Thursday, December 9, 2010
I really enjoyed learning about all of these technologies this semester, and it really made me feel more secure in my decision to pursue an educational contract major in visual literacy. Technology and visual literacy go hand in hand and this course was really helpful to me even though I'm not going into teaching per se. I think these websites and technologies are really useful for students as well as teachers. I think that they really helped me with my other courses, projects and study skills in general. The use of Dipity timeline was quite helpful in studying for art history exa,s. zamzar helped me add sound clips to other presentations etc. I've taught a lot of my friends about these resources too and they are all utilizing them as well. Knowing that there are resources out there like this is very reassuring and I can't wait to see more developed.
Coming into this class, I was not sure what to expect. I anticipated that we would do a series of projects that would teach us how to use technology in the classroom, but I never guess that my entire view of teaching and technology would be altered. Not only have I gained a skill set that will undoubtedly help me to succeed in both student teaching in my own future classroom, but I have also accessed a whole new world of technologies to use in everyday life. For example, I have been using Google maps for many years, but up until I was working on my final project I had absolutely no idea that I could create my own map with placemarks and paths to follow. I am extremely excited to use these websites and technologies in the reminder of my academic career and professional life.
I have never felt very confident with technology in the past, but after taking this course, I really feel like I've mastered several essential technologies. It was very beneficial to practice using wikis and blogs because they are so versatile and can be used in so many ways in the classroom. I also really liked learning how to make a photostory. I've already used that technology in writing one of my lesson plans for the Science Curriculum class. But for me, the most important project we did was the Smartboard project. It was very frustrating at times, but I discovered so many functions and features of the SmartNotebook software that I didn't know about before. It is highly likely that I'll be expected to use this technology in my student teaching and my future classroom so I'm very glad that I've gained some experience with it. I'm also glad that I was able to problem solve and brainstorm with the SmartNotebook software to get it working for me. That was a very valuable experience.
I entered this course thinking it would be just another technology course like I took in high school. I am SO glad I was wrong. This course has taught me more in one semester than I learned in four years of technology classes in high school. I know how to use applications that I will definitely use in my classroom. Not only will I use the applications, but I may also use the actual projects I have made. This Google Earth project will really come in handy when we talk about different places in France. I feel much better about student teaching (the SmartBoards worried me last year) and being the head in a classroom. I've been recommending this class to my education major friends because it is so beneficial. Knowing how to use these technologies will definitely make me more successful in teaching.