Edtech 543-Week 2- COP, Connectivism, and PLN

Identifying each of the concepts of Communities of Practice, Connectivism, and Personal Learning Networks, and then finding how they are different but connected was a great way for me to gain a deeper understanding of each.

Community of Practice

The idea behind Community of Practice to me is working together with other in a unified professional way to accomplish the same goal.  It’s bringing similar training, experience, and practice together with others to achieve success.  Jeffrey W. Bloom states, “as one enters the community, you move from peripheral participation (i.e., engaging in conversations with those in the community and observing how they act and talk) to full participation (Bloom, 2003).  This is the goal of COP, to go from conversation to participation.


To me Connectivism is using the knowledge from work experience and personal learning experiences to connect in a way that gains further understanding. The whole idea is using your knowledge and connecting it to the knowledge of others. One thing that is interesting about Connectivism and technology is how technology has changed the way we gain knowledge. “Learning (defined as actionable knowledge) can reside outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database)” (Siemens, 2004).  With technology we are able to take learning to a whole new level because we can reach further into databases of knowledge.

Personal Learning Network

PLN is personally learning by connecting with others.  To me the idea is that PLNs organize a team of knowledge seekers that are looking for the same type of information.  By teaming up and combining experiences, understanding is greatly enhanced.  For example, in a blog post from The Educator’s PLN, Blanca Flor Dominguez stated, “one way to help future educators to be more involved is through joining clubs in college” (Domingo, 2014).  The idea of learning together can be exciting and effective.  With technology tools that we have today like Facebook or Twitter, getting connected is easier.

Put it all together

How does COP, Connectivism, and PLN all relate to eachother?  One very common theme in each of them is getting connected.  Connected to other professionals, connected to experience and knowledge, and connected on common goals for knowledge.  The key to making each of them work is found today in Social Networking tools and application.





Bloom, J. W. Communities of Practice: Entering the Professional Teaching Community. . Retrieved , from

Domingo, B. F. (2014, May 21). Having Future Students Involved. – The Educator’s PLN. Retrieved June 24, 2014, from

George, S. (2005, April 5). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. . Retrieved June 24, 2014, from


Please see and comment on my Voicethread that shows my visual representations of each.

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EDTECH 543-First Blog Assignment

I am excited about this course!  My initial reactions about joining the social networks were, “hmm, I already have accounts on each of these!”.  This is my last course (besides Portfolio) in the MET program and so I have been well introduced to many tech tools.  I decided that for the purpose of this course I would start clean new accounts (besides Diigo, which I already had a BSU account) and it feels good having a fresh start.

My experience using social media for professional development has been fairly limited besides the projects in the MET program.  Each seminary has a Facebook page and I have done some work on them but other than that the most social media I have experienced in work is using WEBEx and email (not sure if these qualify as social media).

Since each Seminary has a Facebook page I have attempted some instructional strategy for Seminary students by encouraging them to read scriptures and post about their experience.  Unfortunately it hasn’t caught on like I had hoped.  Hopefully this course will help me to find ways to make it “catch fire” and be successful.

My expectations for this course is to continue to learn how to social media in a more effective way.  I would like to discover other social media outlets that may be newer and better.  I would like to discover ways to really bring social media to life and have it become a powerful tool in learning.  I’m excited to get started!

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EDTECH 543-FB post status

Hello! I am Matt Hoge and I teach Seminary for the LDS Church.  I am in the BSU EDTech graduate program because my employer strongly encouraged me to complete grad school.  This is my last class! (besides portfolio).  I have really enjoyed the EDTech program and have learned a lot.   I am taking this course because I had an extra elective and I have always been interested in the power of social networking in learning.  The statistics of the amount of time and users in social networking is incredible and I think it’s a powerful tool I would like to use more effectively. I hope (and expect) this course will help me to learn about Social Networking and how to implement it into learning.

Below is a picture of my family.  From L to R: My wife Cassie, 3 month old boy Coulson (below), 5 year old Chesnie (above), me, and 2 year old Corban.

