EdTech 541: Final Reflection

PART 1-Course Reflection

Over the course of this semester I have had the opportunity to be enrolled in 3 different courses. I took EdTech 503 in which I explored the role of an instructional designer. I have taken EdTech 504, which involved learning theories and how they are connected to technology in education. The class I have learned the most from has been EdTech 541, Integrating Technology into Education. I have created multiple projects and lessons that revolve around my focused content area of 3-5th grade language arts/reading/writing. I chose this content area because I feel there is such a need for emphasis during these critical years of learning. I am passionate about reading and I understand how it directly affects every facet of our daily lives. Creating a strong foundation in reading/writing is directly related to success in every child’s future of education.

As I stated in my Vision Statement (2015), technology is a tool to achieve more meaningful learning experiences, “No technology is a panacea for education” (Roblyer & Doering, 2012). Devices, hardware, software, and app’s are nothing more than “tools” that have the ability to enhance learning. I am so pleased with the tools I have been able to explore this semester to enhance my own learning. I had no idea how many amazing tools and resources existed even within my content area and I am thrilled at the lesson plans and activities I have created. Although I am not working in the school system this year, I am already aware that my colleagues plan to use what I have created. I am so proud of my accomplishments this semester and I have put in no less than 100% on each assignment.

At the beginning of this course I created a Relative Advantage Chart. This chart addressed 10 learning problems and linked possible technology solutions and the relative advantage of each. I have created an AECT page for my website that includes both the matrix table of standards and how each assignment fits within this matrix as well as justified my thoughts in relation to both the EdTech Mission and Conceptual Framework:

I have created many projects, reflected, and provided rationale for various aspects of integrating technology into elementary education, specifically in my content area of 3-5th grade Language Arts/Writing/Reading. I have evaluated various technologies available for students to use in the classroom and I have created a strong list of resources both for myself and for my colleagues. I have created multiple lessons that are engaging, creative, and promote digital literacy. I have designed activities that are deeply imaginative and empower my students to be “evolving digital citizens.”

Through the course of EdTech 541, I am becoming a knowledgeable educator as stated in the EdTech Conceptual Framework. I am striving to integrate complex roles and dispositions in the service of diverse communities of learners. I believe that all children can learn. As an educator, I am dedicated to supporting that learning. As an educator, I am striving to use effective approaches that promote high levels of student achievement. I will continue to create environments that prepare learners to be citizens who contribute to a complex world. As an educator, I serve learners as reflective practitioners, scholars and artists, problem solvers, and partners.

On a professional level, I have grown by leaps and bounds. I am so much more aware of the resources available to me and have such a deeper understanding in how to implement them into daily teaching activities. While infrastructure (bandwidth and access to devices) continues to be a struggle for our school district, I believe that many of activities and lessons I have created can be adaptable to a single computer in the classroom but still involve rich learning experiences for students.

Due to some health issues and relocating to a new state, I am not currently teaching this year. Thinking about my future teaching practices and implementing technology has been a little frustrating at times. The district I worked at previously and the district I live in now are so under-funded. Bandwidth is a horrible joke between teachers and portable devices are few and far between. Students are lucky if they have access to a device once a month and time in the computer lab is limited to roughly one hour a week. The frustration comes in knowing that many of the activities I have created will need to be modified and that there is so much untapped potential lost simply because of infrastructure issues.

I am also enrolled in EdTech 504 this semester, which explores learning theories in the context of educational technology. Learning theories guide almost every activity I have created. I am especially drawn to Dr. Howard Gardner and the Multiple Intelligence (MI) Theory because of the potential to reach every student and his/her individual learning style. With the increasing diversity of 21st century learners, “Teachers need to differentiate classroom instruction in systematic and creative ways through the use of educational technology” (Sweeder, 2008). in the article Big Thinkers: Howard Gardner on Multiple Intelligences (2009). Gardner states:

We have this myth that the only way to learn something is to read it in a textbook or hear a lecture on it. And the only way to show that we’ve understood something is to take a short-answer test or maybe occasionally with an essay question thrown in. But that’s nonsense. Everything can be taught in more than one way. And anything that’s understood can be shown in more than one way. I don’t believe because there are eight intelligences we have to teach things eight ways. I think that’s silly. But we always ought to be asking ourselves “Are we reaching every child, and, if not, are there other ways in which we can do it?”

PART 2- Blog Grade

As per the blog grading rubric, I would grade myself as follows:

Content: 70/70
My blog content is rich an full of thought and synthesis with connections to real-life situations.
Reading/Resources: 20/20
My blog entries included references to the text or other outside sources to support my blog content and APA format was used. Formatting within WordPress did present some challenges with hanging indentations however.
Timeliness: 20/20
I was almost always early and or at the very least, on the date due.
Responses to other students: 30/30
I always responded to two other student blogs and usually tried to copy/paste the comment directly into our links on Moodle to make for easier reading. I tried to give thoughtful responses and suggestions as needed.

Total 140/140

References

AECT Standards Table. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://edtech.boisestate.edu/snelsonc/portfolio/aectstandardstable.html

Big Thinkers: Howard Gardner on Multiple Intelligences. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-howard-gardner-video#graph4

Conceptual Framework. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://education.boisestate.edu/teachered/conceptual-framework/

Crook, J. (n.d.). Home. Retrieved from http://edtech2.boisestate.edu/jencrook/541/visionstatement.html

Crook, J. (n.d.). Mission and conceptual framework. Retrieved from http://edtech2.boisestate.edu/jencrook/541/AECTstandards.html

Crook, J. (n.d.). Relative advantage chart. Retrieved from http://edtech2.boisestate.edu/jencrook/541/relativeadvantage.html

Mission. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://edtech.boisestate.edu/about/mission/

Roblyer, M.D., & Doering, A.H. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. (6th ed.). [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com.

Sweeder, J. (2008). Differentiating instruction through digital storytelling. In K. McFerrin et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2008 (pp. 967-974).

©Jenifer Crook 2015
#Edtech541
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