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r"s of Arts in Educa#on:


Teaching & Learning Grow$ Assessment

! ! APU: A Life#me of Learning & Lessons ! !


Lisa Lawrence

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EDUC 526 Caps%ne Experience in Digital & Learning Professor Hixson

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Murrieta Regional Cen!r

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April 2014!
Lisa Lawrence Murrieta Regional Center EDUC 526 Growth Assessment! Spring 2014 Page 1 " ! April 2014

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Sec#on One: In&oduc#on
I rst came to Azusa Pacic University (APU) and attended orientation in 2004. Low and behold, after two and a half years of trying to get pregnant, I realized my dreams had come true. I discovered I was pregnant just a few weeks after orientation and my plan on going back to school and obtaining a Bachelors Degree, then Teaching Credential, was put on hold. Fast forward two kids and six years later, I nally found myself walking into my rst college class in over fteen years. I enrolled in, what was originally the BA Program for Human Development; cohort 149. I was scared, excited and unsure I would actually follow through with and continue my education through the entire program. After the rst night of class, I already envisioned myself on graduation day; I knew I was in the right place and I knew I made the right decision. !

Lisa Lawrence Murrieta Regional Center

EDUC 526 Growth Assessment! Spring 2014

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I graduated from APU with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts, nineteen months and twelve good friends later. I immediately enrolled in the Special Education Teaching Credential Program, followed by the Masters Degree Program; only having a few months break between each program. At this point in my life, I wanted to push through my schooling and become a teacher as soon as I could. I knew I wanted to become a Special Education teacher in 2003, when we moved to Menifee from Orange County and I got a job at Menifee Valley Middle School as an Instructional Assistant for Resource.!

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I began my teaching credential program in the Fall of 2012. I remember my rst night of class. I walked in feeling accomplished, smart, like a senior in high school on their rst day of school, my head held high, face gleaming with accomplishment; this was my beginning to the end. However, the teaching credential program did not have the same camaraderie , close feel as my Cohort 149. The student dynamics were very different, and at one point I really considered taking a
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break. However, with the guidance and support from Donna Block and the APU Special Education Department, I again decided to push through the adversary in the course; focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel and not the obstacles that stood in my way. Toward the middle of my teaching credential, I passed the CSET in Multiple Subjects and began my internship at my childrens elementary school. I was so fortunate to learn from an experienced teacher who had more knowledge about teaching practices, special needs kids and SEIS procedures than I could have expected, and more compassion for teaching and people than imaginable. I not only learned from her the importance of being a great teacher, but the value of being a great person, parent and friend.! I applied for several teaching positions at the end of my student teaching, before I even technically had my credential. My rst callback was from San Jacinto Unied School District for a full time Resource Teacher. My rst interview was via Skype, while sitting in a somewhat vacant Terminal Two at the San Diego International Airport, beLisa Lawrence Murrieta Regional Center EDUC 526 Growth Assessment! Spring 2014 Page 4 " ! April 2014

fore boarding to Cabo San Lucas for a week. My second and nal interview was about a week after returning from my vacation; within two weeks I received the call I had the job!! Two weeks into my rst full time teaching job I started my Masters Degree program in Digital Teaching; again overwhelmed and now really missing my kids. Thursdays proved long; 7:20 am until 9:00 pm. However, although tired and weighed down, I never felt like giving up. This time around I had no doubts, no second thoughts and could see nothing but the nish line and my MA diploma in hand. My Mac was no longer needed, I had to purchase an iPad in order to fully participate in the program. The rst day of class, I laughed at myself and how little I knew about the iPhone I had for two years and how little I knew about technology. But, that was why I was there. I was there to learn, to take what I could from each course and implement technology in to my Resource program. My main goal was to discover new technological teaching techniques that I could use with my special needs students. I am pleased to say, I met that goal.!
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Personal Grow$
Of all the personal growth lessons I learned over my four years at APU, the biggest and most inuential experience I had was in my teaching credential program. I ran into a major conict with a fellow student, whom I thought was a good friend of mine. One day our friendship abruptly ended. Over the next few weeks, school was unbearable. I again felt like quitting. However, with the support of great teachers, mentors and christians working at APU, I took that bad and made it a good. The life lesson I learned during that time taught me how to deal with workplace adversary in tough situations. I wanted to lash out and be proved right, but I learned that was not the lesson God was teaching me. He was teaching me patience, not just in regard to dealing with personal conict, but patience in waiting for Gods perfect timing. I learned to take the high road, to be humble and that it is not important to be right, it is just important to do right. I learned

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to bite my tongue and not sweat the small stuff. These qualities are great attributes to have as a teacher, but even more useful to have as a Special Education teacher. ! Throughout my four years at APU, I learned that I am kinesthetic and visual learner who works all and benets from group activities. I retain information from doing and seeing. However, I have learned how to teach using all of Howard Gardners Multiple Intelligences, so I can reach and teach all of my students.! In eight days from now I will be done. As of April 3, 2014, I will have completed my last class of my Masters degree. A part of me really thought that day would never come; I would work part time and raise my kids the rest of my life. But I was wrong and for the rst time in my life, I am happy I was wrong. I have learned so much about teaching, technology and how to be a better christian. !

