Sunday, August 8, 2010

After 11 Tools: Reflections

It is almost 2 AM August 9th now I guess..and all I can say is wow! It took me a while to get here, but I am finally at this point! It was an interesting journey, full of fun and frustration, but I cannot say that I walked away with nothing new. I learned a great deal from this process and I would like to say "thank you" to the designers of the technology toolbox. I definitely feel like my toolbox is full..maybe even overflowing right now? I cannot wait to get back into my classroom and use some of what I learned during this process. I know I will not be able to incorporate everything, I would rather incorporate a few things and do them really really well rather than trying to incorporate everything and not doing a good job. I want my students to fully understand the tools I use in my classroom also.

One of the tools that I will use is the photostory. Like I said in Post #7, I capture so many of the moments in my classroom and share the pictures with my students as we discuss everything, but I would really love for the students to be able to create their own stories. I can use the photostory with every subject. In science I can have students take pictures of their groups working co-operatively on an experiment/investigation, sharing their results, their hypothesis, question and conclusion. We could have class discussions on what students found doing experiments. We can use photostory in language arts by having students create their own stories, with illustrations. They can read the story and share it with classmates as well as others in the school. I love this tool because every student can have something to add to it. I enjoyed putting the whole thing together. Your creative children can create such beautiful stories using amazing effects. It is a tool that ANYONE and EVERYONE can take part in.

I always knew that technology was going to play a big role in my classroom, but after completing the 11 tools I see how important it really is for us as educators to keep up with this technology. The times of standing at the board and lecturing are gone. We can still use the board of course, but that should definitely not be the ONLY way in which we teach. Our students are changing and technology is playing a more prevalent role in their lives, so we must also adapt.

I started the 11 tools really not knowing much about blogging and the different tools there are out there. Some tools took a while (people always have the misconception that if you are young, you should be able to finish anything having to do with technology quickly and with no problems, but that's not the case!) while others were easier to complete. I do feel that I have walked away from this more informed and better aware of these tools. I also feel that I can use these tools in my classroom to make it a more technologically friendly environment!

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