Reflecting on EdTech 541

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ReflectionScreen Shot 2016-04-23 at 5.48.34 PM

This class is the one that I was most looking forward to taking. I enrolled in the MET program at Boise State because last fall, my high school gave each student a Chromebook. It was as simple and as challenging as that. I have always been passionate about using technology, but in an economically disadvantaged school district, as a special education teacher, there have not been many instances where technology could be seamlessly introduced and used on a regular basis. Now that my students have access, I need to be able to use that technology effectively to enhance their learning and increase their chances of success in what is arguably one of the more difficult subjects they face, algebra. The biggest thing this class taught me is that I can do it. Many times I read the list of assignments for the week and had no idea how to apply them to my subject area. Each assignment pushed my levels of creativity and challenged me to find new tools and methods of implementation. Creating instruction by relating different content areas to math was daunting. I found that the more difficult the assignment was to relate to math, the more I had to research beyond what the book gave me. This increased my learning exponentially, and it shows in my projects and my classroom. I have already used several of these lessons with my students. Applying these in my classroom showed me what I could accomplish when I consider the pedagogy, what tools are available, the relative advantage of each tool and strategies of application. Ensuring that each was appropriate for both algebra and special education added an extra level of constraint. My teaching has improved based on what I have learned this semester. I have learned to really look at the relative advantage of using a particular piece of technology, and implement it because it will enhance the lesson, not take over the lesson. While my mindset has not changed because of what I have learned, my level of understanding is deeper, making me more mindful of how I use technology with my students. At heart, I am a Constructivist, but my teaching style has always been more Instructivist because often that is what my students need and can handle. They struggle with project-based learning and will either give up or shut down completely. They find technology engaging enough that they are willing to put more time and effort, more perseverance into their learning. Using technology also allows me to pursue the Connectivist theory, by teaching my students ways to help themselves by finding tools that will allow them to find success and solve problems on their own. And that, for me, is why I am here.

Standards

Artifacts

AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge): Candidates demonstrate the knowledge necessary to create, use, assess, and manage theoretical and practical applications of educational technologies and processes. All of the projects created for this class clearly fell into both the Using and the Evaluating categories under AECT Standard 1. I researched and chose technology to implement and then assessed the relative advantage of that technology and its use in my chosen area, special education high school algebra.
1.2 Using – Candidates demonstrate the ability to select and use technological resources and processes to support student learning and to enhance their pedagogy. Relative Advantage Chart
Instructional Software Lesson Plan
Software Support Tools
Interactive Presentation
Spreadsheet Lesson Framework 
Shared Docs Lesson Framework
Video Integration Project
Internet Enriched Lesson
Social Network Learning Activities
Game-Based Learning
Math/Science Learning Activities
Art, Music & PE Learning Activities
Language Arts Learning Activities
Assistive Technology Project
1.3 Assessing/Evaluating – Candidates demonstrate the ability to assess and evaluate the effective integration of appropriate technologies and instructional materials. Relative Advantage Chart
Instructional Software Lesson Plan
Software Support Tools
Interactive Presentation
Spreadsheet Lesson Framework 
Shared Docs Lesson Framework
Video Integration Project
Internet Enriched Lesson
Social Network Learning Activities
Game-Based Learning
Math/Science Learning Activities
Art, Music & PE Learning Activities
Language Arts Learning Activities
Assistive Technology Project
AECT Standard 2 (Content Pedagogy): Candidates develop as reflective practitioners able to demonstrate effective implementation of educational technologies and processes based on contemporary content and pedagogy. This class made me consider how best to implement chosen technology, while reflecting on the pedagogy behind the process. I struggled with the application of these projects in an algebra classroom but researching the pedagogy was helpful. I needed to consider not only the best way to apply technology to the math, but also how to adapt and create materials that will assist my self-contained students and allow them to find success with concepts that are often abstract and difficult to grasp.
2.1 Creating – Candidates apply content pedagogy to create appropriate applications of processes and technologies to improve learning and performance outcomes. Relative Advantage Chart
Instructional Software Lesson Plan
Software Support Tools
Interactive Presentation
Spreadsheet Lesson Framework 
Shared Docs Lesson Framework
Video Integration Project
Internet Enriched Lesson
Social Network Learning Activities
Game-Based Learning
Math/Science Learning Activities
Art, Music & PE Learning Activities
Language Arts Learning Activities
Assistive Technology Project
2.2 Using – Candidates implement appropriate educational technologies and processes based on appropriate content pedagogy. Relative Advantage Chart
Instructional Software Lesson Plan
Software Support Tools
Interactive Presentation
Spreadsheet Lesson Framework 
Shared Docs Lesson Framework
Video Integration Project
Internet Enriched Lesson
Social Network Learning Activities
Game-Based Learning
Math/Science Learning Activities
Art, Music & PE Learning Activities
Language Arts Learning Activities
Assistive Technology Project
AECT Standard 5 (Research): Candidates explore, evaluate, synthesize, and apply methods of inquiry to enhance learning and improve performance. My students tend not to do well with project-based learning. As a result, my teaching style has been more Instructivist in nature. My time spent researching, using and creating materials by using technology for enhancement has given me methods I can use to incorporate more Constructivist methodologies to my teaching. While my classroom will never be wholly Constructivist, this class has given me the tools to at least blend the theories, making for a better-rounded classroom experience. Interacting with my classmates has also given more credence to my thoughts of Connectivism. My goal has always been to teach my students how to find tools to help them problem solve.
5.1 Theoretical Foundations – Candidates demonstrate foundational knowledge of the contribution of research to the past and current theory of educational communications and technology. Relative Advantage Chart
Instructional Software Lesson Plan
Software Support Tools
Interactive Presentation
Spreadsheet Lesson Framework 
Shared Docs Lesson Framework
Video Integration Project
Internet Enriched Lesson
Social Network Learning Activities
Game-Based Learning
Math/Science Learning Activities
Art, Music & PE Learning Activities
Language Arts Learning Activities
Assistive Technology Project
Resource Page 
5.2 Method – Candidates apply research methodologies to solve problems and enhance practice.  Resource Page 
5.3 Assessing/Evaluating – Candidates apply formal inquiry strategies in assessing and evaluating processes and resources for learning and performance. Resource Page 

 

AECT standards. (2012, July 16). In Association for educational communications and technology. Retrieved from http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/aect.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/AECT_Documents/AECTstandards2012.pdf

 


Performance Assessment

  1. Content – My blog posts are thorough and contain references to both the readings and my personal experiences. They are written with the reader in mind, and contain an attempt to display my thought process, what I have learned, how that new knowledge applies to my world and any extra research I did to learn more. I feel I earned the full 70 points for this area.
  2. Readings and Resources –  Each blog post references at a minimum, the reading from the class text. I often referenced other research that I did to further my knowledge and satisfy my curiosity on topics I found most relevant. I believe I earned the full 20 points for this area.
  3. Timeliness – This was the hardest part of the blogging assignments for me. Writing is a difficult process for me. I am more comfortable speaking in a group than writing my thoughts. I need time to finish the readings, do more research if I felt it was needed, process my thoughts and then put them into written form. The majority of my posts were completed by midweek, but some of the topics I found more difficult were posted later. Because of this, I am going to say that I earned 15 of the 20 points in this section.
  4. Responses to Other Students – I made at least two thoughtful substantial responses to other students’ posts for each blogging assignment. I included my thoughts on what was posted, as well as personal experiences and commonalities. I believe this should merit the full 30 points for this section.

 

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