This course covers strategies for integrating technology into the teaching and learning process, with a focus on enhancing how students think rather than what they think. Special attention is given to supporting higher order thinking and problem solving with technology.
This class completely changed the way I think about the integration of technology to ensure authentic learning for my students. I have always loved the discussion board format of online classes as I enjoy reading others’ opinions and ideas about certain subjects but the discussions I participated in this class were instrumental to my own learning. I appreciated how most of the assignments were also up for review for classmates. I definitely felt I learned from other members of our learning community and, in turn, hope I contributed to their learning as well by providing my insight, opinions, and experiences during discussion boards, the VoiceThread, and Collaborative Concept Map.
I really enjoyed creating the VoiceThread for Innovative Technologies to Enhance Learning. I had never created a VoiceThread before and I found it really fun and comprehensive. It forced me to really think about a technology that I use in my classroom and pick it apart to explain its value. I also enjoyed watching everyone else’s VoiceThreads and found a lot of valuable new resources I had never heard of.
The culminating assignment for this class was the assessment of the characteristics of a pre-existing technology lesson. During the Assessing Characteristics of Meaningful Learning assignment I gave a critical review of a Science NetLinks lesson using a provided rubric assessing the active, constructive, intentional, authentic, and collaborative learning presented in the lesson. This assignment changed the way I think of lessons that I find when I am researching lessons to use with my students. I now look for specific technological components that support the enhancement of learning rather than just using technology for technology's sake.
This class inspired me to learn more about gaming as an instructional tool. I think that was definitely my favorite discussion topic. Each of my classmates had convincing arguments and brought a different perspective to the table. It was interesting to me because around the same time we were completing that discussion board, my building administrator was beginning to ask questions about MinecraftEDU and how we could integrate it into our existing curriculum. The articles the instructor provided during our discussions on gamification in the classroom gave me a good place to start when considering some of the opinions I would encounter while presenting MinecraftEDU to the teachers of my building.