Wow. I feel like I have come a long way from 7 weeks ago. I remember that I felt pretty good about assignment #1 (making the blog) and then assignment #2 I immediately began to panic. Many thoughts ran through my mind…”What I am doing? I haven’t written a paper in 2 years! Is this really how I want to spend my last 7 weeks of summer? Am I doing this right? What the heck is this RSS thing? WHY APA!?” etc. I questioned whether I was in way over my head and if I could really handle this class…let alone the whole program. The challenges that I faced were related to the initial “I haven’t used this tool before or am unaware of this type of technology…so I probably won’t do well.” This was my mindset in the beginning and I was not as confident with technology as I was when I signed up for the course.
I believe the turning points was during the RSS in Education assignment. I remember exploring Feedly and thinking how cool it was! I even texted some of my friends about it and shared my “how to use Feedly” video! At that point I began to relax a little and really see the big picture. I was learning new technology and could use this stuff right away in my classroom!
I found it was quite easy to communicate with our instructor Anthony Saba (thank you!), and also our classmates. Many times a question that I had was already posted by someone else. This was a great way to overcome the challenges that I faced. By communicating through Google + I received timely and quality feedback and assistance with the questions that I had.
Not only was this a great way to overcome the challenges, but it was a great way to just communicate with one another. I believe that this collaboration is rare, especially in an online class. I think we were very lucky to have this open communication. In the beginning, we were “required” to comment and give feedback to a certain number of people. As the class progressed, it became natural. I found myself getting excited to see other peoples’ posts and ideas! It was also encouraging to receive feedback from others on my own assignments. I really hope to work with some of these classmates in the rest of my EdTech courses!
The artifact that I feel was my best was my EdTech Graphic. When I saw this assignment I was super excited to begin (weird, I know). I took my laptop to Panera and sat there for a solid 3 hours making it “as cool as I could.” I probably could have thrown something together in less than half the time, but I love making artifacts that allow you to be visually creative. While doing so, I got to explore a new tool (Piktochart) and share it with my classmates! I am excited to (eventually) make this a poster in my own classroom!
In my school, I plan to show students and staff members how to use Piktochart, share my new knowledge of Google Docs, Feedly, Voice Thread, etc. I have learned about several new tools and ways to use technology. I am very excited to use the tech tool that I explored, Kahoot! in my classroom this year as well. I have already shared some of my knowledge. A friend of mine is student teaching this semester and is working to flip a computer technology class. I was able to help and let him know of the site Screencast-O-Matic that was used!
Finally, I thought I would give a little advice for future students taking this course. Please keep in mind that this was the first EdTech Course that I took so I was a little overwhelmed from the start!
- Start early and stay organized! Even if it is just reading through the plan for the week, it is good to know what is ahead and many of the assignments are VERY time consuming (maybe it was just me…)
- Collaborate! Use your instructor and classmates as resources. Everyone is willing to help!
- Read all module steps and assignment rubrics carefully! There are many parts to each assignment and the rubric is very detailed, letting you know exactly what you need to do to get the most out of the assignment and receive a good score as well!
- Don’t get too discouraged or give up. We have all been there! Stick with it!
- You may think you are very tech savvy in the beginning, but there is SO much more to learn! Embrace it!
I really enjoyed this class and am looking forward to the rest of my classes in this program! Thanks to everyone who was along for the ride! Here is a nice summer smiley pic because I am one grad class down and have one more week left before I have students!