Thursday, July 26, 2007

Final Reflection

Final Reflection:

The process of reflection has always been a difficult for me. Like many other people, the process of reflection is not naturally in my nature. I often focus on what I have to do, sparsely stopping to smell the roses. Of the more important things I think I have learned this semester is that reflection is not as cumbersome as I originally thought. The use of blogs really may be the easiest thing a person can do on any given day. Just a few lines of type, whether they relate to work, graduate school, or personal things allows a person to remember the little things we forget each day. To store that ten percent of your brain in one convenient, electronic place makes referencing it as simple as it was to write. The education value of blogs leads me to believe that in the near future blogging will be an everyday activity for all students grades 1- 12. Perhaps multiple times a day for each subject in the school day.
I am little embarrassed to admit that when I first registered for the course I did not know what authoring tools were. I did however look them up on google shortly before the class began. Again I learned that something that I perceived as difficult really was not. My notion of building websites was stuck in a time zone somewhere around 1996 when people had to manually write code for the site and pages. I do think of myself as a little foolish not to realize that new software has been developed in the last decade to make the process easy.
As I familiarized myself with what authoring tools I began to search out what authoring tool was available to me that was the easiest to use. Iweb what is included free on my laptop and is by far one of the easiest programs I have every worked with. Once I had built some practice websites, I began reading in great detail the Horton textbook for the course. I learned about e-learning and immediately began fascinated with it. Being an Industrial Arts person I love combing multiple forms of technology. Being a teacher I love the idea of taking two unrelated subjects and combining them. With e-learning I see an excellent opportunity to combing authoring tools with the machines of my woodshop. Having students document their woodshop projects on the Internet is an excellent way to harness e-learning and allow my students higher technological insight. While researching current use of educational technology I realized that this is the direction I want to take my department over the next five years.
It appears to me that certain topics will be popular for debate for a long time in education. These topic many of which I research for assignment one included blogging, multimedia, technology, charter schools, and student assessment. Student assessment is one that is particularly important to me as have mentioned many times on the discussion board that my school is implementing a digital portfolio graduation requirement. I do believe that the administration at my school has done a very good job updating our technology. I believe that we will have to install a LAN server to ensure that the school can hold students to account for this graduation requirement. I feel very lucky to be enrolled in this program at a time when technology in my district is being overhauled. I especially like having a group of peers to probe and questions as to what is taking place in their districts.
Assignment two, I was able to really organize how I believe an e- learning lesson unit should be. It appeared to be necessary to be as forthcoming as possible with our students in regards to the unit plan. By explaining what e-learning was and how students benefited we believe that would raise students’ interests. Building websites can appear complicated, buy placing all the necessary information in the proper order any student post third grade can use iWeb. One our main goals while designing our lesson plan was to have the students enjoy the lesson to the point they would want to create their own websites. That is why we included how to put audio tracks in our lesson. And finally to have any lesson grow and improve surveying the students seemed like the simplest way get valuable feedback.
All in all it is hard to some up a course in one blog entry. It always amazes me that at the beginning of course I feel capable and knowledgeable. That confidence quickly turns to panic after reading the syllabus for the first time. And finally the satisfaction of knowing that I learned a great deal in this ten-week course.

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