Sunday, February 18, 2018

EDTC 6431 Learning with Technology: Module 3 Solution

How do I get my secondary ELA students to use their critical thinking skills while reading articles on the web, to understand that not everything they read is true and what they can do to find out if an article is from a credible source?
While pondering this question, this week, I found myself looking for an engaging video to share with the class about the importance of reliable sources while doing research. I found myself on the YouTube channel CrashCourse which has a variety of engaging videos, geared toward middle and high school students, to help them better understand certain topics. The topics range from science, to math, to study skills. As I looked over the Study Skills section, I noticed they review papers and essays. Although the entire video (which is less than 10 minutes long) doesn't pertain to my question, the short section regarding research does give ideas on how to find reliable resources on the web. Their big suggestions were to use the library, which i think is often times overlooked as we live in a such a digital age, journal sites such as EBSCO, the bibliography or note section of popular non-fiction research based books, and Google Scholar. They also mention Wikipedia and how, although it is not a reliable source, the source section of the page may be a valuable resource when looking for reliable sources. I think this video would be good to show to the class as an introduction to research and essay writing. After showing the video, more instruction on research can be discussed as an introduction to essay writing.

Since we do live in such a digital world, I found the article What ICT-related skills and capabilities should be considered central to the definition of digital literacy? to be very relevant and important. The article essentially explains how we live in a world where "the convergence of print, visual images, social networking, online gaming and the ease of editing and producing music and film are evidence of the convergence of media and the scope for learners to create and share meaning in multiple formats." We live in a time where students need to be taught media literacy just as they are taught non-digital literacy as the two collide and share space in a learning environment. Without the knowledge of both, students aren't given the tools to be "capable of evaluating the relevance, currency, reliability, completeness and accuracy of online information, in addition to participating in today's digital culture." In turn, I need to teach my students to be an information literate person, to identify, scope, plan, gather, evaluate, manage, and present their findings. To do this, I could add to my essay writing introduction lesson and have students look over two different websites - one that is false or fake and one that is reliable - both touching on the same topic. I could ask my students to find the author, who publishes the page, and why they think the webpage is bogus or in fact a reliable source of information. We could even go over a Wikipedia page and point out why it is not a reliable source but show students where they can click on the sources for the page and how to decide if those sources are reliable or not, as well. We can also talk about how a page may be reliable but you also have to consider the tone of the author and their personal views and how they may reflect in the articles or webpage. 

All in all, I took from this week, was that it is my responsibility to teach my students how to find reliable sources and give them the tools to be information literate people so they can succeed, not just in my classroom, but in their future education as well as the world around them. 


McLoughlin, C. (2011). What ICT-related skills and capabilities should be considered central to the definition of digital literacy?. World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, 2011 (1), 471-475. 

Paper and Essays: Crash Course Study Skill #9. Retrieved from: on February 18, 2018. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

EDTC 6431 Learning with Technology: Module 2 Solution

How do I help students understand that what they write and show online, stays with them and can't always be erased; to remember to be thinking about their future and the professionalism (or lack thereof) will follow them as they move on from high school and enter into college/"the real world"?

To help students better understand the importance of being safe and smart about what they post online, I'd love to have a short 2-3 day unit about digital citizenship and have it tie into skills they'll need in the professional world, outside of school.

I would start the unit off by having a discussion about Digital citizenship, social media, how the two relate and start to dive into the importance of knowing what you're posting and sharing online. I'd have them take a short quiz online. This quiz can be taken from, which is a website devoted to helping students know what's safe and appropriate online as well as texting with friends. There's also information to help educate students on what they don't know or don't understand. This can also lead into a great classroom discussion and students can get the chance to express their views and opinions about the world online and social media. Another great online resource is and has resources for parents, students and educator. This may be a resource I let them know about but we don't go too in-depth, it could be something I send them home with to go over with their parents/guardian so the household is on the same page regarding online safety. The last thing I would do is handout a condensed version of the 9 P's of digital citizenship from Vicki Davis. This would be something they could carry around with them and be a quick reminder of how they should act online. Some of the 'P's" include privacy and professionalism, which would be a great transition for the second lesson about professionalism online and how it all relates. As homework, I would ask the students to look over the websites with their parents, possibly have a conversation with them about digital citizenship and what it means, discuss what was learned in class. I would also ask them to try to create a resume (doesn't have to be perfect) and explain to them that everything will tie together in the next lesson.