My Family

This is a video I made to introduce myself in EDTECH 501.  Needs a little updating but for the most part it describes me!

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EDTECH 541 Student Assessment


Great job on your project!  I really like the layout and the “about me” section!  I think it adds to the overall feel and professionalism of the site. I really like your social media project.  I think it was really cool how you integrated  I have never heard of that resource so now I have another one to add to my list!

  • Attractive with consistent navigation (5/5 pts.)
    • Great looking website!  Has a “crisp” and professional feel.
  • Free from link/image or spelling/grammar errors (10/10 pts.)
    • All links worked and no spelling/grammar errors.
  • Content is easy to understand – can be used and understood by other educators (15/15 pts.)
    • Content was easy to understand and flowed well
  • Limited downloads of PowerPoint/Word/Excel documents (5/5 pts.)
    • Limited downloads only necessary resources for lessons.
  • Includes home page with menu and vision statement (4/5 pts.)
    • Home page and a vision statement appeared to be included but it wasn’t specified titled “vision statement” so I wasn’t sure what it was.

Total Points – 39 out of 40



You did it!! Great job on your site, your hard work has paid off.  I especially liked your science project with the brain surgery simulation, it looked really fun and engaging! 

  • Attractive with consistent navigation (3/5 pts.)
    • Your theme looks good and it’s easy to navigate.
    • I’m color blind and I found it a little difficult to read because of the color scheme, I’d recommend making the font a little darker.
  • Free from link/image or spelling/grammar errors (10/10 pts.)
    • There were no spelling/grammar errors.
  • Content is easy to understand – can be used and understood by other educators (15/15 pts.)
    • Great job on the content! Your project will be a great resource for other educators.
  • Limited downloads of PowerPoint/Word/Excel documents (5/5 pts.)
    • Only one download found in the appropriate resource section, all other documents embedded.
  • Includes home page with menu and vision statement (5/5 pts.)
    • Home page and vision statement included and easy menu navigation.

Total Points – 38 out of 40

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EDTECH 541 Final Course Reflection

Part One

Wow! What a semester it has been! After reviewing all the projects that have been worked on I feel like I have really accomplished a lot.  One of the biggest things I learned was that even though there isn’t always the perfect or ideal technology integration tools available, almost anything tool can be modified to work for any course.  This has been challenging but revealing for me because I found that as education technologists we are pioneers of creation for the classroom.  There is so many tech tools already available but it is our privilege and duty to be creative and make more available.

This course work demonstrate many of the AECT Standards.  The main standards found specifically in this course are:

Standard 1: DESIGN
Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to design conditions for learning
by applying principles of instructional systems design, message design, instructional strategies,
and learner characteristics.
1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD)
Within the application of this definition, ‘design’ is interpreted at both a macro- and micro-level in
that it describes the systems approach and is a step within the systems approach. The
importance of process, as opposed to product, is emphasized in ISD.
1.1.1 Analyzing: process of defining what is to be learned and the context in which it is
to be learned.
1.1.2 Designing: process of specifying how it is to be learned.
1.1.3 Developing: process of authoring and producing the instructional materials.
1.1.4 Implementing: actually using the materials and strategies in context.
1.2 Message Design
1.3 Instructional Strategies
1.4 Learner Characteristics

Standard 2: DEVELOPMENT 
Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to develop instructional materials
and experiences using print, audiovisual, computer-based, and integrated technologies.
2.1 Print Technologies
2.2 Audiovisual Technologies
Audiovisual technologies are generally linear in nature, represent real and abstract ideas, and
allow for learner interactivity dependent on teacher application.
2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
2.4 Integrated Technologies

Standard 3: UTILIZATION 
Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to use processes and resources
for learning by applying principles and theories of media utilization, diffusion, implementation, and
3.1 Media Utilization
3.2 Diffusion of Innovations

One of the ways I feel that I have grown professionally from this course is by creating a greater portfolio of EDTECH resources for my content area, Seminary teaching.  I can now go to my employer and with a number of original tools and lesson plans that may be used by any seminary teacher.  I have also grown in the ability to adopt and adapt EDTECH resources to greater enhance teaching seminary.

