EdTe 350 Reflection

By: Katie Crozier

Why is this page here?

This page is here specifically for a final reflection project for my education technology integration course at Ball State University under the instruction of Jon Clausen. I do also believe that even though this page is as basic as summaries will come, it can benefit prospecting teachers as well as well-experienced teachers about technology integration in school curricula.

Who is Katie Crozier?

A simple lowdown about me would be that I am an elementary education major with a concentration area in Japanese at Ball State University. If you have any further questions about how far I've come as a student here at Ball State in the teaching program, check out my teaching portfolio, linked below.
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What does Spongebob have to do with technology integration?

Absolutely nothing and absolutely everything. Mr. Clausen is probably wondering what this is doing on this page. And he probably thinks I'm going to explain some sort of excuse to justify this picture on our final assignment. But hang on a tick; he's correct. There actually is a purpose. This picture perfectly captures the knowledge of technology integration and what I thought about it versus my feelings and knowledge at the end of the course. Mr. Krabs used to represent me at first because I'm sure that at the very beginning of this course I looked just like that; clueless and uncomfortable. I've now moved to Spongebob's face because I am more comfortable with technology and I'm more knowledgeable with terminology, pedagogical methods, and frameworks. I feel more prepared for my future students and I know I'll be showing this face when the subject of technology integration is touched on in an interview. There you have it, Mr. Clausen.

Doubtful? Check out some helpful resources and frameworks to repurpose technology.

New Types of Learning

More new concepts to me were the different teaching methods and learning theories that I was introduced to. One of the most interesting things that this course allowed me to do was to create a web based, problem based, inquiry project for students. It was a great opportunity for me to become creative, build some scaffolding for students, and give something for students to do that they can use to share the knowledge and hard work that they have done. Equally, even though it may not be to terribly easy to see, using technology to help students with emotional and/or physical exceptionalities was something I found to be beneficial with this course. Seeing those assistive technologies work and having some one on one time with the different devices showed me that technology can be beneficial in more than way for some students. These students in particular have technology as a vital part of their lives and I now know some options for students who may need some extra assistance with computers or typing.

Feeling confident...

Yes. Overall, I am feeling more confident in my abilities with technology and implementing it into my school. At first this course scared me and I wasn't too sure what to make of it. After the course, I felt so much better about technology integration. I knew what to expect out in the field and what school systems will expect me to do with technology. I feel more prepared for my future and this class was one of the most eye opening courses I have taken so far. Getting to work with students, having hands on activities and interactions with programs and assistive technologies was probably the best thing that this course did to encompass the importance of technology in school systems. Obviously, technology does have drawbacks and backup plans should always be around just in case the technology decides that it doesn't want to cooperate. I've also learned from what guest speakers around the community have shared with my class about technology. It seems that older students have more issues using the technology as a tool instead of using it as a shortcut in learning or simply for entertainment. Everyday we see parents and guardians hand their child a phone or another tablet device so that they can play with it. Kids growing up with this attitude see technology as just something for entertainment. That's why I'm so pumped to advocated for technology because the sooner we can squeeze technology integration into schools, the easier it will be to see students learning to use it as a learning tool along with whatever else they have used it for.
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Need more convincing of my advocacy?

A first hand experience with actual students and technology was the one thing that turned my view of teaching upside down. Our course worked with second graders with social studies and math standards. We planned a lesson and worked with the students. I love working with kids and that day was one of the best of my entire Fall 2014 semester. Before teaching the lesson, another student in my course said that she worked with some of these students in after school programs and gave us some information about their learning levels. These students didn't have the greatest test scores or reading levels and they didn't all grow up in the best economic situations. Many of them didn't see college as an option and even more upsetting, they didn't see potential in themselves. Once we put iPads in their hands and started the lesson their faces just lit up. They were so excited to use the application we had open to help them navigate Ball State's campus and enjoyed playing with it. Seeing that reaction of my small group alone is the first and best argument I have for technology integration. It's a creative outlet and students restricting that from them isn't going to give them the skills that they need in the workforce and it definitely won't teach them how to use technology effectively. Times like those may be the only times that students have a real opportunity to develop those skills with technology and they may not get that chance somewhere else.
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