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Technology Grow$!
When I started my Masters Program I honestly knew very little about technology. Yes, I could browse the internet, download Apps, create a great PowerPoint/Keynote presentation. But using technology to teach my students was a foreign to me as trying to speak Spanish in Italy. However, after these few months of digital training and classes , I feel comfortable using technology as a method of teaching, and not just as a ller during lessons. I can teach through videos, create a Weebly Blog account, share and comment on documents online with students and parents, and my favorite technology tool, Image to Text. I have several students who are auditorial learners and retain information better when heard rather than read. This App is amazing. EDUC 526 has made me reect on the information taught and knowledge gained. I am condent by next year, I will be a pro at technology in the classroom and implementing digital tools into my lessons in order to teach my students.!

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Sec#on Two: His%ry of Coursework and Evalua#on
Course Number

Course Name

Ins&uc%r

Term Comple!d

514

Digital Video in the Classroom

Prof. Holder

Fall 2013

Descrip#on: Students are exposed to basics in video project composition. Activities include learning how to build visually effective shots, how to use music to enhance the feel of the presentation, and how to create a movie project that is designed to keep a student's attention in the context of teaching standards-based material. Commentary: I learned a lot from this course about video production and how to add,delete clips to an existing video. I love Pinnacle studio and Touchcast. I am able to add music to the background of my videos at a volume that does not interfere with my voice over. I will use these videos in my class to ip my class and spend less time instructing and more time hands on with my students.!

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Course Number

Course Name

Ins&uc%r

Term Comple!d

515

Evolving Education Technology

Prof. Martin

Fall 2013

Descrip#on: This course looks at the evolution of educational technologies in their present and historical contexts. Students explore how and why some technologies endure while others do not. Attention is given to current technologies and how they can be successfully implemented into the classrooms in order to enhance both teaching and learning strategies. Commentary: Without this class I would never have started or been able to start and maintain a bog. Blogs are an amazing tool to use in the classroom to keep students and parents up-to-date on what is going on in the classroom; missing assignments, reading passages, due dates and resources. Next year I am going o have a blog started before class begins and allow my students and parents to have access to it so everyone can be working toward my students goals. I also was introduced to Touchcast; a video app that can be used in the classroom. This app only allows 5 minute, but has a news channel feel that could be great for morning informative messages. 522 Learning in the 21st Century
Prof. ! Rodriquez

Fall 2013

Descrip#on: Working with digital natives requires an understanding of how they acquire and process information. This course assists educators in bridging the gap between static curriculum and multimodel instruction. A key component of this course is designing unit plans that embed technology and differentiated instruction with a focus on multiple intelligences and learning styles to meet the needs of todays learners.
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Course Number

Course Name

Ins&uc%r

Term Comple!d

Commentary: The most valuable lesson taught in this course was how to teach, or the importance of teaching, each student based on their Multiple Intelligence and most benecial teaching modalities. I can now take one lesson and teaching it to learners who are visual, auditorial, kinesthetic, inter or intra-personal or musical , etc. I learned the value of making sure I teach my Special Ed students according to the teaching modality that best suits them. For my older students, I can implement Blooms Taxonomys higher level of thinking into lessons where they can apply, understand and evaluate what they have learned; a tool very useful for the new Common Core State Standards. 512
Instructional Application of Product and Software

Prof. Sullivan

Fall 2013

Descrip#on: Students take the functional knowledge of productivity software and learn how to implement its use in instruction and projects including a nal thematic project into their own classroom. The projects are designed to match the California State Content Standards and ISTE NETS standards of their own grade, and are appropriate for the technology environment in which the project will be implemented.

