As I reflect, and I mean truly reflect, on how this class has taught me… or should I say, how I have taught myself, with the tools provided, I must say I have to think pretty hard. When I want to reflect on life, who I am, and what I want to be, I like to find a place that is beautiful, calm, and quiet. Where all you can hear is the wind and the birds. Although I cannot find that place today, this picture makes me think… What have I learned? What have I done a great job and where do I have room to improve? Have I enjoyed anything this semester? Who have I reached out to for help? What have I done to teach myself? I hope to answer these questions… but first… isn’t that picture AMAZING?!?!
1. What have I learned:
Well… I am not in <— that classroom anymore. At least not in this class. Most of my learning happens outside of the classroom. While in class we discuss the types of tools we are using, but outside of class is where the learning happens. I do not have to listen to lectures, unless I want to using tools online, and I do not have to have homework passed in on time because the teacher must have work to prove you are learning something… no on the contrary, my learning happens because I want it to, because I have taken the initiative to learn from those around, my peers, and those I do not know, but are interested and have studied what I am interested in. Judging from my blogs, which have been few since coming back from Spring Break, I have learned a lot from being able to enter the classroom last Thursday. The trip to learn more about Deb White and what she is doing has really encouraged me as a future educator. I feel I am more capable of implementing these tools in my classroom one day.
2. Strengths and Weakness:
My strengths would include the following:
- wanting to learn more about what we are doing
- focusing on what interests me
- participating in class
- being prepared to have yet another username and password…
- keeping an open mind
- using Evernote
My weakness these past few weeks:
- lack of motivation
- frustration with the amount of new tools
- keeping up with posting to my blog
Let me quickly explain these: in my strengths I hope you are able to see that I am eager to learn, I am desperately trying to keep an open mind, and I love Evernote. Earlier this semester my harddrive crashed. Luckily everything on my laptop was recovered, but during the time my laptop was being fixed I was not able to work on my project… or so I thought. I asked my teacher if I could access what I had saved on Evernote online, and I could. It was great to know that although I use Evernote on my desktop all of my information is being saved on the internet, therefore I can access it anywhere! My weakness on the other hand have been holding me back. I have been getting frustrated with how many tools I need to understand, like Thomas Steelemaley said a few classes ago, “It’s like we’re all out of the honeymoon stage!” Gosh, did that click with me… I no longer can be in love with all of the tools available to me, I need to make a choice to use them or not… That is where the lack of motivation comes into play, because of the frustration I did not want to engage in the course, now that I understand I need to make a choice to engage, I am become excited again. Finally, keeping up with my blog posts have been a struggle for me. I think most of the struggle comes from the frustration, when you are frustrated you have nothing good to write about, but recently ideas have been clicking, like today during class Thomas said, “Your PLN may look different than mine!” Well DUH! Why did I not think of that before? Of course I am not going to be able to do everything Thomas is doing, he’s been doing it much longer than I have. What relief it was to hear I didn’t have to reach his status 🙂
3. Readings and Experiences
What stands out to me the most for this section is our recent trip to Asa Adams. I learned so much from Deb White. So much about how I can access these tools in my classroom eventually, about how I can engage my students in simple tasks, such as using the calculator on the computer, or how I can develop a web page with resources I would like my students to access. It was encouraging to see how simple steps can make a difference and encourage the students you are working with.
Some of the readings I have enjoyed have actually come from my own individual research. These resources include, but are not limited to:
These three resources listed above have encouraged me to investigate, discover, and dare to try new things!
4. Who can help me improve and what am I doing:
To improve in this class I hope to be open to learning from anyone. This means, looking for blogs from students older or younger than me, watching children use technology better than I do, and listening to those around me (meaning in this world) who have more experience than I do. So far what I am doing to complete this task is to read blogs, follow twitter hashtags, and listen. While visiting Deb White’s class we got a chance to talk with some fourth graders, although I was told the boys I talked to wouldn’t miss have computer access, I did notice that they understood how to navigate through the web, how to activate a twitter account, and how to use a blog! That is great… now it’s my turn to use what I have learned about to further my education!