Charcoal drawing on A Drake

AETC Standard 4

Professional Knowledge and Skills

Screenshot of the Big Three Infographic

Candidates design, develop, implement, and evaluate technology-rich learning environments within a supportive community of practice

Course: EDET 709- Application of Learning Principles, Spring 2018 with Dr. Besser

This Learning Principles course provided me with new insights on how to design instruction for a variety of learning outcomes. Three Learning theories were discussed in detail: Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructionism. Dr. Besser taught the course under the Constructionist model. Students constructed meaning for themselves using Project-Based Learning in collaborative teams. My partner and I were tasked with creating a collaborative wiki that demonstrated our understanding of Project-Based Learning (PBL). Ultimately, I was able to able to relay my discovery of PBL to my colleagues in a district-wide professional development day.

If you read my About Me page, you'll remember that I took a long break between college and work to raise my children, become a foster and adoptive parent. Entering the workforce for so long a time after my earning my degree was a huge readjustment. After becoming a teacher, it took me years to stop feeling like a novice. As I gained more teaching experience, I developed more confidence in the choices I made to manage my class. I was also proud of the efficiency of the tools I used in the classroom to facilitate instruction.

In my second year of teaching, I volunteered to co-lead a Tech Fest session on Content Curation with my media specialist friend. Two years after that, I led my own session on using Microsoft One Note to organize, present, share resources with students and colleagues. Another two years later, I presented sessions for teachers to learn to use Schoology, the district's Learning Management System. I had experience teaching about tools that I discovered and was adept as using; However, I did not yet have much background in pedagogical strategies and instructional design. Since EDET 709 provided me with a deeper understanding of the different types of learning outcomes and different methods of teaching, I knew it was time for me to present my pedagogical findings to my colleagues.

Every fall, my school district hosts a back-to-school professional development conference to train teachers in new insights and strategies. I volunteered to present Project-Based learning at the Empowering Educators conference. It was a delightful experience. I was able to pull together a multimedia presentation to explain this dynamic teaching method. I incorporated artifacts that I crafted during this course to help present Learning Theory to my audience. Based on the feedback at the end of the presentation, I was thrilled to hear them summarize back to me what they understood PBL to mean.

I chose the presentation as an artifact because it meant so much to me to be seen as an equal, or perhaps even a teacher leader, among such an amazing group of educators. The Educational Technology Masters program focuses not just on technology; As part of the School of Education, it provides valuable insights in learning, teaching, and instruction design. This program filled in some of the gaps I feel that I had in my educational background. 

E2 Conference Slideshow

  Angela Drake | Educational Technology Portfolio | University of South Carolina Aiken | Spring 2020