Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Reflective Post

An overview of "EME 2040 Introduction to Technology for Educators"

                                                           Photo credit to: Max Anderson

Before getting started I’d like to share with you that I am an education major at Edison State College, and I plan on becoming an elementary school teacher. As an education major, there are three courses that I am required to take and pass before enrolling in the Elementary Education Program. One of these courses is called "Introduction to Technology for Educators". I must admit I wasn’t exactly thrilled to take this class. I’ve never been a big fan of technology. However, my thoughts on the course and on technology entirely changed little time after the beginning of this class.

Activities & Assignments:

                                                                       Photo credit to: Anthony Albright

Website Evaluation, Critique, and rubric-


For this assignment we were asked to create our own rubric, which we may use to critique the value of a website. Weather it is trustworthy, accurate, up to date, etc. We then got to pick an educational website such as the edutopia website, and critique is using the rubric we created. This was a great assignment, as it allowed for the students to really ponder on what a good website should contain. There are many things out in the internet these days, and it is important to be able to pick out the reliable sites from the inaccurate ones.  


Collaborative Lesson Plan-


During this course we worked on a collaborative lesson plan. This was the first lesson plan I ever created. I am glad I did not have to do it alone. For this assignment we got to work in a small group to create a lesson plan. My group chose to create a lesson plan for 1st grade math students. The lesson plan we developed used technology as a medium and goal of instruction. Our website evaluation assignment was helpful for this assignment as it aided us in evaluating various software and hardware tools to determine their utility in an educational setting. Another great part of this assignment is that it required us to consider technological tools that help assist students with especial or diverse needs.




The webquest was also a lesson plan, but this lesson plan was to be completed individually. It was an internet based project. Like our previous lesson plan, it was a project that used technology as a medium and goal in an educational setting. Webquest required us to create a portfolio reflecting ways technology can be used in the classroom. We learned of different websites where one can create a webquest, I used the Zunal website to create my webquest.




During this course I also created a PowerPoint. Before creating this PowerPoint, our proffesor helped guide us in the right direction, by showing us how PowerPoint's are meant to be used, which is in a way that wont put the audience to sleep.




This assignment was also a collaborative assignment. Though it was a group project, all conversation to plan for the Wiki page needed to take place online via the Wiki page. For this assignment, each group member selected an instructional strategy, and then conducted research about each strategy in order to explain how it could be used to improve both teaching and learning.


Teacher Web Page-


The teacher Web Page was perhaps my favorite assignment. We were assigned to create a personal teacher webpage e-portfolio. This webpage included our assignments completed in this course, our favorite lesson plans, a biography, not to parents, list of textbooks we would use in our classroom, educational puzzles games and websites we would encourage our students to use. Creating this webpage allowed us to exercise developing an internet based project that uses technology as a medium and goal, evaluate various software and hardware tools to determine their utility in a classroom, and create a portfolio reflecting ways technology can support classroom management, administration, and teaching in a classroom. I truly enjoyed creating my own teacher webpage.




Throughout the course we had discussion posts. These posts were on the courses page, which all the students have access to. Each student had to write a post about an assigned topic, and then comment on two other classmate’s posts. This allowed room for conversation and deeper thoughts about the topic. It was an opportunity to see other classmates thoughts on our ideas, and also to explore others peoples ideas. It provided the students with a more interactive experience.

The following are the discussions covered in this course and their learning outcomes based on the course syllabus:

Legal and Ethical Issues-
Learning outcome: The student will evaluate and critique legal and ethical issues for using technology in the K-12 classroom.
Educational Technology Best Practices/Resources-
Learning outcome: The students will analyze and summarize the features of a selection of applicable websites providing test data from national, state and local education resources.
    Assistive /Adaptive Technology for Students-
    Learning outcome: The student will analyze and evaluate a selection of technological tools for assisting students with special and/ or diverse needs, and link the technology to specific outcomes for these students.
      Technology Assisting ELL Students- 
      Learning outcome: The students will analyze and evaluate a selection of technological tools for assisting students who are English Language Learners, and link the technology to strategies for teaching these students.


      Textbook: "Transforming Learning with New Technologies"


                                                  Photo credit to: Zaveqna

      I found the textbook used in this course to be very useful. It was clear in clarifying its concepts and focused on explaining how technology can be useful for both students and educators. The textbook included visuals such as pictures, graphs, and charts. Every chapter also included “Tech Tools”. These tech tools consisted of mostly websites that related to areas of technology that the chapter covered. Another helpful tool was that at the beginning of each chapter there were focus questions. The focus questions were a great way to pin point what the main ideas of the chapter would be. They also help prepare the reader before reading the chapter in order to make sure they catch key points. Overall the book was very well organized, clear, informative, and easy to navigate through. 

      Suggestions & Feedback: 

      I've thought long and hard on what I would do to improve this course. To be perfectly honest I'm not sure I could think of anything to improve it. Looking back into the beginning of this course there are so many things I can do now that I did not know how to do then. It is clear to see that the professor took time to plan each assignment and did so in the correct order. We used what we learned at the beginning of the course to create our more advanced assignments towards the end of the course. My only critique would be that the class was very long. It would be nice if the school offered this class twice a week in order to cut the 2 hour and 40 minute long class in half. Many students struggle to stay focused for the entire time, I am one of those students. I feel that If our class would have met twice a week for a shorter time, I could have gotten even more out of the class. Overall, it was a enjoyable that is worth taking. I encourage and recommend anyone going into an education field to take this class. Even those who may not be interested in education, but would like to increase their knowledge in technology would benefit from taking this class.

      1 comment:

      1. I like your suggestion that the class time be more spread out, as I do think that the intense content and assignment expectations make it tough for some students. I also think this might be a good test to teach in a blended format where maybe 1/2 of the content was delivered on Canvas....but we'll see if that ever happens. So happy that you were able to get so much out of the class - I know it can be scary for students who are not particularly comfortable with technology, but look at you now! Keep trying new things. :)