Monday, July 13, 2015

Once Upon A Digital Land

           When I first entered this class, I had no idea what I was in for. I originally thought that I was taking a class on technology and how to use it in the classroom. (Piece of cake-Wrong) I knew I needed 2 elective classes to complete my masters, so I wasn’t overly concerned about why I was doing it (double wrong!). The dynamic of the entire class was refreshing, we all have different stories to tell ,but teaching is the ultimate theme.
Coming into this course, I did what I was told at school and the things that I believed were swept under the rug. Technology and the idea of exploration was somewhat of a “native” term. Every website that I explored was blocked, the server is usually down, and student access is somewhat limited. However, it is still my job to explore more technology and apply it to everyday life. When we did our “This I Believe” statements, the light bulb went off!  For my project, I wanted to do something that I would use and use often. I chose two tools that would help me on my journey of open communication with my students’ parents.
             The first tool was easy, I needed to update and make my website more user friendly. I added and changed things to make it more of a center of my class rather then a tool that I say I use, and don’t. Second, I was always told that social media was not a place for teachers (wrong again). I would have never have thought of using social media for parent communication particularly Facebook.  However, being that I have parents that have a large language barrier, I wanted them to know that school is a place that wants to work with them- not against. I am still a little skeptical on how this will work and I am anticipating pushback from some colleagues, but I believe in it. I know that if I want my parents to be informed, I need to go where they are.
I once believed that I was a techno-traditionalist, after taking this course I am moving toward the techno-constructivist area. Before this class, I used to use gradebookwizard as my grade book program, would use Google Docs to share documents, and used my email religiously. Now I realized that I am able to do so much more, even with my cash strapped district. I never heard of the term "Virtual field trip" I did some research and have now included it in my Civil rights unit.
Aside from my project and tools that I have already used from my toolbox, I will be scanning and using livebinder, screencastify, doceri, and google forms. I think that having all of these tools for my students will make life so easy for them. Also, after listening to Tina and our discussion on Disney Princesses, I have decided to change one of my units. I will be going a unit on gender stereotypes. I am trying to find a novel that fits the theme, but it is so important for them to be exposed.
I think that I gained so many amazing things from this class. The entire 8 days was fun and exciting. The content was awesome, Dr. Bogad was so supportive and the entire class created a warm environment. I am so excited to bring back all that I have learned from the class and each other back to my classroom.

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