Margo's World with Leadership In Educational Technology

An adventure of leading and learning technology simultaneously

Reflection 13

Blog 13

Last Reflection?


            This class has felt like two different classes. It began with how to increase engagement through production and performance of lesson plans to the use of social media. Moreover weaved in the mix a research project about mentoring someone with technology. What a journey.

            I enjoyed reading Teach Like a Pirate. I teach a lot of direct instruction programs so theatrical are not a big part of instruction. However, I inspired to use some fun ideas to make the program fun. I bought some echo microphones for the kids to use for practicing saying words. I bought light pointers for students to track suing a fun tool. These ideas helped to break up the routine of direct instruction while keeping the routine the same. We continue to use these tools and I am always on the lookout for new ideas.

            The book A New Culture of Learning was interesting but hard to fully picture how to construct a classroom that engages students so they are learning the curriculum by their own choosing. I do not know many adults who do this. On the other hand, I use technology in my classroom in every subject. It helps immensely to keep kids engaged in the lesson. It is also a better way for students to practice skills. My next adventure is to team up with a regular ed. Teacher and introduce Gaggle. I will use some of the ideas from this book to help create this community of learning.

            All the different technology that this class has used has been challenging. I have used blogs before so that one was not too bad. I have never liked Twitter. I still do not like using Twitter. It just does not match my learning style. I also do not like the way Live Text is set up. This class had too many places that you had to hand in your assignments. I found the blog was fine for me to locate all the information I needed. Additionally, responding to ten other people was time consuming. If we were broken into small groups I think I would have been able to give better feedback. It would have built a better learning community. Although I did like to see how everyone set up their blogs. That was fun.

            The Mentoring Research Project was okay. I like to teach and support people when they are learning new things. I was able to reflect about what makes a good mentor and apply them when working with Kelleigh. I have learned a lot and will apply my what I have learned when teaching someone else.

            All in all it has been a good class. I have learn what I like and what I do not like. I learned things about myself I did not know. I have enjoyed reading other people’s ideas and interest. It has been a worthwhile semester. 

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Mentor Research Project

Mentor Project Paper

Margo Merrill

Leadership in Educational Technology

Fall 2013









Is six weeks enough time to teach a student teacher the programs she needs to learn to mastery?



            During the 2013 fall semester I mentored Kelleigh Orthmann as a student teacher as she obtained her special education teacher endorsement. A special education teacher uses a handful of different technology on a daily basis.  In my district we use Iplan for special education paperwork and documentation and Aimsweb for progress monitoring. Kelleigh will be required to use these programs as a special educator. Mobymax is a math tutoring program I use to supplement student’s mathematics program. It is an optional program for teachers to implement. I mentored Kelleigh with these three programs.

            The technologies we are required to use in this district are Iplan and Aimsweb. Iplan is a special education program used to store assessment data and Individual Education Plans.  Aimsweb screens all students, identify those at risk for academic failure and enables early intervention. With progress monitoring, aimsweb determines the effectiveness of the interventions, and whether the students are progressing sufficiently to meet year-end goals. (aimswebm. 2013) Special educators are required to use this program to progress monitor their students. These programs are used throughout the year.

There are a variety of optional technology tools available for special educators to use to support their programs. They use Promethean boards, iPads, online computer programs to name a few. When I Reviewed the survey I gave Kelleigh, it revealed one program Kelleigh was not familiar with was Mobymax. Mobymax is an online tutoring program available to support the core math program. We chose this program.

The focus of these programs will enable Kelleigh a good head start as she begins her first year as a special education teacher. She will be knowledgeable of the workings of the Mat-Su district. With experience and knowledge of these programs will make her more marketable while looking for special education teaching jobs in the district.


Literature Review

            As I began to mentor Kelleigh I stopped and wondered what are good qualities of a mentor. I first reflected the success of my grade level team. Together we have created an effective and innovative team. The team developed through common goals, regularly scheduled meetings, planning, and the support of each other when trying new ideas. I then began to research this idea of what makes an effective mentor. As I researched I discovered it is the same qualities that my team demonstrates.

