Welcome to my Learning Log!



This learning log serves as a requirement for the M.E.T. degree at Boise State University.  The purpose of the site is to present the projects and assignments that I have completed as well as display the reflections and thoughts of my journey through the EdTech program.  It is my hope that this journey will give me the knowledge and more formal understanding of the various technology applications that I can apply to my career in librarianship.  I am also eager to learn how to better help faculty learn, use, and integrate technology into their face to face and online classrooms.  I know that these courses will put me in a better position to serve my institution and to contribute to the academic success and retention of our students.



EdTech 513 Digital Story

This week we were asked to do a Digital Story using Adobe Spark. I watched many really good examples of educational videos. I tried to think of something I could do for the library or for my First Year Seminar course, but in the end I decided to do a story about an event that happened to my family a couple years ago.

This is a story about triumph over tragedy. It’s the story of how one family took the experience from a tragic event and turned it into something meaningful.

I learned a lot from this assignment. At first I ran into some issues using Adobe Spark. I am used to using Screencast-O-Matic, which is quite different from Adobe Spark. After I watched a YouTube video where the narrator said to think about Adobe Spark as a video form of PowerPoint, however, it all began to make sense. Although holding in the narration button while speaking was still a bit strange for me.

As I reflected on this assignment I realized that creating my digital story involved taking into consideration many of the principles we have learned about so far in the course. Like Haiku Deck, Adobe Spark required you to be concise with your narration. The countdown while I was speaking threw me off a bit, but forced me to go back and remove extraneous words just as the coherence principle tells us to do. The use of narration and pictures supported the modality and redundancy principles. Additionally, I used the personalization principle to make the narration as personal and conversational as possible. I used words like I and my. There is a definite conversational and story-like flow to the narrated text.

As I said earlier I do make a lot of screencast videos in my job as a librarian. I show students how to use library databases, how to use Interlibrary Loan, and how to find the full-text of the articles they need. Learning about the personalization principle has given me some new ideas for my videos. Being mindful of the pronouns I am using and making sure that I am constructing the text in a conversational style is extremely important. Students will be more likely to watch the videos and learn from them if I engage them in this way throughout the process.

This artifact satisfies the 3.1 Creating Standard as I used Adobe Spark to create a digital story about a family event.

This artifact satisfies the 3.2 Using Standard as well. Throughout the process of creating this video I was able to incorporate my knowledge of the many theories and principles we have learned about in this course.

Check out my story here.

EdTech 513 Coherence Analysis

For this week’s assignment I had to answer several questions that encouraged me to think critically about the coherence principle.  Additionally, I had to reflect about how the coherence principle relates to the other principles and psychological theories we have discussed up to this point.  After answering these questions I was asked to find a bad example of the coherence principle, discuss the reasons why the example did not follow the guidelines of the coherence principle, and create a new version of the example that follows the standards of the coherence principle.

I really enjoyed this assignment for many reasons.  I chose to take this course as my last elective specially because of the theoretical aspects of the course.  I enjoy learning the theory behind why something works they way it does or why people behave the way they do.  Additionally, I like thinking about the application of these principles in the real world and the murky situations that may arise from the application or lack thereof.

I really appreciated the questions that forced me to address the connections that I saw between the coherence principle and the other principles and theories from our textbook.  This gave me the chance to see an overarching view of what I have learned so far about multimedia instruction.  Less is more is definitely a overarching theme that I see in all of the principles we’ve read about so far.  With the coherence principle I also saw a connection to a common theme from my Boise State coursework as a whole.  It is extremely important to adhere to the learning objectives when creating content. I still, however, feel like it is important to add some interesting bits of information periodically to keep the interest of higher capacity learners and/or those who desire future careers in the field of study from which they are learning.

I will definitely use the less is more theme in the future.  As I create documents and presentations for library users I will make sure to not overload the materials with extraneous words and graphics.  If I have a lot of information I will split it up into a couple of slides and make sure that users have a way of controlling their view of the material.  One of my other thoughts is to make basic and advanced documents for first-year students all the way up to graduate students.  This will help to account for lower capacity vs. higher capacity learners as well.

This artifact satisfies the 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating standard. I first took a look at several slideshow presentations that were focused on field of librarianship. I identified several with noticeable violations of the coherency principle. I then set about remaking them to incorporate the coherence principle and its psychological application. I was able to demonstrate my ability to identify both good and bad uses of the coherence principle as well as ways to use it within appropriate classroom technology.


