tying it all together

a journey through EDTE 350: looking back

I will walk through some of the major assignments and memorable experiences of this past semester in EDTE 350. I will reflect on these experiences by considering how I will apply what I learned from them to the classroom.

1) learning environment: desktop publishing

The first major assignment of this semester was the Learning Environment Project. The purpose of this project was to allow us to look at the context of a particular school.

I used the PARC design principles to design a one-page document describing the beliefs the school and myself shared about education.


CLASSROOM CONNECTION
I will use the PARC design principles to:
  • ensure that classroom materials are easily read and understood
  • make classroom bulletin boards and displays pleasant to look at
  • create clear and well-designed classroom newsletters or website updates
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2) learning tools: lesson planning

The second major assignment of the semester was the Learning Tools lesson. This project allowed me to get my first experience of integrating technology into a lesson.

I used the TPACK model to plan and create my lesson on gender stereotypes.

CLASSROOM CONNECTION
I will use the TPACK model:
  • while planning lessons for my future classroom
  • to evaluate the effectiveness of my personal technology use
  • to model effective technology use for future colleagues
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3) hands-on learning: math + maps with 2nd graders

We were given the unique experience of planning and implementing a learning activity for visiting second graders.

This hands-on learning experience taught me a lot about the logistics of using technology with children.

CLASSROOM CONNECTION
I will use what I learned to:
  • ensure that students are effectively collaborating while using technology
  • plan out specific roles for collaborative group experiences
  • ensure equitable access to technology for all students while in the classroom
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4) TEACH lab visit: assistive technologies

I was very happy to be able to visit the TEACH Lab in the Ball State Teachers College

I learned so much about assistive technologies from this experience.

CLASSROOM CONNECTION
I will use my knowledge of assistive technologies to:
  • ensure that my students are able to learn in their own ways
  • advocate for special needs students
  • provide all of my students with the tools they need to succeed
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5) X-BL: Planning a project-based learning unit

The final major assignment of the semester followed a study of various X-BL units such as challenge-based learning, inquiry-based learning, and webquests.

I used my knowledge of the common characteristics of these learning experiences to plan a project-based learning experience.

CLASSROOM CONNECTION
I will use my knowledge of X-BLs to:
  • plan multidisciplinary learning experiences for my students
  • encourage creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking while learning
  • authentically assess the process and product of student learning

concluding thoughts

In conclusion, I have learned a lot this semester in EDTE 350. Fortunately, I did not learn things that I will memorize and remember for an exam, only to forget within a week or two. Rather, I learned skills and ideas that are applicable to the real world and future classrooms.

This class definitely challenged me. It encouraged me to put my knowledge of technology to use in an educational way. It forced me to problem solve and think critically about content and pedagogy. It fostered my creativity in lesson planning by adding the element of technology to the mix, and not just as an add-on, but as an integral part of student learning.

I am very glad I was able to take this course, especially the semester before I will be student teaching. I feel confident in my abilities to integrate technology into the classroom.