Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Final Reflections

I can't believe that we have fit all of EDM 310 into this short summer semester. This has been a class where I have learned a lot about collaborating with people here and from anywhere in the world. We've done so much with technology and I know how important it will be in my career to always keep my knowledge of technology fresh. Not only have I been inspired to learn more about technology but I've also learned that, as teachers, we have to constantly be critiquing and criticizing ourselves so that we don't become complacent (Thanks, Martha!). EDM 310 has made me realize that I can be a good teacher if I put in the time and effort it takes to learn as much as you can. In the long run, my students will benefit from what I've gotten out of this class.

My PLN has formed slowly but surely. A Personal Learning Network in an integral part of being an effective teacher. There are tons of examples out there of what others are doing in their classrooms, what works, what doesn't, and how you can improve your own lessons. There is no secret to being a good teacher. The teachers we consider "good" are sharing their experiences in their classrooms with the world. These teachers genuinely want kids everywhere to have great lessons to learn from.

One way people have been sharing their lessons and questions and problems is Twitter. I hope to become more and more involved on Twitter. Before this class I never thought of it as something you could use to learn from. However, now I know that you can find someone that can help you with anything. While I haven't experienced this myself, the countless reviews I've heard about using Twitter for your PLN have convinced me that one day, I will find myself using Twitter to answer any questions I may have when I become a teacher.
Finding Tools to Use in the Classroom
Teachers these days have so many resources to use in their classrooms. It's a shame that many aren't taking advantage of this just because they aren't aware of all the technology out there. I never imagined that there would be so many websites that would be helpful to educators and students. I want to be able to teach my class how to find anything they would ever need on the internet because I really believe that there will always be something or someone out there, willing to help.

I've gotten so many great tools from EDM 310 but I've also learned how to go about finding anything else I may ever need. I've learned that I should never let not knowing how to do something stop me from trying to figure it out. It will definitely be a challenge for me to push myself to be continuously finding new techniques to use in my class.

Being a Learner
In the end, being a teacher is really about being a learner. I realize you can't just say you're a learner and *poof* you become one. Being a learner is an everyday thing. In my head, I always compare being a doctor or a lawyer to being a teacher. This is why: when you are a doctor or a lawyer it's called a practice because you're never really finished learning everything you can. I think teaching is a practice too.

Since there is no requirement for teachers to be perpetual learners, we have to take it upon ourselves to make sure we can being the best teachers/learners that we can be. In doing so, we will be able to set an example for students and teach them how to be learners as well.


Go To Class

The reason it's so important to go to class in EDM 310 is not because it's required (because it isn't) or because it's fun everyday (it's only fun almost everyday). It's important to attend class because you actually learn things. I know we've all been in classes where you sit and listen and take notes and then you memorize everything and write it on the test. This class is not like that. This class is like a job where you go to work and learn how to do new things. You get to talk with the other students and help them or let them help you. You get to interact with the teachers and the "tutors" (Jamie Lynn and Anthony were great sources to learn from).

Do Your Work
I wish I could take this class again and again. I think every time I took it I would learn more. The more you put into your projects in EDM 310, the more you will get out of it. Like I said, we've all had class where you don't learn anything, and all you have to do it the bare minimum to pass. EDM 310 is an opportunity to learn as much as you possibly can that you WILL use when you are a teacher.

Don't Be Afraid
If you are afraid of failing or of asking questions or of not knowing what you are doing, you will not get everything you can out of EDM 310. A lot of things you don't know, no one else will know either. If you fail at something, that just means you get to try again.

bobpiper.co.ukHindsight is 20/20
Not only did I learn a lot about technology and networking in EDM 310, but I also learned how to be a better teacher. If you take advantage of this class, I promise you will get so much out of it. Looking back, I wish I'd been able to take my own advice.

P.S. Dr. Strange, I hope you invite us back to see your future classes' final projects! I'm excited for your classes to be even more creative than our summer class was.

1 comment:

  1. A delightful reflection. I especially liked your paragraph about being a learner. We are practitioners! And hopefully reflective practitioners as you point out that Martha has urged we be.

    You also wrote: "It's important to attend class because you actually learn things." Thank you! That's what should happen! But, as you point out, often it doesn't. No more burp back education!

    And the Hindsight picture is great!

    Be a continuing part of EDM310. Here's how:
    1. Read and contribute to the Alumni Blog.
    2. Watch for opportunities to participate in some special creative activities. Martha, Sara, Kimberly, Gina have opened the doors. In addition, four of us visited Alba Middle School last Tuesday and came away with heads (yes, plural) full of ideas which you will hear about and be invited to join.
    3. Drop a few comments on some unsuspecting EDM310 student's blog next semester.
    4. And come by and visit. You can help someone and maybe learn something as well. Or at least comfort those who think they should know it all by showing them how to find an answer. And another question.

    We look forward to your acceptance of this SPECIAL INVITATION!