EdTech 513 Narrated Presentation

This artifact represents a group effort to explore the proper presentation techniques for modality and redundancy.  We created examples of both proper and improper ways of presenting information according to the modality and redundancy principles.  I came up with the plan for the presentation and created the slides that demonstrated the theory behind the principles.  The other group members presented the good and bad examples of each principle. One member of the group volunteered to do the narration while another one added the works-cited slide.

This project reiterated what I learned about these two principles from reading the course textbook.  Student learning success depends upon adhering to these two principles.  Narration and graphics is best when creating an optimal learning environment.  Additionally, on-screen text, narration, and graphics is needed when the material is difficult for learners to grasp.  Overall, it is important that learners are able to control the pace of their own learning as much as possible.

Learning the theory behind these principles really helped me to understand why I often feel overwhelmed at conferences.  Librarians are notorious for putting together these fantastic presentations that contain vast amounts of very useful information.  I always come away from them, though, feeling like I missed something.  The truth is that I have.  My audio and video channels were overloaded and this caused me to lose some of the information being presented to me.

I make screen-cast videos for students demonstrating parts of the research process on a daily basis.  These videos are learner controlled, which means that students can stop and restart them as they are learning the material.  The one thing that I want to watch out for is to use the redundancy principle when needed.  There are times when I use a little bit of library jargon and I want to make sure that I provide several ways for students to understand and process these more difficult concepts.

This artifact satisfies the 3.1 Creating standard as our collaborative group used the modality and redundancy principles as our guide as we created this narrated slide presentation.  Additionally, we continued to follow the multimedia and contiguity principles from previous weeks as we prepared the slideshow.

This artifact satisfies the 3.2 Using standard in that we exhibited both good and bad examples of the modality and redundancy principles in practice.  Additionally, we chose an appropriate tool to display our slideshow and another one to help us narrate our presentation.

Additionally, this artifact satisfies the 4.1 Collaborative Practice standard as I worked with a group of fellow students to create this narrated slideshow.  Together, we developed and carried out a plan to present our understanding of the modality and redundancy principles to our instructor and the rest of our classmates.

Check out our narrated presentation here!

EdTech 513 Haiku Deck

My institution was recently awarded a Mellon Grant.  The grant iss designed to help us build a institutional repository of both textual and video resources for first-year students, particularly those from at-risk populations.  One of the resources I wanted to create for this archive was a list of top tips for student success from the library.  I thought this would make a nice topic for first experiment in using Haiku Deck.

I didn’t have much trouble learning how to use Haiku Deck.  The built-in image feature made it very easy to design my presentation.  The most challenging thing for me was figuring out what information to put on the slides.  There were times when I had to reword or cut down what I wanted to say in favor of something with fewer words.  I took this challenge in stride though.  Being able to say what you want to say as clearly and concisely as possible is a good skill to have.

At this point, I can’t envision how I might use in my day to day job as a college librarian.  Most of what I do involves information and topics that at this point seem to be more involved than what can be displayed on these slides.  I am, however, thinking that I could possibly use this tool to create some documents for my first year seminar course. Haiku Deck is a tool that can really help me as an instructor as it forces me to display just the right amount of information.  It will help me to explain information in smaller chunks so as not to overwhelm first-year students who may be struggling with the numerous expectations of college life.

As per the multimedia principle, I presented my information on slides with full images.  The images I chose were meant to symbolize something in the information.  Sometimes the connection was fairly obvious.  For example, I used a picture of artist brushes as a visual pun for the words “brush up on….”  Others were a little more subtle like telling students, “don’t limit yourself to Google.”  This was paired with a runner going up a flight of stairs.  I was implying that the students should see using library sources as a step above the limitations of Google and the information it provides .  In either case the visual invites the viewer to make connections between the two in his or her mind.  Throughout the Haiku Deck I remained true to the contiguity principle since all text was directly placed on the images and the text and images complemented each other.  In my mind the contiguity principle also relates to the idea of chunking information.  There is a lot of emphasis on cognitive overload.  Because there is a limit to how many words can appear on a slide, Haiku Deck forces the presenter to keep the text brief.

This artifact satisfies the 3.1 Creating standard as I incorporated original written material with meaningful imagery in the Haiku Desk.  I used what I know about the multimedia and contiguity principles in the formation of my slides.

This artifact satisfies the 3.2 Using standard as I was able to fulfill the assignment guidelines using a Haiku Deck, which is a presentation tool specifically designed to address the multimedia and contiguity principles.  The topic that I chose lent itself to the brevity needed to complete the assignment in Haiku Deck.

