Technology Infusion Portfolio
The Technology Infusion Portfolio demonstrates that I can collaborate effectively; plan, design, and model effective learning environments; and plan and implement professional experiences required of a technology leader; it references all of the outcomes in ISTE NETS-C 1 through 4, NETS-C 6.
Knowledge of the Educational Technology Field
Deepening my knowledge and connection to the larger educational technology field has been a goal of mine since beginning the EDMT program at Eastern Michigan University. I have had a wide variety of experiences during the program that helped develop this deeper understanding.
One example of this was a “Tech Talk” assignment during EDMT627. I had the privilege of attending a half-day pre-conference seminar with Sylvia Libow-Martinez, co-author of “Invent to Learn”, during the 2015 MACUL conference. “Invent to Learn” is one of the most important recent texts on the Maker movement in education. She followed up this session with a one-hour overview of the Maker movement during the main conference, giving a thoughtful and insightful description of the way the new tools, technology, and pedagogy of the Maker movement are affecting traditional educational technology thinking.
My Tech Talk write-up of Sylvia Libow-Martinez’s presentation can be downloaded as a PDF.
There were a series of assignments in EDMT653 that also expanded my knowledge of the educational technology field. Several good examples of these are the biography overview of John Seely Brown created for the “choose a conference keynote speaker” assignment”, as well as an assignment that required an evaluation of the current NP endorsement benchmarks.
Understanding of Technology Infusion
Creating a student-centered classroom that includes pedagogically sound technology infusion has been a focus of mine since becoming a teacher, and there were a number of opportunities to expand on both my tool set and my understanding of what appropriate technology infusion looks like.
Tackling the important issues in technology infusion began in my first class in the program, EDMT602. For Assignment 8 in EDMT602, I wrote a paper entitled “Technology Infusion and the Student-Centered Classroom”, which laid out my thinking about the current state of technology infusion and thought through ways in which this could be expanded and improved.
Teaching technology skills to students
Teaching technology skills to students also started in the EDMT program with the very first class, EDMT602. For Assignment 7, I used PowerPoint to create an interactive learning module called ”Using your digital camera”, designed to teach students how to effectively use the various settings on a digital camera to create the best photos possible.
I also created an NTeQ lesson plan during EDMT602, which laid out plans for students to use a wide variety of technologies and skills as they planned a sustainable house design.
Productivity and communications
In EDMT632, I used Apple’s Pages software (part of the iWork suite) to create a variety of products. For example, I created a one-page overview which briefly described me, my skills using productivity software, and my goals for the course.You can download this as a PDF file [121KB] or a ZIP file containing the original Pages document [247KB].
During EDMT632, I also wrote a lengthy article about the Raspberry Pi, a low-cost computing platform designed for students, teachers, and maker. A presentation based on the topics raised in the paper was accepted and delivered at the 2014 MACUL conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This presentation was prepared in Apple Keynote, which is my preferred presentation software, due to its ease of use, beautiful templates, and subtle cues to help designers align elements properly.
I worked closely with Dr. Copeland as a teaching assistant during EDMT623 in the summer of 2015. Because of my extensive background in multimedia authoring and design, I had the opportunity to help her transition her instructional design curriculum from older software to Scratch, a free, Web-based tool that is widely used by schools to teach computational thinking and programming.
As part of my teaching work with Dr. Copeland, I produced a number of example projects, designed to show how to accomplish a variety of common tasks within Scratch, such as choosing items from a menu and animating objects. These example projects can be found here:
I also conducted and recorded an hour-long Web-based training session and offered discussion-based help to fellow students as they built out their Scratch projects for the course.
Hardware, software and facilities management
There were a number of different opportunities to learn about different hardware and software, and to think critically about how assets should be managed in the context of educational technology initiatives. Several projects from my coursework that focus on these topics are highlighted below.
The need to track and understand the breadth of technology assets used in a school setting began in EDMT602 with a Hardware/Software inventory assignment. I used the current technology assets I managed at Honey Creek at the time as the basis for this inventory.
During EDMT627, there were also opportunities to review a variety of trade books focused on technical topics. My two book reviews are listed below:
One strength of the EDMT program is the use of the educational technology’s research base to inform and challenge students. Two projects stood out in particular in this area of the program.
