Course EDLD 5306
Concepts of Educational Technology:
course based reflection wk1 5306 fundamentals class.doc

Objectives
A. Students summarize key ideas of the Texas Long-Range Plan for Technology in a table format.
B. Students summarize (1) the four strands of the Technology Applications TEKS and (2) two
C. Create, implement, analyze, and evaluate a technology survey for a group of at least eight educators to determine hardware and software preferred and used.
D. Analyze Texas STaR Chart data create a presentation for faculty on results; post the presentation to blog site where you also write 250-word opinion piece on one of the four areas of Texas Long Range Plan for Technology.
Include (1) Description of the area.
(2) Progress in the area (include local, state, and national progress.
(3) Trends in the area (include local, state, and national progress.
(4) Your recommendations for improvement in the area.
E. Create a wiki reference document for campus

Self-Assessment

In this course I’ve discovered that as a "digital immigrant" I am at a disadvantage and frequently feel threatened by the "natives" in the area of digital technology. For the most part, I recognize that I have much to learn and could benefit from developing deeper relationships with my students. I also have learned that students are a rich resource of information and are willing to share what they know. As Prensky states "These 'digital natives" are born into digital technology. Conversely, their teachers (and all older adults) are 'digital immigrants.'" (Prensky, M., 2008).

I learned that a wiki is a great tool to use to facilitate an online learning community by allowing users with common interests and goals to create an interactive forum to allow them to discuss and post information that can benefit the members of the community. Collaboration is easier that face-to-face meetings because it eliminates the distance and time constraints of the users.

I also learned aboutTexas' Long-Range Plan for Technology and the Texas STaR chart and have come to understand that we have a tremendous challenge before us in preparing our students to live and work in the 21st century. Both the long-range plan and STaR chart will aid me in planning for the professional development needs for my staff.

Learn as a Learner

As a teacher, I can see how a wiki could be used with my students to foster interactive collaborative learning online. In fact, I've implemented the use of wiki for the purpose of group assignments in my Health classes. Students can share ideas about a project and create links to information that allows us to build on each person’s learning. Just as Williamson and Redish (2009) suggested, modeling the use of wikis with the students helped my students and other teachers be more open to using them. Currently our district is now using wikis on our network to increase collaboration between students and teachers.

I found wikis easy to create, customize, and use. However, one thing that I would add to the wiki website software to make editing easier is a way to resize images a little easier within the wiki environment itself. I would also like to edit the navigation bar so that the pages can be ordered any way the designer wants rather than simply alphabetically. Regardless of the little things that can be frustrating, wikis are an excellent Web 2.0 tool that can be integrated into teaching and learning activities in addition to being used administratively.

Finally I learned about myself from this first course was that I can perform Master's level work. That excites me. I also learned that although I had no formal training in the area of digital technology, I seem to be a fast learner and can transfer knowledge from one application to another.

Lifelong Learning Skills

One of the outcomes that I had envisioned for this course was to be able to learn about and use new online learning tools. I came to understand that I am a digital immigrant while most of my students are digital natives and I need to be open to allowing them to teach me. Prior to starting this master program I had not used any Web 2.0 tools or even knew what that term meant, but I thought I was very savvy because I knew some advanced computer programs. This course started me on my journey to become a lifelong learner and to actively seek out new programs and teaching skills to improve my overall teaching skills.

Working with high school students has allowed me to have opportunities that are not available to the general public. I use blogs, wikis, and social networking sites and have very few limitations on the research that I can do on the internet. I can teach these skills to my friends, family, and students so I can extend their learning. The concepts in Educational Technology course assignments have helped me to apply what I was learning and evaluate STaR Charts. Analyzing my strengths and weaknesses involving technology through a Tech Apps. inventory allowed me to assess myself for my future learning. “Educators, just like their students, are more likely to understand, remember, use, and share knowledge when it is presented in authentic and meaning full context “(Bransford & Cocking, 1999).

References

Prensky, M. (2008). Adopt and adapt: Shaping tech for the classroom. Edutopia: The George Lucas Educational Foundation.

Williamson, J. & Redish, T. (2009). ISTE's technology facilitation and leadership standards: What every K-12 leader should know and be able to do.Eugene,OR: International Society for Technology in Education.

Bransford, J. and Cocking, R. (Eds.). (1999). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school.Washington,DC: National Academies Press