A Journey Through Technology

Week 3 Reflection

on February 6, 2017

This week our focus was on the differences between classrooms when we were students to classrooms now as we are teaching. It felt a bit like a trip down memory lane to think about my time as a student and compare it to the classrooms in which current students are learning. One thing I realized this week is that my teaching style now is still very dependent on the ways that I learned in school, and that is something I am really trying to work on changing. It is hard to go through school being taught by “pouring” of knowledge, and then try to teach in a completely different manner. I can honestly say that the majority of my teaching years have been focused on teacher-directed instruction with little opportunity for students to be actively involved in their own learning. The graduate-level classes I’ve taken up to this point have helped me learn how to get my students more actively involved and I hope that someday my students will be able to reflect on their learning and say that they had more of an active-learning experience in my classroom.

This week I impacted the learning of others in a couple of ways. First, I co-hosted the Twitter chat with Larissa this week. I feel that we asked questions that really encouraged the chatters to think and that we had a very engaging conversation. Second, my blog post this week had four commenters, Jule, Larissa, Gerald, and Matthew, and their comments suggested I impacted each of them. One of the main focuses of these comments was that so many teachers have access to new technology in their classrooms, but don’t know how to use it to its full potential.

My learning this week was impacted through the Twitter chat, reading the comments that others made on my blog and also by reading and commenting on Tristan’s and Jim’s blogs.

Tristan talked about technology being the main difference between classrooms for her as a student compared to students now, but also mentioned the ability for technology to be a hindrance as well. I agreed with this, though in a different way than she did. Technology has been an issue for me this year because even though I just got a Chromebook cart for my classroom, I often can’t use it because we have connectivity issues at school. My classroom is based in the cloud for the first time this year, and while the accessibility from any location is nice, internet issues are causing me more of a headache this year than they normally would.

Jim also talked about technology being the biggest difference, though he doesn’t see it as having an impact on what a teacher’s mission actually is. One thing that he said was about a “narrow view” that the authors of A New Culture of Learning have about classroom teachers and what their actual purpose is in the classroom. I think that this “view” is part of the problem with the public perception of teachers right now. Too many people are basing their opinions about teachers on the experiences they had as children, which may have been positive or negative, without actually realizing what teachers and students can accomplish in classrooms today. I agree that the mission for teachers has not changed, but I do think that the way teachers accomplish that mission needs to use more active learning opportunities for students to be more involved in their own learning.

This week was very eye-opening for me to see the variety of opinions within our group. I am looking forward to taking some of the ideas from this week into the classroom and making a serious effort to stop trying to pour so much knowledge into my students, but still make sure they have the necessary supports to learn on their own.

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