General Blog Posts

The Wrap-Up (5303)

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I am not sure where to begin! This class has really had a dramatic effect on me. I guess that is the point of the class. In our last class, 5302, I was introduced to CSLE and COVA. Now I can truly say, I appreciate these concepts. I feel like I have learned so much in a short period of time. The guidance provided seemed a little challenging initially. Being given a choice in how I demonstrate my learning is priceless. Failing Forward, the book by John C. Maxwell, was not a required read for this class, but it was referenced in either the 1st or 2nd class conference. The ideas that were shared from this book, inspired to me actually read it. I am glad I did. The principles discussed in this book help embrace the COVA model. When I began, I was unsure of how I was going to accomplish creating an Eportfolio, especially because I didn’t know what it was or how it would benefit me. Fast forward a few weeks later, I am constantly thinking about what I can blog about or what I can add to my site.

The connections that have been in this class, I feel are going to be professional collaborators and partners even after we finish this class and program. I only wish other classes focus on collaboration and networking, I believe this component made all the difference. We were able to share thoughts, fears, give advice, and just be an ear to each other. We were also encouraged to give each other meaningful feedback, this was quite beneficial. Reviewing other Eportfolios gives me inspiration and new ideas.

There are things in my Eportfolio that still need fine tuning. I am still trying to figure out how to add tags and I just learned that I don’t have the capability to add videos directly from a file. In order for me to add a video, I have to upload it to YouTube and then share it to my page. Not sure how I feel about that yet.

I have designed and established a place that belongs to me where I can share, document my learning, and revisit ideas. This is definitely just the beginning!

Failing Forward

This is a phenomenal overview of the principals shared by John C. Maxwell in his book Failing Forward. I recently finished listening to the audiobook and was blown away. Maxwell shares some fundamental ideas of overcoming your fear of failure. I relished in the stories of well known individuals and their journeys to success. One of the most significant ideas I took away was to separate yourself from the act of the failure. You are not a failure, but failed at something. I truly believe people have a difficult time separating the two. If you have not read the book, I admonish you to either read it or listen to the audiobook. It is quite eye opening. Until then, enjoy the overview of the 15 steps to overcoming failure.


Mental Reach. (2016, January 31). Overcoming Your Fear | Failing Forward Animation Notes. Retrieved September 26, 2018, from

Importance of Viewing Other Eportfolios

Over the course of creating my Eportfolio, I have learned a lot about myself and my capabilities. When I first began, my thoughts were, “Oh my gosh…. I don’t know anything about creating a website!” Now, I have embraced it and quite pleased with what I have created. I really appreciated viewing the examples of the Eportfolios as well as reviewing my peers Eportfolios. It is evident, no two Eportfolios are the same. Each one is unique in its own way, highlighting the owner of the Eportfolio showcasing their learning and reflections. It also gave me an opportunity to learn from them, professionally borrow. Lol! There is so much that I would like to add to my Eportfolio, now it’s just figuring out the best way to accomplish that. Levi Harapnuik’s Eportfolio is impressive and it made sense when he said his Eportfolio is “helping him develop his brand.” This is so true and is exactly what we are doing…. establishing our own brand. There were some very appealing sites with lots of color, images, videos, and items that draw a person in. I also noticed all the detail and how well organized these sites are.

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The platform I decided to utilize was WordPress. It took a little bit of toying with before I found a theme I was happy with and establishing a flowing navigation. I also began with the free version, but after several reviews from my peers, it was conveyed to me there are quite a bit of ads all over my pages, which was extremely distracting. While designing the site, I was unaware of the ads, but then viewed the site as a spectator and not the creator. I discovered they were right! The ads were very distracting, diminishing the context of the site. I then paid for the domain and now I own it without any ads. It looks so much better!  I would like to add more pictures and videos to my Eportfolio, I would also like to add a lot of content to my Math and Science pages. I love Math and Science, this is a major component of job. I want to be able to add pertinent content. I have not figured out how to add without adding a bunch of different pages. I don’t know if the page is static or not. I need to find a tutorial to help with the development of these pages. I would also like to do a voice over for something, not sure what yet, but I think it’s pretty neat.

