Ashley Hufnagel's Graduate Showcase
Master of Arts in Educational Technology - MAET
I completed my undergraduate studies at Michigan State University and am currently finishing up my Master of Arts degree in Educational Technology through MSU, as well. I was involved in multiple projects which showcase my knowledge and learning of technology and education. I specifically chose to highlight my experiences with inquiry as an educator, collaborative processes, applications in the classroom, and reflections as an educator.
The Role of Inquiry
"Global Inquiry Blog"
As an educator, it is important to never forget to be curious and reflective. One of the first professional experiences I had was focused on this curiosity and reflection. I looked into different cultural and educational influences on education through a self-guided inquiry process. During a three week summer program, I visited different schools and lectures across the Netherlands and Germany. I collected, researched, and made observations on a diverse list of topics. These observations were shared on a common Facebook group, where my colleagues and I could discuss our ideas and present evidence to one another. The Facebook page is no longer available, but I archived my initial inquiry observations on my Learning, Culture, and Technology in Europe Inquiry Blog. This was my first experience with the the process of inquiry. I was unsure if I was "doing it right". Something that I learned is that I won't find a satisfying answer unless I ask the right questions. As the weeks went on, my inquiries were more meaningful and interconnected. To view an archive of my first inquiries, click here.
"Group Roles Inquiry"
During my student teaching internship, I taught two sections the same 5th grade science unit. I was concerned about my homeroom's experience working with groups, and wanted to implement group roles to make the task easier for them. I also wanted to compare how group roles affect group participation. For this inquiry, I designed and implemented student roles for one classroom, but allowed the other class to work in groups without assigned roles. The goal of this inquiry was to assess the way group roles affect group work in science instruction. This inquiry differed from my global inquires, as it was much more formal. I planned an intervention, recorded my evidence, and assessed the results. This project still stands out to me today because it highlighted the importance of documenting and reflecting to grow as a teacher. To view the "Group Roles Inquiry" report, click here.
I worked together with a group of over 20 educators to plan and implement a conference for other educational professionals on topics of leadership, technology, and education.
The two sessions that I presented were Ignite: Addressing Challenges in Professional Practice and Engaging Teachers in Professional Learning: Creating Sustainable Change.
Along with presenting at two sessions, I also assisted with coordinating our keynote speakers, the Youth Media Team (YMT). YMT is a group of Irish students who travel the country attending and archiving educational conferences. They give a student voice to educators' professional development.
The link to the conference website is to the right.
Students come to class with different misconceptions. These misconceptions can conflict with what they are taught in school. With a group of colleagues who work in England, Canada, and Mexico, we chose to look into the misconceptions regarding the differences between fruits and vegetables. The video to the right documented different peoples' thoughts and understandings regarding this topic. After documenting the responses, we analyzed and synthesized them to try to understand their understanding. I used my skills of analyzing anecdotal data and video production for recording student work for this final product. The website detailing this research can be found here.
In the Classroom
"Digital Media Projects"
As a Media Arts and Technology student at Michigan State University, I was introduced to many strategies and techniques to communicate ideas and stories. As I made the transition to an Education student, I didn't want to throw away those skills and techniques. As a current teacher, I have found that many of those projects can be applied to the classroom, as teaching tools or as student projects. On my Undergraduate Projects page, you can see a selection of these projects and a description of how I've envisioned them in my classroom.
"Technology Mini-Lessons and Integration"
During my internship, I logged the process that I used to integrate and teach technology to my students. My internship school did not offer computer or technology classes for students in the 5th grade. As more and more schools are cutting funding to "specials", like art, music, computers and gym, I wanted to make sure that I was taking a proactive role to make sure my students were exposed to Michigan Educational Technology Standards. On Fridays, we checked out the mini-laptops and brought them into the classroom to integrate with other subjects, or for standalone mini-lessons. My technology log can be found here.
The Dream IT project was a way for me to intelligently integrate new technologies to help my own students' understanding within my context. Using the TPACK framework, I came up with a solution to a problem which integrates Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge.
Because I have been working in many different contexts as a substitute teacher, I chose a problem of practice that I noticed among many upper elementary classrooms. The problem I identified is that students are not prepared to cite their sources or give attribution when doing research. The website on the right showcases my thought processes regarding the problem of practice, the transformation I want to see in my students, and the final TPACK solution.
"Literacy Learner Analysis"
I completed a literacy analysis for a struggling reader. This analysis includes a pre-assessment, focused lesson, post-assessment, and reflection. I identified a struggling reader and assessed his literacy needs. Based on those needs, I focused our literacy lessons on fluency and accuracy. Throughout the process, I observed his strengths, weaknesses, and behaviors. I used those additional observations to make a recommendation for his literacy needs. My literacy learner analysis can be viewed here.
One of the main focuses of my studies has been to gain competency in global skills. In the Summer of 2012, I began the journey to grow as a global citizen and educator. I use the skills I gained from this program every day in the classroom. It was especially helpful while working with refugee students in Lansing to have a global context in mind. The skills that I chose to emphasize and reflect on were: applying information to new or broader contexts, undertaking tasks that are unfamiliar or risky, and adapting to situations of change. The webpage to the right documented this experience with personal videos and essays.