edtech connection blog
EdTech master’s grad Luke Meinert wrote overnight and said he has a job opening in his district on July 1.
He’s looking for an online teacher who can teach multiple subjects, but he would prefer someone who can qualify for a secondary math or science endorsement. He also wants demonstrated proficiency in designing online courses.
The Yukon-Keokuk School District’s ten village schools are located along the Yukon, Koyukuk and Tanana river systems, a geographic area larger than the state of Washington (encompassing about 65,000 square miles of territory). More than 98% of the district’s 315 river school students are Alaska Native (Athabascan). The district also sponsors a statewide correspondence program called Raven Homeschool. There are approximately 1,500 students enrolled in Raven during the 2015-2016 school year. District-wide, YKSD serves over 1,400 full-time students.
Here’s a link to the abbreviated job announcement. For a more information, click on the link in the lower right corner of the announcement.
Check out the school district at https://www.yksd.com/Domain/1 .
When the lucky applicant meets Luke Meinert for the first time, the Davenport, Iowa, native will likely extend his hand for a firm shake and say, “Enaa neenyo.” I’m glad you came.
Boise State’s student newspaper, The Arbiter, published an article yesterday (Jan. 23-2018) on the esports program, led by EdTech’s Chris Haskell and Brett Shelton. Here’s the article.
By: Daniel Gardner and Tylor Sorensen
Starting in the fall of 2017, Chris Haskell and Brett Shelton made a vision their reality with the creation of the Boise State Broncos Varsity Esports program. At the beginning of the school year the program had a massive search for talent, locating students who play League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Rocket League. This search has lead to five full teams that have already started competing in various matches.
Chris Haskell, professor of educational technology and now facilitator of the teams, is the mastermind behind the project. Haskell’s facilitating has given the students brand new experiences that they wouldn’t have imagined, including being able to work with professional players online who are acting as coaches, playing in competitive games that are broadcasted online and lastly being a member of a brand new team on campus that has caught the attention of news outlets such as ESPN.
“Looking at other schools involved and popularity of the games I believe this is going to become a big thing in the coming years, almost as big as football and basketball,” Haskel said. “You realize that every once in awhile there is a ‘gold rush’ moment and you should go all in, and this is one of those times.”
Starting their practices 9 a.m., the program has practice four days a week for three hours a day. The program’s practice facility can be found in the Education building. Upon stepping inside, a person finds themselves wrapped up in the world of gaming. The room is filled with computers set up to play the various games the program offers. On a typical Thursday at 9 in the morning the room is already filled with 14 League of Lsegends players waiting to meet up online with one of their coaches who lives in Australia.
Derrek Bryant, a sophomore communications major and member of the League of Legends team, finds time to practice with the team, focus on his school work and play and additional four to five hours of League of Legends a day to keep his skills fresh.
“I have always been good at video games,” Bryant said. “I would always finish the game either the day or a few days after I get a single player game, but with League of Legends, you will continue to learn; even though I have played it for five to six years, I am still learning new things.”
With the goal in mind of getting the players to learn new things within the game, Haskell knew he needed to work directly with the players’ coaches, which also allows him to fall back into the position of facilitator. Scheduling games for the teams and just being around in the background at competitions, giving them casual friendly reminders of what the coaches taught them. As many of the players in their specific game have more experience than Haskell, he knew that finding coaches was crucial to team success.
The experience of the players can be seen in Rocket League captain Issiac Torrero. Torrero, a sophomore GIMM major, has over 1,000 lifetime hours logged into Rocket League. Torrero expressed his happiness about being a member of this program and discussed how, when he came to Boise State, he would not have imagined that he would be a member of one of their sports programs.
“I’m very thankful that Chris and Brett were able to start this, and it is really cool that I am able to participate,” Torrero said.
Boise State e-sports plays its second week of seasonal play today (Wednesday, Jan 17) beginning at 4:30 Mountain Time. Boise State plays Nevada in Rocket League, the University of Jamestown in Overwatch, and New Mexico State in League of Legends.
In the season debut last week, Boise State lost to Nevada in League of Legends and to Massachusetts Overwatch powerhouse Worcester Polytechnic Institute, which placed fifth in the national finals last year.
A committee of Boise State faculty is developing the Idaho high school e-sports tournament planned for late April. The Idaho High School Athletics Association does not yet recognize e-sports, so the tournament is entirely a Boise State initiative.
