Application 4: Online Learning in K-12 Schools Podcast

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction, and Technology Reflection

At the beginning of this course I developed a "Personal Theory of Learning" that summarized my current approach to teaching as being aligned with a behaviorist perspective. I also set a goal for myself to move my strategies and practices toward a constructionist point of view. Upon completion of this course I still have this goal in my sights. I believe constructionist methods of teaching are the most effective at demonstrating student comprehension and to foster collaboration and teamwork.

As a result of my learning in this course I plan to use technology on a more consistent basis and in more effective ways. Previously, I saw technology as a teaching tool instead of a learning tool. I have used it as a way to present information to students. Now I know that technology is more effective as a learning tool that is student-focused and used by them to gain knowledge and to create artifacts that exhibit understanding. Two of these learning tools that I plan to use with my students is virtual field trips and concept mapping software. Virtual field trips will enhance student learning because they allow you to take your students to places that you otherwise might not be able visit due to financial or logistical reasons. Concept mapping software supports learning in that it enables students to organize their thoughts in a way that promotes knowledge retention.

Integrating technology in my classroom has always been a focus and I have two goals I would like to reach for accomplishing this task. First, I must reserve the computer lab more often. In my school we have two mobile computer labs, one for primary and one for intermediate. Right now, I have a one hour time slot each week in which I can use the lab. I must find other times during the week to have the lab in my room so that computers are accessible to my students. Second, I must introduce my students to more technology tools earlier in the school year. Typically, I slowly integrate technology in my classroom out of fear that my students will not be able to handle new complications. What I have learned is that I am the one who is fearful of new technology. I have found that my students are quick learners when it comes to technology because they have grown up with it.

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