M. Ed

Recently I completed my Master’s of Education (focus Educational Leadership & Online Learning and Teaching)

Here is a link to my completed Master’s:  http://viuspace.viu.ca/handle/10613/2657

My Goal was to design a first year blended transitional course on the effective use of digital tools for academic purposes that also includes the implications of the student’s digital footprint, professionalism and personal learning networks

Course Overview & Learning Outcomes:

Unit 1.  Introduction to Web 2.0

Digital Footprint and professionalism – a student’s perspective

  • Understand the implications of digital profile in terms of longevity, reach, and changing context.
  • Understand and assess the influence of an online profile.
  • Explain strategies for online reputation management.

Privacy Roles and Responsibilities – Sharing information online

  • Use social networking sites in an educational setting in an appropriate and secure fashion while protecting users’ privacy (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Flickr)
  • Demonstrate protection of privacy and freedom of information in dealing with own and others’ personal information.
  • Discern among private, recordable, confidential and sensitive information (e.g., what may be shared, what legal or professional obligations exist, what consent is required, etc.)
  • Describe how to comply with VIU’s Technology Acceptable Use Policy and other student ethical conduct policies and program-based professional guidelines.

Unit 2.  Telling Your Story – Introduction

Creating a professional image online – E-Portfolios

  • Create and curate an academic profile (i.e. D2L E-portfolio or WordPress)

Ways to tell a story (blogging, etc.)

  • Use a broad range of media texts in order to express ideas through multiple forms of media (e.g., traditional print, electronic, digital, etc.)
  • Create and share multimedia objects, applying best practices.
  • Create and use a personal web-space to express ideas.

Unit 3.  Tools and Technology

Working together online

  • Create and participate in a personal learning network.
  • Use video and web conferencing tools and instant communication tools (i.e. D2L, Collaborate, Google hangouts, etc.) for learning or research.
  • Engage in group development using collaborative creation (e.g. discussion forums)
  • Collaboratively create documents with peers (e.g., shared creation and editing using Google docs, Coggle, etc.)

Digital Presentation

  • Appropriately and efficiently share digital media such as podcasts, music, and video.
  • Optimize and use digital images, audio, and video in a variety of formats (i.e. Text based software such as Prezi, SlideShare, etc.; video media such as Prezi, SlideShare, VIUTube, YouTube, ActivePresenter, Jing, etc.; and audio media such as podcasts, etc.)

Digital Study Tools

  • Use social networking tools for communication related to learning or research.
  • Access and utilize current reference programs for citations and attributions
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of electronic tools available for creating and managing online resources (e.g. mind-mapping software, flashcard programs, Library apps, organizers such as Symbaloo, etc.)

Unit 4.  Telling Your Story Revisited – Tying it all together

Final E-portfolio presentation

  • Demonstrate course mastery through uploaded assignments into an e-Portfolio

OLTD Courses

The Courses

  • OLTD 501 – Introduction to Online Learning – Competencies and Environments
  • OLTD 502 – Digital Learning Continuum
  • OLTD 503 – Online Communication
  • OLTD 504 – Special Topics-Learning Systems
  • OLTD 505 – Special Topics-Open Educational Resources
  • OLTD 506 – Special Topics-Social Media
  • OLTD 507 – Special Topics-Cloud Computing
  • OLTD 508 – Special Topics- Mobile Learning and Gaming
  • OLTD 509 – Emergent Environments and Technologies
  • OLTD 510 – Capstone Learnings

Minecraft world

Evidence: Video of Minecraft world created

Learning Outcomes:

  • Plan learning opportunities most suitable to the strengths and challenges of a variety of mobile learning and gaming environments
  • Develop skills to optimize learning experiences through personalization based on characteristics, needs, stages of development, current personalized learning mandates, and misconceptions

I was very much a newbie to the world of Minecraft before this assignment. I had heard of it, seen people dress up as characters from it, but never so much as looked at it. For this assignment we had to ‘play’ in the Minecraft world and determine how it could be used in the classroom. In order to figure out how to use it in the classroom, I had to play with it my self and evaluate it with the rubric that Jay, Corina & I built. After all, how can I evaluate a tool for use in the classroom if I could not use it myself?

What I discovered is that Minecraft is a very flexible, creative world that has tremendous applications in the classroom. As you can see on the video, I tested the world for use in Math and Biology. I am especially happy how my labelled ‘cell’ turned out. For visual learners, students who love gaming or creative people, the ability to create three dimensional structures to illustrate concepts (or for example calculate volumes and areas in math) really personalizes the learning experience. Students can work collaboratively or individually, this can be done in the classroom or from a distance. the key word is personalization.

