EdTech 533 YouTube for Educators Reflection

YouTube for Educators is an elective course I chose to take to meet the requirements for the MET program at Boise State University.  This course proved to be more challenging than I ever thought it would have been. I learn a lot and plan to implement as much as possible into my classrooms!  The following is my reflection on the course that I submitted as part of my final grade for the course. At the end is a link to my YouTube channel where my artifacts from this course can be found.

As the fall 2016 semester ends, I think back to what I have learned and gained from my EdTech 533 YouTube for Educators course. Overall, I loved this class and would not mind taking another one if possible. Dr. Snelson made it easy to follow in Moodle by having due dates stated in easy to find locations and by providing guidebooks for every lesson. For me, the guidebooks are what helped me get through this course. With the inclusion of video tutorials and step-by-step instructions Dr. Snelson was highly methodically in providing everything a student will need and/or encounter in the course.

In the final essay, the class was asked to answer a few questions. Here are the questions with my answers:

  • What were the three most important things I learned this semester?

The three most important things I learned this semester were:

Copy Rights – learning about how important it is to obey copyright laws in creating videos and how to find a license to determine if I could reuse it was one of the most beneficial things I will take away from this class. I have already begun incorporating it into my current classroom.

Video Captions – an educator I need to make sure that all of my students have the same opportunity to be able to understand and learn from any and all methods I use in my class. Providing captions is just a small thing to add to all videos to help ensure I reach each and every student.

Creating a playlist in YouTube – I absolutely love how I can find videos for a certain subject or lesson and curate them into a file that will house them together. I have already used this option several times in my current classroom.  In teaching Language Arts I can find videos for all parts of speeches, on fiction and nonfiction information, elements of a plot, etc. and share the list with my students as supplemental material or use them in class!

  • Has my opinion of YouTube in education changed or remained the same? Describe three or more specific examples.

The short answer to this question is Yes! Before this class, I could “kinda” see the relevance of YouTube, but due to some content not being suitable for some students I was highly hesitant to use. My opinion has changed because I can see how I can actually incorporate it into my classroom. A couple of examples would be to create a page for each class. This would create a space for the students to be able to upload their creations throughout the year in one location. Students would then be able to use a shareable link to possibly distribute to a bigger audience. Another example would be to pick out a video and stop it before it ends and have the students create a new ending based off of what was previously shown. A final example would be to use YouTube to compare and contrast two different dragon videos or to pick out traits of the characters.

  • What have I learned about media literacy and how will that information impact me as an educator? In your response, discuss three or more core competencies of media literacy: access, analyze, evaluate, reflect, or act.

What I have learned about media literacy is allowing for options in a classroom is key. In providing access to many types of media, the students can then analyze each option to determine what would work best for them. By giving the students the responsibility of evaluating the media it provides them the opportunity to think in a critical manner to help themselves be prosperous. Developing critical thinking skills in using all types of media is essential to being college and career ready.

  • In what specific ways will I use the projects, skills, or ideas from this course in my teaching or training? (If not currently a teacher how might you use what you have learned?)

I will be utilizing what I have learned in this course in many ways. I have already incorporated the short-form educational video in my classroom. My students recently had a biography project where they had to complete research on an author of their choice and then create a presentation on them. Many of my honor students chose to use Powtoons because of the animation ability it provided. I can absolutely see how my skills I gained with the mini documentary will and should come into play. Stressing the importance of being a good digital citizen by checking copyright licenses and practicing safe use strategies alone will be most beneficial to them.

I would like to incorporate the use of a Vlog, whether by me, in the form if a daily or weekly newsletter-like item, or by my students where they have to keep a vlog about their daily or weekly assignments (I am thinking more along the lines of a video journal). This will help accomplish many underlining items such as confidence in front of a camera and speaking and enunciating clearly.

Our media literacy assignment gave me several ideas on how to get my students to think in a more synthesized manner. By thinking outside the box I could use videos to help teach such things as characterization by having them identify indirect and direct from an excerpt from a movie; elements of a plot, have them fill in a plot diagram identifying where the different elements take place in a short video, and compare and contrast internal and external conflict.

