Friday, December 14, 2012

811 Final Reflection

1. What are some things that you have learned about effective teaching strategies when integrating technology? 

I had never before been introduced to certain tools and technologies as I was in this course. The objectives were clear, and prior to this course, I was not familiarized with UDL Principles or STaIR which I feel were both beneficial in terms of their creation and application. I do plan to use my STAIR, with some changes based on instructor/peer feedback. In terms of effective teaching strategies when integrating technology into the classroom, I need to base my decisions not on just what seems cool, but what will be the most relevant to their learning and what will be the most meaningful. Many times we introduce technology because we think we have to, but well-thought out plans like the STAIR and the implementation of UDL principles will make integrating technology at certain points effective and meaningful. 

2. How did integrating web-based technologies help you think about and evaluate uses of technology?

I have never really developed a website I actually believed I could use. A few years ago we made an online portfolio using iWeb, but nothing came of it. The ability to create a website I will actually use in my classroom was extremely helpful. I genuinely enjoyed making my Weebly Catcher in the Rye website and interacting with other web-based technologies. As I continue to evaluate the uses of technologies in my classroom, I think that reinforcing certain principles and prioritizing setting very clear objectives when using technology will be most helpful. 

How have you met your own personal goals for learning about technology integration?

Technology and I don't always go hand in hand. I get easily frustrated with it, so for me the idea of taking on these courses was always quite the challenge, so my goals were always to be to take risks and try things I may never have tried before. This included the course itself but also decisions regarding implementation within the classroom. I feel from this course more able to make using technology relevant and effective in my teaching. I feel more confident, as I hoped, when using new technological tools. Learning is a life long journey and my teaching goals are constantly changing. 

Do you have any new goals? What are your plans for reaching your new goals and your long-term goals after this course is over?

I don't necessarily have any new goals besides continuing to try new technology to make learning as meaningful and relevant as I can possibly make it for students. Even through this course, sometimes the easy choice is to use a worksheet or lesson we know for sure is simple and will work, but my goals are to not just use something because I for sure know it will work but to try to take risks and branch off. My goals will change as I become more and more familiar with new technologies. We just received iPads in our district, so my initial new goal is to try to uncover its uses and utilize it within my classroom. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Online Experience

Talk about how you could use one of the technologies that qualify as an online experience with your students. 
  • What content could this help you teach? 
I might choose to use a wiki, or a collaborative editing place on the web for peer editing purposes. Especially with lower students, making the editing process more useful and fulfilling is a hard road to sow. They often don’t take the editing process seriously, but if their edits were available for everyone to see, both the student who made the edits and the student who wrote the essay may take the process more seriously. 
Other cool ideas include online field trips with novels (Central Park/NY for Catcher, Rome for Julius Caesar, etc.), Online Resource Validation for any research process, an electronic portfolio for their written work, etc. 
  • What type of pedagogical strategies might you use with your students? 
Certain strategies I may use with a wiki for paper editing purposes would be having each student look for certain specific aspects of the editing process with each paper i.e. one student looks at the hook, the next on the background, and the next on thesis, and so on and so forth. I would try to scaffold the process, and also try to model it first. It would be sort of a rotation, so what they are looking for changes. 
  • What technologies do you think would be harder to use with your students? Why? 
I think certain technologies that may be more difficult to use in an English classroom would be an Interactive Discussion with Experts in just that it may be much more planning that would be involved, although it would be extremely cool to be able to use.