I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I enrolled in this class. I wanted to find a couple of useful technology lessons or new tools that I could immediately use in my classroom. Instead, I was reminded of something I knew but need to be retold. There is no perfect tool or lesson.
TPACK gave me the formula to understand the use of technology in education. Content is the knowledge we have to teach. Pedagogy is the strategies we have to teach content. Technology provides us with a method to deliver our lessons or a method for the students to research or… Yes, the list of things technology can do for us is unlimited. However, as a 21st century teacher, I’ll need to repurpose and redesign the tools that the technology industry provides.
Another main idea that had a huge impact on me is the value of Professional and Personal Learning Networks. I have created a lot of new accounts, Twitter, Feedly and I would like to make a personal commitment to use them. Taking this class as I was finishing the school year didn’t allow me a lot of time to examine fellow student’s work. However this past week I have been able to view lesson, video and blogs. I am amazed at the diversity in our class. I shouldn’t be because I know that with every classroom comes diversity. I learned how to start fires, braid hair and frost cakes. There are newbies to technology, students without classrooms as well as those of us who have been teaching a number of years. We are all learners as well as teachers. This is so important. I believe if you are going to teach, then you need to make a personal commitment to continue to learn. I am very excited to have been a part of this community. I have commented on blogs and reached out to teachers. I hope that I have established new contacts, contacts that can support and develop our understanding of learning with technology.
As a teacher, I intend to help my students expand their networks too. In our district, we talk about the 4 Cs, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication. These ideas are not new ideas in education but have a different meaning in this century. Students today have a large audience and they are aware of it. They want their work to be seen. They are creative, the means by which they can communicate are endless and they love technology. I can’t wait to share with my students and help them explore creative ways to use the technology that we have at school, in imaginative and meaningful ways.
After this class, I have lots of questions about technology in education. Big ones: How much screen time should a child experience in a day? How young is too young to work on an iPad? Questions that no one knows the answer to yet and ones that maybe we’ll never be able to answer. Little questions: How can I improve the use of the app Sock Puppets during independent writing time? Which apps should we buy this year? I love out of the box thinking and doing. It is the goal of every teacher to inspire his or her students to think and reach. This is what this class has done for me. It validated my teaching, it challenged me to improve myself but most importantly, it inspired me to question and want to do more!
Until we meet again, always remember, that life is good!