Part One: Overall Course Reflection
Finding a place to begin to discuss what I have learned throughout this course is difficult. As I progress through the M.E.T. program, each course has provided me new insight into the various uses of technology in the classroom. EDTECH 541 is no exception. This course has given me new ideas and the confidence to implement these ideas in the classroom. Each assignment has given me examples of how to best integrate technology. I have been able to use nearly all of the projects and activities created as soon as they were completed. My students gladly subjected themselves in the trial runs.
In selecting Language Arts as the focus content area for this project, I have learned that there are many more resources available than I originally realized. Not knowing where to locate these resources was an issue in the past however that is not the case now. The Instructional Software assignment was challenging however I now have a working list of resources frequently referred to. I have also learned new ways to use existing software to enhance the delivery of lessons. Hooking the learner is key to the success of any lesson and this course has put me on the right path.
Integrating technology into the classroom takes much more effort than giving the students a computer and access to the Internet. Realizing the impact technology has in reading, writing, science, and math, I also understand the importance of recognizing the needs of the individual learner. Every learning theory has its place in education. My projects and assignments tend to lean toward the constructivist approach since they integrate the creation of multimedia products, Internet research, and collaboration.
I have demonstrated mastery of the following AECT Standards in Design, Development, and Utilization of technology in the classroom: Standard 1: Design (1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD), 1.2 Message Design, 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 1.4 Learner Characteristics), Standard 2: Development (2.1 Print Technologies, 2.2 Audiovisual Technologies, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 2.4 Integrated Technologies), Standard 3: Utilization (3.1 Media Utilization, 3.2 Diffusion of Innovations).
Each project or assignment addressed numerous standards. One in particular that stands out was the Adaptive/Assistive Technology assignment. I have no experience working with students with special needs. As I worked my way through this assignment, I was thankful to learn that so many tools are available for those needing adaptive or assistive technology.
I have grown professionally is so many ways. When I began the M.E.T. program, it was my intent to share what I had learned with the staff I work with. EDTECH 541 has provided me with so many new resources and ways to effectively integrate technology in the classroom. I have made it a point to share this information as often as possible. Although not everyone I work with embraces technology with the same enthusiasm as I, I know I have been able to make a positive impact at the school and will continue to do so.
Using video in my classroom was one area I ventured out of my comfort zone in. I have not been in the habit of using video often, however after the video assignment, I have used it several times. I immediately noticed a change in my students as they became transfixed by the video. I suppose they were wondering what took me so long to get acquainted with YouTube. My next adventure with video will be to create my own to use in the classroom. I cannot predict how this will turn out but I do know that video is a highly effective and flexible method of delivering lessons to students not only in the classroom but also remotely.
Part Two: Performance Assessment
Considering I have only been blogging for the past year, it is a relatively new experience for me however I have found it to be most helpful this semester. The first several posts are always a bit difficult until I become acquainted with those I am blogging with. Blogging is an outstanding way to get feedback on ideas and to share thoughts. The following is a self-assessment of my performance:
Content (65/70) – Proficient: The content of my blog posts were rich in content however as with anything, there is always room for improvement. The connections between the weekly readings and resources in each blog post were clearly stated but at times could have been more concise.
Reading and Resources (20/20) – Outstanding: I used the readings and additional resources to support comments made on blog posts. All of the resources were cited using APA format. Quite often I would find a great resource, which would provide another and so on. There were many late evenings just reading about how to best integrate technology into the classroom.
Timeliness (20/20) – Outstanding: Each of my posts was made early enough to provide time for others to respond. I always tried to post my comments before responding to other posts.
Responses to Other Students (30/30) – Outstanding: I always responded to at least two or more posts throughout the course. The comments were thoughtful and I tried to include details connecting the post to a real life situation.