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Master of Education:

My Journey Through Digital Teaching and Learning

Geoff Stemple
EDUC 526 Capstone in Digital Teaching and Learning
Dr. Gilbreath
San Diego Regional Center
URL: http://stempleg.weebly.com/
Date Submitted: June 13th, 2015

Geoff Stemple
San Diego Regional Center

EDUC 526 Growth Assessment


Spring II

June 2015

I had just finished my credential and wanted to continue my education, not only for pay
scale options, but also do have the experience. I have known quite a few people who have
participated in APUs graduate programs and have heard nothing but good things about it. When
it came time to make the decision, it was an easy one for me. I have been teaching Special
Education for some time now, first through my intern credential, and then through my
preliminary credential. We actually had someone quit as well without giving any notice, and we
had to split up the caseload. I have been working with a caseload of 52 since last year and it has
been extremely difficult for me to manage everything, but I have found a way. My work
environment has been very challenging, and there have been many late nights at home. I have
had to do homework when I should have been writing IEPs at home, and that forced me to
become very efficient with work, however the students suffered by losing instructional time.
Thankfully I have had my assistant who worked diligently with all of them to make sure they
receive their service time. The goals I had for the MA program were to learn more about
technology that is available, and more specifically how that technology can be utilized most
efficiently in the classroom. I am more of an old school pen and paper type of person and so
sometimes I struggle with new technologies. The other goal was to become more proficient with
these new technologies.
I wouldnt say that I have learned too much more about my learning style. As I consider
myself a lifelong learner, and have spent the past decade in college coursework, I know what it
takes to succeed. I know how I learn best and I know what I need to do for myself in order to be
the most productive. My study habits took some time to get in order as I had to give up a lot of
activities that I enjoyed participating in like softball teams and hanging out with friends. I had to
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Geoff Stemple
San Diego Regional Center

EDUC 526 Growth Assessment


Spring II

June 2015

dedicate myself to working at home after work, and they made for some very long days. I
usually work well under pressure so that was not a factor for me, although I could tell that it
stressed my loved ones out around me. As far as the spiritual timeline goes, I havent added
anything, and I believe if anything, I have gotten further away from my walk because I have not
had time. Of course this could be considered an excuse, however, I havent had the mental or
emotional capacity to even worry about it. The completion of this degree for me is extremely
important. I am very glad that I have put in the hard work and dedication to complete it. Most
people my age are happy with where they are in their education, but I have found that I have
matured and grown so much over the past year. It has been a great learning process and I believe
that it will greatly benefit me in my career.
I have grown extensively throughout my study at APU. I believe that overall this
program has greatly benefited me as an educator and I have been using a lot of the information
that I have gained from APU in the work place. I have grown in the knowledge of various
technologies and applications, but not just the awareness of them, I have actually learned how to
use them for myself, therefore allowing me to translate that into my pedagogy. I dont really see
that my educational vision has changed that much, but I have begun to question the future of the
institutionalized education system in America, and how long it will remain the way that it is now.
I believe that we have fallen behind and are failing our children in so many ways that it will take
a long time for the little bit of change that is taking place now to be effective. There havent
been any new responsibilities, and actually since we have hired another teacher I have fewer
responsibilities now than when I began the program. You could say that it has come at the
perfect time since I am finishing the program, coming into summer, and have a very manageable
3

Geoff Stemple
San Diego Regional Center

EDUC 526 Growth Assessment


Spring II

June 2015

caseload. This means that when the fall rolls around I will be refreshed and renewed in taking on
different responsibilities for the school year. The action research question I had asked myself is
this: Will packing my lunch the night before or in the morning before I go to work be more
effective? The results I had were that packing my lunch at night was much more effective than
packing my lunch the morning I am going to work. I attribute these positive results to the fact
that I had more time to think about what I was going pack before I did it. If needed to go to the
store for something I had time to, I also found that it was much more work on top of my daily
morning routine to pack it before work. Overall it was much more effective to pack my lunch at
night before I went to bed. I enjoyed being able to just grab my lunch pail and my coffee and
head out the door.
I have always considered myself to be fairly technologically savvy, however I have not
had the time to keep myself up to date or proficient with all of the applications and programs that
are available out there today. There are so many news ones popping up, it is almost impossible
to keep up with all of them. Once I got into the program, the real meat of it anyway, I found the
time because it was required. I was finally able to create something with my IPad that I always
knew I could do, just never really had a reason to do it. It took some time with a lot of the
assignments but it was a lot of trial and error, and that is usually how I learn best. One of the
apps that I really liked to use is called Doceri, it is basically a virtual white board where you can
record and voice over lessons, this works really well for math instruction that students can watch
over and over again. The learning goals I had for this degree were to first and foremost,
complete all requirements with a grade that reflects the amount of effort I have dedicated to it. I
believe that I met this goal for the most part, except for one course. This course was taught by
4

