For our ECMP 455 class, we listened to inspiring stories from Darren Kuropatwa, Clarence Fisher and Kathy Cassidy. It was amazing to hear what each of these educators are doing with technology in the classroom. They all teach different subjects and grade levels, yet they have a common vision for their classrooms. The vision of supporting their students and providing them with the tools necessary for successful learning.
I think the big learning moment for me was that there is no formula for incorporating technology in the classroom. It will vary from teacher to teacher in how much or how little technology they use with their students. Personally, I have been searching for someone to tell me what tools I should incorporate and how much technology I should use in the classroom. I learned from this presentation that the answer is inside of me. I have to decide as a teacher, what is important to me and what I am comfortable with using in my classroom. I have to decide what tools to use for supporting my students learning. Why would I choose not to include technology in my classroom, especially since my job is to prepare students for life long learning and teach them life skills? I liked the point Kathy Cassidy made about, “I teach my students to live in a digital world.” I completely agree with her because we are living in a digital world, so we should educate our students about how to use these tools in their lives.
Another important point to their presentation was collaboration. They all shared comments about how they work with others for creating new ideas and activities in the classroom. I have definitely learned from taking this class that building a strong personal learning environment (PLN) is very important for expanding my own learning with technology. Also, I think that because my class is online, I am forced to rely more on my PLN to provide me support and resources for my own teaching and learning. I think that I am lucky to have this class to develop my PLN and gather great resources before I have my own classroom.
It was very inspiring for me to hear them say start small and slowly build up to using more and more technology with students. I know that starting teaching is gong to be very overwhelming, especially to try and incorporate technology into my lesson plans. As a new teacher, I think that it is important to start my career with small goals and slowly take steps into incorporating more technology.
I learned many important things tonight about teaching with technology from these presentations. Before starting this class, I always thought that teaching technology relies on personal skill level and experience, which I lack both confidence and skills in. One of the presenters shared this image below from flickr (by superkimbo) that is very powerful and inspiring to me.
I know that in order for me to succeed in teaching with technology, I need to believe that I can do it as well as develop realistic goals for my classroom. Also, I think that I need to reach out for support from my PLN and not be afraid to ask others for help. I think this image says it all, using technology successfully is a mindset and we all are capable in reaching this mindset if we believe in it! 😀