(1) A reflection on integrating technology
What have I learned this semester? Firstly I think I’ve learned that I’m doing pretty well with this “integration of technology” thingo. I seem to be able to multi-task well, I pick up new online tools quickly and integrate them together. I have also found a set of programs that allow me to generate work flows that are productive and efficient. Whether that be for creating an assignment, producing lesson notes or producing a website.
Some of my go-to tools that I have learned to utilise through this course are,
All of the above have also helped me grow professionally because they enable me to produce work that is of a higher standard and quality for my students. I can use and see the powers of these tools for creating digital products which are skills I can communicate and impart to my learners – yes even as a Maths teacher!
One of the other key joys of working through a subject that involves “the theory” of what we do everyday is that it makes you reflect on your daily practice and why it is we do things the way we do. It makes me pause and think more about the language I’m using, my questioning techniques, my pedagogy. It makes me ask better questions of colleagues when they have a new technology idea or want to try something untested. It also just gives me deliberate “thinking” time. This for me is perhaps the most powerful element, it prevents the easy path or the path of least resistance, because it forces me to take time-out from my day-to-day teaching preparation to think and reflect. I see it as a win-win for me and my students.
Lastly in terms of the AECT standards I believe this subject has addressed almost all of them (except Standard 3 – because it is a practical one within a learning environment) through the course work because of the overarching learning project that has carried throughout the semester. That is we had to choose a specific learning area and age level to focus all our assignments on and work towards producing content or resources for that level. The four standards below can be seen mapped to my projects on my site http://mrvassmaths.weebly.com/.
AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge): Candidates demonstrate the knowledge necessary to create, use, assess, and manage theoretical and practical applications of educational technologies and processes.
AECT Standard 2 (Content Pedagogy): Candidates develop as reflective practitioners able to demonstrate effective implementation of educational technologies and processes based on contemporary content and pedagogy.
AECT Standard 4 (Professional Knowledge and Skills): Candidates design, develop, implement, and evaluate technology-rich learning environments within a supportive community of practice.
AECT Standard 5 (Research): Candidates explore, evaluate, synthesise, and apply methods of inquiry to enhance learning and improve performance.
(2) A self-evaluation of my blogging
This is probably the best part of my Masters of Edtech program, learning to blog and in some respects being required to “blog for marks”. In this subject, this semester, this was the blogging brief:
During this course, you will be writing a blog. This takes the place of the discussion board common for this online course. The advantage of writing a blog is that you will have access to your reflections once the course ends and will be able to continue blogging.
Then there are the “blog procedures”
Blog responses should reflect your knowledge of the subject matter through critical analysis. Blogging at a critical level means discussing things such as your opinion of the point mentioned, why you hold that opinion, what you see wrong with the point mentioned, how you see the point consistent/inconsistent with what you have learned so far, implications for the future, consistencies/inconsistencies within the article or reading itself, and so forth. In other words, as an academic blog, you are being asked to analyze the good and/or bad aspects of the point and justifying your analysis using academic references and APA citations.
Include citations and references in your response. Academic discourse in educational settings is enhanced when APA style references are used. Please include APA style citations with your blog entries.
It’s ok to write in the first person and include personal experiences in your responses.
As you can see, it is more than simply an opinion piece, it should be a researched, well-informed by facts and evidence opinion piece. As such I have tried in my blog posts this semester to tread the fine line between a boring academic statement of facts with a multitude of references and a highly personalised, conversational note about my daily teaching practice. In reality this is how I have learned to blog as this is pretty much how the M.E.T program starts out – by taking up blogging. You can see my first ever post to reflect how much of a novice I was here: Digital Divide versus Digital Inequality.
So here is the rubric my posts have been graded against this semester and I’ve circled my self-graded areas in green. Whilst I would like to point out that I don’t think every single post I’ve made makes the “Outstanding” grade level mainly due to either timeliness or in-depth analysis and connection, I do think on average across the 14 or so weeks they fit that level.
So if you’ve been reading my blog and would like to grade me differently please comment below, I’m sure my instructor (and myself) would value your opinion (unless of course you’re just trolling).