As CEP 810 wraps up, I begin to think of how quickly the last six weeks have gone by and how much I have learned. For every assignment we were asked to learn, explore, create and share. I found this to be very valuable. As an educator I strive to encourage my students to do the same by creating lessons allowing them to do so. The assignments I enjoyed most from the course were the Networked Learning Project, creating a technology based lesson plan, and what TPACK really means.
During the Networked Learning Project we were asked to try something new and only use free resources from the internet, such as youtube videos and blogs. I chose to use manual features on my DSLR camera. I knew that there was an instruction manual but that it was not the best way for me to learn. Watching the videos and seeing images for how certain features can change the look of your pictures was beneficial in order for me to learn more about my camera. From this project I was able to learn that students sometimes don’t understand the material that is presented in front of them and that providing resources from youtube or additional online teaching websites could allow support that is needed for comprehension.
The technology based lesson plan helped me create a lesson that allowed the students to learn, explore, create, and share out. I was encouraged to create a technology based lesson that helps to scaffold the student learning and not give the students an answer immediately with the click of a mouse. Creating this lesson helped me understand how to maximize technology instead of using it for another “plug and chug” resource that doesn’t allow the students to develop their own understanding but rather just recite more information. It can be easy for teachers to ask students to complete a research project, but when students are asked to explore and become creative using technology, the results have more quality and the students show more pride since they have created an understanding for themselves.
Lastly, learning about TPACK helps me as a teacher create lessons that embrace technology while using what I know about teaching to help my students learn. I have learned that these three ideas cannot be used separately; they need to be intertwined in order to help develop the students the best way that I can. With learning how to use technology properly in a lesson as well as how to encourage my students to find additional resources with technology to develop students understanding, I hope that I can teach students how helpful it can be as a tool. With this understanding of technology, I hope that my students can learn content in a way that reaches them, explore to deepen their understanding, create something meaningful to show their understanding, and possibly help other classmates’ comprehension. I cannot wait to continue my journey with technology as a student and teacher, and see what more I can learn in order to benefit who matters most – my students.