About Me

This blog began as a reflection blog for my EDUC407 course and the students who followed me. I am currently not teaching EDUC407 while I work on my doctorate but find that my reflections about teaching and course design still need a location. So I will continue to post my thoughts here.


I have been teaching EDUC407 for over 10 years. Ever read the quote, “You could not step twice into the same river.” by Greek philosopher Heraclitus? It is an apt description of teaching this constantly changing course. So for 10 years, I have enjoyed updating the course materials as technology evolves and creates better tools and connections for education.

Norm & NoriMy first section of this course was taught when the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing required new teachers complete both Level 1 and Level 2 technology courses to clear a teaching credential. I was working by day in the Chino Valley Unified School District and during the summer or on weekends teaching this course for University of San Diego Extension. That was summer, 2000. Wow, have things changed in 14 years!

That was before there were Web 2.0 tools~ tools built right into browsers that allowed users to create content right on the screen. Like this blog. Like wikipedia. Like Facebook! Those early Univ. of S.D. classes focused on Microsoft Word and PowerPoint as well as designing simple (really simple) web pages.

How boring would that be for this generation of new teachers? And how impractical!

I was the lead for the EDUC407 course for over 4 years after Dr. John Bartelt passed the baton to me. I worked with an amazing team of other adjunct professors including Dennis & Molly Large, Marla Humprey, Sean Williams, and for a semester, Chris Bell. We updated course material each semester to be sure the La Verne educated teachers are leading in the field of education.

Our students use free cloud based tools with an emphasis on collaboration and that are likely to be available in the next few years. Concepts are still the focal point, however, and EDUC407 students create a final project to show a deep understanding of Project Based Learning and how depth of understanding supports the new Common Core Curriculum. Aspiring teachers leave this course with a completed WebQuest – a Project Based Learning site that evidences deep inquiry and purposeful integration of technology.

Our student work is truly exemplary ~ any school district to hire a La Verne trained teacher will have made a great investment for their own students.

I really shouldn’t leave them alone too often

In my personal life, I married to Norman Barajas~ wild man and former XGames logistics coordinator. Our 15-year-old daughter is a perfect blend of us; theatrical and likes to shoot guns. None of like lots of rules OR bedtime.