Saturday, October 20, 2012

Class Reflection

In reflecting on my GAME Plan for this course, I have realized that time management is huge factor.  Because of the timeline of this course, I felt pressured to get lessons done within a week’s time with my students.  This does not always work with elementary students. While I may have planned for an activity to only take a day, sometimes it took longer which through off deadlines for this class.  I feel that with the younger students, I have to spend so much time  teaching the technology as well as the content material.  Half of my class had never created a PowerPoint before.  In addition, none of them had used a wiki or Movie Maker before.  Teaching the technology alone takes days.  I felt this may have been too much technology to teach them all in one unit or in a three weeks’ timeline.  

I would like to revise my plan for next year by introducing wikis towards the beginning of the year before they get to this unit. I need to spread the technology integration throughout multiple lesson and different subjects instead of teaching them all in one unit. In addition, I tried to get a field trip to the zoo planned or for a speaker from the zoo to come to our school.  Because my unit was mainly done in October, the zoo could not accommodate because of preparation for an event at the zoo this month.  Next year, I would like to incorporate my unit at a different time when my students will have a chance to visit the zoo and ask questions of a zoo keeper.  I also tried to get a Skype session with another zoo but these are very expensive so this also did not work. 

My next step in using the GAME Plan will be incorporating it with my students.  Some of the them are having a hard time reaching goals in the classroom. Students say they want to accomplish a certain task but then are not sure how to do it.  I am going to create a student friendly version of the GAME Plan and have them complete it based on a classroom goal they have. I will work will them on coming up with the Actions they need to take to obtain their goal.

My next step in integrating technology into my classroom is to teach all of my students how to use Movie Maker for a digital story.  We are working on an election unit, and they will create an ad for their campaign in a couple of weeks. I would also like to introduce KidBlog.  I had great success with it last year but have not introduced it yet because of all the technology I have already tried to teach this year.  I felt it would overwhelm them if I tried to add something new. I feel that KidBlog will be easier for them to use as a social network/online collaboration than a wiki.   

In conclusion, this course was eye opening with the learning the variety of ways technology can be incorporated into one unit.  I learned that implementing so much technology into one unit and at the beginning of the school year can actually detract from the content of what I want my students to learn.  I feel technology is crucial in today’s world but feel that it should be spread out and integrated based on student readiness.

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