Gregory Gilmore

Professional Portfolio



Preparing for a Degree in Educational Technology


Before considering this degree or applying to the program, I used the technology available in my building and music classroom in daily instruction to the best of my ability.  I received occasional training on technology, collaborated with other music educators, and explored technology implementation in the music classroom at my own pace.  My professional development to this point was not highly organized or varied, and I had no preparation to help other teachers implement technology in their classrooms.   The technology available in my classroom included a SMART Board, Flip Cam,  Music Instruction Software (MusicAce), a sound system, and the Internet.   In the fall of 2009, I was invited to attend a two-day training session for my district's web site.  After the training was complete, I began reading more information on HTML, CSS, and Flash and soon became a resource for the faculty in my building who sought help with their classroom websites.  After exploring Flash, I created an online newsletter using Flash for the Missouri Choral Directors Association;  I had previously edited a print newsletter for the organization and we had been exploring ways to cut printing and mailing costs by posting the newsletter online.   As I gained more experience with the implementation of technology in my classroom, increased my knowledge of web development, and became comfortable providing support for my colleagues, I began thinking that I could be successful pursuing a degree in educational technology.


Using Technology to Promote Music, Literacy, Leadership, and Collaboration

While completing this degree, I have had the opportunity to investigate and practice the use of technology in schools as a classroom teacher, a library media specialist, and a technology facilitator.  My experience as a general music teacher at the beginning of this degree allowed me to focus on implementing technology into one specific content through music theory software, audio and video assessment of performances, recording technology, Web 2.0 Tools, and composition software that allowed students to compose music with a limited knowledge of music theory.  While completing this degree I learned how to use technology to enhance student learning rather than using it simply because it was in my classroom. Completing a concept map for the first course of my degree allowed me to explore the connection between technology, student learning, and assessment. As I made decisions to add nodes to the map and connect them, I was able to reflect on my newly-gained knowledge within a visual medium. Beyond the improved integration of technology in my own classroom that was facilitated by this degree, I used the knowledge and skills I gained from my classes and Personal Learning Network as I gained confidence assuming leadership roles in my building's technology vision committee and helping other faculty with technology issues and implementation.  This experience of effectively implementing technology into my classroom with the support of my instructors has been valuable in helping me provide support to other teachers both when I taught music, and while fulfilling my duties as a library media specialist.


When I transitioned into a librarian position the second year of this program, I was part of technology implementation across an entire building and more time was available to help teachers with technology issues; in fact, technology support was now included in my job description. When I made the move to the library, I was half-way through my program of study and already beginning to learn critical technology leadership skills.   Part of the duties in my new position included participating in the building leadership committee; this gave me a voice in many decisions relating to technology use and training across the building.  Beyond the informal "just in time" help given to individual teachers, I was also asked to provide more formal training in using classroom technology and the district website.   As part of my degree, I completed a staff development plan focusing on the district website; I also gained experience with technology budgets and facilities that were necessary for my new role of librarian. Inside the library, I continued to improve the technology integration skills I had learned through my coursework with tools such as Video Book Trailers, author web sites, Skype visits with authors, and Google Lit Trips.   I was also able to collaborate with classroom teachers by creating Custom Google Searches for research projects and teaching the skills necessary to use Internet search engines.  This degree has given me the knowledge and skills necessary to support the faculty of my building in their use of technology, and provide technology rich instruction to my students both in and out of the library.

Another significant experience beneficial to both teaching positions was online collaboration with my classmates.  Through projects such as a Team Article Summary, a Collaborative Debate Discussion Thread, a Collaborative Lesson Script and Assessment Plan, and a Google Site focusing on the collaborative capabilities of VoiceThread, I gained valuable knowledge and practical experience in all phases of online collaborative learning projects and assignments.  What I learned in these assignments will continue to be valuable as online collaboration tools continue to become more sophisticated and user-friendly.  The experiences and knowledge I gained while collaborating with my classmates will make it easier for me to foster successful collaborative environments within my library, anticipate potential problems before they occur, and support teachers as they provide their students with opportunities to collaborate through online tools.


Equipping Myself to Teach and Lead into the Future

In the course of completing this degree and teaching in two different positions over the past two years, I have witnessed a rapid progression of classroom technology and Web 2.0 tools through my coursework and educational technology blogs collected with Feedly.  I have also used Twitter, Diigo Bookmarks and Groups, and educational NINGS to stay current on new web sites, online Web 2.0 tools, and classroom technology.  Now that I have accounts established in each of these collaborative tools, I will continue to develop my personal learning network in the future for timely professional development.  As I gain new knowledge, information, and experience with technology, I will be able to share this with the teachers of my building as I continue to fill the role of library media specialist.  The experience and knowledge I have gained while completing this degree will also benefit me in the future should I decide to return to the music classroom or seek a position that allows me to coordinate or facilitate the use of technology within a building or school district.  Regardless of the positions I hold in the future, this degree has given me the ability to find the resources necessary to teach myself the required skills for success.  Although the technologies I used while completing this degree will soon be replaced, I have a system and method in place to continue learning as educational technologies evolve.