  • Select at least three of the projects you created this semester and read the description of the related AECT standard. Then answer this question: How do these projects demonstrate my mastery of the AECT standards?

The mini-documentary and short-form educational video demonstrates my mastery of the AECT Standard 3 in Ethics because we had to provide attributions on items such as video footage, pictures, or text we did not create ourselves.  It showed how plagiarism can be very easy in video creation if one does not take the time to take the proper channels in ensuring sources were cited correctly.

Vlog with captions demonstrates my mastery of the AECT Standard 3 in Diversity of Learners because it was created with a certain level of students (6th graders) in mind and that was intended to be able to reach the many different ways a student can learn. It is an excellent method to use for those learners that are more visual and hands-on ordinated.

The media literacy assignment demonstrates my mastery of the AECT Standard 4 in Assessing/Evaluating because I had evaluated videos that would fit into my topic of study. In evaluating the videos I had to keep in mind my topic and key points I wanted to convey to my students but I also needed to keep my target audience in mind. Meaning, I needed to find videos that would keep my students focused whether it was through animation and/or music and pertained the correct content.

My EdTech 533 YouTube Channel

Sylvia Plath mini-documentary




Theoretical Foundations of Educational Technology Ed Tech 504

In my Ed Tech 504 Theoretical Foundations of Educational Technology class we have been very busy researching different educational theories. These theories are the backbone of every teachers teaching methodology. I currently feel better knowing the principles behind some of these theories because it gives me a foundation upon which to build and help my students achieve better success in my classes. The following is my reflection of this course and what I have learned.

  1. What were the most important things I learned this semester?

One of the most important things I learned this semester is that educational theory is the backbone of every teacher’s curriculum. How one chooses to deliver the content is influenced by a theory or in some cases it could be multiple theories. My very own teaching style falls in line with the theories of constructivism and constructionism. However, after completing my research on the theory of connectivism, I find myself wanting to hon in on how it says students store, gain, and retrieve knowledge somehow incorporate the principles into my classroom.

2. How was my teaching (or thoughts about teaching) impacted by what I learned or experienced this semester?

My way of thinking has changed in that I am more aware of the different educational theories and how they truly impact a classroom. My research paper was on connectivism and how is has changed distance learning.  According to George Siemens, “ Learning….is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important that out current state of knowing” (2004, Connectivism section, para. 1).  I want to focus on how my students can make these connections and create an environment where the teacher is the facilitator.

  1. Did I (or will I) use the projects, skills, or ideas from this course in my teaching, training, or professional practice? If so, how?

I know I will most definitely use the ideas I have learned in this class and try to utilize them in the classroom. The discovery of how much of a role educational theory plays in a teacher’s foundational approach to their classroom had been enlightening. My hope is to be able to implement a connectivist-type classroom when I return to a classroom. The idea that students gain knowledge not only from the teacher and fellow students, but the connectivism theory includes knowledge gained and stored software and other digital resources as well.

  1. Select three of the projects/assignments you created/wrote in this class and read the description of the related AECT standard. Then answer this question: How do these projects/assignments demonstrate my mastery of the AECT standards?

My assignments of writing a paper on a learning theory, creating an annotated bibliography, and the writing a final synthesized paper demonstrates my mastery of the AECT Standards 1.2, 1.3, 5.1, and 5.3. Through my research on the learning theories of constructionism and connectivism I learned how to evaluate and assess resources that are credible and beneficial. I also feel that I have learned a significant amount of information to be able to thoroughly demonstrate my knowledge of how and why learning theories came to be. I am more confident in my ability to better align my teaching methods with these theories and fully understand how they can/could impact my students, if executed correctly.

Artifacts for this course:

Learning Theory Paper

Annotated Bibliography

Final Synthesis Paper


Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A theory for the digital age. Retrieved from


Final Reflection for 541

EdTech 541 is coming to a close…..and with this I have looked backed and realized how much I have gained in the course of a few months. Mainly, my mind set on what constitutes as Technology! This class was not always easy for me…..many because I am not currently in a classroom. I stressed many of these past weeks trying to make sure I met the criteria of the artifact(s) guidelines and to make sure I had chosen the right tools and planned a good lesson; not to forget the research I needed to do weekly for my blog entries. Overall, I firmly believe the stress was worth it….below you will find my final reflection on this course along with how I assessed my performance.

