Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society
When I began this course back in January, I really didn’t know what to expect. I am not new to technology; therefore, I was familiar with most of the tools that we were going to use throughout this course. Even though I was not new to these forms of technology, I have never taken the time out to look deep into their development and there benefits to education. Now that I am finishing up my last week of this course I can easily say that I now know enough about these tools to implement them into my classroom. This course also allowed me to be reacquainted with the 21st century skills which my students will need in order to be successful in the future. You might be wondering what type of tools I am referring to, so let me cut to the chase, this course introduced me to Wikis, Weblogs, and Podcast.
Before this course, I had no interest in having a blog of my own, however, I did subscribe to the blogs of few of my friends, so I knew it was used to relay information, and facilitate communication. So after completing the required reading for week 2, and learning of all the positive impact blogs have on students learning and the professional collaboration it allows for educators, I was more than ready to make my own professional blog. The best part about using my blog, was the feedback I received from my classmates, so I knew this would be a hit with my students.
By the time week three came around, I was required to develop a group Wiki with the members of my PLC. Before now, I stayed away from Wiki’s of all forms, this was all due to my ignorance, never had I taken the time to investigate the benefits associated with Wikis, I also figured that wiki’s were not trust worthy, therefore, I avoided them. This course offered me the opportunity to see the benefits of using a wiki, firsthand. Using a Wiki in my classroom will definitely benefit my students, “they will become better learners-----namely, collaboration and negotiation skills”
Week four offered me the opportunity to do something completely outside of my comfort zone, not only did I have to interview and record my students, but I also had to upload to my personal blog. Of all the assignments I thought this to be the most difficult since I had a HARD time uploading my podcast. With utilizing these different tools, I was able to see my teaching in a different light, I am now able to introduce my students to a whole new way of learning, which will definitely offer engagement.
This course really allowed me to rethink my way of work in the classroom; it allowed me to see ways in which I can improve my teaching style to reach all my students. Since my students are required to learn 21st century skills I realize that I have to find the teachable moments to implement these skills into my lesson or class. This course also reminded me that my students are not like me, they are from the digital era therefore, and I need to teach them with that thought in mind. The teaching strategies that worked for me “back in the days” will not work for my students.
This year I have actually moved from lecturing four days a week to two, with this changed I have moved my classroom from teacher-centered to student-centered. I have also introduced more engaging activities and project-based learning. In doing this I noticed that I have more student participation, and student’s grades have definitely increased dramatically. I think that with the change to student-centered classes I have placed my students learning in their own hands, they are now responsible for their own learning. I must also say, I like my role as facilitator.
I will continue to expand my knowledge of learning, teaching, and leading with technology with the aim of increasing student achievement by becoming involved in different PLC at school, gaining membership to different educational technology organization, and subscribing to different educational technology magazines. In order for me to continue to grow I must keep learning.
My two long-term goals for transforming my classroom environment to overcome institutional and systematic obstacles are; 1) become more of a facilitator rather than a lecturer, I will accomplish this by providing my students with more inquiry based, engaging scenarios with the use of collaboration. Students will work more in cooperative groups rather than individually, 2) to have a running classroom blog, for students to use for collaboration, assistance and communication. To accomplish this I plan on first talking to our administrators and getting permission to begin this task. I will then send home parent letters, to get permission from parents to involve their students in this process. Once all the red tape is eliminated, I will then set up a classroom blog for each of my five classes, and use this for collaboration. By year two all my students will be required to have their own blogs.
Looking back to my Check list, few of my answers have changed since the first week of class. I would like to be able to collaborate with my students on new and emerging technology tools; I would also like to work on designing more collaborative learning experience.
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks: Corwin.