What an incredible learning experience this course has been! I enrolled in this class because I realize that the technology is the way of the future in education. But I also realized that my technology skills were somewhat limited since I have taught in schools with very limited technological capabilities. Thus one of the greatest benefits of this class was that it increased my self-confidence in my ability to use technology and integrate it into my curriculum. For example, I learned how to use Excel to make an educationally useful Spreadsheet. I also created a class website from scratch, which I never had done since I have always used Blackboard in the past. Furthermore, I successfully mastered the task of compiling an electronic portfolio. Although I have used Power Point previous to this class, I honed my skills by creating another presentation and having someone else evaluate it. Thus this class provided me with many opportunities to use and master new technology. I will admit, however, that it often was hard to teach myself how to use some of this technology. Although all of the course information was detailed and generally easy to follow, it would have been easier for me to have someone demonstrating many of the technologies I was learning. Regardless, I was able to learn a ton!
I also found all of the module information, as well as the Edutopia readings, to be enormously helpful. Thanks to the information in the modules., I became exposed to an enormous array of “extracurricular links” that have enabled me to create in-class activities that captivate students’ interest. For example, I had never used RubiStar before this class and now I am making rubrics with it on a consistent basis. I also discovered many links specific to my content area of Language Arts. For example several sites provided information on how to teach citation skills, with which I always have struggled. The textbook readings allowed me read about classrooms, schools and districts that have implemented the technology about which I have been learning, such as PDAs and other assistive devices. It was greatly helpful to read these specific examples so that I could better understand the logistics involved in integrating specific technologies.
In short, I have learned a tremendous amount from this course as a result of the readings, hands on experience, and instructor feedback. I would recommend this course to other teachers who also are seeking ways to enhance their students’ classroom experience.