            So what is a mentor? There is a bit of confusion between a mentor and a coach. In the article Mentoring and Coaching for Effective Tech Integration by Mary Beth Hertz, she explains some distinctions between the two. A mentor is usually a peer who is a “go to” person to get advice from and share ideas. Perhaps learn tidbits of information and/or troubleshoot a problem together. A coach is a guide who you set goals with and meet regularly to discuss and teach skills in order to meet the goal. Neither mentor or coach is evaluative in any way. In the article it expressed a coach should not be a classroom teacher so as to have the time to coach, whereas a mentor may be a peer teacher. In application in the everyday teaching world, I think these two roles blend a lot of the time.

            Continued questioning lead me to compare two different research papers about best practice to mentor teachers with technology in their classrooms.  In the case study Staff Development Through Peer Mentoring, teachers who demonstrated a knowledge and skill with the use of technology in the classroom were selected and trained to mentor other teachers. In the research paper Faculty Technology Mentoring Programs: Major Trends in the Literature, reviewed multiple models for mentoring teachers implementing technology into the classroom. Both papers expressed a need for a common goal or vision. The school needs to have an overall vision for how they will use technology. Teachers need their own individual goals to reach the school’s vision. Mentors work with teachers from their base knowledge of the technology and together  develop a plan to reach their goal. Teachers’ work at their own pace with the mentor. They’re to teach and support the teacher. The relationship is collaborative with an open dialogue. At no time is the mentor evaluative or in charge of the teacher. This is considered best practice when mentoring anyone.


Barseghian,Tina  | October 11, 2013 |. Surveys Synthesized: What Are Teachers’ Attitudes About Classroom Technology?. Retrieved from the MindShift website:

Eutopia, Mentoring and Coaching for Effective Tech Integration, (Nov. 2011) Mary Beth Hertz retrieved fo the website:

Puplic state education, Faculty Technology Mentoring Programs: Major Trends in the Literature, (2001) Hsueh-Hua Chuang, Ann Thompson, Denise Schmidt:

Educationworld. (2002). Staff Development Through Peer Mentoring. Retrieved from the website:



            From October 1st through December 4th Kelleigh and I worked together through multiple sessions to learn three programs. Before we began our coaching sessions Kelleigh completed a survey in order to determine what programs she was familiar with and what programs  needed instruction. The survey also asked about her comfort  level using technology. After she completed the survey we reviewed it together, chose three programs and made goals about what she would know at the end of our time together.

            The goal decided were to have enough knowledge of these three programs in order to implement them independently when she has her own classroom.

            The sessions were ongoing and designed to be on the job training. Kelleigh was able to interact with Mobymax on a daily basis as she worked with the kids. After two sessions of aimsweb Kelleigh took over organizing and implementing the progress monitoring for fluency and mathematics. For the last program, Iplan, all of our sessions were completed together.

Timeline and Plan Oct. 1st – Dec. 4th

Session Overview


  • Walk through the program components.
  • Assess students using the mathematics Concept and Application (CAP) and Computation (COMP) assessment with students.
  • Evaluate and input data into the AIMSWEB data system
  • Walk through the progress graphs
  • Continue assessing students, importing and reviewing data



  • Walk through the program components
  • Review system of implementation.
    • Students work on Mobymax and go through the program until they are not able to complete a task with the programs support.
    • Note the skill.
    • Teach the skill one to one or small group using multiple methods
    • Once students demonstrate the skill, student return to mobymax to complete the assignment.
    • Students continue until they reach another skill they need additional instruction.
    • Review program reports and graphs to note progress
  • Continue to observe and instruct students. Review program data.

This procedure will be used through December when her student teaching is completed.



