Mrs. Katy Ainsworth Artifacts and Reflections from my Ed Tech Journey

Hello there! Welcome to my ED 202 E-Portfolio.

Here you will find evidence of all the hard work I've put in over the last four months diving deep into the world of educational technology and learning how to be an effective and innovative educator. The following artifacts showcase my mastery of the five ISTE Standards for Educators, and offer a taste of some of the exciting skills and tools that I can contribute to a classroom. Hopefully after checking out this e-Portfolio, you will get a glimpse of not only what skills I have attained through this course, but also who I am becoming as an educator.


My Educational Philosophy

What is the grander role that educators play in their communities?

Educators have the unique privilege of shaping young people into good, productive citizens of the community. It is the educator’s job to teach his or her students the skills and knowledge necessary to go into the world, secure a job, and do that job well, to the benefit of everyone around them. Teachers also get the chance to encourage teamwork, honesty, perseverance, and initiative in their students, and mold a generation of children into the kinds of adults we will want to have as our future leaders.

What, specifically is the role of the teacher in a classroom?

I think it’s difficult to narrow down a teacher’s role to one thing. The teacher is called upon to wear about one thousand hats all at once, and to wear all of them well. He or she is first and foremost an instructor, someone who introduces new ideas and skills, and guides the learning process. The teacher is also a coach and a cheerleader, who makes sure that his or her students feel empowered and capable of reaching their goals and mastering their standards. The teacher is a facilitator, who gives kids resources and background knowledge, and then allows them to use their own creativity and insight to create something new or solve unique problems. The teacher is a counselor as well, who must be willing to listen to his or her students and try to understand the major things going on in their lives, not only at school, but at home and in the community. Finally, the teacher is a negotiator, solving disputes between students, bartering good cafeteria behavior for extra recess time, and arguing to secure the tools and resources necessary to provide the best education possible to his or her kids.

How do you plan to impact student learning and achievement?

I plan to impact student learning and achievement by getting my students engaged. I want to find ways to get them excited about the things they are learning, by involving their own passions and interests and by incorporating a lot of hands-on activities. Students are not too keen on learning about things that they could not care less about. I also plan to impact student learning and achievement by differentiating my lessons to meet the needs of individual students, providing extra projects or advanced activities for students who excel in their classwork, and by offering assistance, tutoring, and alternative approaches to concepts for my students who are struggling. I will be the personal cheerleader of every student, making sure that they know that I believe in them and their potential for success.

How do you believe students learn best?

I believe students learn best when they are at the center of the lesson, seeing how the skills and concepts they are learning are useful in real life. I am a huge fan of hands-on and group activities, where students are in the driver’s seat, in the best place possible to make connections and observations and to do their own research, and I as the teacher am there to ask guiding questions and help connect the dots.

How do you plan to meet the emotional needs of students?

I think the best way to meet emotional needs of students is to just listen to what they have to say, and to ask questions. Show them that you care about their personal lives, and about what interests them or what bothers them. Students ultimately want attention, and to know that they are heard and cared about. I also think it’s important to build positive classroom community. Students need consistency and a haven from the chaos of the outside world. Building a peaceful atmosphere in the classroom, free of interpersonal drama and disruption, is so important to meeting students’ emotional needs.

Do you believe that all students can learn?

I absolutely believe all students can learn. However, I believe that students learn at different paces, and learn in different ways. Some students can pick things up in an instant; for others, it’s a long process. Some students learn visually, and some learn by listening. It’s important as a teacher to believe in the ability of your students to learn and succeed, and also to acknowledge and incorporate different learning styles in order to reach every student.

What are qualities of an “effective” teacher?

An effective teacher establishes a safe and peaceful classroom community from the very start. He or she has high expectations and clear procedures for his or her students, and does not allow the students to settle for anything less than their best work and their best behavior. The teacher knows the needs of his or her students as a class and as individuals, and works to make sure that those needs are met every single day. The teacher makes learning exciting, and knows how to inspire and engage his or her students. The teacher is okay with a little bit of mess and a little bit of noise, so long as the students are meeting their goals and are actively engaged in learning. The effective teacher knows which students are on track, and which are not, and differentiates and reteaches lessons to make sure that nobody is getting left behind. The effective teacher communicates well-- with students, with administration, and with parents. He or she builds authentic relationships with the students in his or her classroom and also with their families. The effective teacher knows his or her priorities, and makes sure that grades are getting put in, lessons are being planned, and copies are being made...but the teacher also knows when to slow down and breathe. The effective teacher is not in a panicked rush all the time--he or she manages class time well, is organized, and can take a second to laugh at something funny that happens in the classroom or tell a personal story to make a connection. And the effective teacher carries Band-Aids with him or her everywhere. Everywhere.

