Final Reflection Post

12 Mar

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

As we come to a close of Ed Tech Bootcamp, I am a different teacher from where we started nine weeks ago.  I never wanted to learn the technology, use it or listen to people who droned on endlessly over the great things they were doing in the class because of their tech knowledge.  I realized the transformation had taken place right around my work on the Livebinder Project that I prepared for my final project.  The idea to create Livebinder came from one of the people I follow on Twitter who maintain Livebinders for all of her classroom units.  I would look at them (tech forward teachers) with great envy and wonder how and why I did not do to more effectively gather resources and more efficiently communicate with my students.  Instead of wanting to be her, I became the person who created the Unit and I have now shared it a few of my colleagues who have implemented it.   I enjoyed every minute of learning a new application I have never worked with before.  While frustration grew over the learning curve involved, I became obsessed with the improvements that could be made to my Imperialism Unit by using the technology resources included in the project.  While learning Livebinder was new, it was a great feeling to embed a Google Doc Form for evaluation, File Stork/Dropbox for submitting completed work, a wiki class discussion page and embed a You Tube Video in the binder.  Outside of a poorly maintained wiki, I had never even had accounts with these companies who I now use comfortably in my classroom.  It was no longer just using technology.  I truly incorporated it into a full-fledged application of everything I had learned and reflected my desire to learn more.

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

I learned how to find answers.  We ran into a problem with Group Project 2 when Prezi would not load into Voicethread.  Did we just waste our time on the Prezi that we had become so attached to?  A quick You Tube search and we had a video explaining how to use Screen-o-matic in order to voice over a Prezi.  The time we spent cursing technology and all of the problems with it became productive, solution seeking, forward thinking group collaboration time.  The solution worked and I knew I had learned something.  I learned that I can make contributions to this community of educators.  When we first created our PLN, I was convinced that I would be a blog, twitter voyeur.  I am a watcher, learner and implementer.  I was not the contributor.  By my fourth blog post, I had included in my response the suggestion to use “Stick Pick” to the writer offering critical thinking ideas.  I have no words to explain to you how good it felt that I, in this instance, could not help but share a resource that would clearly meet the needs explained in the blog.  A contributor is what I am most proud of – not only to my colleagues, but to my PLN and, hopefully, to the body of knowledge in this field.  For my dissertation, I am hoping to measure the outcomes of 1:1 initiatives in our district and their impact on high ability learners and creative output.  I am fascinated by the potential of the technology forward classroom.

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

While I have loved what I have turned in for class, it is what is happening in my classroom that I have done that I most proud of from my Ed Tech experience.  In Women’s Studies, the students’ wiki is much more powerful as they engage in Current Event Discussions through various on-line techniques that I have learned from this class.  Or, am I most proud that the projects that they have completed – Professional Level Presentations of Top Ten Lists of Things we can do to improve Girl Culture have been completed on Web 2.0 applications and submitted through the wiki?  Gone are the days of fumbling around through multiple log-ins.  We now embed the presentation right into our wiki page.  When open, I can click on each link and project the presentations made using, but not limited to,  GoAnimate, Prezi, Voice Thread and Glogster.  In the Critical Thinking Course, weekly written forms have become on-line docs that are submitted and reviewed easily by my co-teaching partner and I.  The application is because I know now that I can learn them and, while I will not everything about each application, I can learn and assist students in learning which application would be the right one to use for the information that they want to convey.

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