I cannot believe that it is already the end of the semester. I do not think I have ever had a semester that has been so exciting, so busy and so bittersweet. I feel that there has been so much going on this semester in regards to the great teaching job hunt, professional development opportunities and five of the most interesting but demanding classes I have got to take in my university career. I find my self-feeling a little bit overwhelmed and behind, which is a not a great feeling, but is the perfect time to reflect (and catch up!).
One of the most useful and eye opening classes in my five years at the University of Regina has been ECMP 355. I feel that everyday was an opportunity to learn something new, something relevant and something significant to my life as a soon to be teacher. I have created a short video using IMOVIE and Camtasia that begins to outline what I have learnt in this class. I found it hard to cover everything that I have learnt and discovered so I have included a more detailed summary bellow
ECMP 355 has really changed my view on what technology means in the classroom. Prior to the class I used technology as a way to engage my students (such as through the use of video projects, class blogs and YouTube) and as a tool to maximize their success in school and in learning (such as done through the use of the Smart Board and through educational games and videos). After this class I have learnt that technology has the potential to be much more. Technology does need to be used as a tool to aid teaching but also needs to be used as a tool to help connect students to the world. We have discussed how educators have the responsibility to connect and discover with other educators in order to meet the success of all students. Alec has provided me with the theories and resources to help make these connections. I have learnt that social networks such as Twitter, Edmodo, Schoolology, Pintrest and Facebook are places where educators can share, collaborate and connect with each other. I have realized that these tools need to be used as tools for active communication, rather then just passive viewing. This is an area that I need to improve on.
Through the class lectures and Tech Task Assignments, we have been exposed to a variety of different technologies and resources that can be used to enhance classroom experiences. I feel that the tech tasks have provided me with many new teaching ideas (such as way I could incorporate digital story telling and podcasts into the classroom). A major area of discovery for me was in regards to the search giant Google. Prior to this class I only ever used Google as a search engine as an email server. I have now learnt about Google Reader (which is where you can store all of the websites and blogs that you follow) and Google Documents.
Over the course of the semester we have had the opportunity to interact with our fellow classmates blogs. I have received numerous comments from my peers on my blog posts, all of which have been filled with insights and encouragement. This has helped me to continually update and refresh my teaching philosophy and expand my knowledge in a given area. I have also had the opportunity to read and comment other people blogs. I learnt a ton from others and felt that my classmate’s discussions got me thinking about my opinions on different educational topics. I thank everyone for their insights and their discoveries. I was constantly talking about everyone’s posts ☺ I tried to comment on at least two blog posts a week. Please see the following Google doc for some of the comments and insights that I have provided to my peers.
Thank you for watching and reading about all of my learning. Watch out for my future posts (as today alone there will be at least two) and I am dedicated to continue to blog and collaborate long after this class!!
Yours in Learning, Emily