The Grand Finale

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Next to learning how to play a recorder in music, I feared this class.

I have never taken an online class and the rumor was that it takes up more of your time than all other classes combined.  It is not a rumor.  There were moments of rage (rant alert post) and moments of jubilation (recall the sexy super geek). I learned how to do many things that I never envisioned myself doing such as creating a survey, a screen cast, and signing up for and using Twitter.  Honestly, the most important thing I learned from this class is this: not be afraid, but to dive in head first with the confidence that I can and will learn.  I will not fear technology going forward.  Technological tools are created to be user friendly.  I also learned that if I do not know I can find out.  Experts are only a click away which was very evident on the Twitter chats.

NO MORE YAY!

I still believe this to be true:

and as such, I know I will be using technology in the classroom.  It is a requirement of our day and age.  I don’t want to be deemed ignorant by future generations.

However, I also do not want to lose sight of what is most important.  To me that is human relationships.  Remember your favorite teacher?  Meaningful interactions made the difference, and it can not take place through a device.  Can the learning, networking, organization, and communication be assisted by technology?  It absolutely should be.  They key is moderation.

I blogged a lot about moderation in previous modules, I will add collaboration to moderation.  I think it is equally as important to teaching and classrooms.  Another big idea for me!

ECMP355 = Moderation & Collaboration

I hope my future classroom is able to provide access to technology for all students so that the future generations I am working with will be optimally prepared for their future.

Below are some excerpts from my blog that I think sum up my learning.

The 3 most important points for future teachers are:

1. Technology is a tool, not an outcome.
2. Technology is most useful when it enhances an already good lesson.
3. Technology enables collaboration and shares/facilitates learning on a global scale.

All professions are impacted by technology and the ones we consider to be most cutting edge are those who are using the latest technology.  I need to keep current.  What a great example of life-long learning.

I can ask students to teach me new things.  This is a good example of flipped learning which has the ability to empower students and create classroom community.

To not take advantage of these tools would be down right stupid!  However, to teach and interact in a classroom using only technology is equally as stupid.  We are educating social beings who need to develop a strong sense of self and the value of interacting with others.

Thanks to our instructor Milissa and my fellow classmates for enriching this experience.

Resource Exploration

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After scanning the huge list of teacher resources found in this document , I have to say there is so much I do not yet know about what is available.  I can see the value of collaborating for new reasons!  I want to talk to teachers who are in the class everyday and find out which ones they use, which they find helpful, and which they do not find to be practical.

Perhaps, if I skip over to the , I could find an expert teacher who is a whiz with technology and follow them as they steer me through the sea of technological ambiguity.  I explored this tool and can see how it could be extremely fun for students and teachers alike.  All people have different interests and what could be better than learning about your interest from an expert or becoming the expert yourself.  I love the idea of letting students be the experts and I think this site could be a platform for that.  It also assists learning which is kind of the point of teaching!  Win-win.

I will confess that I have had Dropbox Dropbox on my computer for a very long time and have never used it.  However, as a result of this class, we have had a few discussions at the college and one of my colleagues loves using it.  It sounds similar to Google Drive.  She says it is super easy to use.  I think I will explore this further in the future.

I am curious about sites such as, Khan AcademyEdmodo, and Socrative to name a few.  I think there are many more sites like this that I am unaware of.  From what I understand, they kind of all do the same thing by allowing teachers to engage and assess their students with educational activities on tablets, laptops and smartphones. They often operate through real time questioning so teachers can gauge the whole class’ current level of understanding. They seem to be organization tools, a way to share class and individual information, a way to asses, a way to  communicate with students, and I’m not sure what else is possible with these tool.  I feel they are something I definitely want to explore further.  I think something like this would be helpful but many questions remain.  How do I choose which one is best for me and my classroom?  How do I find one that is user friendly?  Will I have time to make use of this tool?  Is there a lot to learn as far as setting my class up on it?  Is it a huge undertaking?  Obviously I have a lot yet to learn.  (The more I think about it, the more I think I will check if anyone knows at the   this summer.)

A teacher one of my clollegues spoke with says she uses  ClassDojo  and really likes it.  I admire this teacher and think she does a good job in her classroom, so I will definitely be exploring this further.

Essentially, I want to use technology, but I can’t state at this time what because I want to talk to experienced teachers and get feedback on what they like and don’t like.  From there, I would like to gain some confidence in using these tools in my own classroom.  Once I am confident using technological tools in the classroom, I can see myself becoming a trendsetter.  I will get hooked and with my addictive personality, I will be using things in ways they were meant to be and not meant to be used.  Being creative with things is my gift, but I need to be comfortable and confident before the creative juices can begin to flow.

After all my nattering about moderation in previous modules, I will add collaboration to moderation.  I think it is equally as important.

ECMP355 = Moderation & Collaboration

(I feel like if I had more time I could turn this into a rhyming rap – it would be a teacher groaner alert for sure!)  Keep posted it could happen.

I just made a new Voki. See it here:

Tech Tasks

http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=11241005&height=400&width=300

UPDATE: Voki does not work as most of you have figured out.  My Voki was fantastic.  However, there is no longer any audio to accompany my lovely little Elsa character.  Here is what she said: (imagine it is being said in a cute English accent) 

“So, what do I think about the Matrix?  Well, if we were talking about Keanu Reeves in The Matrix movie, I would need much longer than 60 seconds to talk.  However, (said howeva w/ an accent) when it comes to TIM matrix, it is simple.  The technology integration matrix is a tool that helps teachers know how to use technology in the classroom.  The website has a lot of great lesson plan ideas I will be using as resources once I have my own classroom.  Remember, it is important we do not become frozen in time.  Pun intended.  We do not want to be the dinosaur in the classroom. 
Yours truly, Elsa.” 

TIM – Technology Integration Matrix

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Here is a good Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) and TIM Tools Introduction

TIM is a helpful website that helps teachers understand where they are at as far as technology integration in their classroom goes, and it offers many resources and lesson plans that would help them effectively use more technology in the classroom.  I found many great ideas on this site.

In one grade seven class, each student was able to measure their own carbon footprint and compare to the carbon footprint of a child in another country.  They could also understand things they could do, action they could take, to reduce their carbon footprint.
Another classroom used probeware to discover acids an bases.  The students were given a solution that represented sick stomach.  The added Tums to the solution and watched instantaneously on their screens as the acidity level decreased.
The thought I was left with was “it is possible to do lessons without technology, but if you can do them better with technology, why wouldn’t you use it?

Wow, an epiphany!  (I think this is what I have been trying to say all along.)

Julie’s conclusion to the whole matter concerning ECMP:

  The 3 most important points for future teachers are:

1. Technology is a tool, not an outcome.
2. Technology is most useful when it enhances an already good lesson.
3. Technology enables collaboration and shares/facilitates learning on a global scale.

To me these are the 3 good reasons to use technology which also allows for reasons not to use technology.  These, along with TIM and Bloom’s, will be my personal reminders when I integrate technology into my classroom.