After completing 6 weeks of CEP 810 – Teaching Understanding with Technology it’s time to reflect on all of my learning. Throughout my learning in this course I have been thinking about all of the different ways I can incorporate technology into my teaching as well as my professional career. Early on we were introduced to many of the important aspect we should be thinking about while incorporating creative, unique and specific technologies into the classroom. Bransford, Brown and Cocking stated “schools and classrooms must be learner centered”. As a special education teacher and working with a very diverse population of students it is so important to model our instruction based on learner-specific needs. This includes not only their abilities, but perhaps how we can use technology to assist the learning of our students.
During the second week of class we began thinking about a skill or task that we have always wanted to learn. This would become a five week project of learning something new with the challenge that you can only use technology for your learning. Carol Dweck said “motivation is a key determinant of transfer”. This was such a unique learning experience and yet because I was motivated by choosing what I wanted to learn, it gave me a purpose for the task. This project did not come without its problems, hurdles and learning curves, but it definitely made me consider the endless possibilities available for any of our learning needs. As I read my classmates blogs and watched their video updates, I was amazed at the differences in tasks and how everyone was able to access different forms on the internet to assist them in all of their learning needs.
This course also opened my eyes to the resources available to me. When creating my Professional Learning Network, I realized that I have numerous outlets for growth, assistance and guidance available at my fingertips. I think this has allowed me to see that I can continue to expand this network and hopefully use the resources more often to benefit my classroom instruction. In the National Educational Technology Plan is concluded that “the goal of these career-long personal learning networks would be to make professional learning timely and relevant as well as an ongoing activity that continually improves practices. These networks and other resources would enable educators to take online courses, tap into experts and best practices for just-in-time learning and problem solving, and provide platforms and tools for educators to design and develop resources and share them with their colleagues.” My fellow colleagues are a wealth of knowledge and I would love to share many of the new ideas I have learned from with course.
As I set forth in achieving my goals I do have some unanswered questions I have been thinking about. How can I become more involved with professional development opportunities specific to integrating technology in the classroom? How can I ensure that technology is helping to improve my students learning? I am extremely excited to start the coming school year so I can effectively use what I have learned throughout this course to develop my instruction using technology. I want my students to be able to experience the same learning experiences that I have had during this course. My goal is to provide my students with opportunities for exploration, networking, collaboration and creation in our 21st digital world.