Two, four, six, eight, It’s time for us to integrate. Ten, Twelve, fourteen, sixteen, There’s so much more I haven’t seen. Eighteen, twenty, you know the rest, I hope I pass this final test. With E-P-I-stemology It’s time to use technology.
There’s something about the way that God wired me, that when its time to look back over a difficult period of time, I get poetic. So the above lines were jotted down with the inspiration of this course and this semester. I’m glad it’s coming to a close, but before it is official, here are my required reflections
Part I: Course Reflection
- What have you learned?
For integration strategies, I focused most of my attention on applying technologies to English language development. In the process, I became more familiar with a variety of resources, tools, and strategies for integrating technology. I also was reminded of some basic principles when working with English language learners. Additionally, this course has helped me see outside of my usual perspective, by requiring me to consider integration strategies for other content areas and also exploring technologies for students with special needs.
- How did theory guide the development of the projects and assignments you created?
During this semester, I was taking another EdTech course along side this one, it was Theoretical Foundations, EdTech 504. Because of the constant reinforcement of theory, I was developing much of my 541 course activities around the reinforced knowledge. The theory that I spent the most time researching is the Cultural Historical Activity Theory, which states that human activity, such as education, is a social activity that is manifested through the use of tools and other social practices (Duvane & Squire, 2010). This theory made me consider each technology tool for it’s ability to enhance learning opportunities.
Educational theory is a very dense topic, therefore, I try to simplify it whenever possible. I really liked the selection of this text book for this course, because the information was presented in a clear and concise way. In particular, I appreciated how the book identified the differences between directed teaching, which is part of the objectivists’ view point, and constructed learning by the learners, which is part of the constructivists’ views (Roblyer & Doering, 2012). With both major theories, there are integration strategies that can be used.
- How does the course work demonstrate mastery of the AECT standards?
The various activities and projects helped me to meet many AECT standards, mostly in Standard 1: Design, Standard 2: Development, and Standard 3: Utilization. For a complete list of the specific standards met during this course please visit the AECT Standards Page on my course project page.
- How have you grown professionally?
This course was quite demanding of my time, but I managed to meet all the deadlines. Many external factors of my professional life have helped develop me along side the content I have learned for this course. For example, I was asked at the beginning of the semester to chair the 9th grade department, I also implemented a Project Based Learning module that I developed with a EdTech colleague over the summer, and I managed to coach a little tennis with the Community and Service program in my school. This semester has taught me more about balance and meeting responsibilities.
- How have your own teaching practice or thoughts about teaching been impacted by what you have learned or accomplished in this course? What will you do differently as an educator as a result of this course?
Wherever I have taught, I have tried to take the students where they are and to develop them more with language skills. This course has reminded me of ways to use technology to develop some of those students that have struggled to develop their language skills. However, one of my grandest goals is to help my students develop self-confidence in their own ability to learn. I will try to develop more differentiation skills for working with students that struggle language, but also strengthen their skills with technology tools too.
This course has also given me an awareness of my possible future role in an educational establishment. I potentially see me moving from a position that mostly emphasizes language development, to a position that promotes technology integration across all the curriculum. The course has prepared me for a possible transition, but more importantly, it not only has given me a collection of resources, but also it has given me a foothold on the topic of technology integration in all areas of education.
Part II: Self-Evaluation
Ironically, now that I am at the end of the semester, I have just now paid attention to the rubric for blog and reflection postings. Throughout the semester, I just read what the professor expected of me, and to my knowledge, I completed all the tasks on time. Furthermore, I feel that writing is one of my more developed skills, and coupled with my creativity, I always looked for a way to make my reflections as entertaining as possible for my readers. As a result, I believe that I have developed a bit of a minor following, based on some of the comments that I have read. If you are one of those readers, who are reading this now, I just want to say thank you for the wonderful feedback that you have given me.
Also, I made a point to give some constructive feedback to many of my colleagues, and I believe that I have met the minimum requirement of always responding to a few colleagues. I too, have enjoyed reading about my classmates’ experiences and their reflections.
Based on the rubric, I do not see where any points would be reduced from my blog grade. So I think it will be full points. However, I welcome any criticism, if there are even the slightest of flaws.
- DeVane, B., & Squire. (2010). Activity theory in the learning technologies. bendevane.com. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/1755047/Activity_Theory_in_the_Learning_Technologies
- Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2012). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (6th ed.). Chapter 15: Allyn & Bacon.