Check out my Five Tips for Student Success Haiku Deck!

EdTech 513 Static Tutorial

With every assignment I have received at Boise State I have always tried to do something that directly relates to my job as a college librarian.  Recently, I have been doing a lot of library instruction for upper-level students.  In these classes I focus on teaching students advanced searching techniques.  I show students how they can easily find more sources by examining the works-cited lists of good articles they find.  I then demonstrate to students how they can use the Find a Journal function on our library’s website to quickly find out if we have full text access to particular articles that will help them with their research projects.

Thinking about these information literacy sessions with juniors and seniors inspired me to create a tutorial on using the Find a Journal feature.  Here is the learning objective for students:

Learning Objective: By the end of this tutorial, students will be able to use the Find A Journal search function to find the full text article from a relevant citation.

With the process of learning how to use the Find a Journal feature comes the added benefit of learning how to identify the relevant pieces of an article citation.  I did not include this as a secondary objective, though, as students only really need to pick out a couple of important parts of the citation.  They are not learning to identify all parts of a citation through this exercise.

It is very common for librarians to provide video tutorials that illustrate parts of the research process or show students how to use specific library databases.  I have made several video tutorials using Screencast-O-Matic.  As a staff we believe that it is important to include transcripts for all of our tutorials.  I use Jing to add screenshots with text boxes and arrows into the transcript.  While I have never used Clarify-it before I was able to get the hang of it very quickly using what I know from Jing.  The ability to add an image with just a simple click of “enter” was definitely one of the best features of Clarify-it.  Additionally, being able to do all of the steps of creating a useful static tutorial in one place certainly saved some time.  While I currently have access to other programs that will do the same thing at work, I can certainly see the advantages of this application.  After creating this resource I am looking forward to expanding on this by creating more static tutorials on using other services such as Interlibrary Loan.

I followed the multimedia principle in creating this resource.  In my tutorial I included arrows with corresponding text boxes which gave students both a visual and textual way to view each step of the process.  These added elements guided students through the completion of the learning objective.  Additionally, this static tutorial used the contiguity principle as the text boxes and arrows were placed right next to the appropriate buttons and links.  The text and graphics were very close to each other on the page.  Each step was clear and concise and designed to lead students through the process of finding full text sources.

This static tutorial met the 3.1 Creating standard as both the multimedia and contiguity principle were taken into account in the design and creation phase of the project.  A combination of appropriate text and graphics was used to help guarantee optimal learning.  Additionally, the tutorial was designed and organized in a way that allows students to achieve the learning objective.

This static tutorial met the 3.2 Using standard as all assignment guidelines were followed in the creation of this artifact.  The steps were simple and easy to follow.  The screenshots illustrated the process.  The text boxes and arrows helped to ensure that students could complete the learning objective.

View my tutorial on How to Locate Full Text Articles Available in the Library databases here.




EdTech 513 Sketchnote


In this sketchnote, I chose to make a multimedia representation of the information presented in Chapter 4 of our EdTech 513 textbook. This document focuses on the psychological reasons for the multimedia principle and includes some notations on the importance of using words and pictures in e-learning.

To begin this assignment, I reread over the relevant sections in Chapter 4.  As I read through the information I underlined the specific material I wanted to highlight in my sketchnote.  I thought it would be a good idea to first sketch out my ideas using paper and pencil.  At the same time I searched for some additional videos to help me better understand the sketchnoting process as this was definitely a new concept for me.  After sketching out a practice version, I made the final copy of the sketchnote (shown above) using paper, pencil, fine-tip markers, and colored pencils.

I did experience some challenges with this process.  According to everything I read and watched you do not have to be an artist to do sketchnoting.  That being said, my own lack of talent in this area made me nervous.   My running joke I use is that I can’t even draw a stick figure.  The second challenge also relates to my lack of artistic talent.  I don’t usually think in terms of pictures and images.  I spent several hours on this assignment due to the fact that the creating and drawing process does not come easy to me.  I would much rather just take notes.

Even though this was challenging for me, I saw some very positive effects from it.  I can genuinely say that sketchnoting greatly enhanced the note taking process.  The tactile process of putting pencil to paper helped me to better remember the important points from the chapter.  I could see the connections between the concepts especially as I recalled the images that I used to illustrate the ideas and even the feel of making them.

