Part 1: Reflect on the Entire Course
This course has been an exciting part of my journey in the M.E.T program. As I prepared to write this reflection, I thought about all that I have learned throughout this course and, if I had to sum up my experience in one word, it would be: resources. This course revealed so much in the way of all of the resources that are available through educational technology. Through my pursuit of fourth grade math resources and tools, I discovered so many technology tools that are available to teachers. As a professional, who aims to be a technology leader in my school, I it was really valuable to practice finding resources to meet various lesson needs. In this way, I am better versed in how to help my colleagues integrate technology in their classrooms.
Additionally, my own teaching practice has been enhanced through the additional resources I found throughout this course and my growing expertise about ways to successfully integrate technology to engage and cultivate student learning. As I gathered fourth grade math resources, I found new tools to use with my class right away. In addition, through looking at the projects and blogs of my peers, I broadened my professional network and became aware of how other teachers use technology in their classrooms. Some of these teachers taught similar grades, which allowed for direct transfer to my own students. But some taught older students, which I found helpful too because it helps me understand where my students are going and the tools and skills they will need to be successful in the future.
Throughout this course, I relied heavily on educational theory to develop my assignments and lessons. One theory that has played a prominent role in my EdTech journey is Gamification. The more I learn about gamification and try it out in my classroom, the more excited I am about it. Many of my lessons included ideas from gamification, whether through the feedback loop or engagement ideas. Additionally, my personal educational philosophy is laced with constructivist ideas, so many of my lessons featured student-centered, inquiry-based, hands-on learning experiences.
The use of educational theory and educational technology resources to create my course projects reveals how this course meets AECT Standard 1: Content Knowledge, which reads “Candidates demonstrate the knowledge necessary to create, use, assess, and manage theoretical and practical applications of educational technologies and processes” (AECT Standards, 2012). For all major projects, I was required to use and assess the effectiveness of various technology resources. Through this process, I engaged in using and assessing theoretical and practical applications of educational technologies.
EdTech 541 also addressed AECT Standard 2, which requires that candidates know and can implement technologies relevant to current content pedagogy. As I gathered resources for each assignment, I engaged in creating and using educational technologies to improve learning outcomes and processes. Additionally, through the blog, I practiced research and reflection of my practice. Finally, this course addressed AECT Standard 5: Research. This standard was addressed through the blog posts that required weekly readings and reflection and the weekly assignments that required I research best practice for meeting student needs tailored to different assignments.
Overall, this course was a great learning experience. I stretched myself by choosing math as my content area, because I am more confident integrating technology in other content areas. But through the duration of this course, I gained skills necessary to further my own teaching practice and help my colleagues as I continue my journey towards becoming a technology leader in my school and district.
CONTENT: 70/70 POINTS
My responses were “rich in content and full of thought.” I aimed to be very intentional with every blog post. I found it refreshing to analyze each reading in an organic reflection rather than a structured essay or guided response. The individual discretion made it interesting to read the blogs of my classmates as well because we often had varying interpretations or focuses, which helped to deepen my understanding. In addition, each post was connected to my experiences in the classroom. I used my own experiences to provide a bridge between theory and practice. Finally, my responses were detailed, multi-paragraph responses that responded to the weekly readings and topics thoroughly.
READINGS AND RESOURCES: 15/20 POINTS
Each blog post contained at least three references to course readings or additional material that I found, read, and deemed relevant. I cited each resource using APA style. My thoughts and comments were grounded in the course readings. I was able to write my posts and respond to others because I completed the reading for each week in a timely manner. Each post contained information that I gleaned and better understood through reading the course text; however, each post did not contain a direct quote nor reference to the course text. I think there were 3-4 posts that did not include a direct reference to the Roblyer text.
TIMELINESS: 20/20 POINTS
My posts were done within the first half the week. I was always within the first five students to post my blog response. In this way, I provided my classmates with ample time to respond to my blog and for me to respond to their comments, if warranted. Additionally, I responded to my classmates with similar timeliness because I consistently responded to other blogs within the module.
RESPONSES TO OTHER STUDENTS: 25/30
I responded to at least two blogs each week with detailed and thorough responses. I often asked questions and sometimes engaged in a virtual dialogue with other classmates about their posts. Sometimes, I referenced specific readings, but I could have done this more throughout the course. More often, I found myself referencing my own classroom experience compared to their own to think about how our interpretations varied based on our classroom perspectives.
Overall, I engaged in this blog assignment throughly and with fidelity. I engaged with my peers and enhanced my practice through my participation.