GSA Newsletter

Please join in our GSA meetings in Moodle (just click on the meetings tab at the top!)  We have GSA meetings in Moodle on the following times:

Feb. 21-28: In this months meeting we will be using voicethread as our format!  If you have never used voicethread it is located at  Voicethread is free and you don’t have to install anything.  You can share using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam).  We kick off February’s meeting with a discussion the Great LMS debate.  We are trying a different format, come join us!

GSA future meeting times:
Mar 21-28
April 11-18
May 9-15

Don’t forget to check us out at our web site at and make sure to visit the student poll tab to vote for the topic of discussion for the meeting!  We are also located in facebook and Linkedin– you can start a discussion, post great tips and tricks, or just get connected to your peers.  Hope to see you there!

Congratulations to our grant recipient, Patty McGinnis!  Patty will be using the grant to attend the ISTE 2011 conference.  Another EdTech student, Michelle Rudolph, will be presenting at the ITC 2011 Conference.  Good luck to you both!

If you are attending a conference or are presenting at a seminar or convention and would like to share please contact one of the GSA officers so we can highlight your experience!  We would love to hear from you.

From the EdTech Talk desk:

Mini Grants:
Tom Robb

Mini Grants are an opportunity for EDTECH students to receive some financial assistance that will support something of interest.  This might be a research project, conference they wish to attend, or some other idea that supports their educational goals.
Brenda Janot is our Grant Coordinator and she is here to provide students with assistance through the entire process.  The process is as follows:
1.  Download the Mini Grant Application Packet from Moodle.
2.  Submit the packet on Moodle.
3.  Send an email to and let her know you have submitted the application packet.
4.  Brenda will coordinate a meeting with all GSA Officers where we will independently rate your application.
5.  Brenda will communicate the results with applicants.
6.  If funded, Brenda will communicate with our Treasurer and ensure that applicants are funded based upon the timeline.

More information is available on our Mini Grant Application Packet.  If you have any suggestions on this process, please use the discussion forum on this page to let us know!
Thanks for your interest!

How to become a member?

Members of the EDTECH Graduate Student Association can be current or previous students in the EDTECH Program at BSU.  Officers must currently be enrolled in 3 units.  All members must be candidates for a Masters or Doctoral degree in the EDTECH Program at BSU.

To become a member, first watch our video:

If you are interested, email requests to for the enrollment key in Moodle.  In the subject line please indicate you are wanting to join GSA.  Members are eligible for Mini Grants (no alumni on grants), access to Project Sharing Database (RSS feed with topics are displayed at the right of this page), and ability to be published in an internal peer review journal (currently under construction).  The best part of being a member is working and learning from other talented students within the EDTECH Program.
Come join us at our next meeting (see calendar on the right side of every page in our wordpress web site).

Meet your Peers:

Why Not?

by Lisa Schmidt

“Many people ask why?  I ask why not?”  One of my college golf teammates shared this quote with me and I have since used it as my motto.  When people find out I teach high school English, I am often asked “Why? Aren’t teenagers rude, disrespectful, and mean?  Why would you want to work in that environment?”  This is one of the stereotypes people have about teenagers-not all teenagers are heartless monsters-they are people too.  Others tell me that they hated English and why would I want to teach a class so many people dislike?  However, my English class isn’t like the one you took 30 years ago.  The reason for this is because of how I implement technology into my lessons.

How often have you heard a teacher say, “Open up your textbook to page 59 and read the story”.  Since beginning my Master of Educational Technology (MET) with emphasis in technology integration, in the summer of 2009, I have seen how educating students does not have to revolve around a teacher and a textbook.  With technology, students can take greater responsibility for their learning.  Students can now research information from many online databases, create videos to educate their peers, and have access to publish their writing to an audience of readers from around the world.  Students no longer have to be attached to a textbook and teachers no longer have be limited by focusing on one primary resource.  Technology has increased the resources available to for both students and teachers.

