Patti Millius Introduction

Ashford University, EDU697

Let Me Entertain You!

Music Teacher/Vocal Director has been my chosen profession for the past 26 years having taught every grade from Preschool through High School. I have moved around quite a bit gathering many different experiences along the way and enjoying each level very much. In 3 weeks the 8th year in my current position as PreK - 5 grade Music Teacher at Prescott Elementary School in Dubuque, Iowa will begin and will mark the longest I have stayed in any one school. My current position is a challenge, but comes with many rewards as well, so I think I have finally found a home.

Earning a Masters Degree has been a 26 year goal and it seems as though it is finally going to happen! It has been a roller coaster ride, but has been very interesting and at times, fun.

When I began this voyage, my family which consists of my husband Dean, 2 children, ages 21 and 18 and our 93 year old grandfather who lives with us were concerned that this might be a bit much for their "old mom", but I have been proving them wrong and enjoying every minute, will almost every minute. I look forward to being finished, but will miss interacting with all the different people I have met along the way.

Professional Goal #1

Once finished, it is my hope to take what I have learned to coordinate with the area colleges and open my classroom doors as a "lab class" for future music teachers. I have enjoyed having student teachers in the past, but feel strongly that future teachers really need a place where they can go and work with actual students on a more frequent basis. Having spoken with music departments in the local colleges, they are excited about this collaboration and we are moving ahead. It's all very exciting to see unfold!

Ashford University's MATLT has aided my journey towards achieving this goal by giving me the tools to create a program that will be presented to college music departments. Everything from doing the research that supports this opportunity to creating the online training options for future music teachers that will get them ready to work with my students to actual lessons that includes much technology. It is exciting to see this all unfold and would not be happening if not for what I have learned.

4th Grade Boomwhackers

Reflection: Influential Design and Development Challenge

Throughout all the classes, I have learned much. Some of what I learned was more challenging than others, but undoubtedly the TPACK (Technical Pedagogical Content Knowledge) was the most challenging.

Iowa has created a CORE Curriculum calling on all educators to create lessons that are rich in technology. As a music teacher, we are not exempt from this mandate and by using TPACK, the lessons I am creating for my students are indeed infused with technology which my students will find engaging and enlightening.

What was the challenge?

First was letting go of how my lessons were designed and approaching lesson design with an open mind. Then finding ways to combine music and technology that didn't take away from the "music" aspect while focusing on the "technology" which the students could do and find useful and engaging. Elementary students need much repetition before learning a concept and sometimes so much time was spent learning the technology that it took time away from learning the music. Time became an important factor, but easily resolved once I brought in other teachers.

How did you overcome it?

Once I started talking with the classroom teachers and the technology coach, I found that they were on board with teaching the technology side of what we were doing so I could focus on the music side. I wasn't aware that they were so open to the idea and was pleasantly surprised when they became excited and cooperative. I found out that I don't need to be an island and by having conversations with the other staff members most are more than willing to come on board. They just don't know how to begin.

How did the experience sharpen your knowledge and/or skill with teaching and learning with technology?

Through working with the classroom teachers and the technology coach, the collaboration was exciting and I came away learning so much more than I already knew about what technologies work with elementary students, how to help elementary students learn a new piece of technology and what works best for that level. I also learned that there are many staff members who know more about technology than what they are having other believe, but are unsure how to infuse it into their curriculum.

Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by

Mark Twain Quote

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education”.

We are all constantly learning. We don't need to be in a formal class setting for this to happen as life is an education all by itself which is why we never stop learning. When I was growing up my Mom always told us two things. 1. Never go to bed mad and 2. You can't go to bed unless you have learned something new. You never know where or when your education is going to take place, but we learn from it and move on, sharing what we have learned with others.

Check out the Pandemonium Steel Drum Website

Click the link to hear my Voki. Enjoy!