Final EdTech Reflection

Overall, it is my opinion that this course was a great success. One of the foundations listed on the class’s website states that the course “leverages a project/problem-based approach,” while another one says that it “…develops critical evaluation skills for assessing what works.” These were both met spectacularly: the course ran using an effective weekly project-based approach that promoted individual critical thinking concerning a wide variety of useful – and sometimes not useful – educational technologies for classroom use.
Furthermore, this class progressed us students towards becoming a “tech-savvy” teacher by equipping us with a number of technological tools we can use in our classrooms. In particular, Adobe Spark Post has proven to be a flexible utility for me both inside and outside the classroom. I’m looking forwards to using it and the other programs we evaluated as I progress towards leading a class of my own.

iBook Idea

 

My favorite app I learned about in class was padlet, so I will plan on using it for my final IBook project. My partner and I will start with an introduction page, insert an interactive padlet example, discuss using padlet for teachers, discuss padlet for students, give the pros and cons of padlet, and end with a reflection. Our widgets will include the interactive padlet examples. Our learning activity will be appropriate for 2nd-fifth grade students.

Ed Tech Review

Reflecting on the semester of Edtech class, I have realized how much knowledge I am leaving with. I had no idea what to expect when the semester began and am fully confident that I know multiple technology tools now to help me as a future teacher in the classroom. I would not say I am a super techy person, but once I take the time to learn things, I can catch on pretty quickly. Throughout every lesson we learned a new tool that could be used in the classroom. These tools are all user friendly for teachers and students to use, which I love. I have been given a new perspective on technology. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure if I would use/allow much technology in my classroom just to keep things simple, but with the tools we have learned about as well as students learning in different ways I am in full confidence that I will be using most of what we learned in my classroom one day. It is all about adapting to the learners. Some of my favorites that we learned about were My Maps, Edpuzzle, and Padlet. All three of these were super hands on for both teachers and students. I think whenever and wherever a student can be hands on in the classroom is so important. It keeps them engaged, lets them have fun, and they learn while doing it.

I also learned a few things about myself as a learner too. I learned that I about how much fun teaching can be. All these tech tools take a lot of creativity and flexibility and these were both aspects of myself I needed to work on. Using the Apps we learned about caused me to challenge myself as a more hands on student and future teacher. I definitely think I have or am becoming a “tech-savy” teacher due to this course, and will be implementing a lot of what I learned in my own teaching one day.

 

Tech Savvy Teaching Here I Come!

Spring semester 2018 will be remembered as an opportunity we had to explore other realms of the education world that we had not previously engaged with (as much as others). One of the most prominent, and seemingly relevant topics to us, considering our current situation (and as we move towards teaching in the near-future) is technology. The EdTech class was not only engaging and insightful, but provided me with the skills and knowledge to navigate many different technological applications that involved video creation and manipulation, animation, voice-overs, creative arts, etc.

Unlike most classes that follow a specific rubric or have step-by-step instructions, this class and Prof. Pappas, gave us an incredible opportunity to explore new technology, but figure out all the tips and tricks on our own. Navigating unknown waters is an imperative skill to have as a first year teacher in all educational areas, and especially technology. We will be challenged by new and changing technologies and if we have an open mind and the ability to be adaptable, we can truly conquer any struggle and thrive as the most tech-savvy teacher ever!

For me personally, one of the most exciting parts of this class were all the ideas I generated when thinking about what tech tools I now have in my toolbox and ones which I can easily use in lesson and unit plans, as well as on a daily basis with my students. I hope to encourage my students to use technology wisely and to most importantly…be creative with it! There are so many amazing and innovative ways we can use technology and if it can be incorporated into all subject areas in the classroom, students will be engaged and excited to see what they can do when they get to try out something for the first time themselves–eventually becoming experts of course!

Technology is our future and we, as teachers, have a duty to learn about and deeply understand technology in education: finding ways to help ALL students access the material, keep classes fun, and inspire students to become the next tech-masters of the future!

Thank you, Prof. Pappas, for a wonderful, engaging, stress-free class. Thank you for helping us learn on our own, experiment, fail, and succeed throughout our journey in this class. I wish you the best and I am excited for the production of the iBook!

Reflection

How did it go?

