The Benefits of Technology in the Classroom

Short Summary Wow, where do I even begin? The amount of technology content learned in #EDTS325 this semester was phenomenal! At the beginning of this semester I felt that I would know the majority of the topics to be covered, as I was fortunatly given great technological oppertunities at both Schuler School and Eagle Butte […]

Short Summary

Wow, where do I even begin? The amount of technology content learned in #EDTS325 this semester was phenomenal! At the beginning of this semester I felt that I would know the majority of the topics to be covered, as I was fortunatly given great technological oppertunities at both Schuler School and Eagle Butte High School. Screencasting, socrative and coding are all things I had never heard of, as well as many different aspects of google, movie making and qr codes. To understand how to use technology is one thing but to keep up with the new advancing apps and tools is another. Not only do I feel much more knowledgabke in the many tools learned in this class, I feel much more condifent in introducing these new engaging apps and tools in my future classroom.

Not only did I learn in depth all of these tools, I learned the advantages and disadvantages from both a student and teacher perspective. As a professional I learned not only new apps, but also new ways of learning concepts. I leared how to engage older students in a biology lesson on smart notebook or to teach coding through star wars, moana or frozen games. The knowledge I gained from this class sets me apart from education students from other areas because of how relatable each lesson we learned was connected to in class use.

The different topics we covered in this course were: smart notebook, creating a personal learning network (PLN), Google, IMovie, Web 2.0 (which included various apps), QR codes and coding, I-pads and Digital Citizenship. Along with each of these units came many other ideas, projects and aspects such as twitter chats, blogging and YouTube.

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 I Can…

I am equipped and meet the requirements of “Discriptors of Knowledge, Skills and Attributes Related to Permanent Certification” (Alberta Ministerial Order #016/97). Not only am I able to produce material (audio, digital, video etc.) to deliever and enhance learning, I am also able to update my own personal portfolio to showcase my abilities as an educator. I am able to demonstrate and teach the many different elements of digital citizenship and show how to conduct advanced web searches to find desired information. I am able to assess which apps, websites and software is both appropriate for hand held versus desktop, learning environments, activities and levels. Use smart notebook software to build and create high quality interactive lessons for children K-12 as well as colleagues. Collaborate and communicate with students, parents and colleagues on various digital technologies. Able to display by growth through my PLN networks and social media sites in order to further myself as a professional.

Pros and Cons

-Technology can be very beneficial for students who need to be engaged in various ways, it can benefit all of the multiple intelligences. Not only can technology be hands on, it can benefit the auditory learners and switch up the source to display information for the visual learner (aka google docs vs. powerpoint). 

-I think that twitter chats will be very useful in finding out new tech tricks, tools and apps instead of searching for these new developments. 

-With technology becoming more complex and advanced, how do you possibly make sure your students are being good digital citizens in class when it is unrealistic to supervise and assure yourself of their actions in your presence. 

-Technology is always changing, therefore it would be difficult to be unattached to great apps and tools because they may quickly become outdated. 

My Steepest Learning Curve….AHA!

I am not the best at creating, editing and voicing over video material, however this class really helped me develop these skills! I learned how different camera shots show different meaning and possibly foreshadow, as well as how to combine different shots together to smoothly transition.

I created a group video, a movie trailer, interesting video and a screencast. Doing videos with different purposes as well as starting off with the group video really helped reintroduce me to an idea that I found to be difficult and frustrating! I never actually realized that with screencasts you use a source to make the video only of what is on your screen and can use your headphones with a microphone to speak. Although I still do not find screen casting to be the most earth-shattering, mind-blowing educational tool, however I find this to be really helpful when interacting with students and colleagues alike. Not only can you create a video to show your students how to use a tool, they can show you, or complete a project and voice it over so you can see their step by step moves. 

My AHA moment when realizing that you do not have to set up a camera to do a screencast, as well as how easily you can perform a screencast as well as how universal it is for education. A 1 minute screencast done in advance to show students on a tool they will use on a project can save 15 minutes of re-explaining how and what the tool does!

Another AHA moment was when I found out that many of the different apps we explored have diagnostics to show individual reports, past results and group results (especially Google!). 

The Future

Not only do I see myself using technology on a daily basis in my future classroom, I feel that there must be a balance between technology and paper content and group discussions. I will try to use different types of technology, from smart notebook to powerpoint, to Kahoot!, to poll everywhere and more!

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