Hi, I’m April and this is my EDTC 300 summary of learning. Other than the last few weeks of the winter semester, this is the first web-delivered class I have taken and I will honestly say that this class has challenged me and pushed me far beyond my comfort zone. However, within these six weeks of class, I have honestly experienced more growth in my learning and online presence than I have in some face-to-face classes.
Each week, I appreciated the two evenings we were able to meet through Zoom and guided through many aspects of using technology as a professional and within the classroom. It also gave me a place to connect with classmates through the use of breakout rooms where we could collaborate, share thoughts, and exchange ideas.
This type of learning and collaboration was extended throughout the rest of the week through Twitter. This is where I experienced growth in my Personal Learning Network, as I was able to dedicate my twitter account, @april_hild, to building my digital identity as an educator. It was also a great tool for finding and sharing articles and resources about different aspects of working in a classroom. What I appreciate most are the resources I have gained about incorporating technology into the classroom as well as ways to address the topic of race with students.
Twitter also gave me another platform to connects with my classmates as we were able to share articles, resources, blog posts, updates of our learning projects as well as ask questions, share thoughts and give each other feedback. It also allowed me to connect with other education professionals, further along into their career who offered great insight. I look forward to continuing to use twitter to develop my PLN, as well as to document my experiences as an educator.
Our blogs were used to document our learnings regarding educational technology and to continue sharing our ideas with others in the class. Each post and prompt gave me the opportunity to further explore resources and articles and connect them back to class learnings. I also enjoyed the opportunity to receive comments as well as comment on my classmate’s blogs. Knowing that I was sharing this experience with others gave me a purpose for writing and encouraged me to overcome challenges in expanding my knowledge.
Although I already had my e-portfolio to fulfill requirements for other education classes, I had never taken the time to fully learn all that was possible through WordPress. This class taught me all of the aspects that make blogging fun to write and engaging to others including adding links, photos, videos, and personal touches. It also helped me make changes to the layout of my blog and add my educational philosophy, lesson plans, and resources.
Throughout the semester we were introduced to and encouraged to explore a variety of tools that can be used to incorporate technology in the classroom. To do so effectively, it is important to understand the SAMR model which outlines the different purposes technology serves in the classroom. Throughout this pandemic, we have seen a need for technology more than ever as it has allowed teachers to fulfill their role despite many restrictions. A few examples of digital tools that can be used in the classroom are SeeSaw, Padlet, ScreenCastify, and Quizlet. However, my top two favourite new tools that I have discovered through EDTC 300 would have to be Canva and Hour of Code. Although the options with Canva seem endless, I was able to use this tool to aid in my baking learning project to create recipe cards. I loved how simple it was to make and that it was a creative way to save recipes by creating a digital and hard copy. I also really liked Hour of Code as a fun activity for students that helps them develop skills such as, critical thinking, problem-solving, and reading/writing skills through coding. These are definitely tools I hope to utilize and incorporate into the classroom.
As well as exploring digital tools, we also covered some important topics throughout the class. First of all, I learned the importance of modeling a positive digital identity as an educator as it is an aspect of how we are perceived by others. We also discussed digital citizenship, which is knowing how to safely and responsibly use technology. As the use of technology is inevitable, it is important to teach students the aspects and dangers surrounding technology rather than discouraging them from using it. As students develop digital citizenship, they will also experience digital literacy, which the ability to efficiently use technology in a variety of ways. Being able to operate technology is different than understanding the practices needed to do so safely. As we understand there is a large amount of fake news that can be found online, it is important to teach critical thinking along with safe internet practices.
Through my learning project, I discovered how a good recipe can lead to great success. This concept can be applied to a variety of topics including digital citizenship and literacy.To help students understand the steps needed to maintain a safe digital presence, a quick lesson could be implemented about following the recipe to be a digital citizen. this is how I would implement it as a quick lesson.
- Protect Private Information – use passwords and make accounts private.
- Stay safe online – be a critical thinker and listen to your gut feeling about what is safe.
- Stand up to cyberbullying – don’t let others be treated in ways you wouldn’t want to be treated.
- Respect yourselves and others – in online communities.
- Balance the time – do other activities other than being engaged in media all day.
Overall, this class furthered my understanding of the importance of always being willing to learn from new sources and others around me, to always be the best for my students. As a lifelong learner, I will continue to look for resources and new ways I can use what is happening in the world around me to engage my students. As so much of this class utilized current events in connection to the curriculum, I look forward to the opportunity to guide my students through all aspects of learning.
To all of EDTC 300, thanks for following along and being a part of my learning journey! I wish you all the best!