a writer/publisher observes to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material for academic purposes. For free online information on how to use APA style, visit the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University.

All of the research above are but a few of the many tools a professional in the Education field, or any field really, can use for their research process. One tip I feel necessary to share, is to plan out your time well from conducting the research, to composing your document, to the editing and finally publishing. I did not anticipate taking as long as I did, to initially chose a topic, search for articles, review them, and compose the final product (an annotated bibliography). Lesson definitely learned for the next research project – start early and dedicate more time to the process!

Finally, as for the content/ area I chose for research: social media in education; I was pleased to have learned more about the concept as well as review the research supporting this idea. From the five articles I reviewed, here is what I concluded:

  1. Social media has the potential to be a useful new technology for enhancing and engaging learning.
  2. If used appropriately, it can be an excellent tool for class discussion/ forum in and out of the classroom.
  3. Currently, there are teachers in higher education who are actively using social media in the classroom and data shows it’s a positive teaching and learning resource for this generation of millennial communication.
  4. There are concerns amongst teachers and students on using social media in the curriculum and self-disclosure/ invading privacy. However, this is a small percentage in the grand scheme of data.
  5. For the past ten years, studies have been conducted to support the argument of integrating social media in education, however, there still is not enough to create a fully integrated curriculum across the content areas. Therefore, further research is strongly encouraged, especially in this digital age of teaching of learning.


RSS in Education

images-3    imgres-2

Hard to believe that Week 3, Module 3 has already come to a close! We are just about half way through our EDTECH 501 course and we’ve covered some great material thus far. Speaking of which, this week we learned all about “RSS” and “RSS Readers/ Aggregators.” What does RSS stand for?… “Really Simple Syndication.” Basically, there are sites online that have an RSS option (like the orange symbol shown above), so anyone can subscribe to it and keep updated with the most current content. You might be thinking, well how is that any different than following or subscribing to a site or blog? Well, the greatest difference or rather advantage of an RSS versus email subscription, is when used in conjunction with an RSS reader, like Feedly, all the content that you subscribed to comes straight to you in one news feed reader. It literally saves you time and eliminates the frustration of seeking out each site or just clicking on those individual email updates you get from following your favorite site. Here’s a great YouTube illustration of RSS and RSS readers in Plain English:

Another great feature to RSS versus email subscription is that you stay anonymous to the site your subscribing to, so you won’t have to worry about getting any spam emails.

On a personal level, I really love the “one stop shop” option where I can view all of my favorite blogs and news sites in one place. And on a professional level, it’s an excellent tool for research, not only for myself as an Educator, but for learners as well. I don’t have a lot of experience with other RSS readers, so I can’t honestly compare Feedly to anything else just yet. However, I do like the functionality of it so far. It’s free, very simple to set up and the interface is neat and simple to organize and navigate through. I also like that I can use it on my mobile devices. And I can even sync it with my Evernote account which I use quite often both personally and professionally.

Another interesting tool we learned about this week, that I failed to mention in my Digital Divide/Inequality post, was Google Alerts. It’s another excellent tool for having content brought straight to you and not having to relentlessly search the web for current articles on any given topic. It’s also easy to use, just type in a topic and enter your email address, and voila! You’ll soon receive notification emails on the content you are searching for that is current and whenever it’s published future online. Here’s some instructions if you’re interested in setting it up for yourself: Google Alerts.

imgres-1In response to what we learned with RSS and Readers like Feedly, our assigned artifact was to create a lesson plan including the use of RSS. I have to admit it took me a while to brainstorm and create this assignment. I wouldn’t way it was difficult, but it has been a while since I wrote a lesson plan! I’ve been away from the classroom, as a former Secondary English Lit. teacher for 5 years now. And initially I was going to draw from my knowledge as a high school English teacher in creating the lesson; but I didn’t think that would make sense with where I want to go in my career as a future Educational Technologist. My desire is to be able to instruct other teachers in their content areas and perhaps be a on site resource for students on integrating technology into teaching and learning. I’d also like to accomplish this in Higher Education, so with that in mind, I composed a lesson plan that would be appropriate for the collegiate level. You can view my lesson plan here: RSS in Education.

If I had more time, I would have met with some of the technology instructors in the Education department at the university where I currently work, to gather more info on actual lessons they have prepared for their Ed students; specifically I was interested in blogging in the classroom or research methods using digital resources like RSS. I’d also like to inquire how professors create lesson plans, which I am sure is quite a different process than creating one for the k-12 classroom.