While I am not a K-12 teacher, I certainly saw how this process could contribute to the growth of student learning.  I took my sketchnote into my office to scan it and my two coworkers both asked about it when they saw it sitting in on my desk.  Like me, one said that he could never do something like this because his brain doesn’t work in this way.  The other, who incidentally was a fine arts major, remarked how this was exactly what she did in her notes all through school.  The tactile process of pencil to paper could really help kinesthetic learners as well.  As the authors of our textbook clearly point out there is a substantial amount of research that shows that people learn better when information is presented in both words and pictures.

My initial idea with the assignment was to first create a paper copy and then attempt to  recreate the scetchnote in one of the many scetching apps.  I found this one that seems really neat and potentially useful in my work as a librarian.  It’s called Sketchboard.io.  It is an online sketching and diagramming program designed for a team environment.  At my institution much of our work as librarians overlaps with each other.  We each serve as the point person for some of our services; however, we all help each other out to make sure that the programs are running smoothly and each task is covered.  I could see us collaborating and sharing ideas using this Sketchboard program.  We could then throw it up on the big screen at our staff meetings to share our progress.  The one really cool thing about this program was that virtually all of the images on my sketchnote were included in Sketchboard’s image stockpile.  It would have been fairly easy for me to reproduce my sketchnote in electronic form.

As I started recreating the image in Sketchboard though I began to realize that this process did not produce the same feelings as the paper and pencil did.  In the end I decided to stick with the paper version as I was able to witness the advantages for using this process.  There is one thing about sketchnoting,  however, that still lingers with me.  I would bet that there are some people who use sketchnoting as their primary note taking style.  There is no way, however, that I could listen to a lecture and take notes in this fashion.  Personally, I see sketchnoting as a complement to my traditional note-taking.  I would use the sketchnoting process as a way to reinforce and remember what I learned.

This artifact meets the 3.1 Creating Standard as it fully describes my understanding of the multimedia principle and how this concept enhances student learning.  Through various research studies, the textbook authors demonstrate how the multimedia principle, or the use of words and pictures, contributes to the growth of student learning. Additionally, this artifact covers the 3.2 Using Standard.  Throughout the process of creating this artifact, I considered all of my options and in the end decided to complete the project in a more helpful and useful way using traditional items such as paper, pencil, and markers.

EdTech 543 Final Reflection Blog

Social Networking Learning was my ninth course at Boise State.  I chose this course as an elective because it provided a natural continuation of the Blogging in the Classroom course that I took over the summer.

As a person with only minimal experience with one platform, namely Facebook, I really relished the chance to further explore social networking tools.  I wanted to take a deeper look at how these tools could be used for educational and professional development purposes.  I never in a million years thought that I would sign up for a Twitter account.  Now I can’t imagine not having one.  Throughout the course, I discovered just how much Twitter can be used for professional development.  I found several Twitter feeds related to librarianship that I want to continue to follow.  I found specific librarians whose tweets I would like to read.  One of the newest programs at my institution is nursing.  I found a librarian on Twitter who is a librarian specifically for the nursing department at her institution.  Following her Twitter feed will help me figure out ways that I can support this new program on my campus.  I can honestly see myself doing some Twitter chats in the future.  I really enjoyed the camaraderie and the experience of learning from others in the chat.  I was overwhelmed by the encouragement I received from the participants when I told them it was my very first chat experience.

The curation-related assignments were some of my favorite in the course.  As a librarian I love to do research.  I enjoyed learning how to use ScoopIt! and Pearltrees to curate two topics of my choice.  I was grateful for the chance to explore a topic related to academic librarianship as well as a topic related to higher education.  These assignments gave me an easy and fun way to explore a variety of sources on issues that are important to me and my career.  Additionally, I must admit that I had one of the best group project experiences of my educational career with the criteria for curation assignment.  I used Google Hangouts for the first time to meet with my PLN.  Even though we came from entirely different career backgrounds, we talked, shared ideas, and very easily put together our curation criteria.  Through the process, I enjoyed learning from the members of my PLN.

After the Blogging in the Classroom course this summer, I decided to turn the formal paper assignment in my first year seminar course into a series of blog posts.  Within the class WordPress blog, students wrote several blog posts and commented on their partner’s blogs.  They essentially did everything in these posts except write a formal paper.  To be honest, I’m not really sure yet how or if I will incorporate more social networking platforms into my first year seminar.  I will, however, use platforms such as Twitter to follow other experts in my field and pursue free professional development activities.

Throughout the semester I did a nice job of reflecting on assignments and addressing  various topics with my blog posts.  I did not, however, add any extra posts other than what was required for the course.  I only offered a few comments on blog posts of other students in the course.  For these reasons I feel like I should receive at least a 70/75 for the additions to my WordPress site.