What is your overall goal as a teacher?

My overall goal as a teacher is, more than just to teach the material necessary for them to succeed in the next grade, to encourage and inspire my students to believe in themselves. I want to create critical thinkers and passionate readers, and to communicate to a generation of students that they are capable, strong, and intelligent. I want my students to leave my classroom feeling like they’ve accomplished more than they ever believed possible, and like they can go on to pursue absolutely anything they put their mind to.

My Educational Technology Philosophy

What responsibilities do educators have in regard to technology and professional growth?

Teachers have the responsibility of keeping up with classroom technology trends and continuing to develop their skills. We live in an increasingly technology-dependent world, and our students are already using many of the electronics and resources available in our schools in their daily lives. To keep up and to effectively engage our students, we must continue to learn about and train ourselves in the use of developing technologies.

What place, in your opinion, does technology have in the classroom?

I believe that technology is an important tool for guiding learning, with multiple valuable uses. It can be used for research, with web browsing and online journals and reference tools. It can be used for engaging students with videos or online quizzes and activities. It can be used to provide differentiated approaches to activities--students who are grade levels behind in writing can submit oral responses to questions via video, or students who have difficulty reading can listen to read-aloud books on Kindles and iPads. Technology can also be used for easy communication between teachers, students, and parents with email, online chat, and webpages. Technology should be used to make the mechanics of teaching and learning simpler and more organized.

How do you plan to impact student learning and achievement with technology?

I plan to impact student learning and achievement with technology by using computers and iPads to give my students unique and exciting ways to find, organize, and present information on the topics and standards we learn about in class. My kids will have the opportunity to watch or even create videos, travel the world (via Google Earth), and communicate with other communities across the country or the world via email or web chat. I will also use technology to provide unique learning experiences for students with different needs (both my high kids and low kids), through alternative assessments or research projects. My students will gain valuable skills by learning how to use various programs and technologies that they can carry with them into future grades and future careers.

What steps will you take to ensure students are able to safely navigate the technology around them?

I will ensure my students’ safe navigation of technology around them by modeling the appropriate ways to use the devices and programs they use in the classroom. We will discuss safe online practices and the appropriate responses to unsafe situations, and will go over plagiarism and giving credit for online resources. We will practice our technology procedures multiple times, and will set high expectations for ourselves when using computers, tablets, phones, and interactive whiteboards. At the first hint of any unsafe or inappropriate behavior regarding technology, our classroom will immediately go back over our procedures, and will establish new rules for solving the problem.


Each of the following artifacts has contributed to my understanding of and ability to apply each of the five ISTE standards for educators.

Artifact # 1: custom Video Game & Makey-Makey Controller

This artifact is a combination of a video game created on a program called Scratch using simple codes and graphics, and a custom video-game controller created with cardboard, duct tape, Gorilla glue, aluminum foil, and a Makey-Makey.

Our group's Makey Makey video game controller.
Our controller straps to the player's arm and is controlled with two foil arrows.

ISTE Standard # 1: Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity.

Is there any greater purpose for a teacher than to facilitate and inspire learning and creativity in his or her students? In my mind, inspiring students to think outside the box and to pursue gains of knowledge in unique and innovative ways is the essence of what the teacher strives to do each day. In today's world, students are completely immersed in technology much of the time. The youngest students are now becoming more and more proficient with smartphones, tablets, and computers before they even step foot onto a school campus. It just seems natural to use that technology to inspire students in their learning as well, and to motivate them to create.

However, I've always been a little uncertain when using technology in the classroom, mostly because I wasn't familiar with all the resources available to me and the steps necessary to find the perfect online or computer-based activity to go with a lesson. If I couldn't find an online game or activity that matched my standard just by Google searching, I moved on and shied away from using technology to engage my kids.

The artifact pictured above is one solution to that problem. This semester, I learned how to create my own online games and animations using a program called Scratch, where I selected certain commands and if-then statements and linked them together to control the movement of images on the computer screen. I also worked with a group of other students to create a controller to go with the game using a Makey Makey (a set of cables that turns any physical object into an input for your computer). That means that I am not just limited to what's already out there...I can make my own games and activities to engage and inspire my students in whatever concept they are learning. If a Google search for a simple game about space and the effects of gravity turns up no results, then no problem. I can make my own. If I'm trying to show my kids how a scene in a book would look acted out, but there is no animation for it already out there, I can make my own. And furthermore, now that I know how to do this, I can show my kids how to do this. And they can make their own.