Hope you enjoyed this post, and I encourage feedback, so feel free to leave me any comments about it!

=) L. B.


Tackling the Digital Divide and Inequality… plus Multimedia Reflections


Week 3 in EDTECH 501, wrapped up Module 2: “Ethical Practice in Educational Technology,” with a multimedia project on the Digital Divide and Inequality. We began our assignment with binge reading what the divide and inequality were about and it’s effects on education and society. I personally have never heard of the digital divide or inequality, but upon discovering its definition, I recognized it all too well.

In brief – the divide is a metaphor of sorts, describing a gap or even a gulf between those who have access to computers, the internet and/or information and communication technology. Common factors that attribute to the divide are age, race, gender, geographic location, educational background, and income status. However, the gap in the more recent years has been closing in with the cost of technology decreasing and accessibility of it increasing; the divide has shifted into an “inequality.” The divide or rather inequality of today, deals with those who have access to information or communication technology and how they gainfully use it. Factors that contribute to inequality include, technical means, autonomy, skill, social support and purpose.

So why should we care about this supposed divide or inequality? Simply put – how can we not? We live in a heavily permeated digital generation. Teaching, learning and just plain out surviving our current technologically submerged society – it is a must for everyone to be aware of accessibility and gainful usage of information and communication technology; especially those in the Education profession.

Despite the divide or inequality, task forces, such as the Office of Educational Technology at the U. S. Department of Ed., have taken an aggressive approach against this threat. They created a plan know as the National Education Technology Plan, in order to meet the learning needs of today’s digital generation. They have recognized the ever present emersion of technology in the daily lives of society and created a systematic approach to engage and power learning through technology. You can read more about the NETP here.

I’m encouraged by this plan and how our government is taking action against the divide/inequality with this revolutionary strategy. However, it is not just the plan that will close the gap, but rather those who are the hands and feet – us Educators, and more so, us Educational Technologists. I don’t think I could state it any better than how the NETP describes our role in the plans Introduction:

“Schools must be more than information factories; they must be incubators of exploration and invention. Educators must be more than information experts; they must be collaborators in learning, seeking new knowledge and constantly acquiring new skills alongside their students. Students must be fully engaged in school—intellectually, socially, and emotionally. This level of engagement requires the chance to work on interesting and relevant projects, the use of technology environments and resources, and access to an extended social network of adults and peers who support their intellectual growth…”

My hope is to be the kind of Educator described in this quote; one who inspires engaged learning, helping to mold the minds of this digital generation, those that follow and even the traditionally minded, non-digital generations.

imgresIn addition to what I learned about the digital divide and inequality globally and in education, I had to conduct some research with in my own community, identifying it locally. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am currently an audiovisual specialist at a private university and although I’m not in the classroom, my department interfaces with both the Professors and Learners. So I reached out to a few colleagues, faculty and staff to fill out a survey I created in google forms. I was only able to gather data from 4 people, but it was enough to give me a deeper knowledge of some of the digital inequalities in our own campus. I identified 3 specific issues and came up with 3 solutions for my project on Haiku Deck, an online presentation software. Here’s the final product: Digital Divide & Inequality: What are they and how do they effect us?

If I had more time, I would have included some charts and graphs into my presentation as well as more relatable statistics involving higher education. I would have also included more data from the survey I conducted at my university.

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 2.28.43 AMFinally, my last impression upon completing the digital divide/inequality project, is on the multimedia aspects. I was pleased to have learned more about using a presentation software I’ve never used before, like Haiku Deck. It has a few benefits, such as: being an online free software, having the capabilities to access free vivid images that represent the idea of each slide, and the concept of keeping the slides brief and less wordy by letting the images speak on their own. Conversely, their were a few limitations that were a bit frustrating. Such as not being able to embed videos or links, not being able to adjust the fonts on individual words or slides, a pop up prompt that every so often indicated I had a duplicate version, which I still don’t understand how it would duplicate, and not being able to have the undo function available. All and all it’s not a bad presentation tool, and I may consider using it again for certain projects, but I don’t find it to be robust multimedia, presentation software, like Keynote or PowerPoint.

