Holy Smokes! The end of the semester is already here, I cannot believe it! It feels like it was just yesterday that we were just starting this semester. When I initially enrolled in this class, I assumed that because of my previous technology experience I would find this class and the technologies we used to be a breeze. That was a mistake. The
technologies we learnt over the semester were sometimes frustrating at first, but by the end, I loved almost all of them!
Throughout this class, I was introduced to a variety of different websites, apps, and tools that will be extremely useful in my future classroom. I had heard of a few of the programs we used, such as Smart Notebook and the websites we used in our Personal Learning Network including Twitter, Pinterest and blogging. Although I previously knew of these systems, I only knew the most basic functions, and would not have thought to use all of them in a classroom environment. The more advanced features I learned through this class, will be much more effective for my students. This technology class also introduced me to many brand new programs that can be used in a classroom, as well as just improved my technology and computer skills.
This class has stressed the importance of our individual learning networks from a professional standpoint and the wonders it can do for our professional identity. Our personal learning network (PLN) consisted mainly of different social media accounts including Twitter and Pinterest. We learned the creating a well organized and professional PLN can help school superintendents learn about you and your beliefs as a teacher, it allows them to see your commitment from the beginning of your education and how you have grown through your experiences. Our PLN’s focused on making ourselves look and feel more professional with the technology we use. Being able to have learned not only what to post about education, but learning how to find interesting and valuable educational information through these social media accounts will be a skill that I will never be able to overlook. It can assist me in my professional growth from now until I retire.
We touched on a diverse amount of websites, apps and tools to be used in the classroom setting, so overall I do not believe that there is anything else I wish we would have learned. There is a ton of technology out there that I have yet to discover, but over the course of a semester, we cannot cover it all. I found that what we covered was the most likely to be used in our future classroom, as well as helped us to build generic technology skills enabling us to learn new technology as we find it. I will continuously be searching for ways to expand my knowledge of technology.
The amount of new knowledge this course provided me with, fills me with excitement because I know I will be able to use it directly in my career. The different programs we have explored have given me so many ideas of how I can use them in my future classroom, as well as just having the ability to use them in my future courses for projects. These technologies in my future classroom allow me to not only use them for lessons, I can use them for assessments, or the students can use them for their creations. Why continue boring handwritten exit cards, when you can get the same outcome for one of these technologies that students are going to enjoy way more. There have been systems and programs that I have found to be challenging to use and create on them, however, for the most part, the programs we learned this semester were easy to use and user-friendly. I do have to say I loved all of them for their own unique features they offered the users.
I realized I really loved integrating technology into the classroom when we were testing out the multitude of interactive systems from the student perspective. When our class was testing them out and to see how engaged we all were and how much fun we were able to have while still getting our work done, it made me wish that as a teacher my classes would be like that. After this course, I think I really learned the skills in order for me to make this possible. As frustrating as technology can sometimes be when I would get frustrated with a program and want to give up, that I really just have to slow down and take my time. I often tried to rush through some of the steps in the program which led to the problems. This was the aspect I struggled with the most throughout the course, I just needed to learn to take my time and follow the proper steps.
The future of technology in the classroom, I think will eventually reach a point where there will be a minimal amount of human interaction. However, I do not agree with this. Human interaction is a major part of education, but I do think technology should be a part of technology. Education that involves both human interaction and technology would offer the students the best outcome. The use of technology to improve learning is an amazing tool that teachers now have the opportunity to use, and they should definitely take advantage of it.
Overall, I found this class to be very educational and practical. Many courses you cannot directly make the connection to how your career will benefit from it, but this is definitely one of the classes you can. I really enjoyed taking this class and learning the many ways to incorporate the wonderful technology we have access to into a classroom.
I’d like to thank Cammie Kannekens for the wonderful semester and all of the amazing knowledge I got from it!!