As I reflect on the past eight weeks of study in this Walden University course, the impact of technology on the many facets of society is apparent. I have read through and viewed numerous resources provided through the course materials and have gained a better understanding of how to integrate technology in my own classroom using balanced literacy. According to an article by Zach Miners and Angela Pascopella, balanced literacy is a classroom approach “that incorporates traditional print media, electronic media, and everything in between” (Miners and Pascopella 2007). This course has been one more step down the path toward earning my Master’s Degree in technology integration, achieving balanced literacy, and developing students’ 21st century skills in my classroom.
In order for me to use technology effectively to enhance student learning, I must first develop my own technology skills. This course has introduced me to unfamiliar technology as well helped me gain a deeper understanding of technology I am familiar with. Over the past eight weeks I have been exposed to blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other “learning objects...that can be used to illustrate, support, supplement, or assess student learning” (Cramer 2007). Blogs are a tool that I am already familiar with and use in my class as a means of communication. After this course, I know of more meaningful ways to use them to guide and assess instruction. Wikis were unfamiliar to me before this course. By collaborating with my colleagues on constructing our own wiki, I now have the knowledge to introduce them to my students. In addition to these tools I also now know how to create a podcast and publish it on the Internet. All of these web tools are excellent ways for students to publish their works and collaborate with their peers.
The next step I will take in expanding my technology awareness is to continue earning my Master’s Degree. I will also participate in as many professional development courses in which I am able to enroll. I will urge my administrator and colleagues to push for more district-sponsored training in the area of technology integration. I must continually “find ways to incorporate…the information and knowledge that…students acquire outside class in their digital lives” (Prensky 2006). I must understand that the gadgets and gizmos that students use in their personal lives can be used to enrich their academic lives as well.
There are two goals that I would like to achieve in less than two years. These goals involve the transformation of my classroom into a “collaborative space where student-centered knowledge development and risk taking are accepted as the norm and where an ecology of learning develops and thrives” (Nussbaum-Beach 2008). First, I want each of my students to have their own blog where they can share their thinking and works with other students. To achieve this I must introduce blogging to them early in the school year and ensure that they have a firm grasp of its uses. I must also be vigilant in evaluating their progress and participation. Then, I will consistently conduct lessons that incorporate their blogs in the final product. My second goal is to teach my students how to create their own podcasts and publish them on the Internet. To accomplish this I will have the students brainstorm real world problems that affect their lives and then create solutions to these problems. Using all of the data and research they have collected they will create a video podcast similar to a news report. In order to achieve the two goals I have set for myself I must also increase the amount of technology in my classroom. To attain this I will request the school’s computer lab as often as possible to ensure that my students have access to the resources they need to complete their projects.
Cramer, S. (2007). Update your classroom with learning objects and twenty-first century skills. Clearing House, 80(3), 126–132.
Miners, Z., & Pascopella, A. (2007). The new literacies. District Administration, 43(10), 26–34.
Nussbaum-Beach, S. (2008). No limits. Technology & Learning, 28(7), 14–18. Retrieved from http://www.techlearning.com/article/8466.
Prensky, M. (2005). Listen to the natives. Educational Leadership, 63(4), 8–13.