Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reflections on EME 5432

This concept map lists out what I took away from EME5432, Integrating Technology in the Social Studies. Doing the concept map, I realized that I took away a lot of good information from the class, and learned a lot of habits and about resources that will help me in my future classroom. If nothing else, I got into the habit of keeping a blog, which I noticed that other teachers are not very good at doing for their own classrooms. I really understand the value of a class blog, if nothing else for just keeping a list of what my class is doing so that parents can follow along. Another habit I developed is checking Twitter. It's a valuable resource, as so many teachers are on Twitter constantly sharing resources and ideas. As far as resources, I don't know how I ever got along before using delicious, because I now use it during presentations and lessons constantly.

I was skeptical about using so many internet resources in my class, particularly the social networking sites, but now I realize they can be invaluable resources for communicating with my students is used correctly and responsibly. When creating my concept map, I realized that I already use a whole lot more "tech tools" than I did in August, and I plan to implement a lot more into my professional life.

Another lesson I'll take away from this class is that if I really want to get certain things in my class and increase student access to technology, there are ways to do it. I fully plan to implement my strategy to "bridge the digital divide."

I would have enjoyed having more focus on what can be done with a SMART Board, since they're kind of daunting. I was lucky enough to have had a practicum where my guiding teacher had one and let me play with it, but others didn't. Even with my limited experience, there's so much that can be done with a SMART Board that I have no idea about. I also would have liked perhaps creating a class website and learning what kinds of elements can and should be included in it, not just a blog. That's something that many teachers use and that I could have tried out to figure out what works before I actually get into the classroom, or had a prototype to work from pr add to in the future.

Even though there were things I would have liked to do in addition to what we did do, I'm less daunted by the idea of having to figure those things out on my own. I feel that I got plenty out of this class and am really happy with what I learned, the resources and concepts I was introduced to, and think that I'll be a better educator for having taken this class.

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