I loved how this week was focused on exploring new technologies that we can apply in the classroom. I found it to be very encouraging that many of these technological resources are already available online. It would have been a bit difficult to read about so many useful tools, to then realize that we need a way bigger budget to make that dream into a reality. One of the most helpful parts of this module was getting to hear about other teacher’s experiences in using these tools. I found it a bit daunting to just be clicking on sites to get information about these technological tools without hearing from someone who is using it and not simply selling it. It was helpful to hear how these resources are being efficiently utilized in other classrooms, which encouraged me to incorporate them into mine. The “Tools 4 You” section of the module’s resources was excellent because everything was already organized for us. I found the “7 Things You Should Know About…” pages through EDUCAUSE to be very resourceful information. The content was very practical and had thorough reviews of the technological resources that we could use in the classroom. In particular, I found the article “7 Things You Should Know About Online Media Editing” to have great information on tools that I can use in my video and photo editing classes. On page 2, the article discusses how digital editing is moving into handheld devices and becoming an online tool. This is exciting because it creates accessibility, and allows students to work with the information on different mediums.
Clear: In this module, I liked how different viewpoints to technology driven learning were presented. This was an opportunity for me to think critically about what I believe and also caused me to reflect on how I am putting these beliefs to action. I agree with what was said in many of the videos; that technology is going to be a part of education and educators can either jump on board or continue to fight it. In some of our class’ discussions, it was clear that technology in education comes with a price. The devices create distractions and technology itself has created an over stimulated generation that has issues sitting still. These points were clear in the “RSA Animate-Changing Education Paradigms” video when today’s generation was compared with classrooms from the past. It led to the fact that times are changing, and we as educators have the opportunity to be at the forefront of this exciting technological movement. This once again encourages me to explore technological resources that are available at my finger tips.
Unclear: The pieces that were unclear in this module, or I would say not thoroughly discussed is how to put all of this to practice. It could get quite overwhelming very quickly if we keep getting to study so many technological resources without thinking through how to apply them in our classroom. With that said, I love that Prof Holt specifically told us to use what would actually fit well in each individual classroom rather than feeling the need to somehow incorporate everything. I think that it is important to remember that these resources are not applicable in every learning situation, which is why this is a valuable time to explore the technology that we have available to us. I wonder if the best practice to find the most useful tools is to simple put these resources to the test in our classrooms and then assess the outcome? The best resource that I discovered this week was Animoto! This is such a fun tool for teachers to use to better engage their classroom. I love how it was so easy to use, while at the same time still creating a professional product.
In Module 1, I enjoyed reading through the “Washington’s Educational Technology Standards” for using technology in the classroom. It was good to discover the expectations that I am being held to, and now I am left trying to figure out how make this happen. I may not be able to get every boxed checked in every single lesson, but I need to start reaching for those standards. In this module it was helpful to see how other teachers utilized technology in the article “Addressing the Nets For Students Through Constructivist Technology Use In K-12 Classrooms”, which gave me new ideas to use in mine.
The standards and expectations were very clear, but it was a bit unclear of how to make that happen in our classrooms. The examples were wonderful, but I’m once again trying to figure out how that fits into my classroom’s circumstances. My school is blessed with a lot of technical resources, and so I would like to start thinking outside of the box with what I can do with computer, cameras, etc.
Another piece that was unclear was that I didn’t see a ton of materials talking about the issues and challenges that technology creates in the classroom. I have technical issues occur about once every other day. Sometimes computers don’t want to turn on, the internet isn’t working, software applications randomly choose to close, or students can’t find their projects’ files. We have an IT department, but they are not available every single time I have an issue and these problems eat up important class time. Should I just expect that issues will occur and therefore create flexible space for that to occur in?