We received an inspirational email over the Christmas holiday. It was from one of our master’s graduates, Amy Lomellini of New York, who could not attend commencement. In 2015, Amy became paralyzed with a neuromuscular disease, but she decided not to let it hold her back, so she began her first MET course right out of the hospital while mostly bed-bound and recovering. Who knew? She didn’t tell everyone or make excuses.
Amy is still in a wheelchair and fighting back. She couldn’t physically attend graduation in the spring, so she ordered the cap and gown and had her own ceremony in her living room. Ironically, she had been involved in disability education for several years before it affected her personally, but, as you can imagine, this ordeal opened a whole new perspective for her.
After graduation, Amy got a new job as an instructional designer. Here is her email.
Giving Thanks for What I’ve Learned and What the Future Holds
Amy Lomellini, MET ‘17
This holiday season I am thankful for the knowledge and skills that I gained in Boise State’s Master of Educational Technology. Now that I am working as an instructional designer, I can truly see how all the pieces of the puzzle come together in real-world scenarios. When faculty ask about online learning and teaching possibilities, I can confidently speak to both theory and application and have the resources, knowledge, and skills to tackle challenges head on.
One of the most beneficial aspects of the program was the encouragement to tie our course projects to our current practice. For example, in the Multimedia course I used my graphic design skills and multimedia theory to create training documents and screencasts for projects I needed for work. After taking Internet for Educators, I redesigned my department’s website and increased unique views by 250% in one year. These achievements led to a promotion within my university while I was still in the program. As a Digital Media Producer, I used my newfound coding knowledge and further research to conduct an accessibility evaluation of the university’s website that identified and resolved potential barriers. I recently have taken my coding skills even further to learn how to design accessible online content for learners of all abilities.
The MET program reinforced that instructional design was where I really wanted to be. Just a few short months after I graduated in May 2017, my dream job as an Instructional Designer at a local college became available. I decided to apply but didn’t know what to expect because I had only graduated recently. For the interview, I was told that I would be required to present a portfolio of my work. I actually breathed a sigh of relief – which I later learned was not the reaction of most candidates! I was relieved because I had spent the previous semester cultivating exactly what they were asking for – my MET EdTech portfolio. All of my hard work prepared me to give a confident presentation that my hiring committee still talks about to this day. My preparation paid off and I got the job as an Instructional Designer.
Now that I have been on the job for a few months, I can see many of the aspects from the MET coming together in my daily practice. When I meet with faculty to explore the possibilities of online and blended learning, I have theoretical foundations and adult learning theories to ground my recommendations. I love the challenge of designing across disciplines for diverse students and faculty. Each day brings something new as I work with faculty to turn passion for their field into a quality learning experience for students. I often draw on my experience as a student in the MET for examples of well-designed and facilitated online courses. It is exceedingly rewarding to change reluctant faculty’s minds about online learning by showing them the endless possibilities of educational technology.
In addition to consultations, I also teach online and in-person faculty development courses and workshops about accessibility, course design, academic integrity, multimedia, Quality Management, and more. For these workshops, I draw on skills learned from the Multimedia and Graphic Design courses in the MET to create engaging presentations, learning activities, and take-away materials. Teaching these courses and workshops allows me to put the various strategies and skills learned from across the curriculum of the MET program into direct practice.
FUTURE: Leading the Accessibility Charge
I see accessibility as an incredibly important, and often overlooked, facet of educational technology and instructional design. I am furthering my work by spreading awareness and implementation of accessible design strategies in various capacities throughout the college. I hope to explore more about accessibility in educational technology through research in the EdD program at Boise State in the future.
Boise State EdTech graduated 40 master’s students at the end of summer term. The university does not conduct summer commencement exercises, so summer grads are allowed to walk in fall commencement and, in December, three of them did. But those unable to fly to Boise for commencement don’t always get the recognition and appreciation they deserve.
And that’s why the faculty and staff congratulate all of our summer graduates for a monumental accomplishment. We urge all of them to share their skills and knowledge with colleagues and become the teacher leaders they’re meant to be.
Here are our summer grads.
