Margo's World with Leadership In Educational Technology

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Mentor Research Project

on December 10, 2013

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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