Final reflections?

So the course of Power Tools in Education has ended, and I am struggling to put my final thoughts into words. Why am I having this road block? Well, after several days of thinking and typing only a few words, I have concluded it’s hard to explain something that just is. For instance, how do you explain a habit or a idiosyncrasy? That’s how I feel about explain how I use some of these technology features in my daily life…it’s hard to explain something that is now a habit. Reading my Pulse RSS feed on my iPad, checking classmates bogs, and even scrounging around the Internet for educational websites…it has become a part of my life.

Not only has this course exposed me to more “teacher friendly technology” such as specific apps like StoryCreator, or websites like Scholastic; it has also provided me with skills that I’ll use in the classroom, like working on an IWB. I’m crossing my fingers that I get to student teach in a classroom with an IWB because I think it not only has great lessons, but it also gets kids engaged and active in their our learning experience. For my own IWB lesson I used SmartExchange. This site has a plethora or SMART lessons to download and then adapt to our own classroom needs.

But additionally, this course provided me with opportunities to learn more about the abundant (and almost underground) Web 2.0 teaching world I had never even imagined that existed! What amazing adventures students and teachers are having with the Flipped Classroom! To think that I could “teach” a virtual lesson and then spend class time on the actual learning experience is so practical, yet is innovative.

All in all, this class really got me jazzed up about using technology in the classroom! I’ve had many of these tools at my fingertips but now I am able to use them in a more productive and educational way….and the best part of all, I WANT to use them more.

Just as Ariel says in her song “Part of Your World”:

I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty
I’ve got whozits and whatzits galore
You want thingamabobs?
I’ve got twenty!
But who cares?
No big deal
I want more.

I have the tools…but I want more, and I want to use them more.

I guess we will see what happens… 🙂

Another week begins….

So I have decided that I want to blog not only about my graduate course and technology but my evolution with it all. This thought began yesterday, when I was visiting good old Winston-Salem, NC (close to where I grew up). As I waited for a friend to arrive for our lunch date, I noticed myself checking my RSS feeds and blogs…and realized that I truly enjoyed blogs! It was interesting to see how in just a few short weeks ago (approximately three) I had gone from not knowing what RSS was to using one daily, not following or reading blogs except an occasional Pinterest one to now reading them several times a week, and struggling to keep up with the news to now hunting for new and useful teaching apps.

How did this change happen so quickly? Have I crossed over to another way of thinking about and using technology forever, or will I only maintain this attitude for the completion of this class? I wonder about these things, but only time will tell.

I have always thought it would be ‘cool’ (for lack of a better word) if I could maintain a resourceful teaching blog like this one:
Upcycled Education