The end of something… not the Hemingway short story (sorry to disappoint) no I am referring to the end of a semester. A time in which to wrap your head around 4 months of learning and try and sum up where you are at, and where you might be going.
So far in my college journey, from upgrading to now, this was my most challenging semester. I was taking courses of which I had never really considered before, and that I brought little preexisting knowledge to. This semester really forced me to learn in ways that I was uncomfortable with. That, combined with the evening classes made me really doubt why on earth I was in college. However, now that the end is near, and I have no more night classes to part me from my children I can shift my perspective and strive to appreciate my learning experience. Sometimes the best things for you, make you a little uncomfortable.
So lets summarize ed tech class! One thing I can say with some certainty is that some of the technology I used was fun! It was genuinely enjoyable and I am happy to have been introduced to it. I also feel quite adept at using SMART Notebook, and if you asked me on day 1 if I thought I would voluntarily use that program you might have received an emphatic no! However here we are and I actually kind of like it (shhhh don’t tell anyone I said that). I feel confident that I can build great interactive SMART notebook lesson plans. I can also say that I have been acquainted with some seriously cool classroom tools. I can now make posters and movies, things I never would have considered before this class. I did make a newsletter once and it took me 8 (yes EIGHT) hours, I bet I could do it in 4 now (yes still sadly FOUR)!
I have established a personal learning network (PLN) and just today it paid off tenfold. A very cool article popped up on my Twitter feed and it was full of wonderful, practical, purposeful ideas I can apply in my future lesson planning. I am excited to learn and share ideas with my colleagues. It became clear to me in creating a PLN that collaborating and fostering relationships directly contributes to providing a better educational environment and learning opportunities for myself, and my students.
As I continue along in my education I feel more and more strongly that we cannot do a good job as educators if we do not actively strive to communicate with parents. This is one area where technology is so very helpful, and dare I say integral. The various ed tech tools that we were shown throughout edts 325 like Google classroom, Padlet, the Remind app and teacher blogs will undoubtedly help me connect with parents and create dialogue that will serve to support the student. Lets get caregivers informed so that they might be able to open a door for their child to communicate.
I had one big “aha” moment and that was during the filming of my YouTube videos. Despite all of my resignations it turned out to be a really fun bonding experience. This reason alone would make it a worthwhile activity, but it also gave me a new way to show what I know. Imagine that one child in your class who is a video whiz, well that child deserves a chance to wow their peers, themselves, and their teacher!
I feel more confident navigating technology, and much more equipped to go looking for quality educational technology however I wish we had spent more time on the actual teaching applications like Spiral, Socrative, and Google Classroom. I feel like I really didn’t get a chance to even break the surface of how to purposefully use those apps. I think they are the future of technology in education and I would have liked to have spend much more time on them.
This brings me to the end of something, and it is the end of this blog post. However I know there will be no end to my uses of all the ed tech tools I was introduced to, and there will be no end to the discoveries I make using my PLN. I hope to continue to learn and share for the entirety of my career and well beyond. I will do my best to blog during the summer if I can take a break from playing, picnicking, and gardening those terribly demanding pursuits!
Thanks for reading!