Part One: Course Reflection
One of the main things that I have learned as I have worked through the assignments in EDTECH 541 is that it is possible to use technology and integrate it into my library lessons in a meaningful way. Many of the schools in my diocese are doing away with having librarians and an actual library class and I think it has to do with the fact that more and more of our schools are becoming 1:1. I think the assumption is that students can read books and perform research on their devices, or they can go to their public library. I value the library that we have at our school and I value the time I spend with the students teaching them library, reading, and research skills. I think that my classroom teachers value what I do as well because they lack the time to go into depth on some of the skills that I cover such as digital citizenship and research skills.
I was more inclined to favor the constructivist approach while creating my projects for this course. The projects I completed and technology resources that I created acted as guides to help my students further understand concepts rather than just dispense information to them. All of my completed artifacts were geared towards the middle grades, specifically fourth grade, and as I developed them, I was aware of the prior knowledge the students had obtained from classes they had with me in the years leading up to this grade and I built on this knowledge from there. Students were often presented with problems or assignments to solve and the necessary technological resources to solve them. Each activity involved the students in active learning and provided tasks that were meaningful and challenging, yet recognized their different learning styles, abilities, and motivation.
The assignments that I have completed in EdTech 541 have helped me develop a toolbox of resources that I can not only use in my library, but also share with my fellow teachers to adapt for use in their classrooms. I was also able to demonstrate mastery of the following AECT standards:
- Standard 1.2 Using: The use of technological resources was implemented within each project.
- Standard 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating: Extensive consideration was put into deciding the best way to utilize technological resources in order to support the objectives of the lesson and enhance student learning.
- Standard 2.1 Creating: While creating each assignment, I used the knowledge I have for my content area to develop activities that used technology in a meaningful manner in order to improve student performance and learning.
- Standard 2.2 Using: I determined the appropriate technologies to use with each activity based on state and diocesan standards and the Standards for the 21st -Century Learner created by the American Association of School Librarians.
- Standard 5.1 Theoretical Foundations: Using my knowledge of constructivism, the lessons and activities I created built on my students’ prior knowledge. Within these activities, the students were often presented with problems or assignments to solve and the necessary technological resources to solve them. Each activity involved the students in active learning and provided tasks that were meaningful and challenging, yet recognized their different learning styles, abilities, and motivation.
- Standard 5.3 Assessing/Evaluating: During each module, I researched strategies and resources related to each topic that could be used to further explore and develop learning activities involving the integration of technology.
Technology has not always been available for use in my library. Up until this year when I added three iPads, the only technology available was a laptop and the SmartBoard. As a result of taking this course and working to integrate technology into this content area, I have become more creative in implementing technology within my library lessons. I have signed out the computer lab to help my students further their research skills and integrated learning centers within the library where small groups can work on activities using the technology that is available. I have also become more mindful of using the assistive devices that are available on our technology with our students who have learning disabilities.
I feel that it is valuable to integrate technology into today’s classrooms. If I didn’t, then I would not be seeking this degree. What I have learned is that many of the technology tools and resources that are available can probably be tailored in some way to meet the needs of my classroom. I have become a lot more discerning, though, and realize that it is not enough to use technology just to say I am using it. It is of utmost importance that the technology is integrated in a meaningful and relevant manner in order to enhance student engagement and learning and help the students succeed in ways that they normally would not.
Click on this link to view all the work that I have created throughout this course.
Part Two: Assessing My Performance
I have put a lot of time and effort into this course and that includes my blogging efforts. As I completed each blog post, I referred to the rubric provided to ensure that I was meeting all the requirements. Below is my self-assessment and rationale for my blog writing throughout this course.
- Content: I feel that my blog posts were carefully constructed and thoughtful. They contained substantial detail with references to the readings, any additional research I performed, and my personal experiences. I feel that I earned the full 70 points for this area.
- Readings and Resources: I read the assigned text chapters each week, used the resources provided, and sought out additional resources if there was material I did not understand. I included references from the course text and other resource materials to support my blog entries each week. APA style was used to cite my references each week. I believe I earned the full 20 points for this area.
- Timeliness: In looking back and comparing the dates when I posted my blogs, I would say that the majority of them were posted by midweek. Synthesizing what I have read and learned and writing thoughts down has been difficult for me so some posts were made later in the week. I do feel that all were posted with enough time for my classmates to comment before the end of the module. I feel that I have earned 18 points for this area.
- Responses to Other Students: I made at least two thoughtful substantial responses to other students’ posts for each blogging assignment. I included my thoughts on what was posted, as well as personal experiences and commonalities. My comments were respectful and showed proper netiquette. I believe that I have earned the full 30 points for this area.
Proposed Score: 138/140