Course Outcomes Reflection


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Course Outcomes Reflection

  1. 1. COURSE OUTCOME REFLECTIONS<br />What outcomes had you envisioned for this course? Did you achieve those outcomes? Did the actual course outcomes align with those that you envisioned?<br />My assumption was this course would have a focus of how an administrator could support use of technology in the educational setting. I assumed we would be encouraged to lead by example and use technology ourselves when the opportunity was available. My final expectation was to study the technology TEKS at each level. Never did I imagine those three goals would be the tip of the ice berg. Those three assumptions were the very basic of many more objectives met in the study of this course. <br />The outcomes of the course were so much more in depth than I had anticipated. I learned more than I expected. There was not much alignment due to my lack of knowledge of the many facets of administrative overview of technology implementation, equipment, and services. Several outcomes that were achieved that were new to me were to provide equitable access to all, understanding my current district’s organizational hierarchy concerning technology services, and the idea that the laws regarding technology use are overseen and supervised by the campus administrator. <br />As a district director for technology, the outcomes of this course would further my knowledge to assist all levels of technology use, support, and upkeep. The broader picture allows me to see where each person fits in to the bigger picture of technology. <br />The course did not align with my expectations…thankfully. My technological horizons were definitely broadens to encompass the support side rather than just the use. <br />To the extent that you achieved the outcomes, are they still relevant to the work that you do in your school? Why or why not?<br />If I am still assuming the role of a district director for technology, I am certain my district needs much more time and effort spent in the areas of access for all and also correct, legal use of technology. These observations came through several of the readings. <br />Access for all is a multi-faceted issue. There are many pieces to consider: budgetary concerns, availability, network connectivity, and professional development. Equipment and software are costly investments. Where in the school budget does this money come from is a question I would still need answered. Also, does the money for repair, upkeep, and upgrades come from the same place? Availability and connectivity go hand in hand. Making district decisions about where technology will get the most use and ensuring it is placed there would be a top priority. Documentation of who is using it and what applications are used would be a top priority for me. Finally, providing appropriate staff development for the teachers expected to use technology in their classrooms would be offered, supported, and encouraged. <br />While this course gave me a starting point, there is still much gathering of information to do. <br />What outcomes did you not achieve? What prevented you from achieving them?<br />Without hesitation, I would say understanding of the laws of appropriate use would be my biggest area of concern. I felt like this course showed me how much I did NOT know and left those holes gaping without answers to fill them. Not only did I not get answers but I still am not sure where to even find those answers. Before becoming an administrator who is responsible for a campus’s legal use I will need to make every effort to increase my knowledge in this area.<br />This course did not necessarily prevent me from acquiring the learning but gave an overview. I am certain an entire 5 week course could be devoted to the laws that surround technology use and it still would not be adequate time. <br />Several benefits came from my lack of achievement on this outcome. I plan to pay more attention to discussions, articles, and professional development when I know the topic will be on the legalities of technology usage. I also will be asking our current technology liaison and technology helping teachers what they currently believe to be the biggest injustices and begin to educate those around me. Finally, sometimes awareness of your capabilities is a great place to begin improvement. I now have an understanding of what I know and what still needs to be learned, and I am ready to accept that challenge.<br />Were you successful in carrying out the course assignments? If not, what prevented or discouraged you?<br />For the most part I was successful carrying out the course assignments. Surprise! Surprise! I encountered a few technological glitches which are always discouraging. Nothing crushes an excited learner more than technology that is not working properly. I made my way through them as should anyone who attempts to use technology. <br />The blogging was new to me and presented the most issues with uploading and finding the correct uploading service to use. A second one appeared to be much more user friendly than the first one I had selected. <br />I would also say the weekly assignments that had charts to complete were much more directed than the open ended questions. The charts gave a focus and required less thought about the procedure so more thought could be given to the content. I did experience some frustration when I felt the directions were too vague, and I had difficulty starting due to feeling uncomfortable about having the correct focus.<br />There were some issues with grouping on the discussion board, too. At one point very late in the week, I had no other threads from classmates to complete my comments in regards to their reflections. That was frustrating to know that I had planned a time to complete my discussion board tasks (arranged for childcare, rearranged my schedule, and found a quiet place) and then was unable to do it.<br />Finally I felt a little short-changed by the organization of this course. It appeared to be repeated but not reviewed. What I mean is the course seems to have been written and used before, but when changed are made no one has the job to make sure the directions and rubrics match the new expectations. We were often encouraged to focus on the rubric but just as often there were errors that could make your work harder.<br />Ultimately I completed the assignments successfully, but it was not without incident or challenge.<br />What did you learn from this course…about yourself, your technology and leadership skills, and your attitudes?<br />I learned I’m not as savvy as I thought I was, though I know there is always room for improvement. I consider my technology skills to be on the high end in many areas, but I was only looking at applications in the classroom or for staff development use. I’m finding there are many things yet to learn. My leadership skills need improving, but I feel this course was a good beginning. I feel a lucky that I have taught in a classroom where I used technology extensively. Many current principals in my district have never taught in a classroom that utilizes technology or would know how to hook up a SmartBoard or connect a laptop cart to the internet. I believe this will give me a baseline of credibility when encouraging others to use technology.<br />I am also accepting the idea that no matter how much information I acquire, there will be something new and improved to outdate my current knowledge.<br />I do feel supported in that I believe technology is here to stay and a part of our learning culture. It is not something to be seen as an “add on” but rather a means of learning. This course confirmed that belief. <br /><ul><li>What is the educational value of blogs and blogging to the 21st century learner? </li></ul>What are the concerns of blogs and blogging in education?<br />These two questions have similar tones. Blogging can be a valuable tool when used correctly. Educating teachers on how to use blogging effectively is essential. On the other hand, there are also concerns about use of blogging with students. <br />As I recall that our current student body can be classified as digital natives, I understand how blogging could be much more appealing than taking out a sheet of paper to do the same type of assignment. Anyone who has introduced technology into their classrooms knows authentic engagement is a distinct probability. Blogging will increase engagement and encourage participation in a method and mode familiar to the learners. This makes them less resistant to completing the assigned task. <br />Another obvious benefit is that students are not limited to collaborating with their classmates. There is a whole world available to them. They can seek experts in various areas or other viewpoints from students their own age who live in different regions. Great possibilities.<br />I can also see this as a way for kids to have access to assignments from anywhere. They can complete and submit activities without ever touching paper. The implications of that are benefits to both student and teacher.<br />On the flip side, there are concerns about blogging also. Monitoring for appropriate use is tough to do. There is also the issue of not all students having access to do the blogging outside of the school day.<br />The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages, and I am thankful for my first exposure to blogging during this course.<br />How can you use blogging to communicate with school stakeholders?<br />Blogging could be used to communicate with stakeholders.<br />Interesting enough, I just joined a blog about leadership in my current district. The focus is on the budgetary concerns experienced currently by our district. The blog allows for district concerns to be posted and community feedback to have a voice. Nothing is allowed to be anonymous which I feel account for the civility and productive suggestions currently written.<br />Belonging to a blog is a choice, and a choice must be made to go to the website to check for new developments. I feel an email group comprised of key communicators (consisting of parents, community members, and teachers) is a more effective way to disseminate information. People are much more likely to check their emails more frequently than a blogspot. Emailing to the group could consist of reminders for open house and extra-curricular events. Reminders could also include picture day, fundraiser information and deadlines, and testing schedules. <br />I am a part of one school’s key communicator email group as a teacher and a part of another’s group as a parent. Blogging has potential, but my school’s current system seems to be effective at the time. <br />