As far as my personal theory or model of how students learn I said at the beginning of the class I firmly believe in repetition, collaboration and adapting lessons to meet the different learning styles. I feel this class helped strengthen the methods and strategies that I use to meet the needs of all my students. It also helped me discover new methods, and definitely new technologies that will help me meet all students’ needs. Reading and reflecting on the new strategies and how to integrate them with technology really helped me see how the learning theories, strategies and technology all work together so that I could start producing lessons with all three of these components included (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn & Malenoski, 2007). Before, I would think of these three components as separate and producing different results, but now I can see how they all work hand in hand with each other. I also was able to see what a big part the social learning theory has to do with my personal learning theory because I believe collaboration is such a strong influence on how a student learns (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).
One of the biggest immediate adjustments I will make to my instructional practice regarding technology integration after completing this course is I will be online looking for more resources to use in my classroom or to help my teaching partners. I am very excited to get more resources for the interactive whiteboard as well. One of the technology tools that I would like to use with my students is the virtual field trip. My students come from low socioeconomic families and their ability to get out and travel to places very far away is very limited. This makes my job of bringing the outside world in to the classroom that much more important. With a virtual field trip I do not have to worry about permission slips, kids being absent or even finding the money for the field trip. With technology improving more and more each day the field trips that are available online will only get better as well. The other technology tool that I am excited to use is the concept map. The concept map not only goes hand in hand with the virtual field trip, but it also helps get the students exposed to organizing their thinking and learning on the computer. There are so many complex concepts in science and social studies that can easily understood when they are laid out in an organized fashion. For my three major science units of ecosystems, land and water and motion and design I plan on finding virtual field trips that accompany them and concept maps to help the students follow their learning. My repertoire of instructional skills as a result of this course has expanded quite a bit now. More importantly I now know that the instructional strategies that I already feel comfortable with can be integrated with technology easily and efficiently. I think using the basic instructional strategies that all teachers should know and master is very important, but with today’s changing technological advances it is also very important for teachers to prepare their students for the technology filled world.
One of my long term goals is I would like to make sure that I use my interactive whiteboard at least once a week to show something to my students or to work with my students. The second part of this goal is to make sure that once a week I allow the students to use the whiteboard on their own. As the months go on in the school year I would like to increase the time I use and the time my students use the whiteboard each week. I plan on taking more time looking up resources that I can use the whiteboard with and fitting them into my lessons. I will add a spot in my lesson plans to fill in an activity each day for using the whiteboard to help achieve my goal.
My other long term goal is finding or even creating my own virtual field trips. I would like to link them all to my science units because I know that I have a big responsibility to bring the outside world in to my classroom for my students. I know that virtual field trips are still pretty new so I am thinking that it would be helpful and even fun if I was to make my own virtual field trips.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program eight: Social learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from http://laureate.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=5700267&CPURL=laureate.ecollege.com&Survey=1&47=2594577&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=0&bhcp=1
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom
instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.