Are there some challenges to having Minecraft assignments? Sure. I work with adults. Not all of them will be interested in this or could afford to buy the program. In the k-12 systems there are also challenges (though MinecraftEdu eliminate a bunch of them!). Overall Minecraft scored very high on the game evaluation rubric. While it is certainly a tool that I would use in the classroom I would likely make it an optional assignment or alternative way of presenting a project. Participating in this assignment really opened my eyes to what games can do in education

Game Based Learning Evaluation


Live form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/11O0gh5P5PdBQUrP8lrmtK6xaFA6XCPeF54jD2NuIo0I/viewform

Evaluated Game & Critical Questions documented: OltdGroupAssignment3JayLisaCorina – good

Learning Outcomes:

  • Critically assess and evaluate resources for best practice in mobile learning and gaming environments
  • Integration of current cognitive learning and educational gaming theory and examination of current research around best and emerging practices
  • Critically assess and evaluate resources for best practice in online learning

For this project, Corina, Jay & I developed an evaluation form for educational games. This idea is educators could use this form to evaluate the a game that they wished to use in the classroom.

What can happen in the classroom (both face-to-face and online) is unfortunately, educators become excited about some new and shiny tool but don’t stop to critically assess the resource to see if it is appropriate for the learning environment. It is important to evaluate the resource. An easy way that this can be done is through a rubric. If the rubric is designed for a particular learning environment then the educator will be able to compare and assess different resources. As we stated in our overview “the elements we included in our evaluation rubric will ensure that any app we assess for use with students will meet their needs for learning, growth, differentiation, individualization, creativity, and authenticity, as well as safety and academic concerns”.

Our rubric was designed using current theories and emerging practices. One theorist that resonated especially was Jim Gee (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aQAgAjTozk) and we used many of his principles in creating the rubric. The second was Futurelab’s RETAIN model and Four-Dimensional Framework (media.futurelab.org.uk/resources/documents/lit_reviews/Serious-Games_Review.pdf). The RETAIN and 4D framework provided the scaffold for us to create the rubric

509 Summary of Learning

Evidence: Summary of Learning Video

Learning Outcomes:

  • Critically assess and evaluate resources for best practice in online learning
  • Consider potential design/implementation opportunities and challenges of emerging technologies
  • Research and identify emerging technologies with educational applications not yet adopted by mainstream education or in early adoption phases

My Summary of learning was designed as a Pecha Kucha. Unfortunately due to the upload size constraints of WordPress, I had to save it as a video. I wanted to express my thoughts and understandings of what I learned in OLTD 509 with imagery and quotes from my cohort as much/most of what I learned came from discussion with them.

Disruptive and sustaining innovation in education is changing how we teach our students. It is important to remember that just because technology is shiny and new we should use it only if it fits with the pedagogy of what we are trying to accomplish. Technology should be used not for technologies sake, but for solid educational reasons. To that end it is important to consider not only the advantages to using emerging technology but also the disadvantages and challenges around it.

The seminar I taught with Charlene & Stephanie (which can be found in this post BYOD seminar) really showed me how powerful it can be when students use their own devices to enhance their own learning. However, most of my students live below the poverty line, not all have or can afford their own device. I cannot make having a device a requirement of the class as that would prevent some students from taking it. The disruptive innovation of BYOD would be a challenge to use in in my teaching practice, despite the opportunities it gives. In comparison, Virtual Labs, which are also an emerging technology, is something that does work with my students. At VIU there are many computer stations for students to use 24 hours a day. Prior to this class, I was using virtual labs. OLTD 509 allowed me to explore the advantages (and disadvantages) of virtual labs. I come away from class understanding why the best practice for lab work is having both physical and virtual labs. I am no longer doing it for convenience but because it is sound educational practice.

BYOD Seminar

Evidence: BYOD Seminar Website

OLTD Learning Outcomes:

  • Research and identify emerging technologies with educational applications not yet adopted by mainstream education or in early adoption phases.
  • Consider potential implementation opportunities and challenges of emerging technologies.

Charlene Stewart, Stephanie Boychuk and I facilitated a seminar on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) where we asked our participants to examine the pros and cons to students bringing and using their own devices in class. Allowing students to bring their own devices to class, and use them, is an example of disruptive innovation in education.  With any new innovation there are both benefits and challenges.

One challenge that I had about this topic was I knew very little about it myself! As we planned the seminar (our planning document can be seen on the website) we quickly learned about the topic. Thankfully, one our cohort was familiar with the topic and and allowed us to interview him (full interview can be read on the website).

Over all I am please with how the seminar went. We asked participants to update the website themselves. We also asked them to cross post in our Google + community so the rest of our cohort could participate if they wished. If I were to do a similar seminar, I would have a place on the website for participates to list there pros & cons about the topic, as well as the rest of the activities.

My opinion on BYOD? I love the idea. I love letting students take more control over their learning. I love the idea of students all working on the same document (without using a blackboard, really, who loves chalk all over their hands, and few like writing at the front of the room) at the same time. Having personal access to the knowledge of the world is a game-changer in education. The thought of going paperless as students could access all materials, texts, PowerPoints etc brings joy to me.

My difficulty is I teach in Adult Basic Education at Vancouver Island University. Most students (71%) taking upgrading courses live under the poverty line despite working while attending school. Not all of my students have or can afford their own device. Unlike the forestry department, I do not feel that I can make having a device mandatory. Students can borrow a textbook. It is unlikely that we will have a device-borrowing system soon (though it would be wonderful). Requiring a device would be a huge barrier to some.

