In week one I developed a personal theory of learning which talked about how I thought students learned and what I did in my classroom to help students learn. Much has changed now being in week eight. I am not talking about totally reversing or getting rid of what I had before, I am talking about adding to what I had originally thought. We have learned how to use some very neat and interesting technologies in this course and past courses. What I found to be most interesting was the use of a Voice Thread. I actually used this in my classroom with much success. My students were very open to it and actually enjoyed it. I talked about incorporating as much technology into my classroom as I possible could. I have added a smart board to my classroom and now can use these other tools to help teach my students. How students learn is a topic that will always be under study. Students learn in so many different ways that having one way of teaching is not going to cut it.
I am starting making adjustments to my instructional practice already. Having students with IEP’s mixed in with students without IEP’s I tough because finding the right strategy to reach them may take a while. I have developed many instructional practices that I can use to reach all of my students. With the help of the technologies we have learned in this course, I will be providing my students with a better education. I will be and already have been incorporating Voice Threads in my classroom. I feel that this helps break up the lecture time and gives the students the chance to be introduced to a new technology. It is a technology that can reach all students because of the ability to use pictures and voices. The other technology tool that I will be using is a blog. I have created my own website for my classroom. One there I have a blog where students can respond to questions I have posted. I feel the use of this will get students more involved in class and be thinking about it in there off time rather than just playing video games. There are many technology tools out there for us to use in our classrooms. Many of them our students will be using after high school, so it is our job to make sure they get introduced to them. However with budget constraints the way they are, it is hard to show them all of the technologies. We do what we can with what we have.
We have gone over many instructional strategies and skills to use in our classrooms. Many of which I did not realize were considered there own topic. Becoming familiar with these can only benefit me in the long run. Knowing what I do now about these different strategies and how they are incorporated gives me the opportunity to teach my students in different ways, which will benefit them even more. They too should be learning different ways of retaining information because they will need to recall the information at some point in their lives.
Two long-term goals that I would like to reach in terms of technology integration into my classroom are bringing my students to the computer lab on a more regular basis and converting some of the lessons I have to be interactive on the smart board. One thing that I feel my students do not get enough of is computer use. We have one “computer lab” which consists of 15 computers in our library which can be reserved but the library has to be shut down. Being there are teachers wanting to use it all the time, it is hard to plan around the use of the computers. One of the things I am trying to do is write a grant to turn another room into a computer lab. Until then I want to get my students working on the computer more. Most of my technology class is hands on project based because our lack of computer based technology. I would like to start developing projects, which are created on the computer because knowing how to use a computer is a life long skill that everyone needs now. I also want to use my smart board to the fullest potential. If I do not use it whenever I can then it is basically collecting dust, especially in my room. Being that I just got it at the beginning of this year I have not had a chance to convert all of my lessons to be smart board compatible. It will make it so much easier for me to use the smart board to go over projects and for classroom instruction.
This course has shown me that there are more technologies that I need to incorporate into my class and that having more than one instructional strategy is more beneficial. My classroom has improved over the past 6 weeks and I am looking forward to making more progress.