  • Review program components
  • Observes the completion of a three year reevaluation paperwork.
  • Complete two annual reviews


Data Collection

  • Journal: both the student teacher and myself will keep a basic journal.
    • Skill introduced and implemented
    • Was the information clear and helpful
    • Results of the implementation
    • Pre/Post survey of what is known at the beginning and what was learned
    • Goal setting by the student and host teacher at the beginning
    • Goal setting: were the goals met.



4. Results

            Kelleigh has a good foundation for the use of the programs aimsweb, iplan, and mobymax. She will continue to increase her expertise with these programs as she uses them when she is hired with the school district. Aimsweb and Iplan are used throughout the district. Mobymax is used voluntarily as a supplemental math program. Kelleigh will be able to go into a classroom able to set up her class using any of the programs.

            A review of the journals and our reflections of our discussions with the training Kelleigh was familiar with aimsweb and felt the most comfortable with that program. It just took one session for her to be able to administer a test for reading fluency and mathematics. It took two sessions for her to import students into a progress monitoring file with the program independently. After our third session she downloaded the math probs herself and organize for the assessments given once a week. For the fluency checks she was able to use paper, computer, or ipad to administer the test after the second session. The third session I showed her how to download the reports to share with students and parents. She is now comfortable using aimsweb independently.

            The iplan training has gone slower. 1st session I did a walk through and showed her all the parts of the program. The second session I had her watch me update an IEP for an annual review. The third session I had her watch me input a three year reevaluation. I would have had her do this but I was rushed. The third session I had her input an annual review and use data she collected while teaching in order update his goals and objectives. The fourth session I had her input an exit paperwork for a student who was tested and exited out of special education. I showed her how to find the check off forms in order for her to make sure she has everything complete. Last I showed her how to look up and print case managers reports. She is at a novice level using this program. The Matsu school district does additional training in order to master this program.

            Mobymax was the last program I taught Kelleigh. She worked with students daily while they worked on the lessons on mobymax. The first session I gave her my password and username in order to explore and play around with the program. The next session she uploaded a student in the system. She was comfortable with this part of the program. Next I showed her how to change and adjust lessons.  Mobymax allows lessons assigned in whatever order. This is useful in order to adjust lessons that support lessons in the core math program. The third and fourth session reviewed and downloaded  the reports available in the program. There are a variety of reports available. We discussed how to read the reports and how to use them. In this session she shared the reports with the students. Kelleigh knows enough of Mobymax to easily incorporate it into her programs when she begins work as a special educator.




            At the end of the six weeks Kelleigh is able to utilize the 2 of the 3 programs independently. The program Mobymax is used daily with students and reports are printed off for students weekly. Aimweb is administered weekly and includes administering a math test and fluency test each week. The results are then inputted into the aimweb program. Reports are printed weekly and then reviewed with students and sent home. My plan is used sporadically. Even though we spent time on the program it was not used daily or weekly like the other two programs. Six weeks is enough time to teach and mentor if it is used daily or weekly.



6. Bibliography

Barseghian,Tina  | October 11, 2013 |. Surveys Synthesized: What Are Teachers’ Attitudes About Classroom Technology?. Retrieved from the MindShift website:

Eutopia, Mentoring and Coaching for Effective Tech Integration, (Nov. 2011) Mary Beth Hertz

Mobymax. (2012). Mobymax Curriculum. Retreived from the website:

Pearson. (2012). AIMSWEB – Academic Improvement Measurement System. Frequently Asked questions. Retrieved from the Aimsweb website:

Puplic state education, Faculty Technology Mentoring Programs: Major Trends in the Literature, (2001) Hsueh-Hua Chuang, Ann Thompson, Denise Schmidt:

Sacramento State Center for Teaching and Learning, Faculty Mentoring Faculty Using Technology(2013), Diego Bonilla:


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The Mentor Project Movie

The presentation for the Mentor Research Project



It was interesting reading about all the different projects. It looks like they have all gone great. I really liked Amber’s idea of surveying the students how they liked using the technology. It has given me the idea of asking my students if the tutoring program mobymax has enhanced there math learning. Christine has experienced how mentoring can open up dialogue. It sounds like they have a good working relation. I work with a teacher I think I can improve our working relation with some mentoring. Ginger gave me some great feedback on how to write up my paper to look better. 