  • I think this class was a really good experience for newer teachers who are going to be dealing with technology a lot in our future classrooms. There were a lot of things I already knew, and a lot of things I didn’t know at all. I enjoyed experimenting with the different apps and programs while collaborating with my friends in the classroom.  I think it helped us be even more creative in our posts each week.

What did you learn about Edtech?

  • I learned that there are an unlimited number of apps and websites that are readily available to teachers, and very easy to use! Becoming familiar with some of them will make it easier for me as a teacher to adapt to newer technology in the future. Some apps we used were not my favorite, but because we had to test it out, I learned something new from it.

What did you learn about yourself as a learner?

  • I saw myself doing things with technology that I had never done before and pushing myself to try new things. I learned that technology is a lot more fun to include in every aspect of the classroom when you are comfortable with it!

Are you on your way to becoming a “tech-savvy” teacher?

  • Yes I think I am. All of the apps I have tried in this class could be used in my future classroom and I am excited to show them to my students.

EdTech Reflection

  • How did it go?

I think that this class went really well overall. I enjoyed the freedom that we had for all of our assignments; we were given tools to use and then chose how we wanted to use them. We were also able to collaborate with our classmates, which made it easier to figure out each of the different tools.

  • What did you learn about EdTech?

I learned a lot in general just about the different tools that are out there that we can use to incorporate technology into our future classrooms. For example, Toontastic and Edpuzzle are both things that I would be interested in using in the future. I also learned how easy it is use new forms of technology. I was initially intimidated to try these new outlets but once I got started, it was actually pretty easy!

  • What did you learn about yourself as a learner?

I learned that I really need to push myself when it comes to trying new things, because I am capable of much more than I give myself credit for. Like I talked about earlier, a lot of these new tools intimidated me and I was afraid to try them, but once I did, I found it pretty easy to use.

  • Are you on your way to becoming a “tech-savvy” teacher?

Yes, I definitely believe I am on my way to becoming a tech-savvy teacher! I had never heard of the majority of these tools before this class; I only new about iMovie and Google Slides. I am excited to incorporate some of these methods, especially Toontastic, in my future classroom!

Tech class reflection

  • How did it go?

I thought that this class was a really fun experience. There was a lot of new applications that we got to work with that I think would be very fun to use in my classroom in the future. I though the assignments were easy to do because they were not black and white so that we could take what we learned that day and make it something that we could use in the future.

  • What did you learn about edtech?

I learned that there is still a lot to learn about edtech since it is something that is always evolving but some of the best ways to learn how to use these technology is to just press all the buttons and play with it.

  • What did you learn about yourself as a learner?

I learned that I like to use technology as a tool for creating lessons for students. There were a number of apps that we used that combined different technologies (videos, notes, quizes, etc.) that save time from trying to go around to different places or make things from scratch even.

  • Are you on your way to becoming a “tech-savvy” teacher?

In my first post I said that “tech-savvy teachers need to be willing to fail”. I believe that is something that I experienced this semester as I would get close to finishing a project just to find that it wasn’t something that I really felt like was my best work and had to start over. There were also times where I would be using a new app and I just had to figure it out through trial and error. Once I had worked through it for a little while I felt very comfortable using it. Being willing to fail is one of the only ways that we truly learn anything in my opinion.

Tech savvy teachers need time to reflect

Looking back on that first day of ed tech methods, I felt I was afraid to take that risk and get outside of my comfort zone. I  was an advocate for technology, but only ones that were safe,  such as SmartBoards or Elmos which are simply advanced versions of projectors and white boards. These felt comfortable to me and what I advocated for teachers who want to use technology in their classrooms.

Through this course, I was pushed to use tech tools that are outside my comfort zone. Some of these tools include screen casting, computer coding applications, and Toontastic. These apps required the user to participate using their voice or their coding skills to make a quality product or presentation. This was nerve wracking for me because I am more confident in talking to  people in person rather than talking through a screen and listening to my voice as well as stronger in my PowerPoint skills in comparison to my coding. However, these applications proved to be very useful and helped me understood what it was like for students to use programs they are not familiar with.

While there were many programs I was nervous to use,  I was also able to learn new tools which i found my new strengths in. For example, I loved Adobe Spark, iMovie, Google Slides, Padlet, and Sway. These tools have so many customization techniques and allowed users to create to their heart’s content. Learning how to use these applications has added to my passion for technology and has given me the confidence to use these tools to supplement them with my future classes. This is why tech savvy teachers must reflect in their technological abilities. With all the tools out there, a teacher must come to recognize if the technology they are bringing is worth the time and energy for their class. If the answer is yes, then they need to take the time to learn how to use it and develop back up plans when the tech does not go as planned.

