Blog Post #8: Interview Reactions

Select from one of the following options and answer the question(s) on your blog. Make sure to refer to topics discussed in the interview, and include a link to the interview in your post.

Option #4:

Listen the John Burns interview about creativity and innovation. Based on his interview and what you already know, answer the question, “What needs to be done at your school to ‘deprivatize practice’ at your school?” Or “How can you encourage change and innovation at your school?”

I have learned that creativity starts with a natural passion and curiosity. A striving towards a better version and expression of oneself. Change and innovation in any institution starts with leading by example and letting it catch on naturally. Once a movement has reached this level, it becomes a force that is difficult to ignore. As students become more passionate about creativity, excellence begins to follow.

Fundamental to creativity is harnessing the potential within the school. Building on these pieces, it’s important to create a culture of exemplary feedback and growth. In my current context as a 5th grade teacher, change and innovation would be encouraged by starting small,utilizing my small PLC and slowly move into vertical alignment. Essential to this is using technology and social media as a way to connect with others and continually learn from others.

Focusing in on collective teamwork and targeted growth is required. Self driven and voluntary work will help things blossom from there. Do not force others to do things. Walt Disney put it best “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal” ( When we can channel the efforts of others towards an unrelenting and concrete vision, the possibilities for creativity to thrive are endless. After all, we must keep moving forward and embrace the future.


Image retrieved from: Wiki Media Flickr



Disney, W. (2017). Walt disney quotes. Brainy Quotes. Retrieved from

Wittko, D. (2014). Walt Disney – “Keep Moving Forward”. Retrieved from


Blog Post #7: Your Personal Inquiry

Revisit your Personal Inquiry question. Using this module’s Learning Target as a lens, connect your Inquiry question to classroom learning and instruction. As a leader, identify 1 element of change that you believe is important and explain by referencing to your context. Draw on any course materials and independent research to inform.

How can technology integration create an emotionally supportive classroom environment of self actualization for kids and adults?

Using applications such as The Work by Byron Katie, students can work through conflicts with other students or even with negative self talk. As students self reflect on their emotional and social challenges, they can have the tools at their fingertips to build a stronger self image. As a 5th grade teacher, my colleagues and I teach human growth and development, which covers the basics of puberty and the changes that happen in growing up. If left unchecked, social and emotional issues will grow leaving students frustrated without support and guidance.

One element that is important for sustained change is to improve upon refinement and integration opportunities of initiatives. Specifically, as we roll out programs and lessons to students, such as a read aloud of this children’s book followed by a fish bowl of how our thoughts are powerful, there needs to be quarterly professional development opportunities for teachers to learn from experts and improve their craft with the change initiative.  For example, as we continue with human growth and development lessons, specific targeted PD for the social and emotional needs of our students and individual teachers, could help us to improve our pedagogy further.


Image retrieved by: Wikimedia Commons



Katie, B. (2017). The Work: Apps. Retrieved from

Katie, B.  & Wilhelm, W. (2016). The Four Questions for Henny Penny and Anybody with Stressful Thoughts—Byron Katie with Hans Wilhelm. New York: Penguin Random House LLC.

Blog Post #6 SAMR

Watch Ruben Puentedura explain the SAMR model for classroom technology use.

Now read Teacher Paul’s analysis of Puentedura’s presentation.

Describe a lesson you have observed or taught that would be classified by Dr. Puentedura as “redefinition.” If you have never witnessed this type of lesson, describe a “modification” lesson. If you have not witnessed either, explain why you think this level of technology integration is not happening at your school. Feel free to share any resources for this lesson that would be useful to others.

Does Paul Swanson’s analysis of SAMR  assist your own understanding about the role of technology?

What connections can you make to your Personal Inquiry for this course?

After reading the article and watching Puentedura explain the model, I reflected on my lessons in the classroom. I feel like the potential to offer “redefinition” caliber lessons is there, but I am not sure how to get there more often in all content areas.

Mr. Swanson’s analysis of SAMR was appreciated as many myths were shattered and alternate perspectives brought a new insight. After all, Lou Bond asked “Why must our eyes always be turned backwards”. Learning from others and leaving the ego behind can help students and adults in ways beyond words.

Science comes to mind as an example lesson where “redefinition” came into play. During our Engineering lessons, students were given a general challenge such as “Design a paper airplane that can strike the center of a target that is 15 feet away.” Typically, the lesson would start with an engaging video that would peak students interest. After, I explain to students that they may work with their table groups or on their own. Technology was not allowed, as I wanted to create an environment where students would collaborate with one another and learn from strengths and weaknesses.

Surprisingly, some students did not know how to build or throw a paper airplane, which encouraged them to collaborate and bring their strengths forward. Next, the challenge and limited materials would be provided to students. The students would have a twenty minutes to draft and design a prototype they would test. The special piece was that each group had a radically different approach to building a plane. Within this environment students were able to gather a new perspective from classmates towards engineering.



