Final Reflections – Ed Tech 541 — December 5, 2016

Final Reflections – Ed Tech 541

Part 1

Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum is one of the courses I have been looking forward to the most in the M.E.T. program.  I was excited to explore the many different possibilities of technology in the classroom.  Each of the projects helped me to try out new tools and applications and also challenge my thinking of how I can best teach my students.  When looking back at my vision statement, I am able to reflect at how my original thoughts shaped many of my projects and much of my research.  I found that social constructivism and connectivism are a huge part of my classroom and influenced how I created many of my projects.  I looked to create situations where students can create and collaborate together, and at times connect with a more authentic audience.

This course helped me to deepen my understanding and show mastery of the AECT standards promoted by the M.E.T. program at Boise State. In this course the main focuses were on Standard 1 – Content Knowledge,  Standard 2 – Content Pedagogy, and Standard 5 – Research.  

For Standard 1 – Through the creation of my weekly projects I was able to show the development of my content knowledge.  Each week we learned about a new possibility for integrating technology into the classroom.  The resources provided and the course textbook helped me to build a broad understanding of these technologies and tools and drastically increase my content knowledge.  Through the projects I demonstrated ways to use these new tools, as well as, evaluate their overall effectiveness for possible activities.  

For Standard 2 – In applying the knowledge I gained in each unit I was bale to create lesson plans that demonstrated how to best use these new tools.  I also reflected on how some of the tools provide a relative advantage to teaching and learning.

For Standard 5 – Each of the projects for this unit helped me to understand how to include technologies into teaching and learning.  I used my knowledge of theoretical foundations to guide my research and development of lesson plans.  I also conducted research on adaptive technologies to to assess and evaluate the best method for its uses.  In doing so I used some of the tools myself, which helped me to get more hands on experience as to how my learners might use these tools.  

All of my work in this course has helped provide me with a better frame of mine for the uses of technology.  As I mentioned in my original vision statement, I do not believe technology should be used as a simple substitution, rather it should be used to enhance the learning experience and take it to heights it may not have reached before.  By learning all of the different technology tools and integration strategies I feel confident in implementing them into my classroom.  I feel as though I have gained a better understanding of social constructivism and how it can be enhanced through technology.  Many of the projects I created for this course I have already or plan to use in my classroom.  I am excited about all of the possibilities.  

I also am very appreciative of the “Technology in the Content Areas” projects.  These pushed my thinking outside of my content area and challenged me to try new things.  While I might have struggled in these projects at first, I think they will be the most valuable as I hope to become a technology coach in my school district.  I think projects like this can be the most beneficial to enhancing myself as an educator and future technology leader.

Part 2

Content – 70 points

When looking back through my posts I think they provide a good overview of each topic, as well as more in depth information getting at the specific content of the post.  I tried to include connections to my classroom or classroom examples found in my research.  I believe that many of my posts provided some unique insights and helped to synthesize much of the information gathered.

Readings and resources – 18 points

In all but 2 of my blogs I included additional resources to the textbook provided for this course.  I used a variety of intext citations and paraphrasing to share my findings from the resources I used.  I do beleive I can improve by adding additional peer reviewed resources to my posts, accessing the Boise State databases, as well as improving my APA citations.

Timeliness – 18 points

The majority of my posts were made with at least one day of advance for comments to be made.  While not all of my posts were commented on, I did receive several thoughtful responses from classmates.  I do beleive in the future I should provide at least one more day for classmates to post on my blogs, as sometimes it was later on Sunday and most students had already completed their responses prior to the Monday deadline.

Responses to other students – 30 points

I always provided responses to classmates blogs that acknowledged something I found interesting or questioned in their blog post.  I made sure to reference a part from their blog and also attempted to build on the thoughts of others when it was applicable.

EdTech 501 Course Reflection — August 12, 2015

EdTech 501 Course Reflection

EdTech 501 was a great introduction into the field of Educational Technology.  I would like to pursue a career in educational technology consultant and this course helped introduce me to the aspects of the field that go beyond the “flashy” technology.

  • What challenges did you face in this course?

This was my first course at the graduate level.  While I feel that my undergrad helped prepare me, I did feel a bit challenged when following the APA format.  I still have a long way to go, but I am appreciative of the feedback I received that will help me better understand how to use APA.  An exciting challenge was using new technology tools.  At times I would grow frustrated because I did not understand how to use something, but after a lot of trial and error I felt confident in my new technological skills.  I also just found the pace of the summer course to be a challenge.  I decided to take 2 courses this summer without understanding the fast paced summer work-load.

  • What strategies or other creative resources did you use to address these challenges?

I found the Purdue OWL APA resources to be very helpful when completing assignments.  I reviewed the resources over and over to make sure I had the proper set-ups.  I also used the example provided by the professor to help me see exactly how things should be set up using APA in each particular assignment.  I definitely benefit from viewing exemplars. Maybe that’s why I use them so much for my own students?

  • Which artifact do you feel was your best and why?

I felt that my school evaluation summary was my best artifact.  I think that using the survey to really evaluate my school district helped me gather all of my thoughts in a concise format.  It really helped me to write a good reflection and truly understand where my school stands with their technology plan.  I also felt that I was able to explain the demographics of my school well by blending my writing with visuals.

  • What is one thing you plan to do in your school or business as a result of this course?

I definitely want to play a larger role in technology integration at my school.  I plan to work closer with my educational technology specialists to create lesson plans and professional development session that help the teachers in my school feel more comfortable with technology in the classroom.  I also plan to create flip videos for many of the topics in my curriculum.  I enjoyed using Screencast-o-matic for assignments during this course and am excited to use this to create instructional videos throughout the school year.  I know that I can’t do everything at once, so I will definitely need to pace myself.  But I am excited to see how technology can improve my classroom and excite my students!

Protected: Exploring the New Roles of Teachers — July 26, 2015
EDTECH Research: Flipped Classroom Annotated Bibliography — July 23, 2015

EDTECH Research: Flipped Classroom Annotated Bibliography

Creating an annotated bibliography is a great way to begin research.  While I had not done this in a while, I found it to be very useful.  I was able to review multiple sources and evaluate whether they were effective and applied to my needs.  It helped give me a “critical” lens to look though as I read each article, and I feel as if I can take away a lot of new and useful information from my research.  I researched the flipped classroom method, since it is something I am trying to move to in my own classroom.  I was excited to read all of the positive research that has been done on this method.  Many teachers have piloted a flipped classroom, and student survey results and test scores show that it is successful.  My research led me to multiple different methods that could work in my classroom and I am excited to design lessons and units around these ideas.  I particularly like the idea of using primary sources and online discussions outside of the classroom to facilitate discussion prior to class time.  I also found some articles on the “logistics” of a flipped model for a whole school.  This article explained the benefits of having students meet less times during the week and the cost benefit of a flipped model.  While this may not pertain to my current job, it is useful information to consider as I move forward with my career.

I found the Boise State Albertsons Library Database to be very useful in finding scholarly articles on this topic.  I was able to read through the results and their abstracts to discover which sources might be most beneficial. Using APA format was new to me when I began this course.  I have used Purdue Owl and many of the other resources provided to gain a better understanding of how to use APA properly.  While this assignment was time-consuming, it was very useful to my educational growth and research.  I feel confident with new ideas for my classroom in the fall, but also confident in how to continue to research new ideas and information.

Annotated Bibliography