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.
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.