Reflecting back on the duration of my CEP 811 course, I came into it with an open mind and a true uncertainty about what I would be learning.  The only thing I did know for sure is that it would have to be about education and technology…pretty vague.  I’ve learned so much in the past 8 weeks that it seems impossible to sum it all up in a few short paragraphs, but here is my best attempt…

The constructivist (or project-based) approach to teaching has been a reoccurring theme that has dominated many of the teaching strategies that we have learned about.  What I like about constructivism is how it identifies learning as an active process that creates different roles for student and teacher.  Using this strategy encourages students to discover, research, and learn with a teacher as a facilitator and supporter of that learning.  I think that one medium in particular lends itself to constructivism: the Internet.

There are many web-based tools, programs, and websites that can be used to support a constructivist approach to teaching and learning.  WebQuests, blogs and wikis can all serve different purposes within the context of the classroom.  As I learned about and explored these tools, I felt that hearing about them was one thing, but to use them was another.  I don’t feel that I would have gained the strong appreciation for these web-based technologies without using them in my own learning in this course.  The strongest reason I can say this it that I’ve heard about all of these technologies before.  But by only hearing about them, without using them, I was able to easily brush them aside and continue on with what I had previously been doing.  By actually experiencing my own learning through the use of these tools, a truly constructivist approach on my instructor’s part, I was able to better understand and know the capacities of using these tools for myself and quite possibly, for my students in the future.

In this course, I have met my own goals, and become more versed in the many Web 2.0 tools that I can use to enhance my teaching and engage my students.  I have learned not only how to use these tools, but how to make them meaningful for my students.  I have learned that integrating technology is not something that happens on its own; a teacher must first experience this technology himself or herself, and then can build that technology and its ideas into a curriculum.  I have learned that technology is not a teacher on its own, but a tool for teachers to use with their students.  I have learned too many things to write on this blog.  But what I do know, as I look to the future, is that I will not stop learning about new technologies.  I will not stop trying new things in the classroom in an effort to better reach my students.  I will not be so set in my ways that I will close off any new ideas that may help me teach more effectively.  I will not live in the “They didn’t do it that way when I was in school” or the “That’s not the way we’ve always done it” mentality because the students are living in a different age, and its time that out methods and tools came into the 21st century too.  This is the 21st century and I hope to be a 21st century teacher.

 


Comments

09/19/2012 11:55am

Nice post and nice information too. I read your post. It's really nice and I like your post. It’s very simple to understand........Thank you for sharing...........

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