C&I Reflection # 3

Often times, graduate work focuses on theory rather than practice.  Throughout this semester, 579 has been a refreshing and exciting look into the latest technology and networking options available to educators.  While at times overwhelming, it has been an extremely valuable learning experience.

This class forced me outside of my “technology comfort zone” and into the world of Twitter, Diigo, and Virtual Worlds.  I stretched myself by consistently making time to read blogs, follow tweets, and simply “jog the web” in search of sites that would  best fit my PLN.  To be honest, it wasn’t easy to always find time, but learning to balance all of the information available was quite a process.  I was able to learn so much and gather an incredible list of tools that my students can benefit from, as well as resources that I can use to enhance my own network.

My project began as an introduction to Educational Technology, but blossomed into a “technology boot camp” that incorporates several Web 2.0 tools.  I have never designed a workshop before, so I wanted to push myself into trying to develop something that took me out of my comfort zone.  I have tons of experience with technology and lesson planning, so this was a new adventure.  I am happy with the design of my workshop, specifically how teachers can access all of it online, so if the speed of the instruction time moves too quickly for some, they can return later to my wiki and look at these tools, moving at a pace that they are comfortable with.

In the future, I would probably switch back to lesson planning and start to incorporate these tools into more of my unit plans.  It would be great to have a wiki that organized all three of my courses for students to access from a lab at school, while at home on a sick day, and especially for homebound students and their tutors.  While I found the creation of my workshop to be a great experience, I’m now ready to start implementing more of these tools into my current unit plans.

I thoroughly enjoyed the developmental process of this project.  With the topic and outline due earlier, I was able to set it up and build on it over time.  Every week we learned about sites and links that could improve our projects, so I found it easy to continually work on.  The biggest issue that impacted the final outcome of my project was the idea of “usability” for me.  I wanted to create a workshop that suited the needs of the educators that I work with at BHS.  I believe that I accomplished my goal and that this presentation of Web 2.0 tools will serve as a valuable learning session for the teachers in my building.

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About slfindl

Social Studies Instructor at Bloomington High School in Bloomington, IL. Lives in Normal, IL with her husband Jeff and son, Jeron.
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