The next day the students would come in and we'd review what we learned the day before, ask if anyone had a conversation with their parents/guardians and if anyone would like to share. I'd then ask students to volunteer showing their resume. Once again, these don't have to be perfect. We'd go over different types of resume, what employers look for, the length, etc. I'd have examples of resume's from different career fields and different examples and if time allowed, we could also talk about cover letters. I think these are important things to know and learn but was never even talked about when I was in high school, yet I was supposed to have one to apply for college. I'd then show them a short TedTalk: Your online life, permanent as a tattoo by Juan Enriquez. In this talk, he explains how your digital identity, your whole life, is available online and is as permanent as a tattoo you might have on your skin. After this short video, I'd make the connection between digital citizenship and their resume. Much like a paper resume that you'll hand an employer, they'll also be looking at your online resume before they even start the interview process. This includes any social media accounts as well as simply googling a name to see what comes up. I would love to have my husband come in and talk about professionalism and his job working in HR, how he looks candidates up before they come to interview and have him share some stories about not hiring people based on what he found. With the permission of students, I think it would be fun to have him try to "find" them online. In real time, they can see what complete strangers see and how much of their life they're exposing and archiving online. If time allowed, we could follow up with a short Q&A.

I think these two days (possibly three, depending on time) would be very beneficial as students would be learning about being smart and safe online but they'd also be learning real world skills. They can also see the impact of posting online and how somethings can't be erased or taken back once they're put on the world wide web. 


Byrne, R. (2017). 12 Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship. 

Davis, V. (2017). What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship. Retrieved February 04, 2018 from (n.d.) Retrieved February 04, 2018 from

What Your Students Really Need to Know about Ditigal Citizenship. (n.d.) Retrieved February 04, 2018 from 

Monday, January 22, 2018

EDTC 6431 Learning with Technology - Module 1 Solution

How can technology be used to build a trusting relationship between myself and my students to better engage them in their learning, is there technology to help build these important relationships and trust so learning can take place?

While looking for answers to my question, I read two articles (cited below) from our classroom readings that helped me find ways to integrate technology into my teaching, that will allow my students to be engaged while learning and also have a voice within the class.

In the article Supporting Autonomy in the Classroom the simple idea of giving students more choices and control of their learning created an environment within the classroom that helped students want to learn, which helped them be engaged in lessons and classroom discussions. The idea of giving autonomy to students can be hard for teachers, the thought of putting student's learning and test scores into their own hands can be stressful and, personally, I may find it hard to do my first year teaching. One way to remind myself and to help maintain a level of autonomy is to have my students keep in check, respectfully. One way I can do this is through a short survey or poll. Of course I'm not always going to be able to please every single student at any given time but if the students feel they have a voice that is heard and respected, it will also help build a trusting relationship and maintain the autonomy in the classroom. The article mentioned three different types of autonomy within the classroom, with the most important being cognitive autonomy. This is the type that deals mostly with their education. Cognitive autonomy promotes learning because it allows students to be heard and freely discuss or debate, it gives them the independence to solve problems in their own way and has the teacher listening more than lecturing. They not only build trust with the teacher but also with each other. In regards to letting students have a voice, the article 7 Keys to Effective Feedback, explains the importance of students getting feedback and the difference between feedback and advice. Sometimes, as humans, we are quick to give advice thinking we are giving feedback. The article also mentions the importance of allowing students to give the teacher feedback. To tie the two articles together, there needs to be a level of autonomy and trust for students to know they can give feedback without being punished or embarrassed in front of their peers. I believe a way to do this is, again, through the use of online polls or surveys. Lastly, the article mentioned the timeliness of the feedback and how important it is to give feedback as soon as possible so ideas remain fresh and at the front of the mind. The two articles had me searching the internet, where I came across a website rating the 10 best feedback tools to use in the classroom. My favorites were those like NearPod and Socrative, where students can interact, in real time, with the presentation. There's opportunities for them to compete against one another, play games, add commentary to the classroom discussion via digital sticky notes, and even take small quizzes or polls. The idea is to have students be engaged in classroom presentations or lectures by actually being an active participant instead of just sitting in the classroom listening to the teacher. They're allowed to be heard and the teacher can get instant feedback and/or responses from the students. By doing so, they are an Empowered Learner, which according to ISTE standards, is a learner that participates in the classroom with the use of technology.

