Sunday, April 15, 2012

Reflection (EDUC 6713)

Teaching today's students requires different techniques than teachers used just a decade ago. Students today need motivation and engaging activities to keep them interested in the learning process. Integrating technology into instruction is critical because it not only helps motivate students but it also prepares them to become effective citizens in today's twenty first century workforce. My interest in technology is what led me to seek a higher degree in technology integration. Through my studies I have learn numerous new technology based techniques which can be implemented into classroom instruction. Learning about the GAME plan provided a new format for planning technology implementation.

Throughout this course I planned a unit using this new GAME plan. I learned how I can use different technology techniques to build my students knowledge in content while using different technology tools to learn, create and share. By working through this unit I discovered new techniques to teach my students about social networking. People have a natural curiosity and when we can connect that with students and people during instruction captures their attention. During our study the students started with a common use of technology, research. However, through much practice they are becoming more independent in their capabilities. Then next step carried a familiar strategy further; they are familiar with concept webs on paper. For the second time this year they used Spider Scribe, an on- line mapping tool. The students worked in a group to create a web of their research. The final step was creating a digital story of their learning. Earlier this year we wrote a scary digital story using Power Point. It was a whole group activity and the students enjoyed it. This assignment allows them to work in small groups to create a short digital story to put with the other groups to generate a summative of the assignment learning. Through my work to develop and begin implementing this unit helped me learn how I can scaffold the learning in both content and technology levels. As students get more practice with various tools they learn how to manipulate them to do what they want to demonstrate. I like to introduce my students to a variety technology tools so that they can see how they work. Eventually they should be able choose the tool they prefer to create a product to demonstrate their understanding. Learning about new technologies and how I can implement them in any curriculum will help me create more interesting lesson plans.

I love technology and the freedom and diversity it offers, especially within the classroom. Currently I feel overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge and skills I have gathered the past year. During this course itself I learned more about social networking and how it can work in the classroom. Through experience I learned how students can use these networks to work on group projects. I also like the idea of problem based learning. I have always preferred project based activities but making them problem based will help them become more prepared for today's society. This is an area I have some difficulties. As I plan to finish out the last few weeks of the year, I hope to work on creating more problem based assignments.

This course required a lot of time and effort to create problem based lessons that incorporate technology. I feel I am more prepared now through this experience. I have learned new technologies to implement within my instruction. In the past I had trouble incorporating technology within my math class, with the exception of interactive games. After working through this class and seeing classmates' ideas along with the course readings I am more comfortable using technology, even social networking and digital storytelling, within my math as well as other content instruction. Once I finish my degree and all of the learning gets organized within my brain, I think my students are going to be better prepared for the work force they are facing. I am looking forward to that stage in my life, career.

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