This course has helped me to learn new ways to implement new technologies in the classroom in order to motivate my learners. I have deepened my knowledge through the resources that were available to me (i.e. videos, articles, books, etc.).
Teaching with technology allows me to meet the needs of the 21st century learner. Since so many of our learners are familiar with using a variety of technology, it allows me to “Do different things” as stated by Dr. Thornburg (2008) in his video, The Emergence of Educational Technology. If I can take a podcast and record my voice reading a passage, I now can upload it to my classroom webpage for students to access at home. Whereas, before I used to send home a practice sheet where the students had to record how many times they did the practice at home with a parent. They dreaded this activity. I feel that a pod cast is an exciting new way of practicing fluency while implementing it with technology. Although that is “Doing things differently” as Dr. Thornburg described, I am still motivating my students to use tools they enjoy using. My students can also now do a podcast of their own voices and listen to their own reading. This is such a great way for them to self-evaluate their oral reading performance. This is definitely “Doing different things” (Laureate Education, Inc, 2008).
Since I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, I have always had the mindset of learner-centered learning. I actually have it on my resume’; however, my ideas file for implementing learner-centered learning has only grown. I am now excited to use vocabucasts and wikis in my classroom to take my learner-centered learning to the next level.
The only way I can continue to expand my knowledge of learning, teaching, and leading with technology to increase student achievement is to continue my journey as a lifelong learner. I will continue to take courses and earn my Master’s in Education in Integrating Technology in the Classroom.
Step 2: Long Term Goals (within 2 years) Two long-term goals to transform my classroom environment:
1. Continuously seek ways of obtaining grant monies to purchase technologies.
2. If training is not available for these tools, I will network with other educators around the world through blogs, etc. to learn new ways to implement the equipment available to me.
My principal is always asking us what types of technology we feel would engage our students, so I would inform her because she has a grant writing team. I would also try to get as much training with these tools; however, as mentioned before, if it is not available, there is a vast amount of resources online that could be sought.
After reflecting on the checklist I filled out in week one of this course, I found that some of my answers have changed after taking this course.
I am currently using a classroom website and an online grade book to communicate with students and parents. I always have attended the “Meet the Teacher” night in person, but because I had to attend a recent funeral for my grandmother, I was able to webcast my open house. I called it my “Virtual Open House.” My parents and students were amazed with the technology, and how I took the time to use it in that manner. Had I not taken this course, I would have never thought to have such a backup plan!
Through this course, I have learned new ways to teach fluency through a Podcast. Vocabulary is also a hard concept to motivate students to study. Through vocabucasts, I can now teach vocabulary online, and my students do not even realize they are learning in the process because it is so much fun.
To design learning experiences and incorporate technology with that learning has been quite a challenge for me. I have used my Mobi for very basic things, but now that I have learned about blogging with other educators, I have learned of a new way to network while learning from other educators using the same tools. It has allowed me to learn new ways to engage my students.
My areas of opportunity have definitely changed! I am now feeling comfortable with blogs, podcasts, and wikis in the classroom. I can now add these to my areas of strength.
More than ever, I am now working to promote best practices in technology integration through research, evaluation, selecting and sharing these new tools and ideas for my classroom instruction.
Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). The Emergence of Educational Technology.
: Dr. David Thornburg. Baltimore, MD