Summary of PLN Plan
I cannot write about a current PLN because there is none. For the future, I hope that I get a chance to implement such a plan to a school that is waffling with technology, much like the one where I taught. The participants are everyone from the school leadership to the community to the students. Everyone has to be involved in order for it to be a success. There are three phases: Phase 1 will last three months for organizing and planning, phase 2 will also last about 3 month to procure funding and organize budget plan, and phase 3 will last three to six months to implement plans, assess and adjust. All of the length of these phases are estimates it could move faster or slower depending on outside variables.
The most important thing after budgeting for teachers to receive proper training on how to utilize technology in the classroom effectively through professional development and practice in the classroom. Teachers should be assessed to make sure they are using technology in an effective way. This will be difficult since some will utilize it more than others, and since I feel that technology is not needed for every lesson. There are many effective teachers that do not use technology at all, and I would not want them discouraged. This is why some leniency should be given here along with feedback and modeling if needed.
After creating a PLN plan, I was really able to see how important planning technology use is. In everything there is a need for a game plan and this is no exception.
Without one, there can be no way to assess how well the technology is enhancing learning. I realized how important it is to let everyone know what is expected them and what their role is. It is also important to lay out a time line to help all of the participants stay on track and also be able to see how far they have come.
My Class Reflection
In reflecting on my past few months in this course, it hit me exactly how much I have learned. For instance, just because technology is available, does not mean you should always use it just to use it. You must Asses your lesson and decide if technology use can make it better. I think that is the most important thing. People can get caught up using technology with no beneficial results just for the sake of using it. I also have learned about many great websites and software that help with technology in the classroom both from my own research and through the wonderful work of my classmates, as well as how to implement them in my classroom. It has been a true learning experience.
AECT standards are mastered through the coursework by teaching how to design the use of technology according to the needs of students. (Standard 1) This class also has taught me how to combine different forms of technology such as video, media, written word, and the Internet to create a well-rounded lesson. (Standard 2) I have also learned how to integrate media as well as how web based instruction through different lessons such as using the web for research and information. (Standard 3) I have also learned how to pace and manage time when using technology. We must allow time for technological delays or extended learning time and that we must have some flexibility and make sure that we plan for what is needed all the while making sure we are meeting standards. (Standard 4) Assessment to me is one of the most important reasons to use technology. With immediate feedback in both summative and formative assessments, adjustments can be made as needed and help can be given in a timely manner to better help in the learning process. (Standard 5).
I have grown professionally by learning from the coursework as well as my classmates. I have also learned from my own mistakes. I have had to go back a few times and reexamine a lesson that I thought was fine, but ended up being lackluster because I would overlook something or there was a better tool that I neglected to use. By looking at what I am use to doing and then looking at my classmates work or by my instructor gently leading me to a better idea or tool, I have learned to look in all areas and think outside the box. It will be these things that I have learned that I will take to my classroom with me. As I stated earlier, I think the biggest thing that I learned was if a lesson isn’t broke don’t try and fix it with technology. Through this course I have learned how to use technology in an effective way that will benefit the classroom and engage students while meeting standards.
Theory is important when developing lessons and assignments. It is important that as an educator I must remember the reason for utilizing it. Technology is suppose to be a tool that enhances learning for all types of students and creates opportunity for higher order thinking skills. While creating assignments I will look to see if the software and technology leant itself to higher order thinking or addressed special needs. Technology needs to be a tool to help students of all learning types succeed by being able to differentiate and give students that one on one instruction time some so desperately need. It is individualized for the individual student. This is why using technology effectively along with standards is the key to successful students. That is what I have learned these past few months. It has really made me realize the benefits and pitfalls and has taught me how to identify the difference.
Assessment of Blogs
Content Score: 150/150
I really enjoyed the blogs. This is the first time that I ever blogged and it really was a great way to explore a topic. I always took my time when writing the blogs. Especially since I knew others would be looking at it. I took the time and did the research for each blog, it took me a couple of time before I found my own voice and veered away from writing it like an English paper, but I always believed they were up to standards.
Sources Score: 28/30
I wish I could say that I always had sources with my blogs with exception of my first. I did not cite sources there. I overlooked that criteria. My mistake.
Timeliness Score: 25/25
My blogs were always turned in in a timely manner.
Response Score: 45/50
This was my weak area. I tried to leave responses that were insightful and added to the blog, but sometimes I felt like I fell short. Although I tried, I felt like I could have dug deeper and gave better responses for some replies. Not all, but some.