Jessica Allen, Megan Apgar, Marco Armienta, Brian Beck, Rebecca Beecher, Nick Boyce, Mary Carter, Scott Castro, Jennifer Classen, Fabio Cominotti, Katy Cooper, Julian Elorduy, Kristen Ferguson, Jessica Gake, Allyssa Gilin, Cynthia Goodwill, Katelyn Griffin, Mark Harmon, Kevin Higgins, Lisa Hoover, Damien Husen, Sean Kass, Benjamin Killam, Lindy Lee, Emily Loughlin, Joanne Matibag, Lisa McLeod, Sheri Nimmo, Russell North, Richard Place, Ariana Pyburn, Katie Schmoldt, Amy Spencer, Trevor Takayama, Megan Turner, Kari Vera, Judith Wilson, Jessie Wraichette, and Erika Zapata.
Boise State EdTech graduated 43 students with master’s degrees in December, and 14 attended commencement ceremonies on campus. Three of those at commencement actually completed their degrees in the summer.
Those unable to attend commencement were Andrea Adera, Ryan Adkins, Timothy Allen, Chris Aviles, Nicole Baird, George Bator, Dwayne Best, Courtney Calhoun, Amie Cuhaciyan, Brittni Darrington, Billie Hadley, Joshua Haines, Jill Hallam Miller, Sandra Hoppenrath, Bryan Iverson, Matthew Klaber, Tristan Kumor, Tanya LeClair, Joanna Marcotte, Miriam Martinez Brignoni, David Mato Segovia, Renee Noto, Jaclyn Prance, Jared Ritchey, Jacob Robbins, Merima Sarotic Ronneburg, Keith Sensing, Terrence Shaneyfelt, Alanna Shaw, Nicholas Szarzak, Kari Vara, and Scott Dove.
Tryouts for the first Boise State University varsity League of Legends team were held the week before Christmas in the new temporary sports lab located in the education building. Players participated both in person and online in three days of play, coaching, and evaluation with 12 players selected for the inaugural squad. The team will participate in the 12 week spring season with universities from around North America and compete in the College League of Legends tournament hosted by Riot Entertainment.
The roster for this team is listed below.
Additional invitations may be extended to specific players who are unable to try out.
The 2018 Varsity League of Legends team will participate in both a regular season and the College League of Legends series and tournament. The regular season will consist of teams in the Mountain West Conference, Big Ten, Pac 12, and NACe schools. All regular-season games will be broadcast on the University Twitch channel at http://twitch.tv/boisestateuniversity. In all, the team will play 20 intercollegiate games in the 12 week season.
The team will be led by esports directors Dr. Chris Haskell and Dr. Brett Shelton with coaching by professional players/coaches Kurtis “Mushi” Nicks and Nicolas “NicothePico” Korsgård from Fnatic.
Partnered with Omen by HP, Ballistix, Twitch, Archon Clothing, and others, the team expects to be featured heavily in media coverage during the spring esports season.
Friesen’s eighth book, The Textbook and the Lecture: Education in the Age of New Media, has just been published by Johns Hopkins University Press.
In this hard-bound volume, Friesen asks: “Why are the fundamentals of education apparently so little changed in our era of digital technology? Are we really just laggards? Is a high-tech ‘revolution’ just around the corner?”
He answers these questions not by imagining an uncertain future, but by examining a well-documented past—a history of instruction and media extending from Gilgamesh to Google. Friesen considers the long now or more accurately, the longue durée of centuries and millennia to understand the persistence of so many familiar educational arrangements and practices.
His investigation includes the way that reading, writing, and pedagogy are interrelated in the lecture and the textbook—from their pre-modern to their postmodern incarnations. Over hundreds of years, these two forms have integrated textual, oral, and (more recently) digital media and connected them with changing pedagogical and cultural priorities. The Textbook and the Lecture opens new possibilities for understanding not only mediated pedagogical practices and their reform but also gradual changes in our conceptions of the knowing individual and of knowledge itself.
Boise State EdTech doctoral alumna Sheri Conklin has been named director of e-learning at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, where she has been employed as an instructional designer since 2009.
“Dr. Conklin brings a variety of perspectives to this new position, as a former instructional designer, an online student, a current online and face-to-face instructor, and an expert in the field of Quality Matters,” said Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Distance Education Peter Nguyen. “Her dedication to online learning is evident through her continuous research and faculty support of the design and development of online courses and programs at UNCW.”
Conklin is passionate about designing and delivering quality online courses and researches peer-to-peer and instructor-to-student interactions. She specifically analyzes social and instructor presence in online courses and how that affects student satisfaction and perceived learning.