Module 1 Reflection
Right now in terms of my own teaching, I am very much a constructivist. I am a relatively new teacher (3 years), so there are many things that I try in search of a specific “way” that I teach. I was lucky enough to be in a top notch, technologically savvy school my first year in the classroom. I learned how to implement whiteboard technology as well as computers. I like to have the kids work with technology because I believe it helps to depict real world situations.
I am hoping that this class will give me more confidence in the realm of non traditional lessons. I feel like there is so much to learn, and I am always wanting to find out more.
The last school that I taught at had little to no technology. I am hoping that I can show others around me who might be stuck in the traditional sense, and could benefit from the use of technology, how to go about it. Some teachers do a wonderful job with little technology, but could still benefit in many instances by utilizing it. I hope to be a inspiration and a benefit to help them become more comfortable with technology too.
Module 2 Reflection
I have always thought of myself as a true constructivist, but after doing the reading, it has been brought to my attention that I do have inconsistencies between theory and what is truly constructivism. I am realizing that many times educators can fool themselves into thinking that they are creating student centered learning environments when what they are really creating is activities with little educational merit and no connection to constructivism. I have done this and couldn’t understand why the activity failed. But now I understand that what happened is that I did not truly follow the theory. It was an activity, that’s all.
While doing the readings, I was drawn to sections that discussed scaffolding. This is another area where I fall short, especially in “mini lessons”. This is where I believe technology could help me. I could use technology to show abstract things, which I do already, but could implement further. For example, in the textbook it discusses the “Virtual Human” to get a close up look at the anatomy of the human body in a way you could not without technology. I use technology for the larger assignments, but I now see how it could be used in mini assignments to explain ideas and principals too complex to understand without a reference. Educators still have to be careful, though, and not treat technology as a band aid for a larger problem such as making sure that we understand the true underlying purpose for the theory be it constructivism or whatever theory we strive to teach by.
Module 3 Reflection
The learning theory Constructivism really applies itself to the use of technology in the classroom. This learning theory basis itself on authentic learning and a student’s self discovery of knowledge. It also accentuates placing instruction into real world scenarios. Technology can do all of that for students. It can bring experiences to them as well as create scenarios to make all topics relevant. In my own classroom, I could utilize technology better than I do. That is one reason why I am getting my Masters in Educational Technology, because I dislike having all this great technology available, but cannot see the connection or how to best use it. I have really learned a lot since taking these courses, and I am excited about implementing them in my classroom. I take myself to be a constructivist type of teacher, now I just have to put technology and theory together to create a holistic classroom environment and make things somewhat easier on myself.
All learning theories can benefit from using technology in the classroom. Whether the instructor is online or in a traditional classroom, or whether the teacher is a Behaviorist, or Constructivist technology has become a crucial part of education. Over the years technology has evolved to meet societal changes in relation, educational theories shift to include these new technologies. On the other hand, learning theories play an important role in how these technologies are utilized.
I have chosen to discuss technology and the learning theories of Behaviorists and Constructivists since they are two different theories to show how all encompassing technology can be. For Behaviorists, I think that technology can meet the need of being the external stimulus that is believed necessary for a student to learn. For Constructivists the use of such emerging technologies as Social Networking sites creates learning that supports the idea of environment and social interaction as being an integral part of learning.
I believe in students benefit from learning socially, and I really like Social websites such as Edmodo that are secure and meant for educational purposes only. I think having a place for students to go and post questions and comments (within certain guidelines) creates a real sense of community and lets student know, especially with online environments that they are a part of a classroom community with others who are dealing with the same issues.
Final Reflection Blog
Well, here it is, my final blog. I have learned so much while taking Theoretical Foundations of Educational Technology. Before this course, I was aware of a couple different schools of thought in educational theories. Now, I am aware of so many more theories and have found out that instead of one theory, in my case constructivism, I have realized that my teaching style is actually a combination of many different theories.
I have learned how all different theories can benefit from using technology in the classroom. That technology is a tool that can enhance learning in any classroom when implemented properly. Technology does not only help learning theories it also helps with different methods such as differentiated instruction. Technology can be a great tool in creating individual learning experiences for a classroom that otherwise would be difficult without the benefits of technology.
The one thing that I will take away from this course, more than anything else is that even though there are different ways and ideas about how to teach, all have things about them that are beneficial. Also, each theory can use technology no matter how traditional the school of thought. Technology is here to stay, and it is our jobs as educators to find out how best to use it to get the greatest benefit. We must make sure that technology is used to help us reach a goal. If in fact technology does not help us meet our end, then its use is superficial at best. We must make sure that our use of technology as educators is well thought out and planned and goes along with our personal educational theory to create the best learning environment possible.