What have I learned? I started the term with an open mind and ready to get started with the course Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum. As a Science and Math teacher, I was eager to learn new methods and ideas for making my lessons and instruction better. I firmly believe that technology is not just something that is added to a classroom and a lesson, but rather a tool to be used to enhance and integrate different levels of thinking into each lesson. The Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum has embedded that philosophy into all aspects of my lesson development. The course integrates and builds upon many of the previous courses I have taken in the M. E. T. program at Boise State University.
I have learned that educators must have a clear vision before integrating technology; using technology for the sake of using or because “it’s there” is simply wrong. Our lesson plans should be guided by the objectives and learning outcomes, and not the tools available (as technology is just a tool, even though very powerful when used right.) In addition, composing a Relative Advantage Chart will also allow a clear vision for the problems students may be currently facing, as well as the solutions that technology integration may offer.
I have gained practical skills and experience of creating lesson plans and learning activities for other educators. I now have a broader vision of what needs to be taken into account when I create learning activities for someone else. Having a clear vision of each step, as well as being able to include it into the lesson plan and communicate to someone else are no doubt crucial skills for a technology integration specialist.
I have learned that my own Dell has so many valuable features that I can share with my students and colleagues! That is, I can now make a world of difference for a person with certain needs by simply sharing what I have learned about the already built in features, and by doing so help them see their educational and personal goals become true.
The course allowed us to become more familiar with the AECT Standards and the importance they have on the development of a new lesson or activity.
Standard 1 Design, we were able to create several lessons, instructional presentations, reflective blogs and resources sites for educators to use as a resource. We incorporated an approach to designing our lessons and presentations that they could be used at a micro or macro level without having to change the lesson or presentation. The lessons were designed and developed to allow for use right away in the classroom as the instruction or an enhancement of the instruction. Learning theories and characteristics of learning were considered in all lesson and presentation designs.
Standard 2 Development, involved the use of embedded material to add the integrity and creditability of our lessons and presentations. Outside sources such as websites, video, graphics, charts, and forms of technology were incorporated into all lessons. The use of printable media, audio, video, and hyperlinks assisted in addressing all learner characteristics for the lessons.
Standard 3 Utilization, was addressed in the development of a final project were all the material for the course would be show cased and used later in the classroom. The final project demonstrates the strong and insightful instruction of the course by building on prior knowledge to create a thorough website that can be used at any point for classroom instruction or as a resource to instruction.
The course has allowed me to develop a more in-depth practice when creating or redesigning a lesson. My ability to incorporate a more meaningful lesson will have a great impact on my students. The students will develop a better understanding of how to use technology for a successful education. The course has instilled a better practice on sharing information with colleagues. The level of course work created a much higher level of thinking that manifested into more concise lessons and presentations.
After this semester I can truly say I now see the full potential of educational technology. When you put in the time and effort to create web sites, lesson plans, presentations, videos, and maps your students will certainly enjoy learning more. As educators our students are the toughest audience day in and day out. They are the true judge of the quality of our teaching and I am proud to say after taking EDTECH 541 my students have noticed the improvements to my everyday teaching.
I believe that all the projects and assignments I created during this course reflect on my being a strong advocate for Constructivist theory of learning. That is, all the projects emphasize group-based and cooperative work. Also, they target problem-solving and critical thinking (Roblyer and Doering, 2012.) I also strived to see that through the projects, students would generate their own understanding of the topics through real-life experiences. The majority of the assessments also reflected on Constructivist theory of learning – they are “nontraditional”, that is, group projects such as web pages, multimedia projects, and self-reflections.
I will now critique my own efforts on my EDTECH Blog from the spring 2013 semester.
In the area of “Content” I give myself a 73 of 75. No one is perfect and although I feel I gave it my all I deserve this score. Each week I put my best effort out there for everyone to read. I included course work combined with my own teaching experiences. I had many personal issues going on through out this semester so I think I earned the 73.
In the area of “Reading and Resources” I give myself a 32 of 35. Each week I read the required readings and quoted them in my blog entries. I took off a few points because maybe I could have gotten more sources to back my points of view.
For “Timeliness” I give myself a 25 of 25. Each week I made sure to have my blog posts in early or on time. My entire time in the EDTECH program I took my blog very seriously as a reflection of myself and made sure I was on time with each entry.
For the final category, “Responses to Others” I give myself a 28 of 30. Each week I read my classmates blogs and commented on them. I took careful time to select which blogs had not been commented on too much and tried to give that classmate the best critique and encouragement I could. I would also like to thank all my classmates who commented on my blog, it was much appreciated.