GoogleFormLogoI also learned more about google forms, which I found extremely useful in creating a quick survey. I liked that it had options on how to share it, whether privately or publicly, and how it generated the template of the form easily, as well as charting the responses once they were submitted by whomever filled out your form. I would definitely use this again.

If you have any other multimedia software or app recommendations, I’d love to hear more about it! Leave me a comment with your suggestions or send me some feedback on what you thought about my presentation, reflections, or your own thoughts on the Digital Divide/ Inequality.

Code of Professional Ethics in Educational Technology

ethicsIn addition to my previous post/ assignment on Professional Ethics, part 2 of our Ethics Module was to discuss our personal understanding of Professional Ethics and to locate a real life scenario in our own communities.

I have to admit, it took me a while to pin point a particular ethical issue I’ve observed. Currently, I work in an audio visual department  that provides AV customer service support for the campus constituents, at a private university. Although I’m not directly in the classroom, my department often interfaces with either Educators or Learners. I had a point to draw from, it was just a matter of narrowing my scope. I sat with my supervisor and interviewed him so I could get a better idea of what educational technology support looked like at our university. And to my surprise, I discovered a laundry list of ethical violations against the AECT Code of Professional Ethics. I chose to focus on two particular scenarios, involving our Luddite population – you can read more about here.

This assignment was initially daunting, but it made me realize how important it is to be a professional who is dedicated to their personal development and craft. Having a set of standards, such as the AECT Code of Ethics, enables professionals in the field to adhere and comprehend the parameters of our responsibility to Education.

Finally, I am dare I say, excited about all the possibilities there are at my own workplace to take what is wrong, and to be able to be a part of making it right. I truly look forward to this road I’m on toward becoming a proficient Educational Technologist; a professional dedicated to the field, society, and the learner.

Fiction or Real Life? Potential Scenarios and their relationship to the AECT Code of Ethics

codeofethicsThis week in Module 2 of EDTECH 501, we were assigned the task of reading over the meaning of Educational Technology and to identify the AECT Code of Professional Ethics. In order to better understand the AECT Code of Ethics, we were to choose two fictional, yet very realistic scenarios that dealt with some sort of violation of the established ethics, create an analysis of the situation and post it to a forum for discussion among our classmates. Below you will find my chosen scenarios and conclusions in regard to how they adhere to the AECT Code of Ethics. Feel free to add any comments or insight to further the discussion!

I. Commitment to the, Ahem, Learner by Andrew R. J. Yeaman

A. Summary:

Susan McKinney, a high school media specialist, chose not to include certain controversial materials, that would go against her beliefs, in the library collection. Many students who would visit the library were unable to find the books they needed for assignments, such as the banned books project assigned by Janis Simpson, the AP English Teacher. Quite a few of the students had to resolve to spending their own money to purchase the books since they didn’t have access to them in the school library. Mrs. McKinney was adamant about her beliefs and not compromising her faith so much so, she complained to the principal about Mrs. Simpson’s banned book display to be set up in the foyer of the school. Mrs. McKinney was quite concerned that not only would the school patrons think she was involved with this and that she was a hypocrite, but her outside church friends and community would view her negatively as well.

B. AECT Code of Ethics:

Section 1 – Commitment to the Individual: Principle 2 “In fulfilling obligations to the individual, the member shall protect the individual rights of access to materials of varying points of view.”

C. My Analysis:

Although Mrs. McKinney had good intentions to not soil her reputation and in her attempt to supposedly protect students from controversial subjects, it is not her place to push her religious convictions on others. Additionally, her role as a educator/ media specialist is to assist the patrons with as many varying resources possible that will aid their educational needs. If there was a concern on appropriate content, she should have perhaps consulted with the teacher to inquire more about the project and possible concerns, and perhaps whether administration as well as parents approved. Furthermore, in relationship to the code of ethics, Section 1, Principle 2, as stated above, Mrs. Mckinney negated the student’s individual rights of access to materials that were of a different point of view, even though it conflicted with her own personal point of view. Mrs. Mckinney made a biased decision to aid her own reputation and not aid the educational needs of the individual learner.

