As I look back at what I have learned in the last eight weeks, I find myself in awe that I could have learned so much valuable information in such a short time. Although at times it did seem like it would never end, I come out of this class with a sense of power in my teaching and tools. I have already begun to implement the technology and theories that I’ve been introduced to in this course, and I look forward to continuing this process.
In week one, we were asked to take a look at our personal theory of learning. At that time I felt that the two most important strategies for learning were behaviorism and social constructionism. While I do believe that cognitivism and constructionism/constructivism are important, I still feel that my learning theory has stayed fairly similar. If anything, I have a deeper understanding of the theory of social constructionism which has made me incorporate more of it into my plans. I realize how important it is for students to understand how to use outside resources in their daily lives. I make my students work hard to find answers even though it hurts to watch them struggle. In the end, however, I am teaching them to become lifelong learners and that is one goal of mine for my students.
The use of technology in the classroom has always been important for me to integrate – I wouldn’t be working toward my Masters in integrating technology if I didn’t believe this. This course, though, has given me a much deeper understanding of the uses of technology as instructional devices as well as learning tools. I feel much more comfortable showing my students how to use these tools, and I feel competent in my reasoning behind using them. The two technology tools that I foresee myself using the most with my students include VoiceThread and SpiderScribe for concept mapping. Both of these programs are easy to use and allow my students to deepen their understanding of what is being taught. I look forward to giving my students the chance to really understand the 21st century skills and using these tools independently.
Two long term goals that I would like to give myself with regards to my instructional practices and technology integration include using at least one technology learning tool per unit and one instructional tool per unit. I need to take a look at the lessons I have for the remainder of the year and decide which technology tools will give my students the chance to comprehend the material at a deeper level. Likewise, I need to decide how to best introduce new information that works for my group of students. I think this can be an easy task as long as I can find the resources. Next year, especially, I will have the knowledge of these tools and be able to use our district sign out policy to integrate them more easily. I think the students will really appreciate these use of these tools to prepare them for their future.
Overall, this course has been one of the most useful courses I have taken through my Masters program. I am very excited to continue using the knowledge and tools that I have been introduced to, and I really look forward to watching my students grow with the use of these tools.