Wednesday, March 23, 2011

C&I 579 Reflection 2

The skills and concepts that I continue to learn in C&I 579 are so thick and so dense it sometimes feels as though I am drowning in an ocean of new knowledge.  Specifically, and lately, I have learned an important lesson about the importance of analysis and synthesis in doctoral writings.  Being an emergent doctoral student, this is a skill I will continue to hone throughout this process.  Although I don't expect to have it mastered by tomorrow, hopefully it will not be forgotten.

What will also not be forgotten tomorrow that has been incredibly valuable so far are the connections I have begun to make with educators in the blogosphere and in the world of educational technology.  It is exciting to foster these new and emerging relationships, and there is no telling exactly what great accomplishments they will ultimately lead to.  But it's exciting to think about...

As for application for my future teaching, I am excited for the Ed Tech Project, to nail down a concrete unit or lesson for my students to engage in and begin exploring the world of educational technology themselves.  While I don't have all of the details in place yet, ideas are swirling and forming in my imagination, and I am hopeful that the final product will be useful and valuable in my future endeavors.

C&I 579 Blog Post 3

I replied to Shaun Johnson's blog At the Chalkface for Blog Post 3. Incidentally, At the Chalkface is a fantastic blog, and I am greatly inspired by Mr. Johnson's rhetoric and ideas about bringing actual change to a broken education system.

This was my response:
I certainly appreciate your impassioned and “light” educational rhetoric.
Your voice is something, at least, even if it feels redundant.
Let me encourage you not to waiver.
Yes, the fear you speak of is very real, but from my colleagues I also feel a sense of resignation. Almost as if the boulder we push up the hill flattens us each time it rolls back down. My colleagues, like you, are tired – tired of fighting and screaming and pushing for change only to watch their hard work and efforts amount to nothing, their words lost in an echoing abyss. Even the most passionate and optimistic of my teacher colleagues now seem wearied, that spark in their eye far dimmer. This is a bad place to be, and we must change. We must do something.
Improve the status of teachers? Absolutely!
Pay them more? Indeed!
Personally, I am kind of inclined to your notion of justified heated resistance. I think it might be just the thing to rekindle that dimming spark in my colleagues’ eyes.
Please keep this rhetoric coming. I am encouraged to enter this fracas and to do my part in this struggle for respect and rationality.
PS – thanks for the add on twitter!

Friday, March 4, 2011

C&I 579 - Reflection 1

Per Dr. Toledo's instructions, I will reflect on the following questions regarding our C&I 579 Ed Tech class:
  • What attitudes, skills, and concepts have you gained from participating in the course so far?

So far, the amount of knowledge and skills that I have acquired are monumental.  Even though I considered myself relatively tech-savvy, I had no idea of the depth of the technological revolution zooming past me.  This class has opened my eyes to web based software like: wikis, blogs, twitter, and digital bookmarking tools, and what's more - how to apply them to the world of education.  Even though at times I feel overwhelmed almost to the point of drowning, it is a good feeling, knowing that I am being inundated with new applicable knowledge.

  • What have you learned in the course that you will not forget tomorrow?

I certainly won't forget about PLNs tomorrow.  Everyday I get on line and ingest educational information form my network of blogs, articles and websites.  I can literally feel my brain swelling with new knowledge.  I also won't forget about our Eluminate class sessions, where we were able to hold class from remote locations, but still feel very engaged and together, almost as if we were in the same room.

  • How will you apply what you have learned to your teaching and future learning?

I'm attempting to apply this learning as immediately as possible.  I am running a pilot PLN networking and webliography project with some of my honors C&I 212 students, largely utilizing Twitter and Diigo I am eager to see the results and hope to possibly expand it to even more students in the future.
Additionally, as I gain more information about the current perspectives and mindset of the younger generation, I am attempting wherever possible to more my teaching from teacher-centered to student-centered as much as possible.  Even though my curriculum is fairly fixed, I am attempting to achieve this through collaboration and group projects.  Still, the more I can model this for my students, the more useful it will be for them when they become teachers.