Sunday, November 4, 2007

3 Months Down...

With the first trimester over, there is much to reflect on. Tonia's post has spurred me to think about how much my teaching has changed this year, and it's changed so much that it is difficult for me to sit down and put it into words.

I am still experimenting with much of this technology. Am I "improving student achievement by the use of 21st century tools"? I have much that I will do better after having a year under my belt. I am learning as much from my missteps that I will apply to my teaching next year as I am learning from my successes. One goal I have for myself is to continue using our class blog to show student work, but to use it more as a place for students to reflect on their learning and to set goals for themselves, rather than just to post work. I wonder if I am doing an effective job of EETT, enhancing my students' education through technology. I have been so excited about some of the projects my students have completed. But when I step back, I wonder if it really enhanced, or just supplemented. Along this line of thinking, another goal I have is to post and comment to other blogs, especially Global Learners' blogs. I think the strength of this group lies in the potential for collaboration among colleagues in the same community facing similar challenges. In order for this collaboration to happen, I have to be more a more active participant. What are other GLs doing that is really going well? There is a vast network of teachers out there who are making technology work for them, I want to tap into this network more than I am now.

Successes... the Smartboard is great! I think one of the best parts of the SB is all of the resources that come with it. Students are interacting with the SB, especially during math and writing and are very excited. Wikis... I am using our class wiki as a place to put links to projects that my reading group is working on as part of their independent work. That has also worked really well. My students are much more focused during their time on the computer and can get right to work because everything they need is in one place. I thought I would be using the wiki as more of a professional collaboration tool by now, but I think that may be a goal that takes longer to achieve. My students completed videos on a planet they were studying using digital still or video cameras. Some of the videos were a little "thin" on real content, but there are parts of the planning I will do better next year. An unexpected benefit was that they were so excited about each other's projects that they learned much more about the solar system from each other than if they had been doing a written report or even a PowerPoint (or if they had been learning it from me?! Self-directed learning?!)

So?? What's happening with other Global Learners? I look forward to reading everyone else's reflection on the past 1/3rd year. I appreciate everyone's honest blog posts. It is always very refreshing to read a post that expresses frustration or disappointment in the outcome of a particular project... makes me feel that I am not the only one.

Moving forward...