Looking back at the past three months, I don’t even recognize myself. I am embarrassed to say that I was only familiar with Facebook, Reading A-Z online program, Flipgrid, Adobe Spark and Power Point. I am very thankful to Alec and all of you for being so patient with me and helping me this semester to learn and grow. I cannot find words to describe how much I appreciate you all!
It was probably one of the hardest course I have ever taken in my life, since it was such a foreign world to me. I was nervous and still am about every single assignment. When they are done, they look so short, but the amount of thought and work goes in them is hard to describe. I was definitely pushed out of my comfort zone, and I am thankful for that. The number one reason me applying for the Master’s Certificate Program in Educational Technology was to overcome my fear. I know I am in for an unbelievable journey.
So, if we ever question the importance of technology in education, I think it is a MUST! I don’t want my students not to be able to create a project let it be a presentation, or a movie, or even interact with people from around the world. I don’t want my students to struggle when posting their thoughts online. As a teacher, many of my students not having support in this area at home, I feel it is my job to help them become digital citizens.
And the big question is “When should we start this process?” I feel it is like learning a foreign language. The earlier technology is being introduced in kids’ lives, the easier they learn without seeing it as an obstacle. Working with English as Additional Language (EAL) students, who come from different parts of the world, I feel it is crucial to be familiar with technology, online- and blended learning as well. Through technology they can share their world, that makes learning more engaging. It is also the key to reaching the students while away for months during a school year for various reasons, such as sick relatives, death in the family, or simply visiting after many years. When creating my blended course made up of flipped lessons, I realized the benefits of it. The students who are in the city, can become familiar with the content at their own pace, having the opportunity to listen to a lesson as many times as needed, using the face to face instruction time for interaction. For my traveling students, it would be a wonderful way to have access to the content and study at their own pace without having to worry about the time difference. For my LMS, I chose Scholantis, so my students could find all the materials in one spot, that they can access from all over the world. This would also give us the option to stay connected and provide additional support.
During this semester I also learnt from Kristina about the effectiveness of Seesaw, and I would like to give this soft LMS a try in the future. I think Scholantis would be too overwhelming for my younger students. I would like to find a tool that is accessible for most of my students without stressing them out.
Before taking EC&I 834, I would have never thought that an online course can be so cool. I absolutely loved the content and the way it was delivered. Having the breakout sessions, class discussions and peer reviews, were great opportunities for us to connect, interact, share our thoughts and support each other. I think this way of interaction and socialization need to be taught from a very young age. I found Colette’s idea very useful, when providing peer feedback, suggesting students to focus on the 3Cs and a Q (compliment, comment, connect, question). I think this could be implemented at a very early age to help our students on their journey to becoming true digital citizens.