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Course Number

Course Name

Ins&uc%r

Term Comple!d

Commentary: I wish I would have taken this class before ever buying my iPhone. I had my iPhone for over a year and never knew all the bells and whistles it had; I never knew about apple user ids and how I can share my apps with my kids who were using my same apple id. Oh how that saved ghts between my kids; no more she/he has that game and I dont. One of the other most valuable tools I learned in this course was the accessibility feature on IPads and iPhone. I love that I can enlarge the text or provide voice overs for my students who comprehend better by hearing than seeing. I also really thought the eld trip to the Apple store was very useful; I bought my rst IPad a week later. EDUC 526 Capstone !
Experience ! Education Technology & Learning

Prof. Hixson

Spring 2014

Descrip#on: The primary focus of this capstone experience is a research-designed interactive portfolio that showcases skills and concepts the student has acquired in the Educational Technology and Learning program. This program-culminating course incorporates each student's research, use of applied software and educational technology, a growth assessment, comprehensive portfolio, and an oral defense. This course must be taken at the end of the program, and passed in order to meet the nal requirements for the master's degree.

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Course Number

Course Name

Ins&uc%r

Term Comple!d

Commentary: I think this course made me realize I did know more than I thought I did. Before this course, I doubted if I could create an organized blog, create videos, and be able to explain what I learned or tell about the technology I use. By putting all of the required documents together in one assignment, I was able to look back at all I did know, learn and retain over the last 8-9 months. I am proud of what I have accomplished and what I know, and I am condent using technology as a means of teaching in my classroom.

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Overa' Key Learnings
Over the last four years as an APU student, I have learned how to be a better person and a better teacher. I have learned how to address conict and how to make any situation work in any environment. My Masters Program in Digital Teaching has taught me when, how and what technology I should use in order to teach all of my students according to their needs. My students overall need to learn the same content, but I cannot teach them all in the same manner and expect
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them to retain the information equally. I now know when and what technology to implement into my lessons in order to utilize all teaching modalities; in order to reach and teach all my students.

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Evalua#on of $e Impact of $e Ed Tech and Learning Program

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I am blessed to have gained the knowledge of digital teaching in the classroom. I am even more blessed and proud when I say I am in the APU Master"s Program; soon an APU Master"s Graduate. I know that when I mention APU, my degree and knowledge will be highly respected. I am now using technology in class as a fun interactive tool, while teaching students core standards. I have gained the ability to also use apps to make learning easier and more enjoyable. I can take a picture a reading passage, turn it into digital text that can then be converted to a read aloud version This is especially helpful to my students who have visual processing difculties, but learn and retain

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more efciently through auditory learning. I am now condent and comfortable using technology as a teaching tool, as well as a method to make learning easier and more attainable for my students. Technology in the classroom helps make learning fun and easier for my special needs students.

Program Evalua#on
Over all my entire experience with APU has been positive and rewarding. The APU staff and teachers go above and beyond their duties to ensure my learning experience has been optimal and attainable. I started the Masters Program in Digital Teaching feeling unsure and doubtful about my knowledge of technology and how to implement technology into my unit and lessons plans. I am concluding the Masters Program condent and capable of how to successfully utilize technology into my unit and lesson plans, while using technology as a means to teach my students in a manner that best meets their needs.!

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S&eng$s of $e Program
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The rst strength that came to mind are APUs teachers and staff. If it were not for great etchers and helpful staff, APU would not be the respected school that it is today. Availability is also one of APUs strengths; having classes at night is crucial for working students. APU professors have always been available and willing to help students with assignments, course questions and any questions or concerns that arise. The Digital Teaching Programs strength in my opinion was trifold; teaching how to create an interactive blog or website that students and parents can access at any time to stay up-to-date on classroom assignments, activities and resources, create videos that allow less instruction and more hands on interaction, and implementing technology based on each students multiple intelligences.!

Weaknesses of $e Program I am a hand ons, kinesthetic and interpersonal learner. I was very new to technology and often times felt lost when I got home and attempted to start a project. I wish the program alLisa Lawrence Murrieta Regional Center EDUC 526 Growth Assessment! Spring 2014 Page 16 " ! April 2014

lowed for more interactive, during class activities that introduced us to the assignments before being sent home to complete. If I had more class time working on videos, blogs, accessibility, etc., I would have started assignments with more condence and less questions; my assignments may have been stronger and more thorough. Due to a lack of interactive class activities, peer support was weak. I would email the group questions and never receive an answer. If there was more interaction amongst students, I think the support within the class would have been higher. ! However, the strengths of APU in general and the positives the Digital Teaching Program far out weigh any weaknesses I could mention. Again, I am proud to have chosen and gradu-

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ated from APU. I am honored to call myself an APU Alumni and blessed to have my Masters Degree in Digital Teaching.

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