As I have completed my master’s class of Impact of Technology on Education, Work and Society I have found that I have learned a lot about myself as a teacher and technology user. First of all this class has helped me by putting me outside my comfort zone with some technology uses. I now have a blog and I cannot believe it! I never imagined that I would have a blog, especially not one for school! I am enjoying using the blog and seeing the helpful comments people write back to me. I believe that blogging can be a very useful tool to teachers who may not necessary teach in the same building or same district, but still have similar situations that they could benefit from having a group of peers to discuss it with. I had the opportunity to work with a group of classmates from Walden University in a wiki group and that was extremely helpful to see and go through that process as well. I had thought it might be really helpful for a district to set up a wiki for each grade level that takes the state test so that teachers from all over the district could go on there and share ideas of how they are helping prepare their students for the test. Just last year it became apparent how disconnected our district was just in the 5th grade team because some schools had updated information on the test and some had helpful ways of prepping their students and no way to share it with the rest of the district.
This course has helped deepen my understanding of the teaching and learning process because it has made me really open my eyes to what technology is out there and how I can start to integrate it into my classroom. You cannot just take a new piece of technology, start using it in your classroom and say that is the best use of that technology. You will have to talk to people about its’ uses, try it in a few different lessons, try it with a few different content areas and be willing to change it up every time you use it. Just like with a new lesson that has never been tried before, you have to be willing to be flexible and if the lesson goes completely astray be ready to can the whole lesson and try something else.
I do not believe that I have changed much from being teacher-centered to learner-centered because my school and district has always been strong in allowing kids to learn together, work together and talk together so the focus was off of me the teacher to be leading everything from the beginning. With so many technological advances though coming up in our world I can see how I will have to be more aware than ever of the learning styles of my students and how I can best use technology to help them be as successful as possible.
The best way I can continue to expand my knowledge of learning, teaching and leading with technology to help my students is to continue to be a lifelong learner. I believe I signed on to be a lifelong learner the moment I decided to become a teacher, but today it has become even more important to stay up to date on the new advances in technology, how our students view and use technology and how we can best incorporate technology into our classrooms to better prepare our students for life after school.
One of my goals within two years is to create a blog for the state test for my district. This blog will be managed by me, but it will have the ability to have anyone share helpful information, strategies or ideas with other teachers about the test. My school found out a really helpful strategy for taking the test a few days before we were scheduled to have our students take the test so it was too late to teach it to our students, but that made it apparent to me that there has to be something in place where teachers can share and collaborate online even if they are from the same district because there is just not enough time in the day to talk with people from all the buildings. With the blog they can do it from home and on their own time as well. My second goal is to apply for a technology grant and purchase a set of clickers that I can use to help informally assess my students throughout the day and throughout various units. I have seen how useful these tools can be and I want to be able to show other teachers that technology is not scary and can be extremely useful.