So, my next feat will be how to bring people to my site. I am little scared about this, but I am confident I have crafted something that people can learn from and appreciate. I welcome feedback and thoughts from others. I can’t wait until I get my first comment on my site!

Importance of Owning Your Eportfolio

This idea of who owns the Eportfolio is quite interesting. In my opinion, the learner owns it depending on the platform. This is discussed thoroughly in the article, The Web we Need to Give Students. Watters argues when students use Eportfolios owned by the school, student work is not genuinely theirs. In many cases the work is archived or deleted in the summer or when the student graduates, they are not able to take the work with them. This is disturbing because all of the reflections and learning that occurred never really belonged to them and is lost to a digital trashcan. Dr. Harapnuik revealed this same tragedy in one of his discussions, he lost years of work when transitioning from one entity to another. In this same article, Watters discusses how UMW launched Domain of One’s Choice and how it allows students to own their Eportfolio. This is amazing and doesn’t keep students work, it belongs the student. The COVA model is alive and well in this project. Students can decide the presentation of the learning, choosing from a plethora of ways to address their audience.

In the article, Do I Own My Own Domain If You Grade It, Rikard shares,

“I want to shift the emphasis from data possession to knowledge production. Gaining ownership over the data is vital—but until students see this domain as a space that rewards rigor and experimentation, it will not promote student agency. Traditional assignments don’t necessarily empower students when they have to post them in a public space.”

This is a profound statement. I have struggled with this same notion. I know these blogs are a part of an assignment that I must complete and will be judged and graded on. I want to be successful with the creation of my Eportfolio as well as adhere to the expectations. I am proud of what I have created thus far, however don’t feel that I have met all the necessary requirements. There are several interesting topics out there and glad that I have the choice to discuss them and share my learning and thoughts. At this point I am battling with the feeling of just publicly posting my assignments. I know that I will continue to build my Eportfolio for me and my audience. The learning curve for me is surreal because I know how to use different medias, such as videos and pictures, I believe the real struggle is finding the time to create something that has a good design, flows, meets the requirements, and most importantly showcases who I am and making sure I have something I feel good about and will continue to use.




Rikard, A. (2018, March 13). Do I Own My Domain If You Grade It? – EdSurge News. Retrieved September 14, 2018, from

Waters, A. (2015, July 15). The Web We Need to Give Students – BRIGHT Magazine. Retrieved September 14, 2018, from

I’m Not a Math Person

Image result for Afraid of Math

Mindshift published a fascinating article. In this article it connects mindset and Math. Many kids and adults are afraid of Math. It has been ingrained in them that Math is hard and only a Math person can be successful with Math. I must admit, while in primary and secondary school, I experienced these same fears. Reading and writing always seemed to be easier. My first spark for a passion of Math did not occur until I took Statistics in College. Yes, STATISTICS! This was probably one of my favorite courses. So what made the difference? The professor was amazing and inspired the class from onset. He gave clear instructions, gave us tons of practice, and his general positive mindset that we will be successful transpired to the class. I earned an A in this class because he shifted my mindset of what was possible in Math. I did not have to be a Math Wiz, I just needed to stay focused, drive myself, and open my mind to learn. I had to let that fear go. This culture he created was felt widespread, he was the most recommended Stats teacher.

When I began my teaching career, I fell completely in love with Math and Science. I remembered the environment for learning that professor created and wanted to create that same feeling for my learners. This article epitomizes how to do just that. Schwartz summarized a key concept of how learners can feel intimidated in their environment and the detrimental effects that can have.

