The end to another semester in the EDTECH program has brought with it a long list of achievements. I have explored new tools, widened my list of resources, and improved the student centered environment that is my classroom. Now, it is time to reflect on my semester, noting what I have learned and assessing my own performance. After all, these steps are the mark of a professional in any field.
Reflection is a common strategy utilized in many classrooms for a basic reason; it is effective. Giving students the chance to reflect helps them learn from mistakes, successes, weaknesses, and strengths. Jessie Chaung posted on Edudemic,
Part of the reflective process is to have students tell stories about their experiences which brain research shows can help students embed these experiences into their long term memory. Stories are a fundamental method of personal growth through reflection, which is preparation for the future, and deliberation, of past considerations.
We are all students. Thus, I will learn and grow from reflection just as much as one of my kindergarten students. We must all celebrate the concept of being life-long learners.
I have learned a lot about various technology tools throughout this semester and how they are best utilized in the classroom. Sure, I had heard of and used each tool previously, but learning how to master and reap all that the tool has to offer takes more effort and attention. This included the benefits as well as the limitations of certain applications, as well as how to best design a lesson or unit with the tool as a resource. For example, I had utilized WordPress before and really found it to be useful. For my final project, I found that this wasn’t the best choice. Not that it isn’t a wonderful tool; it simply has its’ own features that work better in different scenarios. Thus, learning how to assess a tech tool’s features and determine where it would best work in the classroom was one of the most important concepts I will take away form this semester.
We teach in a profession that puts emphasis on standards as a minimum requirement. A graduate program is no exception to this practice. I have demonstrated mastery of several AECT standards this semester. This effort has given me a better understanding of how to design, develop, and utilize various instructional materials (AECT Standards 1 thru 3). The digital tools we have utilized to create presentations this semester provided a great learning experience. Some of the projects that have helped with each AECT Standard include:
- Instructional Software Presentation
- Presentation Application Presentation
- Spreadsheet Lesson
- Social Networking Presentation
- Internet for Instruction Presentation
- Video Lesson Plan
- Content Area Presentation
- Adaptive/Assistive Technology Presentation
These combined projects have helped me grow as a professional. The ability to utilize technology applications was not the only goal of these projects. The ability to evaluate and integrate the proper tool for the appropriate lesson was crucial to the project’s success. This, along with noting the relative advantages, really helped me grow as an educator.
I have given a lot of time to self-reflection and assessment this semester. That makes the my current task, self-assessing my work, quite simple. Self-assessment is an effective tool in any field study or work. Nicole Papa contributed to eHow on the subject of self-assessment:
Personal growth can arise from the introspection necessary to perform a self assessment. Reflecting on different areas of your life such as relationships, spirituality and communication skills identifies positive and negative qualities to encourage and abate.
For my own experiences this semester, I know that I have given a lot of attention to details in my blog posting. I have offered my thoughts with supporting details and noted references. The amount of research for each post may have varied, but I always felt that I had given enough attention to credible resources. I also did my best to provide positive, constructive, feedback to at least two other members in the course. Thus, I feel that I deserve to earn the full 165 points. I understand that being this an opinion, others may feel differently. I am okay with that, being the root of blog posts is opinion.
Each semester in the EDTECH program has brought with it clarity, a widened list of resources, better understanding of the relative advantages of technology integration, and hard work. This semester has been no exception. I look forward to jumping back into the coursework this summer.
- Advantages & Disadvantages of Self Assessment | eHow.com. (n.d.). Retrieved May 5, 2012, from http://www.ehow.com/list_6718905_advantages-disadvantages-self-assessment.html
- Association for Educational Communications and Technology. (n.d.). Retrieved May 5, 2012, from http://www.aect.org/standards/initstand.html
- Students Reflect on Their Own Learning | Edudemic. (n.d.). Retrieved May 5, 2012, from http://edudemic.com/2011/12/students-learning/