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.
All of the informational resources that were posted were very helpful and clear. One of the pieces of this module that I found difficult was Prezi. I might have had a bad internet connection in this crazy weather, but the site itself kept freezing while I was using it. I would also create my paths in the correct order, to then preview the show and it would decide to go a different route. The site also did not seem to like my trackpad because it kept thinking that I wanted to zoom in on an image, when I really was just trying to click on the right section to edit. Is Prezi not user friendly or was I just having a bad night with technology? I guess this could just be another example of the beauties of technology: Wonderful tools, but there is always lots that can go wrong. The other parts that are unclear right now in this class is the continual reference to the Mini Course Project. I understand the basic structure of this assignment, but I am wondering how we begin to apply smaller projects to it since we were told that we should begin creating the online course now. I am wondering if there is a resource (such as Blackboard) that we will set this online course in or will we use different resources to create presentations, online quizzes, and discussions and just post all of the links?
This week I learned how to use a new technological teaching tool called Animoto. This tool allows teachers to create quick media presentations that look great and engage students in the subject matter. I used this tool to create a short intro presentation about troubleshooting technology, and I will use it to begin my visual art classes since technology glitches always come up.
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?