In what ways have you grown as a professional while taking this course? How can you use the knowledge gained to increase your leadership within the corporation?
I have increased my knowledge about technology while taking this course. I will use this knowledge in my classroom, in my role as a member of the technology committee, and in providing professional development for the faculty.
Philosophy and theory of how to incorporate technology into the curriculum is one of the areas in which I learned the most in this class. It was not one of the reasons I signed up for the class and some articles addressed issues I had not considered yet with 1:1 implementation. Discussions about digital citizenship or digital reputation brought different insights into a problem that is very frustrating to me. Responsible students who are well behaved in the real world display behavior in the digital world which is not consistent with their personalities. They post things online and make up personalities or lie about their age to see if they can get by with it. Internet safety rules don't seem to have much meaning or value to many of them. Although digital education can offer new level 4 activities that involve higher level thinking skills and projects not possible prior to devices, what devices are actually being used for falls far short of those goals. Digital worksheets are just expensive workbooks.
New websites and software opportunities were plentiful in this course. I used Symbaloo, Mendaley, and Padlet in class activities. I shared class articles with my personal PLC group and with writing consultants in my National Writing Project group. My PLC group created their own Symbaloos and a science teacher tried a couple of the websites in her classes. I took the class to learn more about current software and website trends and to learn what some of the latest developments are and I was not disappointed.
The third reason I took the course is to learn about 1:1 technology projects for my technology committee. Our school corporation will probably go 1:1 in the 2015 to 2016 school year. I am concerned about whether or not 1:1 will work. Our greatest obstacle will be the lack of connectivity in the community due to dead zones. Our second greatest obstacle will be our school network. My fear is that when we buy the devices and spend a lot of money, they won't work. The school has a history of technology projects that were planned, purchased, and did not work as hoped. We have five i-Touch carts from a grant project. The carts and the Wi-Fi worked well in some areas of the building, but did not work well in other areas. My classroom is in a hall where Wi-Fi is not reliable. It is hard to buy into a project that will die in the middle of class. Although I love technology myself and go back to Apple IIe, I can list easily the well-intended projects that did not work because of interconnectivity or the school network blocking websites that needed to work for the webquests to be successful. Our technology committee hopes to put several steps in place before we begin a 1:1 implementation. Our first step this school year is a schoolwide survey of the staff to if people buy into the proposed project. Buy-in from the students, parents, and community will follow. Curriculum planning, studying devices, seeing what needs to be fixed in the network and infrastructure are other steps in the overall success. It has been helpful to read articles and discussions from people who have actually done 1:1. I have enjoyed this class and happy that I had the opportunity to participate.