Frau's Blog

Reflections

Posted on: June 28, 2009

  • Reflect on the “Personal Theory of Learning” you developed in Week 1. Summarize any modifications to your personal theory of learning you have made as a result of your learning in this course. 

I have not really changed my personal theory of learning, I just learned how to use each method more effectively and using new activities in my classroom. My personal learning theory consisted of a combination on behaviorist, cognitive and constructivist learning theories. I use positive and negative reinforcement as a part of behaviorism. I spend most of my time dealing with constructivist theory because it suggests that students learn what is meaningful to them. I like to make my classroom activities as meaningful to my students as possible so that they are active and engaged learners and that is what makes for more successful students. When new information is not meaningful, that is where cognitive learning thoery comes in. Cognitive theory focuses on how the brain learns new information. Cognitive learning techniques are what I have to do when material is not as meaningful to students. Even though something might not be meaningful (for example: German dative prepositions) it is still important for students to learn and retain the information.

  • Describe any immediate adjustments you will make to your instructional practice regarding technology integration as a result of your learning in this course. Identify two technology tools you would like to use with your students and how the tools will support or enhance your students’ learning.

I would like to immediately bring as much technology in the classroom as possible. This is easier said than done, but I am very excited about using new technologies used in this course, like VoiceThread and blogging, but also to make better use of technologies I was already using, like Power Point.

I learned several ways to make Power Point presentations more effective, like making them interactive and incorporating more pictures and less text to the presentation. VoiceThread is such a cool internet resource to use in the classroom. I would really like for students to make VoiceThread presentations and I am looking forward to implementing them into my lessons for next school year. I already have a great idea planned for my German II classes using VoiceThreads to make virtual field trips of German cities. It will be interesting to see what ideas I can come up with to use VoiceThread in the other levels of German. Something basic that was used as a part of this course was this very blog. Although we did not learn specifically about blogs, I really hope to have a classroom blog for my classes next year. I would like to use it as a class update system, with schedules, notes, and make up work, but also use it to post links to articles or important websites. Students can visit the links via the blog and then leave blog comments and reflections to the blog. The only problem here is clearing a blog site that will not be blocked by my school’s internet filter!

  • List two long-term goal changes you would like to make to your instructional practice regarding technology integration and outline a strategy for achieving them.

My first goal is somewhat vague, and that is to incorporate more technology into the classroom. I currently use some technology, like Power Point and the internet, frequently in the classroom, but this is only the beginning. There are so many more web resources to use with students and I am not using enough of them on a regular basis at school. This course introduced new technologies that I was not familiar with, like virtual field trips and VoiceThread, and I would like to use more and more technologies like these as much as possible. It will be difficult to get more time in the computer labs but it is very important to me that students can familiarize themselves with these new resources as well. Many students use technology mostly for Facebook and instant messaging and occassionally for researching school projects. I want my students to use these resources for more than communication and making meaningful projects to do in class will help with that.

My second goal is related to the first, and that is for students to use more and more of the technology themselves. Making a Power Point presentation so that students can take notes is fine, but it is better if the students are able to make the presentations themselves and teach each other. I want the integration of technology to focus more on the students and less on me showing them how do use the technology or using it myself. The best way to achieve this goal is also just to try it. I hope to provide more opportunities to my students to use technology and only by doing this can the students use more technolgy themselves.

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