Sunday, April 15, 2012

Integrating Technology Across the Content Areas: Final Reflection

In the beginning when we had to come up with our GAME plan, it took me a little while to figure out what was the best approach to adding to my classroom and curriculum.  After some thought, I found that I would rather put more time into getting my students focused on being creative.  That is one of the things that I have struggled with the past four years.  It seems like my students are getting lazier every year and they just like to do whatever is easiest.  I do many projects in my classes because we have the tools and machines.  As part of my GAME plan, I have been figuring out ways to incorporate new ideas into my projects, which will get my students to think about what they are doing.  This will give them a chance to come up with creative (key word) ideas to solve the problem they have been presented.  I have started to focus more on the design process so that my students can understand how we come up with solutions.

Over the past 6 weeks, I have been going over the design process and how it is used in our projects.  The students have started to understand how solutions are made.  They have been thinking more into the problem, which is helping them come up with a solution.  When my 8th graders build CO2 dragsters, I have a design packet, which must be completely filled out before they can continue on to the building stage.  I still have students who come to me with one idea and say that it is the only one they can come up with.  Well I used to let that slide but not anymore.  I am trying to coach my students to become more creative.  Sounds a lot easier than it actually is.  If I do anything, I will continue to work on the design process with my students and start to come up with new ideas for projects.  I want to introduce my students to as many different types of technologies as I can so that they are some what prepared for what they are going to encounter in life after high school. 

Technology has always been a strong point of mine.  I am young enough to where I have grown up through the technological era and have had most of the technologies.  Since I teach technology now, I have been trying to incorporate these into my lessons.  Working in a rural, low income, small town has been an amazing journey, however, the lack of technology due to budgets is high.  I have been fortunate enough to get new woodworking machines and a smart board.  I incorporate all the technology that is available to me.  After taking this course, I have come out with some new ideas, which I will be trying to implement in my classroom in the near future.  This course has definitely opened my eyes on how to incorporate technology in different ways into my curriculum.

I already incorporate problem-based learning into my classroom.  That is what my curriculum is based on.  I love to have my students working on projects all the time.  I do not assign homework, when students are in my class they are working.  I have started to incorporate online collaboration.  I have my students complete a project which involves mailing packages to another participating school district.  We have tried skyping in the past and will continue to use the technologies available to us to communicate with other school districts through projects.