Image retrieved from: Wikimedia Commons

Blog Post #4: Leadership Practices and Beliefs

Listen to the Eric Sheninger interview on leadership and post your reactions one or more of the following beliefs/practices:

  • Problem solving
  • Student involvement

What connections do you make to your Central Inquiry? What connections do you make between your context and the role of technology? What excites you? What concerns you?

Sheninger (2016) is a strong leader that increased achievement and revolutionized his colleagues and students world. Problem solving is like climbing Denali or the “Tall One”. Expectations are high from stakeholders and overcoming the gap boils down to how you model yourself to others. Learning from our own mistakes and seeking out answers to problems is how a first step. The attitude to overcome problems, the ability to take risks and accepting failure can also help to guide us towards solving problems.

Connections to my inquiry are in Sheninger’s (2016) fulfilled passion with teaching marine biology. A similarity I feel is that he is seeking to transform and have positive impacts on students through pursuing his passions. A main goal is to ensure students have the skill set and tools to cope with social and emotional problems they face.

My context and role with technology as a 5th grade teacher is similar. Bringing passions into the classroom with personal experiences and technology as a tool to enhance that opens up many possibilities. I feel when there is a healthy environment where mistakes are welcomed, then growth can occur. In the Power of Vulnerability by Riveros-Ruenes (2016), she notes that we need to share difficulties to work together and overcome challenges.

Learning by example is who I am. I have shown students my vulnerabilities and am honest with them that it isn’t easy. In the process, students are able to grow, as they are less hesitant to dive into a new change, because fear and judgment are reduced. Working smarter, questioning what has been done and becoming efficient sounds great, but a concern is for people that fear change. Even if the change is powerful intrinsically for most, the challenge is getting all to shift. It takes time.


Image retrieved by: Wikimedia Commons


Riveros-Reuenes, C. (2016). The Power of Vulnerability in Professional Development. Retrieved from

Blog Post #3: Managing the Overflow with Values

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How is the ever changing world of technology impacting schools and school leaders?

Kate’s Thoughts: 

Changes in technology impact information literacy in libraries. Platforms change rapidly and major technology companies are working together. Conglomerates are forming, which is good, but then you develop a monopoly. One company has the right to tech pieces you need. Nothing static about our users, we are learning with our users at the same time as it unfolds. Connecting kids with websites and databases is great, because then it allows kids to explore new sources and find new things. Endless opportunities are available. The implication of how it impacts leaders is we need to figure out where we are going to put our money. All of these companies monopolize and adjust. All of this information and resources are flowing out like a broken faucet and we need to be able to understand the flow and manage it better.


Image retrieved from: Wikimedia Commons

My thoughts:

It is forcing leaders to adapt and let go more quickly. School leaders must hold true to their values and be wary of competition It’s easy to fall into the trap of following a new technology fad, but it’s important to be mindful of its consequences and support with evidence must be present. Values are important moving forward as the world changes so rapidly. Think of Toyota as an example as a strong company with excellent values.


Update #2

Revisit your Personal Inquiry question you posted at the end of Module 1 and compose a blog post that reflects your current thinking and progress about your context, role of leadership, and the role of technology. What connections are you making between your own Inquiry and those of your cohort colleagues?

To guide you in this task:

  • Clarify, modify, redraft your question or topic.
  • What resources will you need to take your learning forward and briefly summarise why?
  • What are the challenges and what are the opportunities? What are the connections between leadership in the field of educational technology?
  • Simply link in your resources if you are ready to do this, including any course materials that are valuable.

How can technology integration create an emotionally supportive classroom environment of self actualization for kids and adults?

My context as a teacher has shifted in creating an environment for students to collaborate on meaningful activities and assignments.

Resources needed to take my learning forward will be self reflection tools such as The Work by Byron Katie. Using applications and Video lessons from these two authors will help students and adults with conflict resolution skills and being aware of negative self talk that restricts their growth towards set actualization.

The challenges with any self awareness tool or program is that it takes a lot of time to reduce anxiety and negative self talk. Likewise, conflict resolution is not an easy fix, as adults still do not get along with each other. If done well, the opportunities for a more inviting classroom environment and opportunities to thrive in educational endeavours are endless.

In a recent edutopia article by Vanessa Vega (2017), we learned that instruction around social and emotional learning can impact academic success. Although there is not an explicit connection to technology; I believe there are mindfulness applications and web based activities that can further support this area.

A connection I had with Barbara was connecting with other students outside with technology as a medium. By watching The Work in action with other students, the students in my classroom can learn and emulate the process.

My role as a leader amongst my colleagues is changing. Not only positive, but an awareness of negative thoughts is needed in teamwork. With timely revisions and engaging use of Google Slides, I take immediate feedback from students on how to improve each lesson. An environment of constant improvement exposes my vulnerabilities as a teacher to students which shows them firsthand everyone can improve.


Image retrieved from: Byron Katie via Wikimedia Commons


Vega, V. (2017). Social and Emotional Learning Research Review. Retrieved from

Katie, B. (2017). The Work: Tools To Do The Work. Retrieved from

Discussion 2

Post your reactions and significant takeaways to your blog. Make references to what was said by these speakers.