I shared some ideas with my peers to reflect how they are coming along with their project. I looked through some of the suggested websites and gave some feedback on ideas about them. 

I will finish my mentor project paper next and put together the powerpoint for the presentation. 

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Essential Question: What are you finding as you analyze the data related to your Mentor Project?

Essential Question: What are you finding as you analyze the data related to your Mentor Project?


Kelleigh and I have taught together for weeks. We plan and implement lessons and progress monitor student’s growth together. It has been hands on instead of scheduled lessons to teach the technology. Things have gone well. Kelleigh is a fast study. She is able use aimsweb independently. We are still working on iplan. We will be continue training with that program this week. We continue to use mobymax and monitor and adjust lessons to meet student growth and support the regular classroom math program. We have extended the plan and included Promethean boards to the plan. We have developed flipcharts for Step Up to Writing program we have implemented this last month. Kelleigh has used a smart board but not the Promethean Board. Her familiarity with a smart board has made teaching the Promethean board a breeze. 

The data shows that we are progressing well with the timeline to master the programs before Christmas break. I have noticed that we work on aimsweb the most, mobymax next, and iplan the least. I will focus more on iplan this week. Kelleigh is comfortable with aimweb. She is able to use the charts on mobymax to review progress. She is still developing the skill to determine what lessons to assign in order to support the regular classroom math program and individual level of skill. 

The mentoring project has gone well. I am looking forward to working with others in the future. 


Blog #11 Reflection

It was interesting taking the time to reflect how I use technology for myself and my students. I find that I have embraced technology and use it more and more in my classroom. Technology has enabled my to become more of a facilitator of learning instead of a provider of information to memorize and use. I am more excited to be a teacher today than any other time. 

I learned from other blogs about the importance of being resilient  from Ginger with teaching and learning. From Heather the importance of jumping in and not letting fear stop you from learning new things.  Ginger also gave me wonderful feedback about how to make my blog posting even better. I will use them. 

I shared with others my ideas of how the future of technology may look in our classrooms. Its a whole new way of interacting with technology. I look forward to it. Games from xbox and playstation lead the way of advancing interactive games. The technology they create will filter into our online games. It will be fun. 

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Philosophy of Adaptation

Philosophy of Adaptation
1. My motto for creating 21st Century Learners.
I have used this motto since the movie Finding Nemo came out. It works for multiple purposes for myself and others I support, coach, and lead. To teach means to be busy. To use technology means to be flexible and responsive to its uses. Just keep swimming reminds me that there will always be something new to learn and apply while I maintain and change what I have implemented currently. I am committed and excited to use technology to enhance the education of children and adults. Every year I introduce more high and low tech into my educational programs. I read, implement, adjust, and throw out on a continuous motion. I work together with other teachers do the same. We just keep swimming. We never stop.

2. How do I adapt to change in my environment?
Technology is a tool to enhance education. As teachers facilitate a child’s educational journey; technology provides multiple ways to reach their individual level of skill and unique way of learning. It opened the door to new methods of educational delivery not available in the past. Educational interactive online websites and apps are highly useful for students to practice as much as they need for any academic skill with immediate consistent feedback Academic instructional videos are available to preteach, teach, and reteach just about any skill. Cooperative learning may be enhanced with the use of any technology. Technology changes and grows everyday and new and more tools are available on a daily bases. I have an assortment of technology today in my classroom. I predict in five years my classroom will look completely different.
I am excited to use technology as a tool in my classroom. Every piece I use provides me greater access to children’s ability to learn. I use low tech to high tech as I see fit in order to meet a student’s growth with their education. Technology today frees me to work with an individual or small group while other students use an app or website to practice a skill that will give them immediate feedback. Students are able to view educational videos at home or school in order to learn or relearn a concept. I use the flipped classroom approach at times in order for students to take control of their learning and for me to have more time applying and practicing the skills they are learning. The use of technology allows me to implement tacit knowledge in order to personalize learning, increase motivation, collaboration, and pro-social behavior, and student efficiency and productivity. My classroom is a flurry of the educational movement as students take charge of their learning.