Nothing inspires creativity in students like having them physically make something to demonstrate their learning, and nothing motivates kids like a chance to do that using computers and unique hardware. My students would be able to make not only a video game or animation to demonstrate proof of their learning, but they could also make a unique controller to go with it, out of paper, drawings, sculptures, or anything else they create. The possibilities are endless. It just requires a dash of creativity.

No longer do I feel limited by what is already out there; I can create what will best benefit and engage my students. And I now have one more very exciting tool that I can teach to my kids, so that they can create and express their ideas and knowledge as well.

ARTIFACT # 2: Technology-Rich Elementary ELA Lesson Plan

This artifact is a lesson plan for grade 3 ELA that utilizes various technologies to engage and assess students.

ISTE Standard # 2: Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments.

Technology is changing by the minute, and with it, educational opportunities. It is important for an educator to keep up with innovation and fresh ideas for the classroom. Teachers should be knowledgeable about the digital tools available to them, and how they can use those resources in their lessons to not only hook their students into a lesson, but also easily and efficiently assess them.

Before taking this class and working on this artifact, my tendency was to shy away from using technology in my lesson plans because I felt overwhelmed and unsure of what I was doing. The SmartBoard was a huge mystery to me, and with my limited knowledge of educational technology, I thought that was pretty much all I had to work with.

However, I have learned so much about the different resources that are out there for educators and classrooms, and about the exciting and engaging programs and activities available on the Internet that I can use to make learning exciting and rigorous for my kids. I was required to create a lesson plan that included the use of some kind of ed tech. After just being in the class for a few weeks, I already had quite a few ideas of engaging online resources I could use. I ended up incorporating Google Slides, Kahoot! (an online assessment tool that makes a quiz feel like a thrilling competition for students), and a "flipped lesson" (a video made by the teacher used for review and remediation that kids can watch on their own time) in the lesson, and I feel that those additions would really enhance the learning experience for my students.

I no longer feel overwhelmed by technology; in fact, I've been so inspired by this course and this project that I've been trying to incorporate the resources I've been discovering into my current lessons. We don't have much technology at our disposal (I have one computer and one SmartBoard in my room, but no student computers or tablets), but I'm using what I can and trying to be innovative. I've become a big believer in Google apps like Slides and YouTube for use with my projector , and my kids and I have struggled through/enjoyed using Kahoot! with one device, and taking quizzes as a group for review. Hopefully in future years, my resources will increase and I can start adding in even more exciting technological aspects to my lesson plans.

ARTIFACT # 3: Flipped Lesson

This artifact is a "flipped lesson": a mini-lesson recorded onto video that students can watch on their own time at their own pace for remediation and review.

ISTE Standard # 3: Model digital age work and learning.

As teachers, we model everything, all the time. We're modeling how to work math concepts or how to read for theme and plot. We model good citizenship and how to treat others with respect. Why would we not also model the use of technology for our students? There are so many ways that teachers can model tech during their lessons, so that students can become more familiar with the technology that is out there and the processes and skills involved in using it.

As I mentioned earlier, I have often avoided using computers and Internet programs in the past, so I did not do a lot of modeling of digital age resources for my students. I had never gotten very technologically creative with my approach in the classroom, nothing past showing a PowerPoint presentation or using a document camera, and it certainly had never occurred to me to create videos for my students to model the concepts we were learning in class.

The artifact above is a "flipped lesson," which is a component of my ELA lesson plan. To complete this flipped lesson, I had to sit down and film a mini-lesson for my students, reviewing a standard we'd learned and providing examples (a.k.a. modeling the concept), edit the video, and upload it to YouTube for public view. The flipped lesson allows the teacher to provide remediation for students who do not understand a concept or who were not in attendance during the day the lesson was taught without having to spend extra time during the class period. It also allows those students to watch and process the video at their own pace. After having completed a flipped lesson, I now understand a new way to digitally model a concept for my kids, and feel comfortable creating video content and uploading work to the Internet for students and parents to view.

This assignment made me feel more confident in my ability to use technology to model for students. I now know how simple and effective it can be to create videos for students to watch, and have a much better concept of what remediation looks like.

ARTIFACT # 4: Digital Literacy Newsletter

This artifact is a digital newsletter created on a website called that describes and discusses three major aspects of digital citizenship and includes embedded videos and photos.

ISTE Standard # 4: Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility.

Students are becoming increasingly involved in and interested in the Internet and social media, and we cannot assume that children and adolescents inherently know how to keep themselves and their reputations safe online, or how to communicate effectively. For that reason, it is important that teachers instruct and model how to use the Internet wisely, and promote safe and responsible practices.

