This is an electronic portfolio that features a compilation of work, that was completed during 2011 - 2012, as a part of the graduation requirement for the Instructional Technology program at the University of Northern Iowa. My name is Nelson Rokke, and I am an advocate for lifelong learning and the use of instructional technologies for education. Currently, I am a resident of Ankeny, Iowa where I live with my wife, Connie.
I accepted an Instructional Designer position with WebFilings, LLC in December 2012.
About This Project
When you are dealing with technology, it is often very difficult to describe examples; a portfolio allows for a better demonstration of my work and achivements. Throughout this site, you will find a series of webpages that will provide examples of my work, and also, descriptions of how each project aligns with the Educational Communications and Instructional Technology (ECIT) standards. This ePortfolio will not necessarily look the same today, as it will six months from now; as an advocate for lifelong learning, I will continue to include dipictions of my development, as both a teacher and a learner, this portfolio.
Personal Philosophical Statement
As an educator, I am committed to helping organizations or individuals improve their knowledge or skills to get from a current state to one that is more desirable. My goal as a teacher, is to engage my students in their learning, so that they can become innovative leaders. I want to empower people to utilize technology to build professional learning networks, collaborate, and gain unlimited access to new resources. To me, teaching is about creating opportunities for students to discover and develop technological knowledge, tools, or skills that they can use to position themselves as leaders in their respective industry. As an educator, it is important to define two very different aspects of my job: I create instructional materials, but I coordinate educational content. As I create instructional materials, I rely heavily on my design skills and incorporate the CARP principles (Niederst, 2003) into my work. I want to encourage students to learn from past and present experiences by integrating educational content that provokes active inquiry, requiring continuous practice, collaboration, and problem solving as methods for generating innovative solutions; students will learn to construct the knowledge that is required achieving their goals. I will not adapt my teaching style as things change, but instead take a proactive approach in embracing change and discovering new ways to challenge students. It is important for me to challenge and engage every student, and that they are given the opportunity to enhance their skills and abilities. My teaching is intended to produce sustainable learning outcomes that benefit learners for the long-term. It is very important to identify and develop your teaching goals and objectives, because these are what your instructional design should be focused around(Dick,Carey, & Carey, 2012). A simple but effective method to help you develop teaching goals and objectives, is through the observation of student behavior - observation is one of the principles of the Behaviorist Learning Theory. Observing classroom activities allows a teacher to identify the resources that are used or needed, and to set the degree of expectations or standards that can be used to assess performance. I will remain open to new technology, but intend to maintain a degree of caution; after reading books from Healy (Healy, 1999) and Cuban (Cuban, 1987) while completing this program I learned to consider the impact of integrating technology from multiple different perspectives. I will remain dedicated to integrating authentic learning environments for the learners; these environments will promote the development of higher order thinking skills and repeated desired behaviors, such as active inquiry and critical reflection. I often view the learning environment as the organizational culture, and it is very important based upon my understanding of cognitive development, behaviorist and constructivist learning theory, and student learning (Seels & Ritchey 1994). The learning environment that I create for my students is not restricted to a physical space, and follows the constructivism learning theory where knowledge is obtained through a process of building upon previously existing knowledge.
In conclusion, I think teaching is important because we help to bring out what’s really inside of people, and show them what they are capable of. My biggest contribution to the educational field is my advocacy for educational technology, and the capabilities for collaboration that it offers. I’m am driven by results – when I see someone assume a leadership role or attempting to try something no one else has done before, that’s a beautiful thing. They are demonstrating the skill they’ve acquired – and if I’ve really made a difference in a student’s life, they will spend time trying to figure out how they learned to perfect that skill.