Looking back, and moving forward…

I’ve really enjoyed my time in this class this semester. It was definitely one to look forward to in the week, a break from the typical lecture style of other classes. Something I learned about myself during this class is that despite not liking the amount of freedom given to me, I have found ways to create guidelines for myself (to make it more comfortable to create something for everyone to see online). This was a suggestion given to me by my mother, saying that “if someone didn’t give you the guides you need, create some that you think will fit your process and still end with the product that the teacher wants“. 

Overall, during this class I have learned about many new pieces of tech, some of which I will consider using in my future classroom and some I will just use for fun (Adobe Spark Post is definitely a favorite). I can use these new resources as supplements for lessons that I will do. As I said in my very first post, some people will never fully engage with the tech bandwagon (needing the feeling of copying down notes with paper and pencil to actually absorb anything). Adding technology isn’t yet an essential part of all lesson plans, but if it comes to that I have a few great resources to use from this class.

I think with all the things that I have learned during this short amount of time, and the simple pride I got from figuring out how a piece of tech works on my own – I think I will be able to “keep up with the times” with relative ease. And if I am unable to fully keep up with the tech, that’s okay cause either I will learn with my students, or they will have to teach me something new.

Becoming a Tech Savvy Teacher

Over the course of the semester I had the opportunity to learn about just a few of the various technological resources available to me as a future educator and sites I can turn to for even more tools I can add to my “tech toolkit”. Prior to this class I was worried about utilizing technology so frequently in the classroom as I never particularly saw myself as a “tech person” and was a little fearful of whether I would be able to navigate my way around all this new technology. Although my posts this semester may not be the best I am proud of the amount of work I have produced in the short amount of time we have had together and I am proud to say I am not so fearful of exploring new technology that comes my way and I could also potentially see myself implementing these technology tools into my own classroom in the future.

I think this class is especially important as educational technology is growing rapidly and constantly changing, this class taught me to be comfortable with exploring new technology and learning how it can be helpful to both you as the teacher and your students.  This course provides us with guidance and tools to add to our toolkits as educators and gives us the confidence is beginning the process of implementing technology into our lessons and classroom to benefit and enhance learning for all students. I have learned that technology can be used as a supplementary tool in addition to the other beneficial tools already implemented into your classroom. While this class has been great in teaching us the many great tech tools out there, it has also been great in teaching me how to be flexible and adaptable when technology is not easily accessible to students or when technology is not working. This class has really taught me how to reach out to your peers around you and to others with more expertise about the apps who can help you learn when you are just so frustrated and cannot seem to learn how to make it work. I enjoyed the opportunity you as a professor gave us in being able to choose the way we presented what we had learned both in class while exploring various apps and in our blog posts while discussing and showing off the work we completed with those apps.

A Personal Reflection on ED-Tech

Throughout this semester in ED Tech Methods, we engaged with a plethora of software, tools, and applications that can enhance student learning. In both independent and group work, we created projects using these tools and wrote blog posts (similar to this one) about our experiences with each tool. Although much of the technology used in the classroom was largely foreign to us students, this class gave us the tools to navigate each piece of technology and prepare to use it within the classroom.

The most important aspect of this class was getting comfortable with the process of learning new technologies. To accomplish this, our instructor, Peter Pappas, gave us students just enough background information so that we could wrestle with discovering the technology ourselves. Although this initially may have led to frustration, it certainly taught us the process for learning new technologies in addition to learning to use the actual tools we experimented with. Essentially, Peter Pappas pushed us students to learn for ourselves as he gently guided us alongside. I felt this was a perfect approach to teaching this class as I now feel more prepared to be adaptable and curious to continue learning.

I feel that these two traits, adaptability and curiosity, are two gems that I will carry with me beyond this class and into my career. Furthermore, I feel that adaptability and curiosity are the foundation for being a tech-savvy teacher. After refining these skills in ED 424, I am excited to use the technologies we learned in class in addition to harnessing the power of any technology I will use in the future.

Lastly, a special thanks to Peter Pappas for the reflective framework used above, in addition to guiding our class and offering us the foundation to go forward and harness the power of technology in the classroom. We are deeply grateful.

Nick Krautscheid