Geoff Stemple
San Diego Regional Center

EDUC 526 Growth Assessment


Spring II

June 2015

Professor Rodriguez. I completed all of the assignments with effort that I felt was deserving of
an A, however I received a B in the class. I felt this was not reflective, and when I tried to speak
with her about it she was less than accommodating. Apart from that I earned all As throughout.
Other goals I had included learning how to effectively take technology and present it in the most
effective way possible so that my students might benefit. I learned how to do various
presentations like this, in ways that I did not know how to before. Everything from creating a
presentation in Doceri covering mathematics, to creating a documentary style presentation using
IMovie. I also learned how to do professional style interviews with lighting and different shot
types, which I was very proud of. I personally know what works for me, but that does not mean
that it will work for everyone else. I also had the goal of learning how to use new technologies,
but I also wanted to learn how to effectively pass that information and methodologies on to
others. I feel that I could confidently teach staff or students how to utilize different technologies
and applications if I were required to in a professional development setting. For me on a personal
level, this degree program means that it will be a great resource for me in learning about newer
technologies, why they were developed, and how they can best be utilized in order to help
students achieve success.
Fortunately I work for a program that is always ensuring that the professional
development of its employees is held in the highest priority. At least once a month we have a
professional development that is offered regarding some sort of technology or program that we
can use in our instruction. I have had a negative attitude about most of these professional
development trainings because they take away from time in the classroom with students.
However, it is important to attend them as often as possible so that we can all stay on the same
5

Geoff Stemple
San Diego Regional Center

EDUC 526 Growth Assessment


Spring II

June 2015

collaborative page as coworkers. I would like to continue to develop in the areas of direction for
students to use the IPads in the classroom and understanding the different programs that they
would like to use in order to complete their assignments. I would also like to learn more about
assistive technologies that can be used for students with disabilities. In five years I probably see
myself in the same program, and probably the same position as I have now. I have been working
with this organization for ten years and am very content with what I have worked towards here.
In over ten years I choose to make a career change, I would like to go into the mental health
field.
Name:
Geoff
Stemple

Link to Portfolio:

Term:
Spring 2
Course

Course Title &


Instructor Name

EDUC
511

Foundations in
Digital Teaching
and Learning
INSTRUCTOR:
Dr. Gilbreth

EDUC
512

EDUC
522

EDUC
514

Instructional
Applications
Productivity
Software
INSTRUCTOR:
Mark Rounds

Term
Completed

Fall 2

Digital Video in the


Classroom

Wordle
Livebinder
Symbaloo

Great introduction to the program. Some more


assignments or options could have been included, for
instance using any website in order to present, using a
different site over Livebinder.

Weebly

Creating a webquest activity for students to complete on


their own was a great way to learn how to do it for
myself. By doing the assignment I created something I
can use in the classroom!

Many different
applications
Creating a
comprehensive
unit plan that
addressed all of
the multiple
intelligences
IMovie
Dropbox

The theory of multiple intelligences is quickly taking


over the use of Blooms taxonomy in the creating of
course plans that address each of the students different
multiple intelligences. This was great to learn about
because we all learn in different ways! Professor
Rodriguez should move away from teaching the course
like she is teaching to elementary students and recognize
that she is teaching adults.

Spring 1

Spring 1

Comments/Suggestions

Fall 2

Learning in the
21st Century
INSTRUCTOR:
Lisa Rodriguez

Key Skills Acquired

I finally learned how to use IMovie! I had heard so much


about it and it was nice to become proficient with it.
6

Geoff Stemple
San Diego Regional Center

EDUC 526 Growth Assessment


Spring II

June 2015

EDUC
515

EDUC
526

INSTRUCTOR:
Tim McKean

Doceri
ITunes U

Using presentation technology definitely helped me be


more useful in the classroom.

Evolving
Educational
Technologies

Thinglink
Nearpod
Game based
learning

Game based learning is something that we should all be


learning about because most of our students play games
on the computer or game console at home. It has become
such a way of life for our students that it really should be
incorporated in the learning environment. Professor
Martin did a great job showing us a lot of cool things!

Growth
assessment and
reflection
Action research

Bringing everything to a close is a great way to describe


this course. We are solidifying everything that we have
learned throughout the degree and it is a nice reminder to
see how much we have actually learned along the way!

INSTRUCTOR:
Lance Martin
Capstone
Experience/ Digital
Teaching and
Learning

Spring 2

Spring 2

INSTRUCTOR:
Dr. Gilbreth

My overall experience at APU has been a very positive one. I thought that my credential
program was rigorous but very informative and I think that it would be a good program for any
aspiring teacher. I found that the faculty and staff were extremely friendly and they has the
interests of each and every individual student held in the highest regard. I had heard great things
about APU from various co-workers and so I felt right off the bat that it was a good program.
Once I completed my credential, I found that I was able to utilize a lot of the things that I had
learned in the work place. One thing that I would like to suggest and I actually cant believe that
it was not included, was that there was no preparation for writing an actual IEP. It was
something that I struggled with the most. If there were a course, or at least a unit that was part of
a course, that focused on writing a compliant and legal IEP document, then it would be
extremely beneficial for students pursuing a career in special education. I must say that the
Masters coursework was very interesting! I learned so much about technology and how to utilize
it in the classroom that I will carry on my profession development in the area with enthusiasm. I
think that the program is designed well, and I dont have any criticisms, other than what has
7

Geoff Stemple
San Diego Regional Center

EDUC 526 Growth Assessment


Spring II

June 2015

already been stated about Professor Rodriguez. I would definitely recommend APU for any
aspiring teacher that would like to either get their credential or pursue a Masters Degree.

Geoff Stemple
San Diego Regional Center

EDUC 526 Growth Assessment


Spring II

June 2015