Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Leading Edge Certification: Online and Blended Teacher, Module 1.2 Reflection - Personal Learning Goal

I am currently taking the Leading Edge Certification course for Online and Blended Teacher.  For each of our assignments, we can either post our activities and reflections straight onto the course LMS, or we can add them to our blog (and then link that to the LMS).  I have been neglecting my personal blog this school year as all of my tech tips have been posted on a new district blog that I have created.  So I have chosen to post my course work for the Online and Blended Teacher course here to give my blog some attention and love.  :)

Module 1 is an introduction to Online and Blended Learning.  This is the first reflection.

PROMPT:  1.2 Reflection: Personal Learning Goal
 Considering the online learning self-assessment you took this week (page 7 of the online textbook), and thinking about your reasons for taking this course:
  • What is your highest priority learning goal for this course? 
  • What are some specific skills, strategies or tools you are hoping to learn more about?

In the 15 years I have been teaching (high school biology and AVID), I have always been near the forefront of using technology in my classes, at my school.  I was one of the firsts in my school to use an LCD project, get a SMART Board, use clickers with my students, allow my students to use their phones in class, etc.  The last two years in the classroom, I had a class set of iPads and flipped my instruction.  I feel that I taught a blended course, as direct instruction was mostly delivered through online content, but students worked together in person, in class.  I strived for giving my students a choice in their learning activities, differentiating instruction based on their learning needs, and providing support and guidance so that they can succeed. I feel that not all of my high school students are ready to be an online only learner, and would "fail" the online assessment from page 7. However, they could learn a lot in a blended course, taking advantages of the pros of online learner and face to face learning.

In the last few years, I have met some amazing educators at CUE conferences, EdCamps, GAFE Summits, and other workshops that I have attended, who have done things with their students that just blow my mind.  I love to learn what other educators are doing and improve my practice so that I can help all of my students succeed and excel.  I am also willing to try new things, but I am very thoughtful in what technology I use with my students.  I feel that it is extremely important that the technology is not used as just a fun tool to capture attention, but as a means to best meet the student learning objectives.  There is a time and a place for technology, and it doesn’t always fit in a lesson.

This year, I am out of the classroom, in a new role in my district, as a Instructional Technology Specialist.  So my students this year are high school teachers.  I am working with my district’s teachers one on one, providing after school workshops, and co-facilitating an online course using the LEC Digital Educator open source curriculum.  My job is to help teachers incorporate technology into their lessons, to enhance student learning.

I have many goals for taking this Leading Edge Certification course for the Online and Blended Teacher.  I want to find the best ways to teach other educators how to create a blended learning environment in their courses.  I also want to learn some tips and strategies to help me better facilitate the online course I am doing with the teachers, while modeling practices they could use with their high school students.  I have found that it is really easy to provide feedback and guidance on assignments to my high school students, but when a teacher, my peer, doesn’t follow directions on an assignment, I have a harder time providing feedback.  It is so awkward to have to tell a teacher, sometimes a few times, to make sure they answer all parts of a prompt.  

By taking this course, I also am looking forward to collaborating and learning from and with other educators from around the state.  I have taken another Leading Edge Certification course and know that it will help me grow as an educator.

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