  • What have you learned?

When I first looked at this question, I blanked; not because I couldn’t remember, but because there are so many things I am taking away. If I had to prioritize, I would say the #1 thing learned would be learning about relative advantage (RA). I learned I needed to keep RA in mind when I set out to look for technology for a given lesson. RA will help me determine if the technology will benefit the students or just keep them busy or entertained. Technology has a purpose in the classroom as long the RA can be determined, otherwise the students are receiving no real benefit from it.

I also learned about all the different types of technologies that can be integrated into a lesson. I never really gave much thought about how a “game” can also be used to teach a marketing subject. I knew there were Math and Science games, but through this course I found (and bookmarked) a plethora of marketing games, simulations, and so much more.

  • How theory guided development of the projects and assignments you created?

Prior to this course I thought to believe myself to be an objectivist, using directed instruction. However, I am not sure if it’s because of what I have learned so far in the M.E.T program, but I have discovered I lean more to the constructivism when I was creating many of my lesson plans.  I believe I have elements of both, but I have learned that I need to start making the students more responsible in their own learning.

  • How the course work demonstrates mastery of the AECT standards?

The AECT Standards for using, creating, and assessing/evaluating were the most prevalent in our artifacts this semester.  They demonstrated our knowledge of our content areas where we had to create lessons with appropriate technology. We also, in many cases, actually used the technology to demonstrate how it would be used in our classrooms. In our learning logs we assessed/evaluated these lessons and technology, as well as, reflected on how it would on the used in a classroom. Theoretical Foundations were mastered in each lesson by having to research and determine the goals of the lesson and then determine the type of instruction to be used to deliver the lesson. This is where we resolved if our lesson would be directed instruction, (objectivism), inquiry-based learning (constructivism) or both.

  • How have you grown professionally?

I feel like I am more confident in my abilities to integrate technology into my content area. I also believe I am prepared to be able to teach other instructors how to begin integrating and/or become more efficient in their integration. One thing I have discovered, I am more willing to try something new and reflect upon it, rather than sit and complain about how times are changing. I would rather be an initiator than in instigator.

  • How have your teaching practice or thoughts about teaching have been impacted by what you have learned or accomplished in this course? What will you do differently as an educator as a result of this course?

My thoughts have changed drastically since I began this course. In my teaching experience before I relied greatly on the text book and the textbook resources; which didn’t work all that well at the time. Now I am more willing to embrace the different technologies that will not only engage my students but will (hopefully) drive them to want to learn more; to take the initiative and take ownership of their own learning. As an educator I want to move more into a facilitator role and make my class more student-centered rather than teacher-centered.


Assess My Performance

  • Criteria                                            I would rate myself Proficient                           65 pts

I believe my blog posts were full of thought, insight and synthesis. However I I feel some may have lacked depth and detail.

  • Reading and Resources                I would rate myself Outstanding                       20 pts

I made sure I did use APA style; I rechecked with the manual and online with the Purdue OWL. The textbook was my primary resource for this course and I used other materials when warranted.

  • Timeliness                                     I would rate myself Proficient                            15 pts

All of my posts were made by the deadline. However, a few were made on the day of the deadline.

  • Responses to Other Students       I would rate myself Proficient                            25 pts

I responded to two peers’ post each week.

Total                                                                                                                            125 pts

Accessibility in an Android Device

This week’s assignment has been all about Assistive/Adaptive Technology for different areas of special needs. Up until now I knew about a few things, but I am AMAZED at what other technologies are out there.  I’ll be honest, I have never inquired about the “Accessibility” option on my cell phone before this blog. There are some things that many of us, myself included, take for granted. As I observed and researched what each feature could do I became more appreciative of the Samsung company and many others out there that provide these options. This lesson has made me more aware of what can be done to aid ALL students (and adults) in the classroom in a more efficient manner.

