Archive for May, 2011


Here we are the end of the 2011 spring semester.. time continues to fly by without me even realizing it. EDT400 quickly became more important that I ever thought it would. I have said many times and I will say it again that upon entering this class I didn’t see how there was going to be anything I could learn about technology that I didn’t already know or that I could use in my future classrooms. My idea of technology in education was very skewed thanks to being a part of the first class receiving laptops through the State of Maine Laptop Initiative. I was lucky enough to grow up with a computer in my house starting when I was 5 years old and the Windows 95 came out. What I didn’t realize though growing up and even when I began this class is how important technology is to incorporate for students.

I have learned more through this class than I have in any other class this semester and it still boggles my mind that it isn’t a required class for education majors. The information that I have learned in EDT 400 I will carry with me into the field and I am eager to use all of the resources I have learned about in the classroom. The thing that set my learning in this class apart from my learning in my other classes is that I wasn’t listening to a lecture or reading out of a textbook for homework. I was engaging in group discussions in class and using that along with articles and videos to post blogs about my opinions and research. I was allowed to control my own learning for the first time in my college and even educational career. I wasn’t forced to complete things by a certain date or read 2 chapters in my book for the next class period. I could do my research and post my blogs and do my assignments when I wanted to and when I had the time. Contrary to what you may think this made me want to do it before any other work for my other classes. I found myself in the beginning very engaged in this class and wanting to work on it more than anything else. I quickly realized that was not the best idea considering I still had 4 other classes to focus on.. but I was shocked to see that when I was allowed to be in control, I learned so much more and not because I had to, because I wanted to.

Throughout the semester I have explored various tools and these have been the ones that have helped me the most in this class and that I can see myself continuing to use in the future and in the field.

My twitter account has allowed me to follow people already in the field and using technology. I have collected a lot of resources from these people as well as my peers. It has been a good way for me to keep track of my peer’s blogging and also for me to put myself out there with resources and blog updates.

Classroom 2.0 and Edutopia have been essential to the creation of my networked teaching and learning project. These websites have amazing discussions, articles, videos, wikis, blogs, and so much more. If you are looking for something relating to education and technology you can find it there.

Google alerts, docs, and reader also were an essential resource for the development of my project and also for resources for my blog.

Netvibes and tweetdeck have been incredible for keeping myself organized. All of these tools kept me very overwhelmed throughout the semester but the organization has been the biggest factor in me keeping my sanity.

Flickr and Youtube have been the two sites that I used for any photos or videos on my blog or my project.

I have learned about and used dozens of new tools this semester, more than I thought I would use in a lifetime,but those have been the most critical to my growth and development. I can’t say enough how important this class has been to the development of myself as a learner and a teacher and I will encourage every education major I know to take it. I want to thank all of my peers and especially Thomas Steele-Maley for being a part of this semester and helping to learn all that I have learned. It truly has been an incredible experience.. farewell.

Technology has expanded to the point that it has become the number one element in our everyday lives. It is used everywhere and for everything. This expansion has led to the introduction of technology in education. There is copious amounts of evidence that technology has expanded student’s learning. It is imperative thatchildren understand all of the different uses of technology and how to take advantage of these tools. Without this knowledge it will be difficult for them to live and work in our society. Technology has broadened education in ways that makes it possible for students to communicate and collaborate with students all over the country and all over the world. They can learn to research information, make judgements on it’s validity, and find even more resources of information to back it up. They can expand their imaginations to develop hypotheses and then research these hypotheses to either disprove or validate them. These types of skills are critical to have in any job that is out there today.

I value that children working with technology in education can foster their own educational growth and development. It allows them to use their imagination and lead themselves through their learning. Rather than sitting back and waiting to learn they become a part of the process and take control of their learning. Creativity and imagination is something that all children are born with but throughout education it slowly dwindles and they are taught to think the same way as everyone else. If everyone had the same thoughts and ideas than this world wouldn’t be where it is today. Technology allows children to use their creativity and imagination in a way that they won’t lose sight of it. I think it is so important for children to use their imaginations because that it was makes them unique.

My theory is that children are born with this innate ability to use technology. I’ve seen children as young as 2 playing touch screen games on an ipad, ipod, or phone and they are learning! They are learning more than just rote memorization skills they are learning through exploration. What happens when I hit this button? Or when I try doing this? They are teaching themselves, which to me is an amazing trait for human beings to possess. Rather than banning technology schools should be taking advantage of the fact that students can learn more through technology than they can through an encyclopedia. Let them open up with technology and use the skills that they already possess to grow even more as learners and individuals. Technology can open so many doors for students in so many different ways and ignoring that fact is not going to get us anywhere. There are so many resources for teachers and students and they need to be taken advantage of. My philosophy of education is to teach students to the best of my ability in a way that allows them to use their uniqueness and individuality to learn as much as possible. The only way to do this is to fully incorporate technology in the classroom.