Will Richardson’s discussion around responses and changes in schools to future technology use is huge. Networks being the new classroom is fascinating to me. The Minecraft sample is a phenomenal learning tool and the drive that comes with that curiosity can springboard students into a new learning adventure and build towards self actualization in the classroom.

“Could it be that we do not need to go to school at all?” Says Sugata Mitra. Knowing seems to be obsolete. Similar with Tony Wagner, we are learning that encouragement and a positive curiosity can open up new worlds. Now more than ever we need to be positive. Punishment and exams threaten students and can restrict performance for them. Community, encouragement and positivity are needed to help grow our students, which is a firm belief in my inquiry. Technology can be used to bring humans together and bring out the best in each other. It truly is a magnificent tool with endless possibilities.

Sal Khan’s reinventing education was exciting. I love the data component and feedback from Khan academy.  This can help teachers and students immediately pinpoint areas that they need help with. This is a perfect resource for parents and students alike to continue to grow in a collaborative one world classroom in our step towards a positive community.

Blog Post 2: Technology Plan

Thinking about your own school and if appropriate and possible, your own specific context, imagine you are in charge of developing the technology plan. Which of the following areas of the plan do you feel least confident in implementing: tools, personnel, pedagogy, or professional learning?  Listen to the interview and briefly explain the area you feel least confident in implementing and explain what area of the technology plan you would develop first, citing the interview to support your position.

*Make sure you connect to the interview in your post.

A major pitfall of my use with technology is that I dive in right away. It’s important to think about the big picture and the process before using things. I feel the least confident in pedagogy. As a relatively new teacher of three years experience, I tend to dive in without taking time and patience. Pedagogy is very important and I need to take time to develop my pedagogy.

I would start with the standards. As cited in the interview (12:30), we need to know ahead of time what standards exist and what implementation looks like in the classroom. Also, that the standards are really the base of any technology plan. Teachers are able to see the progression of learning and it provides an appropriate guide of their pedagogy. “It’s not an easy conversation of putting devices in the classroom to start with standards, but it needs to happen.” explains Dion. With a link to standards teachers can feel more confident and having a roadmap to what implementation of technology looks like.

As a 5th grade teacher, our students have 2:1 devices, which are Macbook Pros and iPads for each student. With this context in mind, I feel like I need to improve my pedagogy. Starting with less paper. According to Shelly Plock (2014) in her article 21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020, “Schools will decrease their paper consumption by no less than 90%.”  Our school has a fantastic Tech team with a Loft area offering workshops for teachers to improve their practice and ways to digitize all information. A solution would be watching an exemplar lesson, with standards for support, of a clear cut technology plan and efficient methods that teachers can immediately bring into their classroom.

Image retrieved from:



Plock, S. (2012). 21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020. Retreived from

Education Vanguard Interview (2015). Mike, Dion and Egmond Share Their Ideas for Building a Successful Technology Education Program | Education Vanguard # 36. Retrieved from  

Blog Post 1: School Change and Leadership

Referencing the Task 1 Schoology Discussion, what experiences do you have with school change and how has this influenced your pedagogies and beliefs around leadership? Guiding questions to think through this prompt: Have you initiated any changes? What did you do and what happened as a result? What were some of the unintended outcomes?

In recently completing my third year of teaching at SAS, I have learned that change is life. More specifically, people continue to change, adapt, and adjust towards the future. It is vital to let go and adjust before being left behind. It reminds me of many business ventures, such as Kodak struggling to let go and adapt to the digital camera era How Kodak Failed (Forbes, 2012).

At it’s core, leadership is adaptive to the situation, but also maintains a strong value of community, commitment to a vision and efficient use of time. I have changed how I lead in my classroom with students as a result of the consistent changes at SAS. Technology is utilised more frequently and I have pushed to have paper waste reduced.

Changes initiated include an idea during our PLC meeting. I realized that students in writing did not have access to quick mentor texts or exemplars when conferring with teachers. I proposed a change in our meaning to create a digital student resource via Google Drive for our team to use with students. For example, there would be a folder with student or author examples from introductions, to body paragraphs, to conclusions or even elaboration. This helped our team to give students immediate access to exemplars on their devices. As a result, students were able to produce better writing, as they had samples to guide them when they felt stuck.


Image found at

Home Sweet Home

Myself and multiple teachers from around the country (Oregon, New York, Michigan to name a few) arrived in Singapore early Sunday July 20th at 3:30am. We each had a unique route, but the important thing is that everyone made it safe and sound.

My Route:
Friday July 18: Chicago-Minneapolis (1.5 hrs)
Saturday July 19: Minneapolis-Tokyo (12 hrs)
Sunday July 20: Tokyo-Singapore (7 hrs)

After a wake up morning stroll, always with a chai tea, it was surreal to soak in my new home. Singapore is absolutely breath taking.

Check out the view from my hotel room!

Relaxing poolside.

Downtown Singapore-Marina Bay

The Merlion

Cannon Ball Tree

View from Lunch

Life is Great,