The article, Ten Best Classroom Tools for Gathering Feedback, also mentioned the use of Google Forms. This reminded me of a teacher who came to one of our classes and talked about his management style and how he connects with his students. He used Google Forms at the start of every class. As students walked in and got settled, they new they were to get on their computers and take part of the daily survey or poll. Each day was the same questions - on a scale of 1-4 rate how you're doing health wise, in the classroom, and why for each. Some students explained they were a 1 because they were tired or they were a 4 because the material was making sense or they received a high score. Some answers were more personal such as a pet passing and others were merely a period with no other response. Meanwhile, he would sit at his computer and as soon as the students submitted their poll, he could see their answers and respond immediately through email. His students new he cared because he would ask them follow up questions, congratulate them on extracurricular activities and/or clarify questions. This has really stuck with me and is something I plan on using in my own classroom. As I've gone through the program I've thought of ways to connect with students and have their voice be heard and all my ideas seemed to be very time consuming. Using Google Forms and allowing roughly 5 minutes at the start of class to connect and immediately respond takes away the daunting task hearing each voice in every class. The also address the timeliness factor in regards to giving feedback (Wiggins, 2012) as well as helps the student become a Creative Communicator, stated in the ISTE standards.

Another ISTE standard being addressed throughout the entire classroom and will be part of classroom management is Digital Citizen. Students will need to learn what's appropriate and what's not in regards to posting within the classroom and interacting with their fellow peers. The rules will be set in place and respect among each other and myself will be given at the beginning of the year but they are expected to maintain the standards and rules set out throughout the entire year. 


Stefanou, Candice R., Perencevich, Kathleen C., DiCintio, Matthew, & Turner, Julianne C. (2004). Supporting Autonomy in the Classroom: Ways Teachers Encourage Student Decision Making and Ownership. Educational Psychologist, 39(2), 97-110.

Wiggins, G. (2012, September). 7 keys to effective feedback. Education Leadership. 70 (1).   

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

EDU 6150 - General Inguiry, Teaching and Assessment Methods: Lesson Plan

I feel as if I've learned to successfully write a lesson plan. One that is thought out, makes sense, and helps keep students engaged from one activity to the next. The lesson has a central focus that relates back to the Standard with appropriate academic language and learning targets.

This assignment was time consuming but also something I really enjoyed. It helped me to visualize everything that would be happening in my classroom: what would be projected, what would be discussed, where would I be standing at certain times, how would students interact and participate. It helped grow my excitement at the thought of having my own classroom. I learned that I need to have back up plans and ways to help exceptional students succeed as well as general education students. I need to be ready to make adjustments in the moment and be ready for whatever might come up, whether that be discussion topics, less time than I thought I might have due to interruptions (fire drill, more questions than anticipated through discussion), or students that need to learn in a different environment or setting. Building this lesson plan has helped me appreciate what good teachers do "behind the scenes" and the time they put forth in their lessons. It's also helped me realize how important it is to plan and be prepared to teach, be prepared to be in front of a class and manage a classroom. Not until I wrote this lesson, did I realize that there's more to a plan than instruction. I'll need to be able to manage a classroom while also keeping students engaged and focused. I'll need to be able to make the most of the time I have with my students so they get the education they need and deserve.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

EDSP 6644 Education Exceptional Students - Lesson Plan

Below is a lesson plan, catered to a student who may be suffering with ADHD. I think it's important for these students to feel included and a part of the class. Students suffering with ADHD may have a hard time staying focused and on task, they may also become fidgety if they have to sit for too long. To accommodate this, I've modified a lesson during a literature unit to have the students work with partners or in groups. The ADHD student will work specifically with other students that are great at staying on topic and remaining focused. Vocabulary will also be discussed and the ADHD student will get the chance to move around when a scribe is needed to write words and definitions on the board. This will also help them retain what is being taught and be included in the discussion.

