When I was told I would need this class for my major, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean yes, I expected a lot of online work but I wasn’t sure what kind of online work. Now I know that this class teaches you how to integrate technology into your professional learning as well as in the classroom in different ways. This class has also taught me a lot about different learning styles. And finally, this class has taught me that TED talks can be used in constructive and informative ways in class.
My PLN (personal learning network) has been both the most interesting and challenging part of this class. I have really enjoyed being able to find educators, administrators, and other learning institutions on twitter to follow and obtain different views on subject matter that is important to me. The blogs that I follow are also extremely helpful, I have even started to use some ideas on these blogs for other classes for lesson ideas. It has been great seeing how different people’s views are but how willing educators are to compromise for the benefit of the students.
Another great unit for this class was learning styles. Our instructor gave us six different learning approaches to choose from to research. I chose experiential learning so I got to learn about that approach and how it encourages students to take what they’ve learned and apply it to real-world situations. But the great thing about this class is the fact that, since I had to do a blog about it so did about 20 others. The other students in the class did a fantastic job of summarizing their learning styles so actually I ended up learning about all six. Granted I may need to do more research on my own but, each student provided numerous resources for others to use to further investigate each learning approach.
TED talks. I used to dread them because my teachers did not utilize them properly in high school. I had a teacher who would use them as basically a filler at the end of a lesson and have us leave, sometimes in the middle of a talk, when the bell rang. We never got to discuss what we had watched or let it soak in much. Now I have been able to realize the importance of being able to discuss what was talked about and letting your students find ways to apply the topic to their life. My favorite quote from Amy Cuddy is, “Fake it until you become it.” This quote has changed the way I behave and has changed the way I act because the TED talk was just that powerful.
So, all in all I would say that this class has been a tremendous resource that I will continue to use throughout my career. This class has gone above and beyond my expectations. I hope for the second semester I continue to grow with my PNL and I hope to find ways that balance when technology in the classroom is helpful and when it becomes a distraction.