Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Web Tools Refections

My motivation for taking the web tools class was purely for professional development that I cannot seem to find time for during the regular school year.  I have spent countless hours this summer exploring sites and learning about what types of technological applications are out there for classroom use, how to navigate them, and how to implement them in the classroom.  I am still a web tools/technology novice who is constantly challenged to rethink and reprogram.  Although it has been difficult, I really feel that I am moving in the right direction.  This course has provided a great networking forum through Edmodo for interacting with fellow teachers. Discussions have provided numerous links to websites, activities and articles - which I have bookmarked on my Diigo site for future reference.  Thanks to all for that.  It has been a great learning experience and has really changed my perspective regarding how I need to proceed in the future.
This school year, I hope to climb out of the trenches and up to new heights regarding technological applications in my classes, facilitating the creation of a more modern learning environment and a positive attitude for change.  What inspires learning?  I have learned from this class and my explorations that rethinking the paradigm of classroom teaching is essential.  Students today engage in a much different world than I grew up in.  I stumbled across this article - literally - and it was an eye opener and a source for real reflection in light of what we have been learning in this class and where, as educators, we should be heading in the future - starting now.  Check it out!

There is an African proverb that states "A small hill takes you to a bigger one." This is the way with life long learning. Once we open up a door to learning, we realize that there is so much more out there to grasp and it continues in this manner - hopefully throughout our lives - as long as we continue to engage in the process. It is about getting out of our comfort zone and exploring the edges, broadening the scope of our knowledge and abilities.

So, I will begin over the next two weeks to not just prepare my "To Do" list for the new school year, but to implement and build upon the technological appications that will be used in my classes.  For starters... Edmodo as an asynchronous discussion forum; my module projects incorporated into respective units; and, a Live Binder of site references for my students so that they can explore various ways to present their learning.  The challenge to myself is to teach the students, not just the content; to be an effective facilitator focused on instruction that reflects current changes in society and promotes relevant and meaningful learning for my students.  Wish me luck!

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