Category: EDT400 reflections

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.


Benchmark #2

As the end of the semester approaches I find myself engaging in my project more than anything else. It is approaching quickly and I can’t believe how fast time is passing! My PLN has grown tremendously since my last benchmark. I have gone from just the basics of blogging and tweeting to putting myself out there in the virtual learning community. I have created accounts on various useful websites such as Classroom 2.0, Google Reader, Google Alerts, and Evernote. I am following more and more people on twitter which has opened me up to some pretty incredible resources like this blog on technology for teachers. Another resource that has been very useful to me in the creation of my project is edutopia. All of these resources have really opened up my personal learning network.

There are however some areas where I would like to see myself improve. I’m still having trouble with Mahara and putting my project together so that is something I need to play around with more and figure out. I would also like to figure out how to use Evernote because I just signed up for it so I haven’t been able to use it to my advantage yet. Once I get the hang of it I think it will be perfect because I need something to keep all of my project ideas and resources organized.

I think that my blog posts are well supported with videos, pictures, and other resources. I not only respond to the mandatory weekly readings but I also explore the web for ideas for other posts. In class I always ask questions when there is confusion and I think that is a strength of mine. Discussions with peers have improved a lot since my last benchmark! More people are talking in class and sometimes we get really good discussions going.

Going into Asa Adams for class and seeing the technology integration was a tremendous opportunity! I had fun and it was really neat to see how technology is incorporated right here in Orono. I have grown quite fond of Sir Ken Robinson and I still LOVE his video Do Schools Kill Creativity? Listening to him is not only interesting and educational but he is humorous as well. I love videos like this one and I would like to see more!

Google alerts and google reader are going to by my most important resources when building my project. New stuff is added to the web everyday and with these two places I can see exactly what is new without tracking it down. My peers are going to be my biggest resource for getting help in using things like Mahara and Evernote. Everyone really wants to help one another and thats what makes a virtual learning community so great. I look forward to seeing what the next few weeks in EDT400 has in store!

EDT 400 thus far..

As a third year student at the University of Maine double majoring in Elementary and Early Childhood Education I decided to take the course EDT 400 (computers in education) because I like computers, but mostly because I needed a class to fill that time slot. I didn’t realize all of the opportunities this class would open up for me. Walking into the first class I felt overwhelmed and confused and I kept thinking “what am I getting myself into..” Once I started playing around with all of these new tools (word press, tweetdeck, netvibes, diigo) I realized that once I started to get the feel of things these tools were super helpful.

EDT 400 thus far as been one of the very few classes I have taken at the University of Maine where I don’t feel invisible. My instructor wants to get to know everyone and he cares about what we have to say. I am interacting with my peers in ways I never imagined possible. This interaction is allowing me to learn more and dig deeper. I find myself reading an article or a peer’s blog and wanting to research and find more information. I am asking myself questions and researching to find the answers. It is so refreshing to go and sit in a class where you know you are part of this community that you really can’t find in any other classes. I often participate in class discussions but would like to see more discussions with the whole class getting involved. I hope that as the semester goes on that this community will become closer knit.

I am learning a tremendous amount about the importance of technology in the classroom. I never would have thought I would blog in my life. Through my peers blogs and other educators blogs though I am finding multiple sources of information on how to implement technology in the classroom. I am being introduced to some individuals with amazing insights into changes we need to make in the education system like George Siemens, Daniel Pink, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, and even some local individuals like Deb White. I am reading articles and watching videos and I am so intrigued by this class and how much I am learning and still have to learn about technology! I have learned to blog with pictures, videos, and links. I would like to try to link and upload more resources into my blogs rather than just pictures. I have subscribed to peers and other educators blogs. I am using tweetdeck which is making me aware of updated blogs, new articles, videos, and tons of other information relevant to EDT400. I am using netvibes to connect me to EDT400 blogs, twitter, facebook, world news, and weather all at the same time. The convenience of these tools is really amazing and they all help me to improve and shape my opinions. When I have trouble coming up with ideas for a blog post I can always go to other resources through twitter or netvibes and find something!

I loved the first video we watched Learning to Change, Changing to Learn! It was a great way to introduce the class and it really opened my eyes to some of the problems we are facing with education. The article on Connectivism- A Learning Theory for the Digital Age as well really got me thinking an inspired me to blog.

I have high hopes for this course and the rest of the semester and I am eager to continue to open up in an online community and engage in my learning!