In my English 10 Honors and English 10 class, I don’t have to continually rely on a textbook for curriculum purposes.  Through taking courses such as YouTube for Educators and Project Based Learning and Integrating Technology into the Curriculum, I have found new and exciting ways to teach my students literature, writing, and grammar.  Journal entries can now be done in student created blogs where students have the opportunity to reach people from all over the world; students can submit assignments to me through Google Docs; and students can even watch instructional material through YouTube.  The text Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching explains how utilizing technology such as hypermedia can increase student motivation to learn.  “Students who usually struggle to complete a project or term paper often will tackle a hypermedia project enthusiastically. . . the most important characteristic of hypermedia is its ability to encourage students to be proactive learners” (Roblyer & Doering, 2010).  Motivating students can be difficult at times; technology can increase student motivation and help students take responsibility of their learning.

I also advise the yearbook at Mazama High School.  Technology has greatly changed the way a yearbook is produced.  No longer does one have to develop photos in a dark room, crop photos by hand, or lay out pages on a piece of paper.  The yearbook is completed entirely online through the production company’s website.  Students take photos using digital cameras (students can even take photos using their iPhones) and upload them directly to the site.  Once on the site is easy for students to create templates for pages and create them.  The advances in technology have significantly changed the way teachers can teach and students can learn.

Some educators mistakenly question the importance of using technology in the classroom.  However, one of the reasons it is important is to empower our students with skills that will prepare them for future demands that don’t yet exist.  Another reason is students today need to use skills that make them think critically and direct their own learning paths to master the use of future technologies.  In addition to these reasons there is one far more personal to me.

Living in a rural area and a small town of 45,000 people, my students often don’t understand or have in-depth knowledge of the “outside world” because many of my students have never left Klamath Fall, Oregon.  One way I can introduce them to different places and cultures is through technology.  Therefore I choose to ask the question, “Why not use technology?”

Doering, A. H., & Roblyer, M. D. (2010). Integrating educational technology into
teaching. Boston: Pearson.

Caption: Lisa Schmidt is a graduate student in the MET program from Klamath Fall, Oregon
Lisa Schmidt

Image retrieved from

Meet Anthony Saba
MET December 2010

Edtech Talk: What do you think of the Edtech program?

Anthony: The Boise State Edtech, I believe, is the best Edtech program around, hands-down. I honestly never expected to learn as much as I have in the program and feel it is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my professional career.

Edtech Talk: Based on your experiences in the Edtech program and in your work environment is there something notable that you would like to share with us?

Anthony: One of the most important things I’ve garnered from my education is the embracing of experimenting with technology and instruction rather than sticking to the tried-and-true.

Edtech Talk: Could you please give us an overview of your journey through the program

Anthony: My trek through the Edtech program has been intense and fast due to the requirement of three-courses-per semester of the Graduate Assistant position. I enrolled in the Edtech program in the Summer of 2009, taking my first two classes Edtech 501 and Edtech 502. In the Fall of 2009 my position as a Graduate Assistant began in which I worked with Dr. Hung assisting in research and a variety of other tasks. I took Edtech 503, 504 and 512, Online Course Design (one of my favorite courses) that semester. In the Spring of 2010 I took Edtech 505, 531 and 552 followed with Edtech 506 that Summer semester. In this, my last semester, I continued working as a Graduate Assistant with Dr. Hung and began working with Dr. Hsu as well. I have been working on research with both of them and will be attending an online Conference with Dr. Hung next Spring.  This semester I took Edtech 591, 522 and 561, Research Methods. Though not required for the MET program, I took 561 to prepare for the Doctorate program which I expect to enroll in next year.

Edtech Talk: Are you planning on pursuing the Doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction with the emphasis in Edtech?

Anthony: I am considering coming to Boise to do the Doctorate program and continue my research.

Edtech Talk: What are you research interests?

Anthony: I’m currently interested in Mobile Learning, Learning in Virtual Worlds and Learning with Augmented Reality.

Edtech Talk: Thank you.

View this tutorial about the portfolio through Anthony Saba’s experience:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s