I have always felt strongly that one should be very cautious when communicating and sharing information online, but have never made the connection before that it is the responsibility of the teacher to make sure that students not only know how important it is, but also what steps to take to protect themselves and others.

The artifact above shows how I have grown in two ways. First, the content of the digital newsletter is evidence that I have studied specific ways to be safe and responsible online (i.e. not sharing personal information with strangers, reporting suspicious or uncomfortable online conversations, and giving credit for sources used in schoolwork and personal creations), and I am now able to effectively communicate that with my students. Second, I now am able to share information like that in the format of digital media, like this newsletter. In this way, I can discuss important topics like these not only with my students in person, but in writing, and in a way that can easily be shared with parents, friends, and the community.

After having completed this artifact, I now feel much more confident in my ability to explain what digital citizenship is and what responsible online practices are. I feel compelled to make sure my kids are not in the dark about how to interact online, and to take the necessary steps to keep them safe and help them thrive.

Artifact # 5: Google Level 1 Educator Certification

This artifact is a certificate showing my certification as a Level 1 Google Certified Educator.

ISTE Standard # 5: Engage in professional growth and leadership.

As technology is constantly changing and evolving, teachers have a responsibility to keep up with it. That means that we must take steps toward understanding and applying the advances in educational technology into our own schools, and often it means that we must step up and be teacher-leaders, helping guide other faculty and staff towards advancement as well.

I have never before felt any compulsion or desire towards being a teacher-leader. I have always followed the crowd, especially in terms of technology, where I felt so overwhelmed and limited.

However, this class has opened my eyes to so many more technological options and opportunities for my students and myself, and one of those technological options is the Google G-Suite for Education, which is becoming more and more prominent in schools across the country and specifically in our region. After training all semester, at the end of this course I participated in and passed a Google for Education Level 1 Certification exam, and am now considered proficient in the basic GAFE skills that would be beneficial to educators.

Receiving this certification not only made me feel like I could be more effective and use more efficient and updated tools as an educator, but also inspired me to move forward and take on more leadership opportunities in my school when they arise. Teachers are naturally supposed to lead-- we lead our kids every day. Why wouldn't I better myself professionally (especially in the realm of technology) and then use my knowledge to lead other teachers?

Artifact # 6: Professional Development Prezi

This bonus artifact is a presentation created on a website called that is intended for use as a visual aid in a Professional Development meeting.

This artifact is a little bonus, related to ISTE Standard # 5. As I mentioned earlier, I have felt more compelled to take on the role of a leader and help other teachers advance in their understanding of technology.

This artifact is a Prezi presentation I created to simulate a presentation that I might give for a professional development training. The assignment required that I do a lot of research on an educational app, and then break it down to explain its benefits to other educators. In doing so, I familiarized myself with Prezi, an online program that helps you create dynamic and interesting presentations, and also had to think through the outline of what information would be relevant and useful to other educators, and what I would want to know myself.

I feel after completing this that I could be an effective presenter and could really help other teachers get excited about new tools and ideas coming up in the world of Ed Tech.


The class is over, but the lEARNING DOESN'T STOP HERE.

I had no idea when I started in this class how much technology was out there and available for my students. I have gone from feeling limited and overwhelmed as an educator to having a huge wealth of ideas and resources I can pull from to incorporate into my future lessons.

I feel more inspired to branch out from anchor charts and worksheets and engage my students with custom games, animations, and unorthodox controllers (like Artifact # 1), virtual reality, and educational apps. I now know of several unique and exciting ways to formatively assess my students, through Kahoot! quizzes masquerading as games and apps like Recap that allow students to verbally express themselves. I feel more confident in my ability to scoop up the kids that might get left behind by using flipped lessons (like Artifact # 3) and shared Google docs, sheets, and forms. I feel compelled to lead not only my students in digital citizenship and technological exploration, but also my fellow educators in bettering ourselves and aspiring to stay current with ed tech advances.

Overall, I'd say I am a more well-rounded and confident educator after having taken this class. I know the resources available to me and I have been trained to use them well. I am more conscious of whether or not my students are engaged, and of whether or not I am reaching all of their needs. This class has gotten me excited about delving more into educational technology and creating digital content, and I am excited to see how all of my new knowledge will play into my current classroom and future classes.

Created By
Katherine Ainsworth


Created with images by saleh_alknani - "cafe apple food" • lcr3cr - "ipad technology tablet" • kjarrett - "First Graders Try Kahoot" • FredCintra - "Control is an Option to Command"

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