Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Reflections On Teaching With Technology

As part of an online course Teaching with Technology, I am supposed to journal my reflections from several writing prompts. Here are the questions and my thoughts. Feel free to add your comments.

1. How do you choose the technology that you use in your instruction to maximize its impact on learning?

The technology I choose needs to compliment the learning outcomes I want for my students. Usually I will consider what the kids should be learning and select software/hardware that best matches. For example, when students need to demonstrate they understand the components of a presentation, the may create a video that contains all the elements. Some students are very comfortable with the video editing software on their phones, others are not. Students could choose the medium they knew best (i.e. PowerPoint, Prezi, Animoto, etc). Neither am I afraid to ditch technology that is not making an impact on students.

2. Think about your experience working with students. Do you have specific strategies that you use to build a good relationship with them and create an environment that supports learning? What are those strategies? 
I always try to keep the lines of communication open. I'll email parents at least weekly with lots of detailed information. I try to keep grades current and allow students to discuss with me ways they can improve a grade. The classroom environment should be open and engaging too. I try to keep the room free of techno-clutter; it should resemble more of the setup they have at home than a sterile office. Clear expectations build the best relationships.

3. How comfortable and competent do you feel in using the technologies that are currently available to you in your school?

I feel very confident in using the technology at my school. I look forward to introducing the staff to even more ways they can engage students with different kinds of technology.