Sunday, February 19, 2012

Class Reflection

As I reflect over the past several weeks in this class, I am amazed at how much my technology skills as a teacher have changed.  I learned how to create a blog, a wiki, and a podcast.  These are three things that I did not know how to do before this class.  Since the beginning of this course, I have developed a resource wiki for my school, my classroom, and student blogs.  In addition, I have taught some teachers in my building how to use these resources.  This class has given me the knowledge and confidence I needed to implement these resources. 

This course has deepened my knowledge of the teaching and learning process. Before Dr. Thornburg, I had never thought of the difference between doing things differently and doing different things.  Reflecting on my own teaching, I see how much of my instruction focused on just doing things differently.  I thought because I was incorporating technology into my classroom that I was doing different things which was not the case.  I have a better understanding of what it means to be a teacher in the 21st century. This generation of students has grown up with technology all around them.  They watch television every night, play video games, computer games, have cell phones, etc.  There is so much that they are stimulated by outside of school.  I notice a difference in my student’s attention when I use my Smart Board for a lesson compared to using the textbook or regular white board.  They are much more engaged in what I am teaching them.

To keep my students engaged and prepare them for their future, my role as a teacher has to change.  Teachers no longer stand in front of the class and lecture the whole time.  Classrooms are changing from teacher-centered to student-centered.  I now understand that I can by better serve my students by having them work collaboratively to figure out a problem. Implementing technology with 21st century skills is crucial to preparing my students for their future jobs and society. 

Although I have created a class wiki, it only has resource links at this time. A goal of mine is to expand my wiki so that my students and parents can contribute and ask questions.  Another goal is to introduce podcasts to my students.  One obstacle is that we only have one microphone in the building that can be used for this.  I presented information to my principal last week about how we could use the podcasts in the building.  My hope is that he will be purchasing more microphones.

In conclusion, as an educator it is my job to support and encourage my colleagues and students. By continuing to read blogs and educational websites, I can stay on top of the best way to teach and engage students.  I think I have a great start in my classroom with the blogs and wikis.  However, I want to continue to build on these while implementing other forms of technology and collaborative work.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2012). The emergence of educational technology. Baltimore MD: Author

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I have a new respect for the sound and editing people of movies and music.  There job is much harder that I ever thought.  Interviewing my students using was simple.  Push record and stop.  However, cutting and pasting clips from each student was quite the process.  It was very time consuming to figure out where each new question began and making sure I cut it at just the right spot to transfer it into the new podcast.

I always find it interesting how different classes of students are.  This year most of my students do not have cell phones.  In addition, none of the students I interviewed have Facebook pages, nor have I heard anyone in the class talk about having one. In previous years, I have had several students will cell phones and Facebook pages.