3. How do I support my students in adapting to change?
The most effective method I use to support students with technology is to give them the technology and get out of their way. I facilitate the educational goal for them and provide the structure. The students learn so much faster than I can teach. The introduction of moviemake is a prime example. I began with formal instruction and quickly went to letting the kids get with the program and play. I then gave the structure from Jason Ohler’s book Digital Storytelling in the Classroom to guide the student building of their story. The kids came in on their recess to do this project. It is a good example of tacit learning. However, only the students interested came in to do the project. I also read and research on a constant basis to keep up with the changes of technology and provide the new information for them to implement. As technology such as iphones and kindles are used I predict students will be sharing with me what is new and fresh to try.

Burgess, Dave (2012) Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. San Diego, Ca Teach Like a Pirate
Carl Straumsheim, (April 8, 2013). Digital Research, Not Teaching.Retrieved from the Inside HigherEd website:
Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown. (2011) Design Soulellis Sudio. A New Culture of Learning Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change.
Eddie Makuch on November 14, 2013. Jimmy Fallon and Ice-T play PS4 on late night TV.Retrieved on he GameSpot website:
Ohler, Jason. (2008) Corwin Press Digital Storytelling in the Classroom
ROBINSON MEYER (SEP 13 2013). The Post-Lecture Classroom: How Will Students Fare?. Retrieved from The Atlantic website:

Tina Barseghian | October 11, 2013 |. Surveys Synthesized: What Are Teachers’ Attitudes About Classroom Technology?. Retrieved from the MindShift website:


Blog #10 Sunday Reflection

I am sanicle for sure about how this is all suppose to work. Ginger and Christine had some good comments about how they gaming allows them to take risk. However until we change the environment and demands of our education system I do not see this happening anytime soon. I use technology in my classroom and increase the use every year. My goal is to create individualized instruction. After this class I will also focus on creating an environment of support and community that allows kids to take risk and learn at their own pace. To hell with the state test. Shhhhh don’t tell anyone I said that. 🙂

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Blog #10

Can We Take from Gamers ?



From what I could tell about Gamers is that it’s an extension of everyday life. There are good communities that work together to build, and then there are bad communities that destroy.  Some people hack into your account and steal what you have collected.  It is a place that people communicate about how to build something or work together. Then there are people to talk smack and put you down. Seems to me they have the same challenges we have now except that in is in a digital world.

While talking with the kids I interviewed, they shared that some games are fun and others boring. Also, some cater to a younger crowd and others an older crowd. Which leads me to my same conclusion of the difficulty of creating a collective learning environment about academics. Overall kids are not going to just participate in a learning environment on their own. I am at the end of this book and I have not been convinced to this way of teaching.

However technology in the classroom is a must for today’s teaching. Technology will be a mainstay of kids’ adult life. They will utilize technology in ways we do not even understand today. Kids need to learn how to use technology to support their own learning style. It is a way to not only differentiate but to individualize instruction. 


Reflection #9

I have found this book interesting thus far, but it has also been frustrating. How do we teach this way and still have kids pass their statewide assessments. Our district has moved to a growth model. I hope that will make a difference. I would like the freedom to teach to where the student development of performance. I would love for students to explore their best way to learn. No easy answer.

I shared some websites that teach how to use today’s technology in the classroom. I think more of these types of classes will emerge. Hopefully the government will support this different way of teaching. 

I enjoyed Ginger’s video of Ted talks, It inspires me to continue to try new ways of teaching in my resource room. 

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