Final Reflection

In my final reflection for this course, I will attempt to answer the questions that Marnie has posed for us. It seems like this has been quite a long journey as it is one that I have been on for a few years now. I appreciated having a focused forum for my thoughts and explorations. When I decided to attempt Graduate classes, I had a specific focus for my studies in mind. Exploration of technology in the classroom through an inquiry and project based framework is a major part of that focus. This course has certainly assisted me in meeting that focus. I am going to use Marnie’s questions specifically to address how I feel this course has helped me to meet some of my personal objectives.
What new understandings of the role of educational technology to support learning have you gained, acted on or perhaps strengthened?
I have always seen the importance of the need to integrate technology into my teaching and have sought out opportunities to do so. This course helped me to understand my purpose for doing this. I think in the beginning, I was approaching it from a ” cool gadget” perspective and almost as a novelty to entice my students to become more engaged in what they are doing. I will admit that in the beginning this worked, but with each new group of students, technology will become more and more commonplace and the novelty will wear off. This course has helped me to restructure my view of technology use from being the center focus to engage the students to making sure that it will enhance their learning in some way.
I have also come away from this course being more critical of the tools that I find for my students to use. For anyone that has followed my, you are aware of my disappointing experience with Youth Voices.. This experience has shown me that I need to be sure about something by playing with it before hand, before I commit to using it. It did turn into a good teaching experience for my students as I was able to tell them about my experiences and reiterate to them the importance of critically evaluating web tools.
This course also introduced me to some web tools that I previously was unaware of and often do not have the time to explore. Usually I will come up with an idea and then spend a lot of time searching for a tool that will meet the use that I am looking for. I know have a longer list of resources that I can refer to when looking for something to use, and I can pass this experience on to my students and my colleges.
What has had the most influence on your horizon of understanding?
I think that reading the blogs of others, both from within this class and TeachPaperless has influenced my understanding the most. I really appreciated knowing that there are others out there that share my philosophies of education and have experienced the same frustrations as I have. I think that this was particularly important to me as I experienced some resistance and criticism this year both from colleges and from parents and it was very helpful to me to read that there are people who agree with my perspective. When ever I began to question what I was trying to do, I simply needed to focus on my work for this class to rebuild my confidence. That was huge for me this year. Thank you everyone for that!
What new questions have emerged for you?
As I have discussed many times in my blog postings, it is difficult to move ahead and fully use technology in education the way that I would like without full budgetary and bureaucratic support. I am becoming more aware that I need to be able to work within the confines that I have in these situations and wait patiently for things to improve. My question is now, how do I find a balance between using what I have available to me in the ways that I am able to use it while still fighting for more? I am beginning to approach this by seizing every opportunity that I have to explore new things and use what I have to the best of my ability. I just received notice that I have been selected to pilot a set of iPod touches in my classroom to help the Board explore options for technology in the classroom. I appreciate this opportunity to be part of a team that may open up more opportunities for our students to have access to appropriate technology to support their learning.I will continue to put myself into positions where I can help to make things available to our classrooms.
Thank you all for your comments, questions and support during this class. Good luck to you all!


1 Comment »

  1. kibrown Said:

    Hi Danielle,
    Congratulations on being chosen to use the iTouches in the classroom. I just came upon this link that may be of use:

    Here’s a another one:


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