My teaching practices have been somewhat impacted by this course in the fact that I’ve realized how many more tools are available for seminary teaching.  I say somewhat only because I have already integrated many technology tools and my thoughts of teaching with technology has only be strengthened because of this course.

One interesting aspect of teaching that was strengthened in this course is how theory has guided the development of the projects.  Each project had a different theory and the challenge was to integrate technology in my content area using that theory.  At first it seemed like each project would be basically the same but I quickly found that each theory and project made a big difference in what tools to use.  In this way theory guided the development of my projects because it gave me a direction to go towards choosing the right tools to enhance learning.

Part Two: Assess Your Performance

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Rationale for Assistive/Adaptive Technology

In the educational world of schools, universities, and libraries tight budgets seem to be the norm.  Although education is so extremely important, the funds just don’t seem to be enough.  One educational institution may ask, “how can we justify spending a lot of money to buy assistive technologies that might only be used by a small number of students?”.  This a great question, in which I would like to offer three reasons as to why the money will not only be justly spent but wisely invested in assistive technologies.

1. It’s illegal to not spend the proper funds for providing for special education needs.

“In the U.S., the major law in this area is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), first passed in 1975. This federal law authorizes special education to all students with disabilities ages 5 through 18, and to students with disabilities, ages 19-21, if enrolled in a special education program prior to the 19th birthday and if not yet graduated from a prescribed course of study. IDEA entitles students with disabilities to an education which meets their individual needs in the least restrictive environment and at no cost to the student or parents. (Need and the concept of “least restrictive” must be determined on a case-by-case basis.) Special education can include more than academics: it also may include independent living skills and vocational training” (Infinitec, 2014)

2. The number of people requiring Assistive/Adaptive Technology is rising. In listing some of the challenges with special education Roblyer and Doering explain there is an, “increase in the number of children with autism” (Roblyer & Doering, 2013 p. 414).  With the increasing number of special needs students, the investment will go further because it will be used on more individuals rather than a few.

3. Using Assistive/Adaptive Technology is effective and fulfills many teaching needs.  This technology is useful for special needs as well as average students.  The many avenues that may be used to teach special needs students can also be used to teach average students.  The almost limitless amount of tools makes the investment more worthwhile too.  It’s like purchasing a swiss army knife for education because of the powerful teaching strategies that may be used. In an article published on Edutopia by Yuri Wellington a technology coordinator for Hana High and elementary schools, showcases success stories of assistive technology for three individual students.  She concludes, “We know that many students love computers and that, in many cases, technology motivates them to learn. We know that computers and adaptive technology allow students to perform the same or similar work as their peers but at their own pace and in a setting where the information is presented in a manner best suited to their individual learning styles and needs. From our experiences at Hana, we also know this: that the benefits Eli, Taba, Camille, and other students with special needs have derived from the technology make all the effort worth it!” (Wellington, 1998)

A great way to sum up the need for Assistive Technology is in the words by Matthew Lynch Ed. D,  “Assistive technology is important for providing a sound education for K-12 students with disabilities but benefits the greater good of the country too” (Lynch, 2013). When an education institution is going over the dwindling budget, the best future investment is in Assistive/Adaptive Technology because it is worth it!


Infinitec – Learn – Finding the Money. (n.d.). Infinitec – Learn – Finding the Money. Retrieved April 29, 2014, from

Lynch, M. Ed. D (2013, October 15). Assistive Technology: A Necessity for Student Success. The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 29, 2014, from

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating education technology into teaching. (6th ed., p 122). Pearson.

