My Biggest Takeaway from ED 358…
After 5 meetings in ED 358, the biggest takeaway for me is the idea that technology can always be integrated into a classroom, regardless of the setting. At first, I was opposed to the idea of tech in the classroom, mainly just because it was not available at my school site. I jumped to the conclusion that the class was not relevant because not all of my students had access to iPads or Chromebooks. However, I quickly realized that 1:1 integration is in no way a requirement for implementing some form of technology into the classroom. Additionally, there are countless forms of technology that can be used to substitute for traditional classroom practices and strategies.
After being introduced to the SAMR Model, I had a better vision of the progression of technology in the classroom and the different levels at which it can be used. This Thing Link was extremely helpful for understanding the four different levels of the SAMR model, and what activities or practices might accompany each one. After familiarizing myself with this model, along with ISTE Standards and TPACK, I think a lot of progress has been made to help teachers integrate technology into their classroom when they see fit.
In addition to making an effort to implement technology into the classroom, the concept of Digital Citizenship also stuck with me. I often see how technology can be used in all the wrong ways by children and adults alike, and I appreciate that their are steps being made to train students to be Digital Citizens. Common Sense Education has a website with great information on how to train students on Digital Citizenship. As Digital Citizens, students will understand how to navigate the web in a safe manner and how to create a positive school culture that supports safe and responsible tech use. There is also a comprehensive curriculum that they have developed for K-12 students that “empowers students to to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world.”
The last takeaway I’d like to mention has to do with the different websites and apps that can be used in the classroom for assessments, instruction, and a wide variety of other activities. Websites like EdPuzzle and PearDeck allow students to contribute to a class discussion anonymously, which opens up the opportunity for certain students to participate that would not otherwise do so. Twitter and Feedly are also great platforms that enable me to collaborate with other educators and share any insights I have regarding anything having to do with tech and/or education. The Twitter Chats we had during class were a great way for me to get familiar with posting tweets as well as responding to others and sharing links. I plan to continue using the network I have created at UCI to keep in touch with my peers and continue learning from them as I become a more experienced educator.