Final Reflection For EDTE 355
Part One: Emerging Technologies
How might emerging technologies provide students and teachers with new opportuni- ties to learn and teach?
Emerging technologies provide students and teachers with the opportunities to explore and adventure deeper into learning. They give students the chance to feel like they are in control of their learning and teacher the ability to give students the chance to be more creative in new ways. This semester we worked with things like iPads, 3D printing, robotics, and digital books. All of these tools can be highly beneficial in the classroom when used in an engaging way. Classroom management is always a concern of teachers with the use of technology. But if you design a lesson that is engaging and interesting to the students you should not be worried about them exploring the Internet or playing games. Educators and administrators should keep in mind in order to effectively use emerging technologies is has to be engaging to the students.
Part Two: How We Learn
Reflect on the topics about the brain, learning, and devel- opment. What themes and topics challenged and/or reinforced your existing understand- ing of learning and development?
I think that it is always important to know your students and at what developmental level they are in order for you to plan appropriate lesson plans and have differentiated instruction for students who need it. I think that the topic that reinforced my existing understanding of learning, teaching, and development the most was the importance of scaffolding. Scaffolding is something we talked a lot about in the beginning of the semester and it is when the teacher provides different levels of temporary support that help students reach higher levels of comprehension that they would not be able to achieve without assistance. My experience as a mentor definitely reinforced this understanding because I would have to give each of the teachers their own additional support with different types of technology because they all had different specialties and difficulties.
Part Three: Participation
Reflect back on your participation throughout the semester.
Reflecting back on my participation throughout the semester I believe that I provided plenty of feedback and contributed to our in-class and online-class group discussions. Since I have taken a technology course similar to this one I believe that I was able to aid my classmates with some of the problems and confusion that they would go through with some of the things I was already familiar with like Google docs, Google communities, coding, and just what was expected in the class overall. I was also in regular attendance to this class and if I was unable to come to class for whatever reason I made my professor aware of my absence by email well before class started. In order for me to improve my participation I think I could have posted more recourses to the Google community for my classmates and done a better job at keeping up with the class readings. Overall I enjoyed being able to have the experience of working with a learning partner and getting to meet some new people in class.
Part Four: Immersive Learning
Consider the various aspects of the TC Concep- tual Framework and the Rubric for Immersive Learning. How were these elements evident throughout the IL experience?
The immersive learning experience was at first very nerve-racking. We basically went in blind as to what our teachers knew and did not know about technology and technology integration. Once we got to know them a little it just became about helping them as much as I could. I think that I demonstrated my expertise in my ability to communicate well with my learning partners. I was open to trying to things with them even if I was unsure of how to use the program or tool. I demonstrated engagement by being able to find the resources that my learning partners were asking for even if it took me hours to just research a certain website or app or work with an app first so I could demonstrate it and be able to assist them as best I could when presenting them with the materials that I found. I was able to use context by always being professional with my learning partners. I would email them ahead of time before every meeting to remind them and was always punctual to our meetings. I learned that there is so much for me to learn about technology and that it is important for me to stay up to date with all the emerging technologies to that some day I can be able to help my fellow colleague use these types of technologies.
As I walked into this class the very first day of the semester, I will admit that I was a little nervous. I was nervous because I was unsure of what to expect and unsure of my technological abilities and how much background knowledge that I needed to know for this particular EDTE class. I was also nervous because I did not know anyone who had previously taken this class. In other words I felt like I was going into this class blind.
Now I will admit that I did not know a lot about Google docs when I entered this class. On the second day of class I remember us having to go through the different elements of Google docs and having to create something of our own and share it with one other person so that they could edit it too. I was so amazed that I had never learned how to do this before taking this class a junior in college! Anyway I know that this paper is not supposed to be about me regurgitating information. But I would just like to say that I have learned some valuable information and gained some valuable tools.
One of those valuable methods that I have learned about this semester is something called the TPACK. I found out that it is a framework that teachers need to know and understand if they wish to provide an enhanced learning environment that includes technology. Knowing and understanding this framework can help teachers like you and me understand how to use technology and how to integrate it when teaching specific content or standards in the classroom. It is about coming up with creative ways to use the technology that is currently available to the teacher.
SAMR is another framework that we talked about this semester. As we start our journey as teachers the SAMR model is a good thing to keep in mind. It gives teachers an idea of which level they are using technology at in the classroom. For example there is the Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. As teachers that are just entering the field I feel that our technology level is going to need to be at the modification and redefinition level in order to help us and our students succeed. Being about to integrate technology at the higher levels of SAMR is what teachers need to be doing at all times.
In other words, this class has showed me how far we have yet to come as teacher when integrating technology in the classroom that covers our content as well as being highly beneficial for our students. I will take what I have learned from this class and try and help other teachers who feel a little unsure of technology and how to use it in their classrooms. I feel like I can now be someone who other teacher can come to when they have questions or are struggling with how they should incorporate their content into a successful technology and student lead lesson. I am glad that I took this class and hope that I can use everything that I have learned in the future.