Edtech 541 – Final Reflection
As I reflect upon this final week of Edtech 541 – Integrating Technology into the Curriculum – I am amazed at how much I have learned in just 14 short weeks. I have always had a passion for technology and how it can enhance classroom lessons, but I now have a greater understanding of the purpose and relative advantage of true technology integration. While technology can, and sometimes should, be simply a substitution for standard classroom activities it is optimal that technology bring the learning to a new level. In Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model of technology integration, students and educators receive a much greater benefit when the modification and redefinition levels are attained. In my vision statement written at the start of this course, I stated that the overarching goal of technology should be to bring experiences and innovation into the classroom in ways that could not have previously been accomplished with traditional teaching methods. Edtech 541 has helped me to understand how that can be accomplished effectively.
According to Roblyer (2016), technology integration should be based on sound theories of learning. The use of technology in the classroom should align with the needs of the curriculum and the students. Just as a carpenter would not go to the hardware store and buy a tool just because it was his favorite color and shape, an educator should not implement a new technology just because it seems fun and exciting. Teachers should “also recognize how to integrate technology into pedagogy to achieve greatest impact on desired outcomes.” Roblyer (2016). As a middle school social studies and science teacher, I have been able to use projects created in this course to help my students connect the lessons to real-life applications. I have been inspired to investigate new technologies and their application in the classroom. In addition, I have encouraged my teaching partners to incorporate some of my projects into their lesson plans.
Two of the greatest takeaways I have gained are the idea of relative advantage and the use of assistive technologies. It is important for educators to evaluate the advantage of using technology tools over the standard pencil and paper lessons. With the effective use of technology, the teacher becomes the facilitator of learning (constructivist theory) rather than the dispenser of knowledge. When deciding when and if to use technology tools, educators must first and foremost look at how the “technology allows for the creation of new tasks previously inconceivable” (Puentedura). Our final project of the course involved assistive technologies. Understanding that all children, regardless of their learning needs or disadvantages, deserve a level playing field. Assistive technologies such as screen readers, talk-to-text devices, and guided access can support students and provide them opportunities to learn along with their peers.
Demonstration of the AECT standards has also been a focus of my project creation. Through the projects created in this course, I believe I have been able to use, evaluate, and create “appropriate educational technologies and processes based on appropriate content pedagogy”. Reflecting upon solid pedagogical practices has also been a key component of learning in this course.
As a member of the technology committee at my school, I have been inspired through this course to encourage my colleagues to review and evaluate our teaching practices regarding technology tools. I will continue to use the primary text of this course, Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (Roblyer 2016) to guide my teaching practices. My goal as I continue the M.E.T. program at BSU, is to grow as an educator and inspire both my students and fellow teachers to reach beyond the walls of the classroom. I believe technology can allow us to do that in new and exciting ways.
As a second part of this reflection, we have been asked to self-assess our blogging performance in this course. I believe most educators are harder on themselves than others, but I will do my best to complete the assessment in an objective manner.
Content – My weekly blog posts were well-thought out, insightful, and meaningful. I was able to connect my posts to the current modules and provide meaningful content. I was also able to connect the content to my personal teaching.
Readings and resources – I used the required readings each week to guide both my blog posts and my projects. I found the readings to be both valuable and inspiring. I will continue to use the primary text by Roblyer as a guiding resource as I progress through the program. I believe I used correct APA formatting in all of my citations and references.
Timeliness – I posted early each week to allow my fellow students time to comment on and assess my blog.
Response to Other Students – Each week I enjoyed reading and conversing with the other students through their blogs. I commented on at least two other blogs each week with thoughtful and meaningful responses. When the other students commented on my posts, I did my best to respond in a timely manner.
General – I feel I have gained valuable insights through this course that I will continue to explore and build upon. I believe I did my best throughout to demonstrate a solid understanding of course content and create impactful lessons. I would reservedly evaluate my blog posts as a 70/70.
Roblyer, M. D. (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (7th ed.). Pearson.