Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rethink Reflection on Using Productivity Tools Effectively

For me, this was a good course and thanks to David, our instructor, for making it so. During this course I got more practice with collaborative learning with my partner Kristy. We used both synchronous and asynchronous methods to complete our assignments. Perhaps we'd meet for a bit to talk about what to do, then work independently on a shared doc and then come back together to discuss what we had and refine it together. Sometimes we didn't use voice while together but just typed messages. All in all I feel much better about having collaborative experience for helping both teachers and students in the future.

I didn't really learn very many new software tricks since I am an intermediate / advanced user for most of the software we used. I used on-line versions more and am getting more comfortable with them and their limitations. When I start a new job/position, I'll be using either Google or Zoho for my documents more and depending on where I work and what I do, I'll try promoting these services within for in-house documents.

For me, the content of some of the course seemed almost opposing and contradictory. On the one hand, the stress on standards and measurable output and getting those matched up in the lesson plans was on one end of the spectrum. On the other end was the call for less measurable things like creativity and critical thinking. I guess great teachers are able to marry the two and the outcomes will live happily ever after.

One thing I got from this course was the exposure to a lot more resources that I didn't know about. Can't remember if I've bookmarked them all. If I did, then I have to remember what tags I used.

I think the biggest thing I got was help on integrating technology into the current curriculum which is what I think a lot of this degree/program/job is or will be about. I've always had this on my mind since I started my job 4 1/2 years ago but it never almost never worked out that way fro reasons I won't get into here. This is what I'd really like to do, integrate the technology into the every-day learning in schools.

End Note / Suggestion:

One thing I just thought of for introducing teachers and staff to some of the new technology and tools we have been using  would be to begin holding occasional teacher/staff meetings on-line instead of at the usual meeting place. The time s already set aside for the meetings and chances are that many teachers have a computer (hopefully mics and earphones as well) in their room. Teachers could be paired up so that newbies and gurus work together in the meeting. Just a thought that came to me. This would give them the exposure and hopefully the same confidence we have gained in using these tools.

1 comment:

  1. Great job on the course, Curtis. Thanks for your feedback, suggestions, and sharing of your knowledge.

    "I guess great teachers are able to marry the two and the outcomes will live happily ever after."

    There is a bit of a contradiction, but I think we wanted you to be aware of the standards so you could at least see if those creative and constructive exercises met someone's definition of learning. ;)

    Good luck to you!