The Technology Integration course is at an end. It is time to reflect back over the time spent in the class and consider how much has been learned and what I’ll be taking away from the course and implementing both in to my professional life here at work and social and professional life outside of ISM.
My initial aims, aspirations and expected outcomes for this course were documented at the outset several weeks ago. It is interesting to revisit my thoughts from back then:
‘Essentially I would like to become more confident in my use of technology. I would then like to be able to transfer my new found confidence, skills andknowledge into the classroom to the benefit of my students. Increasingly students are entering High School with IT skills that are far advanced of my own. This is not in itself a problem but I would like to be able to keep pace to a certain extent!’
I also considered in more detail as to how my improved IT skills might enable me to become a better teacher.
‘I believe very strongly in collaborative learning. I would like to develop my own IT skills that would allow me to enable, encourage and provide greater opportunities for students to learn together, in school and out of school. I forsee improved IT skills relating to wikis as being one way in which this can be achieved. I also believe that a more streamlined blog and one that incorporates student interaction would improve collaborative learning and ultimately ehance the educational experience for students under my care.’
I certainly believe that I am a more confident user of technology now and undoubtedly my use of technology in the classroom has been enhanced through this course. For example, our Standard Level Grade 12 class are going to be taking part in an interactive survey after Xmas, the results of which will provide enourmously important real life data that will enable the topic of Normal Distribution to be taught in a much more meaningful way. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not have thought to teach this unit of work utilising this technology had it not been for the course. Equally, I believe that through this technique the students will have a much more in depth understanding of this topic that ordinarily is considered one of the most complex in the course.
Additionally, the podcast provided students with a homework and as a result great discussion came about. Solutions to a recent quiz were provided for students in a screen cast and since then, I have used screen casts in other ways to the benefit of students learning. Previously I used the IWB screen casting software but through this course have been introduced to much better technology that I and the students have since used.
The Pecha Kuchas were entertaining and a method through which I am hoping to review topics towards the end of the course. I also believe that it lends itself wonderfully to alternative assessment strategies and this is something I will certianly be exploring in the future.
I have maintained a school blog now for several years; however, as a result of this course, I am going to start and manage a professional blog, separate from school and students, that I will update with posts and relevant information on a regular basis. I firmly believe that in the not too distant future it will become the norm and expectation that applicants for jobs will be required to submit their professional blog or website as part of the process. I feel much more equipped to initiate this myself now as a result of the course.
The flipped classroom technique that was examined during the course and I have written about in another blog post, is a wonderfully new way to approach students learning. I have since tried it on several occasions with classes with a great degree of success and will be continuing with this educational approach from time to time.
Above all, I feel more technologically adept than I was a few weeks ago, and I believe my teaching, my classroom and my students will benefit from practices that I have already and will be employing as a direct result of the course.