Friday, December 2, 2016

EDU 6918 Introduction to Teaching: Course Reflection

1.       Growing and Developing Professionally Teacher welcomes feedback from colleagues when made by supervisors or when opportunities arise through professional collaboration.

Many people I’ll be working with will have a different cultural background than myself. I’ll work with people of different faiths, race, and ethnicity. I’ll welcome feedback from colleagues and supervisors who are culturally different from myself and use our differences to my advantage to learn more about students/families that have a different culture or background from my own. By welcoming this feedback we’ll be able to collaborate as a team in helping to understand the background and culture of our students.


3.       I learned to not be “color blind” and how that kind of thinking can actually be detrimental because we should be celebrating our differences and not trying to hide them. We are all different, no two people are the same and we need to learn from each other instead of trying to push our own culture onto those who are different. This will help reduce misunderstandings based on incorrect information as well as help us embrace one another.

4.       There were very little differences of cultural where I grew up in Montana, which made it quite a shock when I moved to Memphis for undergrad as I don’t believe I was very culturally competent. I quickly saw the difference in culture between me and so many of the people I came in contact with, people with different values and beliefs, race, and religion. I was no longer a majority but actually a minority in more ways than one. I was hesitant to talk about other people’s cultures or backgrounds for fear I’d offend or insult them. This fear is something I’ve learned to let go of. Asking is one of the best ways to learn and help celebrate our differences instead of staying quiet and assuming or making my own judgements. This is something I’ll do with my own students and their parents/families. I’ll ask them about their culture, celebrate our differences, and embrace what makes us unique and different. I’ll show empathy for those that have a different upbringing or background than my own and although I may not be able to relate to certain situations or experiences they’re going though, I’ll be able to relate to the emotion their experiencing.

I have found, the best way for me to help reduce misunderstanding and break stereotypes about my own culture and background, is to be myself and live by example. This sounds simple enough but as I treat others how I want to be treated and love others around me it’s easier to talk about cultural differences. Once someone finds out about my faith they are often filled with questions and I’m always willing to answer, as long as they aren’t confrontational or accusatory.  

5.       I’ll continue to lead by example and ask my students about their cultures with an open mind and a desire for understanding. Other students will see this and, hopefully, will also have a desire to learn more about their peers and together we’ll celebrate our differences. Students will learn from one another and while in the classroom, realize, though we may be different, we still have the same goals and desires.

6.       Remain open minded and let go of what stereotypes I may have or what I may expect or think about a certain culture. Continue to live by example and treat others how I want to be treated. Reach out to families that differ culturally from my own to continue to learn. Read books from authors culturally different from my own as well as attend events that explore and celebrate different cultures.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


About Whitney

My husband and I moved to Seattle almost 8 years ago when he was accepted into grad school at Seattle University. Soon after he graduated, we found out we were pregnant with our first and moved to Redmond, where we still live today. We first met at school in southern Utah, transferred to University of Memphis, where we graduated and then he started applying for grad school. I've moved around my whole life as a daughter to a parent in the Air Force but claim to be from Montana, where I graduated high school and most of my family still lives. I have three kids, two girls and a little boy, who we welcomed to the family just a couple short weeks ago.

Interest and Experience in Education

Teaching has always been something in the back of my mind, something I've always thought I could do well and really enjoy. It wasn't until after I had my first daughter that I really started thinking about what I wanted to do when my kids were more independent and in school full time. My degree was in communication and graphic design and I wasn't sure I wanted to make a career out of either. I also wasn't sure if completely changing my career path and going back to school was an option. After doing some research and having the support of my husband behind me, I started applying for teaching programs and grad school. Later, as a youth leader for teenage girls, I was once again reassured about my decision to go pursue a career in teaching. I love working with high school students so I hope to teach at the secondary level with an endorsement in English Language Arts. As I mentioned earlier, I had the opportunity to work with girls ranging in ages 12-18 for about a year and a half. We had weekly activities I had to plan as well as Sunday lessons and sometimes weekend retreats. There were also several weekly meetings I had to attend with other youth leaders and clergy from my church. I loved working with these girls, even on the bad days. I was grateful for the chance to get to know them and be someone they could come to and confide in. I hope to be able to make similar connections with the students I teach.