Learning equals experience plus reflection.
Before I started the course Educational Technology I was already excited. I asked my friends in fourth year for the course outline for the course and I began to do my own research. The first thing I started to research on was the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). I downloaded the documents that were available on their websites and read through them. It was a good experience to be learning about these standards. These are standards implemented by ISTE for teachers and students to ensure the best practices through the use of technology. The IST's NETS for students are the standards for evaluating the skills students need to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly global and digital world. Our students of today need to be able to use technology to analyze, learn and more importantly explore. Digital age skills are important in preparing students to work, live and contribute to the social and civic fabric of their communities. The ISTE NETS for teachers are the standards for evaluating the skills and knowledge educators need to teach, work and learn in an increasingly connected global and digital society. With technology integration increasing in our society it is very important that educators possess the skills and behaviours of digital age professionals. To be competitive and effective teachers must become comfortable being co- learners with their students and colleagues around the world. These standards for both teachers and students have led to the implementation and recommended use of many different technological tools. Some of these tools include: Wiki, Podcast, Blog, Movie Maker, WebQuest, Facebook, Twitter among others.
At the first class, I remember questioning myself about the previous course we did called Information and Communication and Technology (ICT). I did exceptionally well in that course and earns myself an A+. So, I thought to myself that I definitely would love an A+ in this course also. As the course progress, I realize that technology in education is really a big deal. While I thought to myself that if I am placed at a school where internet is a problem and there are no computer access, how then would I be able to integrate technology in my class? Then I learn that technology is far beyond that point. This course thought me that through the many different tasks that I had to complete with the use of various technological tools. The first task given was to participate in an online discussion that was posted on Schoology. Our expectation of the course were to be posted and a discussion should take place under each philosophy and expectation of the course. This was an easy task as i had already set my own philosophy of the course and my expectations. The next task given was to create a concept map using online tools or a software. The concept map was about the different learning theories and how they are linked to each other. I learnt a lot doing this task. Even though I had to do a lot of research on each theory before I could start, it was worthwhile because in another course we had to do those theories\ and the reading benefited me there.
The next task required that we write an essay based on an article entitles “Our Brains Extended” by Marc Prensky (2013). This essay was supposed to be 6 pages and included a discussion about the new subjects proposed by Prensky and their relevance to the 21st century. The essay also included the impact of these subjects on traditional pedagogical norms as well as the implications of instituting the new curriculum from a policy maker’s perspective. This part of the assignment I found to be a little bit difficult because I did not understand the Prensky Subjects. However after reading multiple materials I began to understand. I even read students’ websites that contained the exact assign and I must say that they are a lifesaver. The final part of the assignment was to give details of three ways in which teachers could integrate technology in teaching and learning to aid in enhancing effective: thinking, action, relationships and accomplishments in a current subject area of my choice. The course then broadened my knowledge on how to use other technological devices and various tools to facilitate learning. The course then steered to the application of the ASSURE model for lesson planning. I must say that I had a lot of fun created my lesson plan and I had fun creating the tools I incorporated in my lesson which are WebQuest, digital story and a very interactive PowerPoint. The ASSURE lesson plan focused on students being the centered and technology being integrated into the lesson.
This course has definitely thought me a lot and I will bring all that I have learnt with me to my classroom. Applying technology in classroom has thought me how to use the internet to create websites, podcast, wikis and webquest to help with teaching my class. I know my students will enjoy the podcasts, digital stories, interactive PowerPoints and much more. This course was worth taking. If there was an Educational Technology II as an upcoming course, I know I would be dying of anticipation to be at that class.