D. Author’s Analysis:

In comparison to the author’s analysis, my analysis was quite similar in respect to defining the role of a media specialist as well as how the media specialist inhibited the patrons rights when censoring material. I found it revealing and interesting when the author additionally pointed out that media specialists are “obligated” to protect the students rights of having access to materials with varying points of view, despite their bias – much like a doctor who takes an oath must provide the best treatment to the patient, despite their bias. Furthermore, the author expressed how each school should have a selection policy in place to advise the patrons that the library will carry content with varying points of view. This policy along with a plan of action in the event outside controversial feelings arise, as well as an established advisory committee, will protect the educational institution, the media specialist, and more importantly the learner’s rights.

E. Reference:

AECT Publication: Commitment to the, Ahem, Learner


II. Sharing Network Security Information by Dian Walster

A. Summary:

Tony is a media specialist at a school, and also happens to be network coordinator. He was concerned with some network security breaches he had heard about and mentioned it to Principal Jackson at their weekly briefings meeting. After discussing the possible threat, Principal Jackson agreed to allow Tony to attend a conference on the matter so he can better prepare his knowledge on an area he admitted knew very little of. Upon his return he was to prepare a workshop for the faculty and students on all that he learned about network security. Tony was beside himself and unsure of how to share about all the things one would “not do” in regard to network security, that he learned at the conference. Principal Jackson, reiterated having the workshop for the faculty and students, even though it would reveal how to create security breaches in the network. Tony was not comfortable with proceeding.

B. AECT Code of Ethics:

Section 3, Principle 4: Commitment to the Profession “In fulfilling obligations to the profession, the member shall strive continually to improve professional knowledge and skill and to make available to patrons and colleagues the benefit of that person’s professional attainments.”

C. My Analysis:

Tony was wise to be transparent about his lack of knowledge in network security and also for making the request to receive the proper training on the matter or to expand and enhance his knowledge to better serve his colleagues as well as the students. I also commend the Principal for approving Tony’s request for growth and for the suggestion to continue spreading knowledge by requiring Tony to create a workshop that would make others aware of the threat. I believe that this will not only benefit the professional technologist’s personal growth but also as Section 3, Principle 4 states above, making the knowledge and skills learned by Tony, “available to the patrons and colleagues the benefit of that person’s professional attainments.” The only issue I observed with this scenario is the lack of guidance on the Principal’s part when Tony expressed his concerns upon returning, and Tony’s lack of initiative and creativity to make use of the material he acquired, even though it had the potential to make them vulnerable to a threat. Knowing the negative effects and all the ways to destroy a network is to Tony’s benefit, to be able to identify the issues more readily and create faster resolve. It is Tony’s responsibility to use the knowledge he received and create useful resources on “what to do” for his patrons based on the “what not to do.”

D. Author’s Analysis:

The author’s analysis was similar to my own, in respect to understanding as well as teaching others, to identify the threats, are of benefit. The author furthered what I concluded with, how many struggle with what information to share and with whom to share. One perspective is to tell only colleagues/ teachers so they are aware of the vulnerabilities and not the students. And another perspective is to include students so they themselves do not bring in the potential threat not only to the school but to themselves as well. Regardless of how much network threat info to provide and or to whom, this topic is a constant controversy, according to the author, and it requires thoughtful consideration.

E. Reference:

AECT Publication: Sharing Network Security Information


*Both scenarios can be found on the AECT website or in its original format from TechTrends, May/June 2009 and July/August 2007 issues.

Magical Macintosh


Cassette tapes, slide projectors, VHS players, floppy disks, and overhead projectors today, are apt to be found in a museum as outdated technology relics. But for some of us, including myself, they were part of our fondest childhood memories.

Personally, some of my earliest memories of educational technology dates back to the mid 80’s, when I was a little elementary school girl. I was entering 3rd maybe 4th grade?
And I’ll never forget touring the “gifted students” computer lab. It was filled with magical Macintosh desktop computers. I remember being fascinated by these square machines1984macintosh with the all too familiar colorful apple on it, and thinking “what do I need to do to get into this gifted program?” Because all I really cared about was getting on those computers! Sadly, I did not get into the program, but one summer school session I attended, the non-gifted students were allowed to go to the gifted computer lab to work on their math skills.

It truly seems like another lifetime where these now ancient artifacts were cutting edge to our child like minds. Without a doubt, the evolution of educational technology has dramatically changed not only in type of devices, but our lives and how we learn. Viva la evolution! We’ve come so far and quite honestly, I don’t think I could live without some of today’s tech luxuries (ipads, laptops, smart phones etc.)!

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