Wednesday, April 28, 2010
My Final Reflection of EDM310
This semester is coming to an end, and I am shocked that it has went by this fast. When I first entered EDM310 and saw all of the required projects and participation, I felt extremely overwhelmed! What is a podcast? I have to Skype? Picasa--is that something created by Picasso? I have to comment on blogs? Oh no, I have to create a blog?!? These are a few of the questions that ran through my head the first night of class while listening to Dr. Strange talk about the "intellectual journey" we were fixing to embark on together. I thought I was technology literate until I took this class. I am not brain-dead when it comes to computers, but I have found there are many programs and resources I had never heard of, much less used before. Throughout my semester in this course, I have come to love and frequently use:
Google Docs Google Spreadsheets Google Forms- My favorite part about Google tools is that you can email them to anyone, and they can either view it or edit it. It is reliable because Google can be viewed anywhere internet access is allowed. Therefore, you do not always have to have a USB with you.
Youtube- I have watched silly videos on Youtube with my friends and co-workers, but now I have realized the educational side of Youtube. People make videos every day, and you never know what you will find when you search Youtube.
Windows Movie Maker- I have seen this program on my computer since I got the computer; however, I have never used it until this class. I used it for a project with Brooke McQuillan and Lauren Germany to make a video on how students use technology in the classroom and at home. Since then, I have made a video of pictures of my niece and nephew, and I am planning on making another one of video clips!
iTunes- I have never been interested in iTunes because I like music, but I would rather just listen to my car radio. I was given an iPod for my birthday one year, and I never visited iTunes to download music. Now I know that I can listen to lectures from professors at numerous universities and find many instructional and educational videos.
iTunesU- South Alabama is coming a long way with iTunesU. Professors at South Alabama need to move with technology and not against it. I am sad to see that my department (math) is still lagging in the technology world; however, I am super excited to see that my other department (education) is going full speed ahead in this area!
Delicious- Delicious is a great tool because it bookmarks everything you want to use. The reason Delicious is better than just bookmarking something is because you can pull it up on any computer, just like Google tools! You can even send bookmarks to others, which makes it great for PLNs.
ALEX- This is one of the best resources I have found. This site allows you to view lesson plans and podcasts. It even suggests different web links and provides personal working space. I know I will be using this site constantly in the near future!
I had no idea Google has such a variety of different free programs for its users! I absolutely loved commenting on kids' blogs because you never knew what you would see. Children are super creative, and it is awesome that their teachers are giving them the chance to express their creativity by the use of technology.
When my class presented their substantive presentations, one guy presented a cartoon he created by using ToonDoo. I wish we would have known about this program sooner so that we could have prepared presentations from ToonDoo as well. This would be especially great for elementary education majors. Maybe next semester the classes can prepare a presentation using ToonDoo.
I honestly do not believe there are any projects or assignments I regret doing. I do not regret them because they all gave me a chance to see what I like and might try to incorporate as a teacher and what I might not want to use. After all my complaining about blogging, I have now realized I will probably create a class blog for my students to go to that will offer podcasts for them to listen to in case they do not understand a problem. I am thankful that I now know how to record podcasts and videos and edit them as well.
I cannot honestly say that anything really excited me. I am super thankful though that I have went through this "intellectual journey" and had the opportunity to explore many useful tools for my future classroom. I did get tickled when I finally figured out Google Earth because that program gave me fits at first!
Google Earth was the only program that I found challenging. I had a hard time figuring out which controls did what on the program and for some reason the instructional videos simply did not "click" in my mind. After a few hours of frustration and wanting to give up, I finally started to understand what to do and how to make the program work. I am thankful for it, too, because I have now decided to go to Orlando, FL in May on vacation!
The only time I was bored is when I attended class meetings. I did most of my work ahead of time, and I felt as if it was a waste of time to be there most days we were required to come. Most of my classmates were playing on Facebook, and I wondered if they were ahead, too. These were the only times I was bored in this class. The class itself is extremely intriguing and has prepared me in many ways to be a successfully technology literate teacher.
For future classes in this course, I would definitely suggest that they use ToonDoo. That program was super interesting, and I feel it could definitely interest little kids. The work load was not too much. The projects seem like a lot, but if people learn to manage their time and space them out, they will not have a problem in this course.
I do believe that I am now technology literate--thanks to this course! I have not realized how many technology tools are at our fingertips because I have not had many teachers implement technology tools in their classrooms. This is sad because these teachers will one day be faced with younger technology advanced educators taking their positions simply because they want to sit back and be stuck in their old ways. I do not have a problem with pencil and paper one bit, but we have to be able to captivate our audiences and make them want to learn. Most children nowadays rely on technology at home, so implementing technology in classrooms will only prove to be extremely useful for both educators and their students.
I plan to continue working on my PLN and continuously watching podcasts. I also want to watch children's blogs to see what they are doing in their classrooms so that I will be prepared when they get to my classroom. I will also use ALEX to my advantage for lesson plans and such.