My Technology Toolbelt

I have to admit that compared to others in this Digital Learning and Leading program, I feel I’m a little behind the curve when it comes to technology, but I have made so much progress since I started a little over a year ago. When I first began, I knew how to use Microsoft Office products and had some experience with Prezi and Kahoot. That was about the extent of my experience. Since then, I have learned how to build an ePortfolio, create videos using different programs like iMovie and MovieMaker, I have developed a complete online version of my Radiography course, and I’ve learned about several tools that can be used in education such as Aurasma, Quizizz, Socrative, digital badges, and many others. I conducted a “blind Kahoot” in one of my classes that really helped my students understand a difficult topic in Radiography. Here is a video about how to make a blind Kahoot:

Knowing about these new tools and experimenting with them has given me a newfound confidence as a teacher. Trying them out in the classroom has been fun and exciting, and has breathed new life into my courses. Students tell me they look forward to my classes, so I must be doing something right! I feel less intimidated by technology and much more willing to implement new technology as it becomes available. In fact, my students see me as a technology leader already. Check out the award they gave me at their pinning ceremony: “Most Likely to be the Kahoot Queen”!

At this point in my journey, I feel like I am consuming a lot from edWeb and the resources provided in my Master’s program, but on the other hand, I am sharing my knowledge with my students and other faculty. I’ve developed projects for my students that incorporate technology, teaching them to branch out of their comfort zones to learn new ways to present their ideas and showcase their new knowledge in creative ways. As other teachers see what I’m doing in my classes, they ask about programs I’m using and I share with them. I’m growing to the point where I think the scales can start to tip more in the direction of being a contributor rather than simply a consumer. After I publish my first article (which I’m really dreading right now!), I think I will feel much more confident in that role. The only way to grow, after all, is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. The M.Ed. in Digital Learning and Leading has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I’m very grateful for that!

Professional Learning Makeover

In EDLD 5388, I learned how to move professional learning into a new direction. Instead of the “sit and get” method, I put together a plan for the much more effective “show and go” method. By coaching and modeling one-on-one with teachers over time, change is more likely to be implemented successfully. Since teachers vary in their technological skills, having a mentor guide them through what they can do in their own classrooms is key. I started my plan with a video plug for this new type of PD:

Since this type of PD is given continuously over time, I developed an outline for how to implement it:

I.                   Duration

a.       Minimum 30 hours of ongoing professional learning during each 10-week term (approx. 3 hours per week per instructor)

b.       Sessions will be 30-60 minutes each, assigned to each class meeting during the week

c.       The entire PD training will occur throughout all five terms so teachers have a chance to apply techniques to each class they teach (both junior and senior level courses)

II.                 Support

a.       Teachers will work collaboratively with each other, meeting weekly to discuss challenges and solutions

b.       PD leaders will be working with teachers during class time to help with specific challenges during implementation

c.       IT will be available via phone to assist with technical issues

III.              Engaging teachers

a.       Training will initially be held as a group with opportunities to use technology the way students will be using it in their classrooms

b.       Show exciting videos on Blended Learning

c.       Discuss why change is needed

d.       Foster group discussions on pros and cons of change, fears and objections the teachers may be thinking about

IV.             Modeling

a.       After initial training, rotate instructors through my classroom to observe how I use technology in my own class

V.                Content

a.       The content presented will be applicable to college-level courses, specifically tailored individually for various courses in the dental hygiene program

Collaboration will be fostered by hosting weekly meetings to discuss what is working and what isn’t. These will also be sessions dedicated to helping teachers understand that by working together, there will be more continuity for our students. Instructors will show others what they are specifically working on in their classrooms and how the students are reacting to it. These meetings will be led by our Program Director and myself. The more tech-savvy teachers can mentor the ones who struggle with technology. I prefer to use the BHAG and 3-column table for its simplicity and effectiveness; the main focus should be on the pedagogy, not the technology. This PD series will begin after I launch my Radiography course as a blended class. I want to experience a full 10-week term of teaching this way so I can share my experiences with the group. If I can successfully implement the blended model of my course, we will be on track to start PD on blended learning in October 2017. Since we used Schoology in 5318, I want to continue using this program for all the other courses. We will incorporate free online resources for both faculty and students (such as Kahoot, Quizizz, YouTube, etc.) to use in the courses.

Some of the resources I share will come from my own experiences with my blended Radiography course. My BHAG and 3-column table can be used as a template for other teachers to tailor to their own courses…

My Big Hairy Audacious Goal is: By the end of this course, my students will be able to take excellent radiographs, know how to interpret them, and how radiographs are integrated into total patient care.

Learning Outcomes Learning Activities Assessment Activities
Foundational Knowledge

Learners will investigate the concepts of electromagnetic radiation and how X-radiation is used in dentistry.





Read Essentials of Dental Radiography for Dental Assistants and Hygienists



Class discussions

Chapter minute papers


Pre- and Post-class Kahoot quizzes




Learners will practice radiography skills and trouble-shoot errors.

Lab: hands-on practice with taking X-rays on Dexter: traditional film and digital sensors.


Learners will practice developing their own films and mount them correctly. Using Dentrix, they will practice digital radiography and navigate the software.

Learners will assess their own radiographs for acceptability and determine ways to correct any errors


X-ray grading by teacher


Learners will analyze how taking quality radiographs aids in proper diagnosis for their patients

Discussions using case studies; learners will discuss examples of poor quality radiographs and compare them with good quality radiographs, noting what can be diagnosed from each film. Learners will create their own case studies that demonstrate differences in diagnosis based on good or poor radiographs.
Human Dimension/ Caring

Learners will analyze the importance of safety for themselves and their patients.

Discussions including personal experiences in different types of offices.


Review the ADA guidelines for radiography. Compare and contrast ideal prescription of radiographs and why some offices allow insurance to dictate how often radiographs are taken and what type.


Discuss the ethics of applying ALARA and the need for prescription of radiographs on a case-by case basis as needed.


Project and presentation: using the learner’s choice of media, they will address and discuss safety concerns. Examples may include:

PPE, dosimeters and lead aprons

Calibration of machines/ quality control

Radiographs on cancer patients

Biological effects of radiation


Non-medical/dental sources of radiation

Minimizing re-takes and unnecessary exposure


Learning How to Learn

Students will investigate new technology in radiography and how it can improve upon current modalities

Learners will research current technology available for dental offices and possibilities for future technology. Project: based on their research, learners will imagine their ideal radiography operatory for the future. They will include:

The type of technology they want to incorporate and why

What brands they prefer

Projected costs

How it will benefit the patients

How it will benefit the dental practice

 Before one-on-one training begins, I’ll give a group presentation that will focus on the foundational aspect of blended learning. I’ll give examples of what I tried in my own class and what I learned. Here is the power point I’ll use for my presentation:

Blended Learning

After the group PD, we’ll schedule individual sessions so teachers can get the hands-on help they need and on-going support. This type of PD will not only help instructors learn better, it will be an effective model for them to teach in the same way!