“The End of the Beginning”

First of all, I’d like to thank Winston Churchill for posthumously allowing me to borrow part of his quote to use for my title.  Also, Google search for making it easy for me to search for quotes that I kinda think I might know.

It’s almost the end of the semester, and when I think about the start my main thought is, ‘It seems so long ago!’ I feel as if I’ve packed a lot into this semester.  There are so many technologies I had the opportunity to encounter, and some that I actually plan on exploring more in order to incorporate them into my lesson plans.

As I’ve stated before, I found PowerPoint to be the most startling experience thus far.  There are features I didn’t know it had, including the ability to link slides to other slides and websites to create a more interactive program for students.  I think this feature is especially useful for students who enjoy more independent learning, and it’s beneficial for teachers who still need to make sure their students are getting the information they want or need to pass on.

GoogleDocs impressed me with its ability to allow for a group to be working on the same project at the same time at different computers and even at different locations.  At the same time, as a teacher, I can be providing feedback that helps students in the process of creation, rather than at the end  Most of all, the ability to see how the work has grown is something that I think is invaluable for both the student and the teacher.

Finally, this blog has opened up a world of possibility to allow me to connect to other people, including fellow educators and students.  It’s another tool that I’d really like to find a way to incorporate into the classroom because of its self-reflection aspect.

Learning about these technologies helped put me in the place of my future students by allowing me to discover new ways of interpreting and demonstrating knowledge.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to ““The End of the Beginning”

  1. I’m glad the class has helped you grow so much. My major is actually in educational technology so this was the first step. If I end up taking a job as a technology specialist in a school, it will be nice to know their are teachers out their who both understand and appreciate technology. I am sure there will always be a few hold outs, but hopefully as time goes on they will become few and far between.

    • Liz, I like your sentiments. I’d like to end up in a school where teamwork for the staff is a priority. I think it’s important to know that there are resources within your school that you can use, including technology specialists.
      Shannon

  2. Stephen Ransom

    What a humorous way to title and begin your post here. But, it is also quite true… this really needs to be seen as the “end of the beginning”. Too often, we regard the end of a course as “the end of ever having to learn anything else about this stuff”. This course is as much about equipping you to be a 21st century learning yourself as it is about learning new tools and ways to think about integrating such tools into the classroom with students for learning.

    So, on that note, as Winston Churchill also said,

    “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”

    • Dr. Ransom, I’m definitely seeing the applicability to other courses. There are so many overall lessons I know I’ll be taking with me. The idea about being an expert in learning is something that I’ve been thinking about as I observe in schools. Instead of focusing on teaching students specific facts, it’s more important that they walk away with skills for learning. Furthermore, technology offers a great many opportunities to enhance learning when it’s used for the qualities that only those technologies have. A Smart Board looks nice in the classroom, but if you’re using it like an ordinary white board, you’re missing out on the unique advantages it brings to learning.
      Shannon

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