It was so nice to have an introduction to the synchronous discussion at the beginning of the week. We got the opportunity to tool around in Elluminate Live and each of us had the opportunity to perform a mic check. This proved to be an excellent chance to work the bugs out and to settle some nerves and first user jitters.
The readings this week were very informative giving us a general overview of National Educational Technology Standards that will prove beneficial to all of us as we embark on our new assignments. These standards remind me of the ultimate purpose of our online training and that rests squarely in the success of my students. I found it very interesting to learn the various ways that individuals from all walks of life view technology. I also was enlightened to learn who believes they are literate technologically speaking and who isn't. The goal I believe is to familiarize ourselves with all of the technological advances that exists in the educational realm where we teach. For instance, if I teach elementary special education some of the technological advances useful to a high school career development teacher are not going to be as beneficial to me. It is also very important to be aware of the educational technology initiatives happening currently in my school, our district, and in my state education department. I can open myself up to research and training opportunities through professional development in webinars, podcasts, WIKIs, web sites, and blogs just to name a few.
This week my eyes were opened wide to the vast array of ebooks. As I began to search I realized just how expansive this technological market really is. Given our illiterate population and the need for kids everywhere to get their hands on books of all types I was a little disappointed that this is not a free source. I do understand the compelling and over-riding business need as well. In my own family I find that our preschoolers and toddlers who need enrichment and could benefit from ebooks like this because they fall between the cracks of public education qualification for preschool and the vast expense of private preschool. It also seems to be quite expensive for the Ebook program we viewed at www.tumblebooks.com and tikatok.com. I do realize that public libraries everywhere are getting on the ebooks scene but many, including our local library, has an inventory that is not very expansive in scope and choice.
I like the concept of technological explorations as a classroom component offered in our online course. Otherwise, I do not feel that I would look at the resources nearly as indpeth as is required by our assignment. Thank you for that opportunity. With respect to technology explorations, my hat goes off to Mr. Langhorst's American History classroom website and his podcasts. They shed new light on my idea of a podcast. Once I had a chance to view, the creative juices started flowing. It is an attractive proposition that I will surely pursue for my own teaching opportunities. I will also be considering podcasts for my not-for profit endeavor. I can already see many uses for this technological tool. Immediately I will create a welcome podcast for my parents and students in my PSR class for students with special needs. I hope I don't have any challenges!! In the event that I do, I will consult others in my class and my instructor to see if there are steps I have missed and if there is anything more I can do to resolve any technological issues.
I had created a blog many years ago and that's exactly where it stopped, at it's inception. How horrible? I really should've realized how beneficial blogs are. Not only are they beneficial to my readers, I hope but they are very therapeutic to me, a release, in a sense. I was so eager to share my blog with my friends and family right away. I can use everything I learned this week immediately in all of my classroom experiences. I believe one of the greatest educational technology tools we have is word of mouth in sharing one anothers' technological resources. That can only serve to strengthen us. When we are strengthened, only then can our students build academic and technological muscle.
Enjoy your week. Be safe my friends and loved ones in Louisiana (home for me) in the path of that nasty and ugly Isaac. We are praying for your safety.
Until we meet again, my peace and blessings to you. Miss Bee
All Rights Reserved ©, Please Request Permission To Duplicate. Belinda Harrett, University of the Cumberlands.