….if a classroom climate is one of fixed ability, it will override a student’s own beliefs about his brain plasticity. This effect was even more pronounced when stereotype threat was present. Students were less likely to feel belonging and were less likely to engage with content. That, in turn, led to lower achievement and lower grades.

-Katrina Schwartz, 2016

Schwartz lists several ways to create the growth mindset in the classroom. Check out the article here:


Schwartz, K. (2016, December 06). How to Integrate Growth Mindset Messages Into Every Part of Math Class. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from

COVA-Choice, Ownership, Voice, and Authentic Learning

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The COVA learning approach has tremendously impacted my learning in this program. This learning approach allows you to customize your own evidence of learning. This learning approach needs to become the new traditional learning. At first, it can be intimidating if you are accustomed to being told exactly what to do. On one of my first week’s assignment, I challenged myself to present my evidence of learning differently than I normally would. I love doing PowerPoints and is my first go to for presentations. This time I chose to do a Prezi presentation. This was the first time I ever used this online program. I had no clue what I was doing and was quite frustrated in the beginning and almost gave up and went back to do a PowerPoint. I told myself this was the point of challenging myself, so I stuck with it and glad I did. I plan to continue to challenge myself and use other digital platforms for presenting my evidence of learning.

This model does appeal to me and what’s funny is I did use this approach when I was a teacher, I just didn’t know there was an actual model of this learning approach. I always wanted my students to learn from each other and meaningful learning experiences. I never saw value in assigning everyone the same project, such as the solar system. Having 22 models of the same information didn’t increase their knowledge of the solar system. Instead, I would assign students different planets or other objects in the sky. Students were given the guidelines for necessary information and then they could choose how they decided to present it.

I believe the most beneficial part of the COVA learning model is the ability to choose how you deliver your evidence of learning. Clear expectations are key in this learning model. Students must know what the finished product must include. I also think the choice component is a little challenging as well. Because I have the opportunity to choose, I am tasked with deciding on which digital platform I will use and make sure that my learning is clear and can be understood by my audience.

Team Collaboration

I may be a little biased, but I believe I am working with a great group of individuals! Last Thursday, we met via Google Hangouts, this was my first time participating in a meeting through any online platform. I have used Hangouts, but only for social calls and with only one person. This call had 5 other people and worked very well. When first getting on the call, I tried to connect through my computer, but was unsuccessful and this was making me late for the call. I then tried my phone and that was successful. We shared many of the same concerns and discussed possible solutions for those concerns. We also shared advice on what to blog about. One of the major things that was discussed was which platform to use to create our E-portfolios. Most of us are using WordPress, while some are using Wix. I began using WordPress in our previous class and kind of just stuck with it since I kind of got the hang of it. I have not explored Wix, but what I have seen while reviewing my teammates sites, the platform is easy to follow. This brings me to the next item we addressed, which was reviewing each other’s sites and providing feedback. We decided on a 2 and 2 method to provide constructive feedback. This is giving two things we like and two things that may need changing or improvements. We also agreed to meet each week to follow-up with each other. This week, I am going to try to get my computer to work with Hangouts, I am pretty sure it is user error. 🙂

Why use an E-Portfolio

From everything that I have read, I have learned some of the main reasons to use an e-portfolio are to self-reflect, showcase who you are, revisit ideas, and learn from challenges that may present themselves.


They will develop an appreciation for the challenges that are experienced while writing a reflective statement that identifies learning. (2010)


I feel like I am currently in this stage of the E-portfolio. I am finding it difficult to express myself without having the sense of rambling. As discussed in 41 Benefits of an E-Portfolio, I understand the need for an e-portfolio and its benefits, however I am struggling with the challenge of feeling like I am repeating myself.

I like the idea of having a personal record of my learning that I am able to revisit. Reflecting upon something that deeply resonated with you is priceless, because most times it is difficult to recall what was learned if it is not put into action or written down for later use. Reflection is such a powerful aspect of personal learning. This concept of reflection is discussed thoroughly in Reflection4Learning. There are several visuals that demonstrate the how you can effectively reflect on your learning or experience. In this article they also discuss storytelling as a reflection. This was quite interesting and has research to back up their claims.


