EDLD 5362 Instructional Leadership Week 5 Reflection Nola Criddle As a future administrator, my objective in beginning this course was to learn as much as I could about technology in the educational community. As a digital immigrant, I have very little knowledge or technology skills reflective in the classroom. I also, wanted to know the potential and the future of education in relationship to technology. I expected to learn legal as well as ethical attributes as well. I feel I did achieve a basic understanding of what to expect in the future. However, I do feel I have much more to learn before I feel adequate enough to share my knowledge with others in my profession. The course outcomes were aligned to the needs that I came into this course possessing. As a classroom teacher, the outcomes that I bring from this course are very relevant in my school. I know from the readings that I have examined that I do not have a choice if I am going to move my students to the level of competency that they must perform in the 21st Century, then I must move ahead of them. That is going to be quite a challenge considering that they are digital natives and many already possess more skills that I do. Technology in the educational world goes beyond, students playing games. It goes into assessment, delivery, research and projects. The potential for student engagement is much greater with the use of technology. This course has challenged me to apply what I have gained from the readings and discussions in a real world setting. I believe I achieved the outcomes that were outlined in the course, however, not to the mastery that I would like to have them. Time and practice prevented me from acquiring mastery. I feel as time permits I will use what I have learned in this course and move it to a new level of competency. There was a lot of material to digest and practice introduced in this course, but overall, I did acquire a vast knowledge form the course. I was successful in carrying out the course assignments with the help of other individuals with more technology expertise. It would have been very difficult for me to complete these assignments based just on the videos and readings. I enlisted the help of staff and friends that were more knowledgeable in this subject. This also helped me to know that as I endeavor to implement these thoughts I have local resources to help and guide me in my pilgrimage. Having taken this course opened up my knowledge and helped me to build a tool box of resources to have ready as I put into practice more technology in my classroom and as office management. I reaffirmed what I already knew about myself, that being that I knew very little about the use of technology in the classroom. However, after completing the course, I am more knowledgeable and anxious to use more programs. Classroom management is a big deal for me in using technology. Some of the articles I read encouraged me in allowing students more freedom in using computers in the classroom. As a third grade teacher, I have trouble turning lose of my instruction and allowing students to explore and learn on their own. I have learned that at some point I have to step back and become a facilitator and give them more freedom to explore and build on their own. My leadership skills are limited with technology but will increase the more I am able to practice. Examples of using technology for professional development in various forms will help me with achieving the competency that I need to show as an administrator. My attitude before this course was pretty negative about technology in the classroom. I think older teachers often feel intimidated by technology and perhaps a little threatened. I see now that I am still valuable and necessary to my students. I must learn so I can help them reach their greatest potential. I learned it is also alright to let students teach me as I go along. As they are teaching me new things, they will be building their own skills as well. I can see great value from the prospect of students creating blogs. Students have the recourse of building a professional leaning community with in their classes and among all the local stakeholders. I am excited about the possibility of creating blogs for students to post book reports and conduct book studies on. As students blog, they will be generating, creating and using more critical thinking skills than they would by simply writing a standard book report. Blogs will also be a great form of parent involvement and communication. There are still many concerns with blogs and blogging in education. Privacy and cyber bullying are just couple of issues that must be dealt with among students. Students must be taught the responsibility of using the internet and blogging. The more we expose students to the internet via blogging, or researching, we also expose them to predators that are waiting to take advantage of their youth and their inexperience. That is my greatest fear, that while we are encouraging students to use the internet to do research or blog, we are also opening them up to potential dangers. It would be wonderful if all students were monitored by adults at home when on the internet, but we know that is not going to happen. As educators, we must continually teach internet safety and responsibility, starting at the earliest grades. Students must also be educated in the legal aspects of using other individual’s information. As an administrator, blogging is an excellent form of communication with school stakeholders. We have already started using face book as a form of communicating with the community. As stakeholders are introduced to blogging and encouraged to post, there will be more interaction among them and the entire community will benefit from the potential that we are working together to achieve balanced success for our students in every form of communication available.