Sunday, August 14, 2011

Reflection on Technology

As a technology teacher, I need to be up-to-date with the latest and greatest technologies.  Until this class I had never been exposed to blogs, wikis, or podcasts.  I have definitely become more in tune with technology.  I have been developing a website for my classroom, which I have included a blog for my students to use.  Before taking this class, I would never have thought of including a blog.  I feel that I have learned ways to use valuable tools to expand my teaching.  I am always looking for ways to improve my instruction and lessons.  Now having been introduced to blogs, wikis and podcasts, I can include them into my lessons.  My students will ultimately benefit because they will be getting the experience of using them.

I know that I cannot teach my students everything they need to know about technology and living in the 21st century.  The only thing that I can do is to make sure I use all of the technologies available to me to prepare my students.  They are being exposed to many technologies everyday even if they do not realize it.  Many times I have left school having learned something new taught to me by one of my students.  As much as I like to keep myself updated with technology, there is always something better and newer.  My students are so in tune with technology they teach me.

Ever since I took my methods class in college, I decided that I did not want to stand up in front of class and lecture all day long.  To me it gets old, boring and my students hate it.  Instead, I teach project-based learning.  I stand in front of class for 10 to 15 minutes just long enough to introduce the project and show my students what they need to do.  I feel, from personal experience, that my students develop a better connection with their teacher using project-based learning especially if you incorporate a technology that they are very familiar with.  I like to pick projects which will give my students the most benefit for instance in my construction class, I show my students how to frame up a wall for a house and we actually have a project doing that.  I have had multiple students and even a couple parents tell me that this project has come in handy at home.

I am constantly looking for new technologies and new ideas for my classroom.  I participate in professional development every year to help keep myself on top.  I attend a technology conference every year where I see the latest and greatest technologies for my classroom.  As I become more in tune with technology, so do my students.  They have to have the newest technologies that come out and then bring them in.  Student achievement is my number one concern, by teaching my students everything I can about technology and the 21st century skills needed for them to be successful, I will be ensuring that they will be prepared for what they will face after high school.

Going with the flow is a way that some teachers take to get through the school year.  By setting goals, we as teachers can become “expert” teachers.  Some of the long-term goals I have set for myself is to reach all of my students and to make sure they are successful.  Our students come from many different backgrounds and have many different learning abilities.  Trying to teach the information to all of them and having them all understand or grasp the concepts all at once is unheard of.  I need to develop a instructional strategy which will allow me to reach all of my students.  My second long-term goal is to develop my classroom website into a teaching resource.  I want my students to be able to go to my website to get any resources they need for my class.  I want to have my students constantly blogging about classes and working with each other on classroom assignments.

Referring back to the beginning checklist about technologies, I have been progressing.  I feel that in the next two years I will become a teacher who uses technology on a daily basis.  My students need to learn 21st century skills and using technology is one way of getting them these skills.