Wednesday, May 25, 2011

C&I 438 - Blog Reflection 1

For my C&I 438 Distance Learning course, I took 2 quizzes assessing my strengths as a distance learning student and educator.  Not surprisingly, the results showed that I was an "excellent candidate" for both learning and teaching in an online capacity.  This is largely because of my technological aptitude - not that I'm a genius or anything, but I am certainly very capable; as well as the fact that I recognize that meaningful learning and critical thinking skills can be utilized and enhanced in a non face-to-face setting.  In previous online courses I have taken, I have found this to be the case.

If my scores on these assessments ever showed that I did not favor an online learning format, I'm sure it had to do with the questions regarding procrastination.  Certainly the procrastination is a negative in light of the organization and planning that is required in an online format, but I feel this is a common problem - not specific to just me.  If there is a silver lining, procrastination is probably most easily overcome in an online educational format - one that is devoid of specific structured meeting times.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Reflection 3

The attitudes and skills that I have gained in my C&I 579 course have been nothing short of monumental.  From a skills perspective, I am capable and comfortable with using several 21st century Web 2.0 skills such as Wikis, Blogs, Twitter, Diigo, Voicestream, Prezi and Google docs.  Previously, I didn't even know what the term Web 2.0 meant!  From an attitude perspective, I have realized the critical nature of the symbiotic relationship between education and technology, and that in order to hook students and make learning as relevant and pertinent to their lives as possible, we should use technology as a vehicle to knowledge in our classes.

Certainly, these are skills that I will not forget tomorrow.  I'm fairly entrenched in twitter.  I'm an advocate for Google docs.  I have created entire units revolving around Diigo and social bookmarking.  My experience with Prezi was exciting and I love to share that with others.  And I'm having so much fun with my blog that I created a second one dedicated to my Fantasy Baseball League, and it is soaring in its infancy, so far.

In my classroom, I will certainly use diigo in the future.  I have already created a pilot project regarding social bookmarking and PLNs that I assigned to a select group of my honors 212 students.  But more than that, I will make sure to reexamine my own teaching, and ask myself - is there another way I could present this information?  A better way?  A way that utilizes real world, 21st century technology and make the learning even more meaningful to my students.  Furthermore, I will also challenge my students to think outside of their well worn ruts, and push them to challenge their own comfort levels in regard to technology, to implement 21st century tools wherever possible.

Thank you, Dr. Toledo - your challenging course has been intense and enlightening.  I appreciate it !!!

-JP