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Reflections - EDLD 5364 Teaching with Technology

Posted by Hope Scott on Sunday, June 5, 2011 Under: Internship

EDLD 5364 - Teaching with Technology
Teaching with Technology was one of my favorite classes because I teach Web Mastering.  The class allowed me to collaborate and create a solution to a scenario-based group project.   This involved creating a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) lesson using the CAST Lesson Builder.  I created an e-book as part of our design (Scott, 2011).  I learned many practical applications to help me challenge my students.  This includes looking at constructivism, connectivism, and cyborg theories.  I liked the cyborg theory, I grew up loving Star Trek; but, I lean more toward constructivism which purports that students learn in various ways.  As teachers, we need to understand that we must adjust our assignments to accommodate the learning styles of our students.  This is difficult to accomplish with technology, but I have learned to allow my students who cannot understand what we are doing to do as much as they can with projects.  I now grade their efforts because their finished projects are an accomplishment for them.  Many are excited about some of the things they have learned in my class.  I have a few who complain and go into shut-down mode because it is not easy.  For those few, I continue to encourage them to do the best they can do and not worry about what their peers are doing. I need to work on having student work more cooperatively.  According to the author of Learning as a Personal Event, A brief introduction to Constructivism (Southwest Educational Development Lab), the teacher launches student exploration.  I connected with this article.  I feel that in my classroom learning is a personal event. I feel that I am the facilitator of learning in my classroom. I show students what I expect and give direction.  This article helped me to ember that learning is not passive, but is active and reflective (Southwest Educational Development Lab, 1999, para. 6).  

I have had to ask myself, as an educator, "Do I meet the needs of all of my students?" That question plagues educators, whether we admit it or not. "The challenge posed by greater diversity and greater accountability is to enable students with widely divergent needs, skills, and interests to attain the same high standards"(Rose and Myer, 2002, The Challenge: Learner Diversity and High Standards, para. 3).  As I reflect upon the diversity of our campus, I feel that sometimes I forget that all kids have high standards to attain. The needs of our students are as divergent or different as our student body. Students on our campus come from all walks of life and many ethnic backgrounds. We have many students with handicapping conditions. We have many students with special needs, including language barriers. All of these students must have access to the same high standards that the State expects for all students we serve. I feel that technology is a way to help and empower all students. I learned that, according to Michael S. Page in the article Technology-Enriched Classrooms: Effects on Students of Low Socioeconomic Status, "Computers appear to be especially productive with children designated as nontraditional" (Page, 2002, Computers and Self Esteem, para. 1). He went on to define nontraditional as including "those who have been labeled as being low achieving, at risk, learning disabled, of low socioeconomic status, educationally disadvantaged, language minority, or reading instruction with English as a second language" (Page, 2002, Computers and Self Esteem, para. 1).  Again, this defines our Camus environment.   Knowing this helps me, as an educator, challenge our students to be the best despite the odds.  I also learned from Larry Rosenstock that, secondary and post-secondary education needs to go hand in hand.  In other words, students who ultimately will not go to college are better served if they are not segregated from programs that expect that they will be going to college.  Or, stated another way, serve all students as if they are going to college.  I must admit, I am from the school of thought that non-college bound students need just the basics which does not include technical classes.  But, this does not allow all students to attain high standards.  

Learn as a Learner    
Working collaborative with peers to create a lesson was challenging.  Our group consisted of four people, two on each campus.  This was ideal because we could work closely with a partner that was in the same proximity.  The draw-back was always time.  Trying to find time that was convenient for all was difficult.  All-in-all, we made it work.  We created a third grade lesson that incorporated technology, including voki, PowerPoint, Photo Story, and media in our lesson (Team 5364, 2011).  I think that working with peers made the project more palatable.  It also gave me more perspectives on how to create a lesson that is designed for all students.  The assignments were challenging, especially the creation of the e-book.  But, it was equally rewarding.  I had my students use CAST Bookbuilder to create and save vocabulary.  They grumbled, just as I did, but the finished products were awesome!  

Lifelong Learning Skills
I know that what I have learned will impact how I teach the diverse student population on our campus.  I have learned to not stick so much to the book and what it says needs to be accomplished.  I have learned that I must allow students to learn in ways that is best for that individual student.  I will continue to work with collegues when I have projects that need different perspectives.  I will continue to wonder if I am reaching all of my students. And, along with the wonder, I will continue to search for ways to adjust or accomodate students so that everyone is successful on some level.

Edutopia.org (nd). High Tech High Taking the Lead: An Interview with Larry Rosenstock. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/collaboration-age-technology-larry-rosenstock-video
Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Available online at the Center for Applied Special Technology Web site. Chapter 1. Retrieved from http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/
Page, M. S. (2002). Technology-enriched classrooms: Effects on students of low socioeconomic status. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 34(4), 389–409. Retrieved from the International Society of Education at http://www.iste.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Number_4_Summer_20021&Template=/MembersOnly.cfm&Conte
Scott, H. (2011). Character stories for how coyote stole fire. CAST bookbuilder. Retrieved from http://bookbuilder.cast.org/view.php?op=share&book=aaa908dc5802716580b9930e946f8bcd&sid=4089
Southwest Educational Development Lab. (1999) Learning as a personal event: A brief introduction to constructivism. Retrieved from http://www.sedl.org/pubs/tec26/intro2c.html
Team 5364. (2011). Teaching with Technology. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/team5364/home

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About Me

Hope Scott I am a Web Technologies teacher. I created this blog as part of my Master of Education in Educational Technology Leadership for Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas.

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