Portfolios provide a powerful environment in which students can collect and organize the artifacts that result from engaging in these challenging, real-life tasks, and write the reflections through which students draw meaning. Part of the reflective process is to have students tell stories about their experiences which brain research shows can help students embed these experiences into their long term memory. (2018)


As discussed before, after viewing an example of the portfolio of individual who was hired based on his e-portfolio was amazing. The e-portfolio can give an employer a true view of who you are, more than what you can sell in an interview.

I think the best aspect of an e-portfolio, is watching your own personal growth. Seeing where you began, where you currently are, and where you are going is incomparable.




41 Benefits of an ePortfolio. (2010, September 30). Retrieved September 7, 2018, from

Why Reflect? – Reflection4Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved September 8, 2018, from

Importance of the Eportfolio

Mind is officially blown! I had no idea eportfolios have such a robust history. I am definitely behind in the game, time to play catch-up. I admit, this is new territory for me and I am excited about creating a place to revisit my ideas and thoughts. I have always reflected on things that I learn, however never had a place online, just writing in a journal. This course and the previous course has stretched my thinking, making me get out of my comfort zone. It has presented challenges where I have had to embrace the COVA model. In the last class, I decided to use WordPress to create my eportfolio because I heard it was easy to use and navigate. It is. Now, after reading the articles, I am going to investigate using Bluehost, so I have access to more themes and can really make this thing my own.

During the first lecture of this class, it was discussed that we should have like 3-4 posts a week. That number was frightening. I was thinking to myself, “Do I have that much to say?” and “Will it be quality?” Dr. Harapnuik gave great tips on making this happen. Setting a schedule and commitment are key to ensure the success of getting those blogs done. The outline of what should be included in the eportfolio was quite helpful also. I enjoyed viewing all the examples of the eportfolios, very diverse. The links provided gave me a sense of relief and guided me to other links. I am still exploring the links. Talk about a plethora of resources! I was really impressed with one of the examples I viewed, he was hired based on his eportfolio. After reading that, I had an Ah-ha moment. The eportfolio showcases who you are. It gives someone a clear picture of what’s important to you, your passions, your interests. Once, I stopped looking at this simply as an assignment, its relevance and benefits were clear. I am creative with making things, now its time to create digitally!

The Journey Begins

What a journey this EdTech class has been! I am amazed at how much I have learned. I am thankful the first couple of weeks began with the Growth Mindset. I believe this book opened my mind to accept the forthcoming challenges of this class. I was introduced to the Growth Mindset years ago, but don’t think I was ready to hear or acknowledge its validity. I have always deemed myself a positive person, however as I plunged myself into this book, I realized positivity is not synonymous with a growth mindset. This book triggers self-reflection on a different level.  I am a self-motivated person and thrive on learning new things, however, I have noticed if I don’t see the value or truly understand, my persistence is low. For example, I have not conquered navigating Twitter, yet! Prior to reading this book and taking this class, I had an account that I rarely used. Now, I’m on the site frequently checking out videos and consistently exploring. After reading the book and exploring the growth mindset research, it resonated so much with me, I wanted to share with my colleagues. Here is a link to my presentation: . Please feel free to leave feedback as I am always open to suggestions. I want to build upon this presentation to demonstrate the importance and value of the growth mindset and give others a plan to implement the growth mindset in their own avenue.

While contemplating on which platform to use, I decided to embrace the growth mindset and use a platform I had never used. I must say, it was frustrating in the beginning, however, I pressed through it and used Prezi. My default presentation tool is PowerPoint and there were many points when I almost reverted to my comfort zone. This was one of the challenges that presented itself when diving into the COVA learning model.