Wellington, Y. (1998, May 1). Assistive Technology Success Stories: Opening the World of Education to All Students. Edutopia. Retrieved April 29, 2014, from


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EDTECH 505 Week 12 Assignment

Link to prezi

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EDTECH 541-Obstacles and Solutions for Integrating Technology in Seminary

Integrating technology into education has many advantages.  There are almost endless tools available from web and mobile apps.  One of the great benefits to many of these tools is that they are free, or at least a trial version is available in which most of the basic needs may be met, and easy to obtain.   With the many advantages of integrating technology into learning environments there are also some obstacles.

Some of the biggest obstacles I have faced with integrating technology in Seminary classrooms is the lack of resources.  it is obvious to me that technology tools for standard education would take precedence because release-time seminary programs are very few compared to U.S. schools.  It can be very difficult especially attempted to take the core learning disciplines such as art, math, history, science, music, english, etc and use technology tools to have these subjects relate to seminary.  The resources for such activities are not available because of the lack of demand. 

Notwithstanding the lack of demand for these tools, there are a great number and increasing number of tech tools available for seminary.  One solution I have found for overcoming the lack of tech tools obstacle is by taking already made tools and adapting them for seminary.  This process requires more time and creativity, but if carefully searched, the tools can be found.   On the blog page of Jonathan F. Sullivan he suggests a number of ways to use technology in religious education.  One of the issues we all face is affording technology.  He suggests a number of resources to use that are free and available to help with integrating technology tools in religious education. In Sullivan’s webinar he accepts the obstacles and provides solutions and reasons for using tech tools in religious education. One main suggestion Sullivan gives is to have a “willingness to try new things, especially based on “best
practices” in pedagogy” (Sullivan, 2013).  One of the main solutions to overcoming the obstacles of integrating technology is to do as Sullivan suggest, “try new things”.  I have found this to be the case when using technology tools especially in the pioneering age of integrating technology into religious education.



Sullivan, J. (2013, May 2). Webinar Notes: Integrating Technology in Religious Education on a Parish Budget. JonathanFSullivancom. Retrieved April 22, 2014, from


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EDTECH 541-Relative Advantage of Using Technology in Art, Science, and Health

The main content areas of learning in the arts and sciences are: Language arts, social studies, math, the arts, and science.  For many many years these subjects have been studied and taught in many ways.  Now with the many technology tools we have, these core contents in the arts and sciences can be understood in deeper ways.  Take for example art.  Now with the internet, one may see historical art from wherever they are and study it virtually.  One doesn’t need to travel to foreign countries or exotic museums to learn and appreciate art.  In order to learn art, one may take a step by step tutorial online to learn the basics.

Another example of the great advantage of using technology to enhance learning the arts and sciences is in the way music may be understood. Imagine learning the basics of playing the piano or keyboard without even having one!  Sure practice will be required but if one puts in the time in an online course, even without an actual instrument, much of the basics will be learned.   This can be applied to not only learning to play an instrument but also in composing and producing music.  With software for music production such as Garageband students can “compose music in traditional and nontraditional ways” (Roblyer & Doering, 2013 p. 360).   Students can create music using a recording device or they may simulate the music to compose it.   The software today and the microphones are so simple and effective to use, anybody can start to learn. 

Not only is anybody able to learn art or music with technology tools, but also physical fitness can be enhanced by online tools.  Anybody that exercises knows that consistency and goal tracking is the key to success.  What about diets?  What about workout routines?  What if I lose count of my reps?  With online and small digital devices these problems are solved quickly.  Motivation is also necessary for success in physical health.  One way to encourage motivation is by using the online tool of risk assessment.  This program asks the “user to input data regarding his or her lifestyle” (Roblyer & Doering, 2013 p. 387) and then gives the risk for health problems.   


With so many technology tools almost every core content in the arts and sciences may be taught and enhanced eliminating some learning problems.  These tools allow for a deeper understanding of the content because the tools allow deeper involvement from the learner.


Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating education technology into teaching. (6th ed., p 122). Pearson.

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EDTECH 541-VoiceThread-Social Networking and Walled Gardens


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