Lesson Plan: Reproductive System

Evidence: Unit Plan for the Reproductive System: Reproductive system unit plan

Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop and design intentional learning activities suitable for the appropriate environment and the learner
  • Develop an online unit using cloud tools effectively

The lesson has students participating in three TEDEd lessons, which I created. Students then create an infographic about either the path of sperm or the path of an egg. The last component is creating a concept map about one of four topics. Students would then combine their concept map with three other students to create a larger map with all four topics.

In my teaching at Vancouver Island University I generally use a Learning Management System (LMS), specifically D2L. While having one system for the entire university is very convenient, especially for students as there is consistency between classes. Sometimes, however, the LMS is too limiting and cannot do exactly what the instructor wants the students to do. Sometimes one needs to go outside the LMS and in to cloud tools. Educators should use the best tools available to create appropriate learning activities for their learners.

In the lesson I created, I choose to use a hybrid model: cloud tools housed within a LMS. With very little alteration the entire unit could be done with cloud tools (the discussion, for example, could be held in Google + document while the infographics could be held on a photo-sharing site). This, perhaps, is what I like best about cloud tools. They offer tremendous flexibility in that they can stand alone or work within an LMS

Cloud Tool Analysis

Evidence: Cloud Tool Analysis Form

Learning Outcomes:

  • Critically assess and evaluate resources for best practice in online learning
  • Identify appropriate use of cloud tools in an online course
  • Create assessment and evaluation methods/tools most suitable to the strengths and challenges of the specific environment

I have created a very simple word table to analyze cloud tools in an education setting. This form is not designed to state whether or not a tool should be used but to give an overview of the tool itself. To assess the viability of the form I have assessed 7 different cloud tools of a variety of types using this chart. Overall I found the table to work well, especially for the type of student that I teach. I teach in adult education so my typical student is between 20 and 60 with low computer skills. My on-line classes are run asynchronously with both collaborative and individual components. Here is the analysis of the 7 tool: Cloud Tool Analysis – 7 tools.

When the decision is made to use a particular online tool with your students it is important to analyze it fully. A tool that is suitable for one set of students may not be suitable for another as there are many factors that will affect whether or not it is appropriate, such as:

  • The policies in your district or educational setting
  • The age of your student
  • The goal of the assignment
  • The logistics of the class

Thus having an analysis form should help you to make a quick decision as to whether or not you wish to pursue using the cloud tool. If the tool seems appropriate given the student population then a lesson can be developed.  An analysis form prevents educators from spending time developing a lesson when the tool used may have a critical flaw in it. By saving any analyzed tools in a document, educators can quickly find a suitable tool for a particular lesson rather than having to search for a new one every time (or using an old one that may not quite ‘fit’).

In my own personal practice, I tend to use the same tools over and over again. By having a list of analyzed tools I am saving myself time, preventing my students from becoming bored, and am able to use the correct tool for the lesson that I wish to teach. Pedagogy is driving the lesson, rather than the tool.

Here are some of my top picks from the seven tools that I analyzed


Edit: After using some of these tools I would move TEDEd up to the number 1 spot for students. I really is a great way to develop online lessons that are interesting for students

Mind42 Resource Package

Evidence: Mind42 resource package with risk analysis

Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop emergent expertise with at least one social media tool for education.
    • Develop 2-3 developmentally appropriate activities for tool.
    • Create content for student training to address tool use and management of risks
  • Develop and design intentional learning activities suitable for the appropriate environment and the learner


When asking students to use a digital tool it is important to not only analyze the tool with a few potential lessons in mind but to perform a risk assessment and policy alignment check of the tool. Once done, a student user agreement for students to sign outline all the information needs to be generated.

In my teaching practice, I really like to use mind-maps so students can see the key concepts and connections in a topic. Generally I ask students to create the mind-maps as part of their on-line class. One of the mind-map sites I like to use is Mind42.com. For this site I created a comprehensive resource package. As I teach adult learners, all information is aimed for that age group and no parental permission has been included.

Resource Package: Lewis_Lisa_oltd506_Resource Package_mind42

Digital Boundaries

Evidence: Paper: Digital Boundaries & Social Media
Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand functional contexts & constraints, employment considerations, privacy tensions, BC legal, school policies/procedures, professional ethics
  • Scaffold digital citizenship from K-12 to professional level of educators
    • Responsibility, accountability and civility in online environment


Sometimes it is so easy to lecture, PowerPoint or use chalk on a blackboard in the classroom. One problem is it can be boring, the same thing over and over again. There is a fantastic world available through the internet with all sorts of resources, learning apps and communities. Students are going to the internet on their own for learning, so why not bring the world in to the classroom. The problem? If, as an educator, you are asking students to go on-line, you have the responsibility of informing them of the risks that exist as well as how their digital footprint can be affected (or even that they have a digital footprint).

Educators also have legal (and ethical) consideration when their students go on-line. Unfortunately many educators are not aware of their legal responsibilities. OLTD 506 really opened my eyes to the legal requirements of B.C. and Canada, as well as the the responsibilities around informing students of the risks and about their digital footprint and how that can be potentially affected.

Here is the paper: Lewis_Lisa_oltd506_BoundariesPaper