In 2015, I completed a Master of Arts degree in Educational Technology through Michigan State University’s College of Education. Here I offer a bit of my experience in each course.
The “CEP” before the course number stands for “Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education,” the name of the department in the College of Education.”
CEP 800: Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings
In CEP 800, I learned a broad overview of learning theories and how to understand student understanding. I evaluated technologies for teaching and learning and I studied how to craft powerful learning experiences, immersion, and supporting special needs. I created multimodal pieces of work including an audio interview a digital storytelling piece. For the final project of this course I conducted an action research project; I planned and implemented a staff meeting plan that used technology to facilitate a collaborative mind-mapping activity.
CEP 822: Approaches to Educational Research
In CEP 822, I learned a broad overview of research methods for education, including literature review, qualitative methods, quantitative methods, and statistical analysis. I completed short projects to evaluate research designs, explore research ethics, and examine both external and internal research validity. I designed and conducted a survey, which included collecting, coding, and analyzing data. I used Microsoft Excel for basic statistical analysis of datasets, including graphing, means and standard deviations, z-scores (standardized variables), t-tests, correlation, and probability. For the final project of this course I completed a research review project of the intersection of college undergraduates, money, and technology.
CEP 815: Technology and Leadership
In CEP 815, I learned at the intersection of Harvard Business Review leadership practices and strategic technology uses for learning. I learned the difference between instrumental and missional thinking, that is, the difference between using a technology for its own sake (focused on the instrument) and selecting technologies as tools to solve specific problems (focused on the mission). I was introduced to two powerful tools for evaluating educational technologies, TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) and SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition). I compiled a personal manifesto, a collection of resources that have been essential to my professional work as a startup leader of ministry in digital spaces. For the final project of this course I wrote a paper that included a policy brief, a literature review, a synthesis of learning, and a sustainability statement for ministry in digital spaces.
CEP 818: Creativity in Teaching and Learning
In CEP 818, I learned about using creative thinking tools for teaching and learning experiences that are NEW (Novel, Effective, and Whole). I practiced quite a bit of video editing as I made digital storytelling pieces for each of these creative thinking tools in order to examine community from many angles. I perceived community through the lens of an iconic dinner party, I looked at the patterns of community as communication spreads in a nonlinear, patchwork saturation effect, and I abstracted community into the resiliency of a wave and ripples. I reflected on how community is embodied while talking on the phone (smiles, stress, and so on), I modeled community through the effects of mediated communication, and I created an opportunity to play with the idea of mediated communication by developing a videogame. For the final project of this course I wrote a created a final video for an elevator pitch and wrote a synthesis white paper summarizing how these new understandings about community inform ministry in digital spaces.
CEP 817: Learning Technology through Design
In CEP 817, I learned at the intersection of the Stanford Design Model and educational technology. Throughout the entire course I used Stanford’s toolkit of design methods to explore the problem of young staff learning ministry in digital spaces. I empathized with these young staff by conducting interviews and observing social media, and I defined the problem through a root-cause analysis and a why-how ladder. I ideated possibilities through both active and passive techniques, and I created a paper prototype for a mobile app that would provide personal coaching to young staff. I turned the paper prototype into a digital one using Twine, and invited a handful of staff to test it. For the final project of this course I wrote a design report that reflected on what each step of the design process taught me about this problem of practice.
CEP 811: Adapting Innovative Technologies to Education
In CEP 811, I learned how to use the act of making to develop compelling teaching and learning. I studied the Makers Movement and makerspaces, looking at learning theories in the work of remixing and repurposing. I learned how to use the Raspberry Pi and the possibilities it creates for designing learning experiences. For the final project of this course I wrote a reflection paper to summarize what I had learned from making with the Raspberry Pi.
CEP 807: Capstone in Educational Technology
In CEP 807, I learned about professional portfolios and web development, including FTP, HTML, PHP, and CSS. I wrote three reflections on my Master’s program experience: revisiting my original goals for the program, planning my future learning goals, and synthesizing everything I learned from these courses. I curated all my academic work into a showcase of my nine best projects and an extended gallery of all my digital projects. I significantly improved my social media presence through a resume on my website, a list of technological tools I regularly use, and my Linkedin and about.me profiles. For the final project of this course I compiled all of these pieces into a digital portfolio on a self-hosted Wordpress website.