Personal learning reflection


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Personal learning reflection

  1. 1. My Personal Growth Plan stated, “Now I realize that although I knew how to use programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the Internet that I was barely scratching the surface with all of their applications.” Zhao (2003) says that technology tools are as “irrelevant and useless as pebbles until they are used to solve a problem…They only become a tool, a means to an end, when they are connected to a problem.” (p.3) Appropriately, each of the assignments connected to Microsoft Office (i.e. Educational Application of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) asked me to explore the problem of practice and how use of this technology solves the problem. In each of these assignments, I learned to scratch, rather delve, beneath the surface of each of these technological tools to truly learn more of their applications. An effective teaching strategy for integrating technology that I learned from class is that there has to be a benefit or a purpose for student learning that could not be achieved through the archaic pencil and paper approach. The integration of technology has to be partnered with content and part of a teachers’ pedagogy to be truly effective. Dils (2000) cites that, “learners do not passively absorb knowledge, but rather construct it from their own experiences.” (p.102) Use of technology, if nothing else, provides experiences for students to construct meaning on their assignments. This is why I feel that my Educational Application of PowerPoint exemplifies good teaching with technology. It makes me, the teacher, a facilitator, and allows student to be in control of his/her learning through the use of multiple technologies. Integrating the Internet while I was researching my Innovation Analysis for Inspiration was tremendously useful. There were countless sites that provided critiques of the program which guided and sometimes redirected my prior knowledge of the program. In addition, maintaining a netvibes page allowed me to stay on top of things for my busy school schedule this summer. Netvibes served as my technological file cabinet by allowing me to keep and organize everything in one place. My goals of creating a webquest, STAIR, and website were easily met through completing CEP811 and when school begins, I have no doubt that my students will be able to use and learn from them. As I said in my Personal Growth Plan, “My technology goal is to make my students feel as though I am not the immigrant, but a baptized native to this changing world and culture that they run.” While it would be very difficult to assess this goal now, I am sure that in the fall, students will be able to see clearly, that I value technology in my teaching and in my learning. I’ll better be able to model its’ use and increase my
  2. 2. expectations of student use of technology. An example of this will be implementing my new goal of student blogging in my Family Life class and monitoring student participation on my Netvibes page. My only concern here would be if “accepting terms of use” for Edublogs would be inappropriate for minors. If I am supposed to address my tips and tricks and article discussions in assessing my contributions to class, then I may be torn. I don’t know if my tips and tricks were useful for anyone. It’s not that I have a problem sharing information, I just don’t like saying anything if I don’t feel like it is useful. It’s hard when responses are “forced” when I don’t think I have anything to say. My article discussions, I think, were above and beyond what I was likely supposed to do. I blame/give credit to my TE846 class that is forcing this concept but on a level which I have grown to loathe because it seems so contrived and covers an intolerable amount of reading and “guided responding”. However, these articles were easy to read, engaging, and were easily applied to my every day professional career- all of these factors made learning more enjoyable and not so overwhelming. Other contributions, such as assignments, were effective assessment tools for me to demonstrate my learning and benefit me in that they will be useful when school begins. The assignments helped me to grow. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to shedding a few tears over Excel and Implementing a model Lesson Plan!  I suppose the cliché that, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, is true because here I am and a stronger teacher (and probably person) as a result! Essentially, I feel more equipped to appropriately integrate technology and less like I’ll have to rely on those “technological natives” of mine.