I first became deeply involved with understanding and using research during EDMT603. The culminating project for this course was an extensive literature review. This was my first time delving into research with a focus on understanding the breadth of what the literature said on a given topic, and gaining the experience of conducting a literature review set the stage for much future research-based work in the program.
You can read my Literature Review on Professional Development as a PDF.
During EDPS687, I spend an extremely intense semester focused on understanding Qualitative Research, a topic about which I had very limited exposure prior to this course. Most of the research I had encountered until this point had been quantitative, and this course proved to be a huge eye-opener to the world of qualitative and non-traditional research topics and methods.
I am very proud of the work I did for this course, which focused on the idea of understanding the K-12 educational experiences of adults who define themselves as Makers. I used my professional learning network, including my YouTube channel, to draw in a diverse group of research participants. You can see my call for interviews below:
During the research process, I first learned about the human subjects process, including completing courses in appropriate human subject interviewing, participant selection, and data handling. I interviewed six adults, recording our conversations through the Google Hangout video conferencing software, then transcribed approximately six hours of interview audio using MaxQDA software. This software allowed me to highlight and keyword passages for later use in performing thematic analysis.
I am deeply proud of the work I produced for this course. It was challenging and frustrating at times, but I walked away from it with a far deeper understanding of both the research process and myself as a researcher.
My final paper for EDPS687 is available here: Bill Van Loo: Makers and K-12 Education.
Leadership, program planning and the change process
As the Technology Specialist for Honey Creek Community School from 2007-2014, I was responsible for creating and submitting the school’s 3-year technology plan to the State of Michigan’s Department of Education. For the 2012-2015 technology plan, I assembled a group of parents, teachers and administrative staff to update our previous plan. We used Google Docs to collaboratively update and share this lengthy (45 page) document during its creation and editing process.
You can download the 2012-2015 Technology Plan [999 KB] from the Honey Creek web site as a PDF file. Because of my extensive background working as the technology director for Honey Creek and writing our actual MDE-approved technology plans, I was allowed to submit this work as part of my portfolio of work for EDMT632.
During the EDMT627 course taught by Dr. Copeland, we were required to complete a group project which involved designing the technology implementation plan for a school. This was a multi-phase project designed to carefully consider the needs, budget, and desired use for technology implementation in a school setting. This was was heavily informed by my experiences creating the actual Honey Creek technology plans, and I was able to bring that experience to my group as we carefully worked through each phase of the planning process.
One part of this project that I was particularly proud of was the work I did individually in considering a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. My position paper on BYOD policy can be found here.
Professional development and online learning, as participant,designer and facilitator
Participating in the EDMT program has offered me a variety of opportunities for participating in, as well as designing and facilitating, professional development and online learning. Several particularly notable examples are listed below.
I also prepared a similar overview of the Canvas LMS, which I presented to my fellow students via Blackboard Connect. During both of these sessions, I talked through the topics, shared my screen to show live examples, and answered questions via chat.
After taking EDMT602 myself, I was approached by Dr. Copeland to help deliver an updated module for the course focused on the Maker movement in education. I spoke with her students about my experiences integrating Maker projects into the curriculum during several subsequent iterations of the course, most recently in November 2015.
During these sessions, I guided the EDMT602 students through an outline I prepared and shared, and answering questions via live chat. These were always great experiences, and gave me a great sense of community in being able to help build up future EDMT graduates with what I was able to share.
My Maker Education outline is available to view here.
4T Virtual Conference
I was honored to be chosen as the closing keynote presenter for the 4T Virtual Conference for 2016. This session was held on Monday, May 23, 2016, and was delivered completely online for an audience of teachers from Michigan and around the country. I was honored to be able to represent the EDMT program during this opportunity!
More information on my presentation is available at the 4T Virtual Conference site.
I have been an active Twitter user since March 2011, tweeting as @billvanlooteach. I began using Twitter the day after attending the Thursday session of the MACUL conference in 2011. Since I was unable to attend the Friday session, I signed up for Twitter to stay connected to the happenings at the conference, and have been actively using it since.
I often tell other educators that Twitter has, to some degree, replaced Google Reader (itself now replaced by Feedly) and RSS feeds as my primary Professional Learning Network (PLN). It has become essential to how I grow my teaching practice, and I constantly rely on the resources and professional connections it offers.