So here we are, another term has come and gone, and summer is right around the corner. As I sit here reflecting on this past term and all of the knowledge I have gained about teaching, one class in particular comes to mind: EDTS 325 Tools for Teaching in the Digital Classroom. As the course outline states: This course was designed to have me improve my use of digital technologies within the classrooms learning environment. I was also meant to learn about different educational resources that help integrate technology within the curriculum, and how to be adaptable to new technologies that are coming out. Initially when I had read this I thought to myself ‘ya whatever, I already know how to make a PowerPoint presentation’. I was so unprepared as to how everything I learned in this class was not only new information to me, but was all so applicable for teachers inside of the classroom. To reflect on all that we have learned our professor gave us a list of questions to asks ourselves, so i decided to answer these questions on a blog post. So if you’re interested to see the highlights of what I learned in this class, keep reading!
Response to “I Can” statements from course outline:
- Use several computer and cloud-based applications to construct learning activities for K-12 delivery.
During the time in this class I have learned about so many new and innovative online programs that take teaching in the classroom up a notch! Here are some of my favorite resources I learned about, and a brief description as to what they do.
Poll Everywhere: a simple text message voting application that works well for live audiences. People vote by sending text messages (or using Twitter) to options displayed on-screen. The poll that is embedded within the presentation or web page will update in real time.
Socrative: an online quizzing tool.
Plickers: an app in which students receive a card that correlates to their name. Each card has a unique code, when held a certain way answers with A, B, C, and D. Teachers then scan the cards and the answers are anonymously on the board.
Padlet: an online virtual “bulletin” board, where students and teachers can collaborate, reflect, share links and pictures, in a secure location.
Kahoot: a collection of questions on specific topics displayed on a computer. The questions are asked in real-time, to an unlimited number of students, creating a social, fun and game-like learning environment.
Another resource I learned a lot about was Google. As someone who uses Google every single day, I was so surprised to find out how may different programs it offers that I didn’t know about! Not only is Google a great tool for everyday life, it is also a great resource to use inside of the classroom. Check out below some of my favorite Google features, and a brief description of what they do.
Forms: Google Forms allow you to make a survey or poll, give students a quiz, or collect other information in an easy, streamlined way. Google Forms are accessibility through any device with wifi abilities.
Docs: Google Docs is a program in which documents can be created, edited and stored online. Google docs can be made accessible to many people, making it easy to collaboratively collect information.
Classroom: Google Classroom is a blended learning platform for schools that aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way.
2) Produce print, digital, audio and/or video material for delivering learning and enhancing learning.
When I first heard that we would be learning about how to shoot, edit and upload movies I thought it was going to be a waste a time, because why would a teacher ever utilize these aspects of movie making inside of a classroom? It wasn’t until my professor showed how she uses movie making inside her classroom that I realized how beneficial it can be to students learning. Students get to take a topic, direct and create content based on that topic, then share what they have learned by posting their content online. Movie making is a great way to engage students in learning as they control how they are learning the information! Inside of my EDTS 325 course I learned how to create videos utilizing various camera techniques, edit the footage through iMovie, and upload the completed video to the internet through YouTube. I cannot wait to take what I have learned, and teach it to my future students!
3) Establish, grow and maintain a digital Personal Learning Network (PLN) using a variety of social media sites.
The final ‘I Can..’ statement that I was able to identify with was about how to grow and maintain a Personal Learning Network via social media. Coming into this class I had already had tried to create a Twitter account, and found it to be very limiting in what you can do on it, after all who is able to express a meaningful thought in under 140 characters? It wasn’t until my professor introduced me to the wonderful world of Twitter Chats that I finally understood how valuable Twitter can be for teachers. Since participating in an assigned Twitter chat, I have learned to love them and have seen how much teachers can learn from other teachers online, and have contributed to 2 more in my spare time.
I was also able to grow my PLN through using Pinterest and this very blog! After learning all of the different ways to grow your PLN using social media I feel as if I am far more equipped to venture out into the teaching world, that is however after i get my degree :p.
To what extent did you learn the anticipated topics?
To what extent do you feel you have been prepared to encounter technology implementation and issues in the classroom? As a professional?
When I first began this class and my prof challenged me to read through the ‘I can…’ statements listed within the course outline, I thought she was nuts to try and teach us all of that information in only 4 months. But having completed this course, I am shocked that not only did I learn every-single-thing within the course outline, I learned each topic thoroughly. I have full confidence in my ability to use resources like SmartNotebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, iMovie, Padlet, Goosechase… the list goes on and on! If you want to now more about these various topics, check out some of my previous blogs where I cover these topics in more detail.
I am so excited to be able to venture into my classrooms with my brain packed full of knowledge on how to not only engaged students by using technology, but also about how to continue to grow and develop as an expert teacher. I feel as though by learning all of these different tech hacks, I am one step ahead of the game I have something that sets me apart from other future teachers. I am still not super passionate about all things technology, nor am I 100% proficient with technology. But one thing I like to keep in mind is a quote by Brandon Johnson ‘Classrooms don’t need tech geeks who can teach; we need teaching geeks who can use tech.’ Those quote completely sums up my experience within EDTS 325. I do not have to be a tech geek in order to be a good teacher, I need to be a teaching geek who knows how to use tech. Thanks to this class, I am well equipped to handle tech within my classroom, and I am able to troubleshoot any problems that may occur.
Your best “aha moment”.
My favorite moment I had within this class would have to be the discussion my peers and I had about Digital Citizenship, and how important it is to our future. The question that raised an “aha moment” for me was when we were discussing whose responsibility it to teach children about how to be a good digital citizen. Nowadays there are SO many valuable things online that are making our world a better place, but with the good always comes the bad, and this also applies to technology. There are places on the internet that are doing things that are worsening our world. This is where the questions rises up about whose job is it to teach children about the things on the internet, and how to have a positive digital citizenship. While I agree with those who argued it is the parents job to ensure they are raising their kids to be good digital citizens, I also think that the responsibility lies with teachers as well. When I really think about what it means to be a teacher, the main thing that comes to mind is to raise future citizens who will make our world a better place. Sure we need to cover all of the curricular objective, and make sure students know how to cross their Ts and dot their Is, but we also need to make sure they are growing up to be prosperous people. I find it surprising that this realization is something that came from a course about technology, but then again it is a course teaching us about how to be teachers! So for me, the best ‘aha moment’ I had in this class was about what it really means to be a teacher.
Overall I had a wonderful time in my EDTS325 class, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to learn about the many different ways to become an expert teacher. If you guys would like to know more about what I learned in this class, or have any questions about anything Ive written about in this post feel free to leave a comment down below!
Cheers for now!
-Miss Krystin Carroll