Image result for growth mindset quotesFailing forward is an interesting idea within the growth mindset. The concept allows you to embrace and accept failures as learning lessons. Not learning lessons that you perceive as, “This is not for me.” But as learning lessons that drive strategic thinking and revamping of plans. Failing forwards says, having just a plan b, is only the beginning. Plans C-Z and so on are still available. In my example above, about the Prezi presentation, I was so completely frustrated, I started to create a PowerPoint presentation. I determined my theme, began planning my slides and then I decided, “No”, you are going to give Prezi a fair chance. The assignment I submitted, did not give me the best grade I aspired for, however, the feedback I later received was invaluable. It gave me a new direction and I understood where improvements and clarity were necessary. Had I gone with my default comfort zone, I would not have learned from my new experience. I believe it is difficult to learn to from repetitive behavior because it doesn’t present any new challenges. Ramy Mahmoud gives a thought provoking speech at a TEDTalk in 2014. Check it out…..

The COVA learning model is a phenomenal learning strategy. I must admit at first exposure to the model, I felt apprehension, confusion, and frustration. Traditional learning methods thrive on explicit instructions such as platforms to use, font, spacing, length and so on, thereby focusing on students creating extremely similar products assigned by the instructor. I’ve never really understood the reasoning behind a word count on assignments. Sometimes, I feel like I’m rambling just to accomplish the word count requirement. The ability for creative thought and products is vanquished, leaving you with the accomplishment of “following instructions.” This learning model has impacted me greatly! During a conversation with my professor, Dr. Harapnuik, I confessed, “I don’t know how I can go back to traditional learning.” I really enjoy the freedom of constructing my own product to demonstrate my evidence of learning. This learning model breeds creativity and gives the learner a voice in their own learning.

This model does appeal to me and what’s funny is I did use this approach when I was a teacher, I just didn’t know there was an actual model of this learning approach. I always wanted my students to learn from each other and meaningful learning experiences. I never saw value in assigning everyone the same project, such as the solar system. Having 22 models of the same information didn’t increase their knowledge of the solar system. Instead, I would assign students different planets or other objects in the sky. Students were given the guidelines for necessary information and then they could choose how they decided to present it.

I believe the most beneficial part of the COVA learning model is the ability to choose how you deliver your evidence of learning. Clear expectations are key in this learning model. Students must know what the finished product must include. I also think the choice component is a little challenging as well. Because I have the opportunity to choose, I am tasked with deciding on which digital platform I will utilize to ensure my learning is concise and can be understood by my audience.

Image result for schoolsHonestly, I believe if schools adopted this learning model, students would be more engaged in their learning. I know for me, I was completely engaged in learning new platforms and craved to explore more about the learning model. Engagement is an essential component of student learning, so why do we task them “following instructions” type of assignments? I want to share this model with my school. The challenge will be combating traditional methods of thinking and conveying the validity of this approach. Traditional learning is rampant at my school. I have witnessed teachers assign assignments where everyone is expected to produce the same product.  If we want to bring learning into the 21st century, we must update our instructional and learning strategies. The COVA model is a piece of the process. How do students benefit from seeing the same product 21 other times? How do they find value in their learning?  The COVA model instinctly drives critical thinking and problem-solving. These are skills pertinent to higher learning and real-world application. For more information on the COVA Learning Model, please visit

I can’t wait to see what else my EdTech program holds, especially the DLL component. I am stoked because I have never created a blog and have always wanted a place to my view and information. Currently, I just share links to my collegueas and sometimes they lose them or forget what they are for. Having a place to comprise my thoughts and share things I think are important is a mindblowing thing for me. I know, I know, I am late to the game. But as the old adage proclaims, “Better late than never!”

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton




(n.d.). Retrieved August 17, 2018, from
Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York, NY: Random House.
Mahmoud, R. (n.d.). Let’s teach our kids to “fail forward” | Ramy Mahmoud | TEDxPlano. Retrieved August 19, 2018, from