In this blog I am going to point out a few accessibility features that are a part of my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone.The operating system my device runs is the Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Many schools allow students to use their hand-held devices in the classroom. The following features will help the students set up their devices so they can be more engaged in the lesson.

Vision Impairments

There are many accessibility features for the vision impaired that Samsung provides on the s7. The following are just a few I looked into: 

Voice Assistant “The Voice Assistant function is the main tool for those who are visually impaired. Once activated, it’ll read out everything that you tap on, including text. Tap on something to hear what it is, then double tap anywhere on the screen to activate it if it’s an app or a link” (Tanasychuk).

Dark Screen “This is a pretty important setting if you’re concerned about your privacy. Voice Assistant must be enabled before Dark screen can be enabled to keep the screen turned off at all times. Tapping the screen will still make Voice Assistant read out the options to you, but other people won’t be able to see what you’re looking at or who you might be messaging” (Tanasychuk).

High Contrast Fonts “A great feature, thanks in part to the Super AMOLED display, this setting punches up the color and outline of fonts so that words stand out more prominently on your screen. Black text gets darker and white text is outlined” (Tanasychuk).

Magnifier Window “This feature activates a rectangular magnifying glass that you can move all over the screen to magnify the content beneath it. It’s great if you’re reading small text on websites or trying to see parts of an image that don’t stand out. This is also a great tool for those who want to check the resolution of images” (Tanasychuk).

Grayscale and Negative Colors “These features are for those who are color blind or who have trouble distinguishing one shade from another. Activating Grayscale will turn everything into what you might call “black and white” and your phone will go all Turner Classic Movies on you. Negative colors flips the color scheme on you, which helps improve contrast” (Tanasychuk).

Hearing Impairments

There is an option to improve sound quality for those with hearing aids. Once this feature is activated notification sounds and ringtones will come through better.

Flash Notification “Enabling Flash notifications will cause your camera light to flash when you receive notifications or when alarms sound. All you have to do is turn your phone over to stop the flashing” (Tanasychuk).

Subtitles “Samsung and Google both offer subtitles that can be enabled for videos that support them. If you choose to turn them on, you can adjust the font size and color if needed” (Tanasychuk).

Sound Detectors The Galaxy s7 can be set up to detects sound such as when a baby cries or the doorbell rings.

Mono Audio “If you hear better out of one ear, you can switch the audio output to mono, so that all of the audio that would normally be separated into right and left channels comes out of only one headphone” (Tanasychuk).

Dexterity or Physical Impairments

Universal Switch “This enables customizable switches that allow those with motor skill issues to more easily interact with their phone and select items on the screen. You can set your interaction method by connecting external accessories, tapping the screen, or using the front camera to recognize your head’s rotation, your mouth opening, and your eyes blinking” (Tanasychuk).

Assistant Menu “This feature gives you an on-screen interface to perform actions that would normally require you to use a combination of hardware buttons. A constant square will appear on the left or right side of your screen, which you choose, and, when tapped, it will produce four squares. With a single tap you can navigate home and back, open the notification shade, take screenshots, change the volume, lock the screen, and more. When you delve a little deeper into the settings, you can adjust the look of the buttons and decide whether or not you’d like contextual menus within apps” (Tanasychuk).

Interaction Control “This feature controls how your phone interprets different motions and screen touches. It’s a bit complex, but it’s a way to block interaction with certain sections of the screen by drawing circles around them with your finger. It basically creates a mask over those areas so that you do not mistakenly interact with what is beneath it. All you have to do is hold the power and volume down buttons to enable it. You can even choose to block the entire screen, which can be useful for those who aren’t going to use the touch screen at all” (Tanasychuk).

Direction Lock “This feature allows you to add a shortcut to specific accessibility features. You can enable the features you want and then activate them by pressing the Home button three times. This is so you don’t have to dig through your settings and enable individual features every time” (Tanasychuk).


Tanasychuk, M. (2016). Samsung Galaxy S7 accessibility options you should know about. Retrieved April 18, 2016, from http://www.androidcentral.com/galaxy-s7-accessibility-options-you-should-know