Part One: Reflect on the entire course.
What you have learned?
When I started this course, like others I took, I had an idea of what I would have to do. Like those other courses, I couldn’t be more wrong. I thought that since this was a project-based course, it fell right into my wheelhouse and I would cruised through it. However, these projects were some of the most thought-provoking one I have done. More than once, I started out the week with a clear idea of what to do only to have my plans fall apart by the weekend. I scrapped more than one project days before it was due, then returned to it with a new focus. Projects I thought went well, didn’t and ones that I cringed when I got the email that the grade was posted, turned out fine. I had no idea how I was doing in any given week and that forced me to change my thinking when I approached a project. It made me look at them with a more open-mind.
How theory guided development of the projects and assignments you created?
The nature of my position generally demanded an instructive approach, but with the change to the GED test, I knew I needed to become constructivist. Since the objectives are guided by the GED test, a student-centered environment is not feasible. I would love to flip my class, but situations make that option nonviable. Therefore, I tried to design projects around activities that require heavy student participation and include aspects of student-centered learning and the flipped classroom. This includes providing options to my students of sites to visit and incorporating videos to demonstrate the lesson.
How the course work demonstrates mastery of the AECT standards?
While I think I touched on all aspects of Design, Development and Utilization, I think the three areas I touched on in practically every project were Instructional Strategies, Integrated Technology and Media Utilization. The projects centered around my content are of middle school mathematics. This is the level of mathematics most of my students are at, even though they are much older than the typical middle school student. For my math-related projects, I chose to focus on the concepts that generally cause the most difficulties in the largest portion of my students. As mentioned earlier, I chose to include a lot of video and to provide options for my students as to which activities to pursue in order to learn the material. All the tools and technology I chose were to fit the lessons, not the other way around.
How you have grown professionally?
I have never been a lesson plan teacher. I generally say that I teach-on-the-fly. I know the material and I know how to teach it. This has caused some problems at other places I taught, where they expected lesson plans. Where I have been most successful have been schools that haven’t emphasized this. However, this course has taught me to consider a little more planning time in order to choose the right technology to fit the lesson and my students’ needs. And, the more I study. the more tools I can have at the ready for those on-the-fly moments when a student brings a different
How your own teaching practice or thoughts about teaching have been impacted by what you have learned or accomplished in this course?
This course has reinforced my need to include all aspects of technology in my classes. However, my current school has many limitations that will prevent me from accomplishing this. Originally, when I started this program, it was my intention to convince my school of the need for more technology and utilize what I learn where I am, not only in my classes, but to assist my fellow teachers. However, as I get closer to graduation (one year to go), I realize that I will most likely have to seek another institution in order to achieve this goal.
What will you do differently as an educator as a result of this course?
I have normally focused on the application of math in my teaching. This left little room for the social science elements. However, with the projects focusing on the language arts and music, physical education and art, I needed to think about other aspects of mathematics beyond solving problems. Therefore, I will add more activities designed to teach math terminology and how math affects other subjects.
Part Two: Assess Your Performance
CONTENT: PROFICIENT (60/70)
Substantial information, thought, insight and analysis has taken place with some connection to previous or current content and/or to real life situations but lack of depth and detail.
Not so much for a lack of depth or detail, I just feel that writing is not my strong point. On top of that, despite an extroverted nature, I am somewhat tentative when it comes to exposing myself in the form of reflection.
READING AND RESOURCES: OUTSTANDING (20/20)
Readings (from course text) and other resource materials are used to support blog comments. APA style is used to cite references.
I think this course has helped me become better at citing and referencing.
TIMELINESS: PROFICIENT (17/20)
All required postings are made but not in time for others to read and respond.
My goal each week was to write my blogs by Friday, but taking two classes this semester was a took a toll and often I did not post my blog until the weekend.
RESPONSE TO OTHER STUDENTS: OUTSTANDING (30/30)
Two or more substantial posts with at least one detailed response made to address another students’ post.
I made sure to respond to two post every week and provide more than a courtesy comment. I tried to respond to different classmates, so as to get a feel for as many of them as I could.