First Reflection on C&I579

16 Feb

What attitudes, skills, and concepts have you gained from participating in the course so far?

This class has given me a sense of constant discomfort followed by incredible moments of accomplishment.  It is never easy to move from your comfort zone and sense of security and accept that there is so much to learn.  On a daily basis I teach the same thing that I have for the past fourteen years.  I employ different teaching strategies, focus on better developing certain skills and, with time, have a more complete sense of analysis.  Each year I have tried to become better in content area and to push myself to learn new strategies from those who are good at teaching things.  I avoided, mocked, rolled my eyes at the “techies.”  In my goal to become the best I could in the classroom, my intellectual ego allowed me to denigrate the use of technological applications in the classroom.  It may have looked better, slicker and more modern in content, but I was doing the “real” teaching.  To truly learn, you have to be moved out your comfort zone.  It has to be hard work.  When those feelings emerge, I know that I am being stretched, challenged and accepting risk.  I can see and accept where I have room to grow.

With that said, it has been exciting so far because we have had the freedom and flexibility and the gift of time to “figure it out.”  At times I have had to give myself a pep talk that I want to learn a new application, it has encouraged and stretched me in ways that have fostered a growth mindset in regard to technology.  I am fortunate to be teaching a class where I could naturally begin implementing.  I have found that the tools I have been introduced to can improve instruction and student growth.  I know that I want to learn more and that I am capable of learning the quirks of each application.  I have turned each one of my assignments from class into an easy application in my classroom and I have found that many things I used to complain about have simple technology fixes.

What have you learned in the course that you will not forget tomorrow?

I will not forget that it can be frustrating to learn and that there is always a possibility that a newer version, more dynamic application will be available as soon as my lesson is complete.  However, the frustration becomes a launching point for me to become an assistant to my students in the classroom rather than the sage from the front of the room.  I know now that, while my students may understand how to connect through Facebook, they are not very well connected through educational resources.  I have created relationships and resources that exceed the boundaries of this course that continue to facilitate and encourage my growth in this area.

Twitter is a rich, connected resource of which I have learned to become a discriminating user.  Trying to follow everyone is not an efficient use of my time.  I need to create my Professional Learning Network that reflects my true interests in education and curriculum.  I am trying to determine what my contribution is to this on-line community and also having to realize that I need to just start sharing and an unnatural act will become much more natural.  I have also learned that many resources are needed in order to be able to decide which applications are best for the desired outcomes for the work that I assign.  Wikispaces plays a prominent role in my classroom, but the organization of the class/team discussions will be a model that I continue to employ and expand upon to best suit my high school class.  Google Docs has been a great collaboration tool and I am seeing its value among my peers and I look forward to creating assignments that force my students to utilize technology to facilitate academic discussions.

The opening of my mind and the familiarity with Web 2.0 applications for the classroom is where I am at in developing my EdTech mind.  I can never return to where I was before.

 How will you apply what you have learned to your teaching and future learning?

Prior to the course, I believed technology isolated us from one another, made us socially awkward and impeded rich, meaningful relationships critical to human development.  I now realize that, while that is certainly a possible outcome, it is not the only one.  I have the power to teach the limitless potential of the Internet in a way that will benefit my students and provide alternatives to social networking for social, possibly inappropriate uses, to a professional, educational powerhouse, rich with resources and connections that can be truly beneficial to a community of learners.  I have also connected to my colleagues whose technology discussions I purposely avoided and I have found that, when connected, collaboration can truly create more meaningful resources.  The two graphics included in this answer give an idea of where I am in my mind.  Revising old ideas like Bloom’s Taxonomy to reflect 21st Century Skills and Applications merge my two worlds together and, as I move forward, can never teach again with antiquated methods for teaching innovative curriculum.

Shrock, Kathy S. (2012, February 12). Retrieved from http://www.schrockguide.net/bloomin-apps.html

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One Response to “First Reflection on C&I579”

  1. Dr. Toledo February 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Lori,

    I only have one word for you … YAHOO!! Congratulations on coming over to the bright side and learning some important lessons about yourself. Also, thank you for your transparency and willingness to share.

    Keep up the great learning and growing.

    Dr. T

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