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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Summary Post - Honest Reflection

{I am now looking back to January and fast forwarding to today.}

It has been a fruitful 15 weeks. Is that all? 15 weeks? EDM310 has been a valuable experience for me technologically, intellectually, personally, and professionally.

Technologically Speaking

It is quite obvious that I should have grown technologically during my time in EDM310, and I thankfully have. We were initially asked “Are you technologically literate?” Ha! I actually answered “Yes!” And yes, I am laughing out loud at myself. I thought I was so savy with my word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software skills. What a lesson to learn that those are just tools like my pencil that I have to know, and being able to use them does not make me technologically literate. I was just meeting some basic expectations.

EDM 310 has provided me with the tools and (although scheduled) time to experiment with technology I had heard of and much that I had no clue about. I’m grateful to have had the time to begin to develop a plan for my professional development and classroom effectiveness using technology.

Allow me to list the technological tools that I feel I know now :

-Google Docs including forms/spreadsheets/word processing, Reader, Gmail, iGoogle- I plan to
use these in my classroom
- Delicious
- Picasa – love it and now use it for all pictures due to speed and ease of sharing
- Podcasts, - loved the concept and ease of creation and use
- videocasts, - loved the concept and ease of creation and use. I feel I have a good handle on the
equipment needed and value.
- YouTube, - was able to experience using it for a video posting. I enjoy the information,
not garbage, available for teaching and learning
- movie making – I enjoyed seeing the variety of styles and technologies for this on posts
and from fellow classmates
- Posts you read – loved many, enjoyed the professional posts; appreciated the posts that
were for our class to comment on
- PLNs, - great direction given to us to develop one. The spreadsheet with the free
software links was helpful as well as the podcasts on PLN’s
- Twitter – I have an account
- Other teachers and students outside of our region, - Loved them all. What about Mobile
County teachers?
- Comments4kids – great assignment and substitute for no inclass service this semester; would
like to adopt this for my classes
- comments4classmates – liked this because it made me look at the quality of work of my
peers; I had to schedule the time, got in the habit, then do it for those blogs that I enjoyed
- Comments4teachers- if we can’t be in the classroom or around other professionals physically
this course, Comments4Teachers is a great alternative
- iTunes- this course has me now downloading podcasts a few times a week
- iTunesU, accessibility issues and the use of – I was exposed, but not using it
- html tag modifiers to address some of those issues – need to work on
- who you are as a professional,
- Google Earth – did the assignment, was exposed, but no depth on this
- ACCESS and ALEX – glad to have been exposed now before student teaching to use during
block coursework. I’m interested in seeing how valuable and integrating it into my
professional life before being hired. Not to mention, these are not very developed so would I
really have been exposed to this on the job?
- Technological literacy – oh boy! See my comments.
- Tthe future of schools – don’t really know. I feel through sites like At the Teachers’ Desk, and
2cents Worth, as well as others, I’ve seen a more editorial aspect of the future of schools. But
what about Mobile County where it is now, opportunities for technological advancement and
future plans?
- Your "intellectual trail" – please see my extensive comments

Did Dr. S miss anything? Here are Jackie’s other gains from EDM130 :

- Class structure – lesson learned about offering freedom in their pursuit to help them explore and learn through discovery to develop thinkers

- Reflection and Feedback – I have come to understand the value of reflection as a mom and see it as the same asset in teaching. Continuously self-evaluating to adjust the lessons, approaches, effectiveness, goals, missions, meanings, growth is not only valuable, I think as a teacher one will sink if honest reflection is not part of our abilities.

Although I am pleased with the quantity and quality of the education on many fronts with EDM310, there are some places I need improvement on.The following are tools that I will be working on to know better.

- Twitter : tweeting and using Twitter as an active tool for networking and professional
- WIKIs – I should know this, but need to listen to the podcast and familiarize myself
- Movie Making : I need to streamline the making part as well as learn through practice
how to make interesting and effective movies. Also posting using iTunesU and Youtube needs
to be practiced.
- Balance between using the technology and getting lost in the sea of information.
- How to apply what I have learned while still meeting my job requirements
- If what I have learned can not be supported in the school that I will be placed, then how
will I work to get the support, through grants, the main office?

Are there things that I would have liked to learn and did not?

The current policies in Mobile County – Can we even blog?
Current classroom technology (I’m not talking about the projector or intercom)
Mobile County trends and plans for using technology
Smartboard use and effective integration into teaching.

Intellectual and Personal Gains from EDM310 :

This learning and teaching style suits me well. I thoroughly enjoyed the hybrid aspect, as we were still interfacing even when we were not in the same room. The experience as a student who will one day have her own students was valuable in that first hand I saw what not setting the bar resulted in. It allowed those that were learners, went far and those that weren’t interested, fell.. I’m not advocating that someone needs to fall. What I am saying is this class structure didn’t allow for anyone to be pulled along, yielding a false perception that they would meet minimum expectations. I would like to instill some of the self directedness into my classes appropriately. I’m interested to figure out how to get the lower performing students to rise to the challenge by helping them to discover their own path… Oh I know this is all so na├»ve, and I don’t know how to do it, it is only my vision. No plan happens without a vision and some action… Enough said.

I enjoyed the soft, philosophical aspects that were more global lessons than just those related to technology. The ongoing discussion about grades, quality of posts, quality of our work and our future as teachers were priceless. I found all of it insightful, exciting, important, inspirational, paradigm shifting, and good information for when I’m in the classroom. My fellow students were fascinating to me. We came in all shapes and sizes, and collaborated fabulously. I learned a lot from them and Dr. Strange, Jim Fawcett, Mr. C., Dorothy Burt, Mr. McClung, Ken Robinson, etc. The interface and experience caused me to grow in many ways.

There wasn’t a time when I wasn’t learning something in this class. That may seem impossible, but nothing comes to mind. I wish I had learned more! Luckily, I will continue to do that, by taking very seriously, the need to be a life learner.

1 comment:

  1. "I don’t know how to do it, it is only my vision." I'm not sure I do either. The better students, yes. But the weaker ones. I guess I have done that a few times. But it is much more difficult!

    Speaking of looking back and forward at the same time:
    Remember this? "I know I will have a class blog. I also know I would like to track activity by student, and manage the information. Is there some sort of design, let's say, to use free online tools to manage student involvement. You are somehow tracking our posts, and I would imagine it can be set up to be very time effective. Can you share your design with us? As the semester goes on, I'll have other questions about managing my teacher work load with these types of tools. So I guess I'm looking for pointers on how to manage classroom data with the interactions of these free tools we can use as teachers."

    And this? (How right you were!) - "PS - I was glad to see you post something of Paula's. i don't know her but for the little bit of time in class. I can't help but think that would boost her confidence that she's heading down the right road!"

    And this? "Fantastic! I would greatly appreciate your posting this as a comment on my Grades post."

    There's a secret to teaching in the above!