I revisited my very first blog post on my vision for educational technology. I still stand by my belief that technology enhances student agency. However, the depth of my understanding about how to accomplish a sense of agency with all learners has greatly deepened as a result of taking this course.
Examining the relative advantages of instructional technology taught me to pause and consider how technology can be an enhancement or distraction from the learning task. I was familiar with the benefits of tutorials and drill and practice, but I learned more about the role that simulations and problem solving software can offer.
One of my biggest stretches in learning was when we explored the benefits of spreadsheets. Not only did I learn how to use them as an educator and with students, I also discovered through conversations with my colleagues that spreadsheets are a primary tool for organization.
I really enjoyed learning to use screencasting tools. I’ve spent the last few years trying to improve my video communication, and overall presence on camera while planning, creating, and editing with multi-media teaching tools. I believe in the power of this learning option when done well. The more you practice, the faster and better you get!
Another aspect of this online course that was eye opening was hearing from other educators from across the United States about their district’s stance on walled gardens. I would not have had the same perspective if we discussed this topic in a college course within my state. The field of educational technology is so wide and uncharted that I can see why some teachers feel scared to even dip their toe into the water to get started. I’m learning in my role of working with adult learners that adults are not always that flexible or open to new ideas or trying things out as I am. Using technology in the classroom, for the long haul, has more to do with helping others adopt a certain mindset then it has to do with giving teachers technology and apps to try out and expecting it to take off.
Finally, it was a good challenge to take one subject matter and look at it through three lenses: interdisciplinary, technology and accessibility. There is so much to consider in teaching that I have a new appreciation for the learning curve of our new teachers or even our veteran teachers who are trying to keep up with the times.
This course has made me realize that I need to observe and listen a lot this year. Teachers will provide me with all the information I need about how to take next steps based on where each teacher is and their willingness to move forward with technology. Even though I feel like my understanding of educational technology is light years away from where my staff is, I bring a level of calm and confidence about where we are going having been on this journey myself in the classroom and through graduate coursework.
Thanks to the The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) standards, I feel I have grown the most in content knowledge, content pedagogy, and professional knowledge and skills. I am now better prepared to create, use, and assess effective use of technology in the classroom. Due to the depth of the course blog work and content project, I am more reflective about the implementation of educational technology. Most importantly, I continue to develop my professional skills in this field by working in a supportive and collaborative online environment with other educators willing to share and learn with each other.
Self Assessment: Blog
I put a great deal of time and thought into each blog post and project assignment. I frequently sought out new research which is included in my resources page and references for the related post.
Readings & Resources: 18/20
I cited the course textbook as well as other research and used APA formatting on all but one blog post.
I always completed my blog posts prior to completing my project assignment which provided classmates at least two days to read and respond before the next module.
Responses to Other Students: 30/30
I always made sure to elaborate on one response and point out positives or connections in the other.