Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reflection for Course 5306

I cannot believe it is the end of my first graduate class! After waiting almost thirty years to get my masters, I was a little overwhelmed at first with all the new technology I was learning. The first week consisted of many frustrating hours working with the instructions that were not matching with the website. Finally, I just chunked the instructions and muddled through the assignments using the tools the internet provided. It was aggravating to have URLs wrong only to find out a day or two later. When we completed the STAR report and it was loaded for 2008, I could not help but think why is this not current? During the fourth week’s assignment, I never could get the Wordle assignment to work. I tried step by step, and then some! Finally, I threw in the towel, which is not like me. After calling tech support to no avail, one of my cohorts so graciously walked me through the process and it is completed!

After taking the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, I felt it was wrong and was not a true depiction of who I really am. Feeling this was not me, I began to look inwardly at task and situations I was currently involved in with several other consultants. While working on this task, I realized that in knowing the temperaments, we are able to better collaborate with others and understand their temperament along with ours. As an Artisan, I can see the picture and can move forward without details while a Guardian needs those details. My friend and I are opposites and when we conduct professional development, it all works out because she takes care of those details. All teachers and their administrators should use this in working collaboratively together in order to gain a deeper appreciation for each other and their styles.

Each week we read articles related to aspects of technology in schools and I found myself reading every article, even when we were only required to read two or three that week. The article, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, by M. Prensky was one of my favorite. Prensky’s definition of “digital immigrants” truly explains and defines about seventy percent of the teachers I work with in schools. I truly understood my frustrations this week as I was trying to learn new aspects of technology which are so first nature to the “digital natives” in our schools. (Prensky, 2001) Prensky immolated me when he stated “They include printing out your e-mail (or having your secretary print it out for you – an even “thicker” accent); needing to print out a document written on the computer in order to edit it (rather than just sending them the URL).” (Prensky, 2001) As I read this statement, I was looking at the printed version of the article and the binder in which holds all the documents for this class. I print out my writing so that I can edit it because I seem to miss so much when I try to do it on the computer. My students on the other hand want to complete all tasks on the computer and I require them to keep electronic folders or binders with all the stages. Compared to my students, I truly am a “digital immigrant”!

I also discovered I am a little OCD when it comes to studying. I want everything perfect and would work all week on planning for the assignments. I was able to plan my week beginning on Sunday reading the articles, Monday watching the videos, Tuesday or Wednesday posting my quote, and then the remainder of the week was left to working on the assignment. I enjoyed the ability to work any time day or night on my assignments. The rubrics facilitated by inclination to make a perfect score. By using the rubrics, I knew exactly what was expected of me and how my assignments would be graded. Each assignment embedded different uses of technology tools that were new to me. Have I mastered them all? No, but I am a lot closer now than I was five weeks ago. Here we are in the last week of the class and I just now discovered where you can get your detailed feedback from your assignments! I was so caught up in the task and assuming I would receive an email about the assignments that I never noticed the “detail” button to the right of the grade. This will definitely help me in future classes.

This course has taught me the importance of embedding technology lessons into the curriculum. With each of our assignments, we were learning a new tool and learning about different aspects of the technology. I was able to implement some of the things I learned during an administrator’s strategic planning workshop that I co-facilitated last week. Due to the articles that we read, I was able to discuss topics like cyber bulling, copyright laws, blogs and wikis in school to increase parent communication, embedding technology into lessons to increase student performance, and motivation. Prensky also states, “More and more of our students lack the true prerequisites for learning – engagement and motivation – at least in terms of what we offer them in our schools.” (Prensky, 2006) We definitely need to look at the ways our students are connected and move in that direction if we want to move into the 21st Century classroom. It is my desire I will be able to demonstrate just that for the teachers I will be working with in the future.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants: Part 1.On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-6

Prensky, M (2005/2006). Listen to the natives. Educational Leadership, 63(4), 8-13

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