As for the tools like spreadsheets and databases and Google Docs that I was already familiar with, I learned how to use them in my teaching practice. I built libraries of resources on my class project Web site that I know I will refer to again and again, such as a video library on Cyber safety that I can incorporate into a Voicethread or Popplet . The use of multimedia tools and technologies help me achieve the AECT Standard 2 required of this course and I definitely feel a lot more comfortable in using this tools as part of a curriculum. I stress the tools are to be part of the curriculum and not the entity. Proper utilization of these tools, while still promoting the core curriculum standards, will help students be motivated to learn and retain the new knowledge. I feel the same in terms of the standards required for this course.
Second, I had the time to actually work with these new resources. It seems like and professional development opportunities and conferences leave little time for actual practice and application of these new tools. Technology, and how to use it, is simply introduced, and too often forgotten about when I and fellow educators return to work. There are not enough hours in the day to work on something new. This course provided the opportunity for me to devote time to learning and exploring technology with careful thought as to how I would apply the tools to a Information and Digital literacy skills curriculum.
Too often I see technology being used as simply a tool without much thought as to how to use it as a device to drive curriculum. The iPad, for instance, can be more than a camera, email device, eBook calculator, timer, or gaming device. Finding ways to embed a multi-purpose m-learning device will be the challenge for instructional designers, but a time saver for busy classroom teachers. In my Google Doc presentation “iPad Apps for the Elementary School”, I highlighted some of the apps downloaded on the student iPad at my school and defined the relative advantage for using the apps.
Without a doubt, the exposure to the different multimedia tools, applying them in the development of resource libraries and lessons, and the creation of a resource page has afforded me a certain level of confidence in my integrating technology into curriculum know-how. My level of confidence with using the new tools is boosted as I try to find ways to integrate these tools into a Information Literacy Skills curriculum. What I like the most about the technology I have learned is that the technology, and how I developed lesson plans with the technology, has a meaningful purpose to transfer knowledge and guide students to being creative.
I am not currently in a teaching position. I have the licenses and my hope is to pursue career opportunities available in the online education field once I finish my degree in May 2013. I will refer to Weebly created Web site as a professional resource in the future to help guide me in this ever changing educational technology world.