I’d like to consider myself an expert, BUT…

Even though I work in a blended learning program, am completing my GAFE training, and lead workshops on integrating technology, there is so much more I need to learn. I sought out and had to receive permission to take a class at Michigan State called CEP 810 as an elective. I’m so glad I did!

As my experience in this class draws to a close, I was tasked this week with reflecting on how this course has changed my professional practice and also what lies next with regards to teaching with technologies.

First, my reflection of my coursework & application to my practice

1. Blogging! I have always tried to do blogging as a classroom teacher and also attempted to start a couple for personal use. However I never really attempted to intertwine the two and write about MY thoughts and feelings ON education. I always tried to keep these two parts of my identity separate & distinct. However, I realized through the course of this class that my blog has the best chance of success if I reflect on my practice and share my thoughts on education to a wider audience. In week two we learned that “Moving forward, teachers must become comfortable being co-learners with their students and colleagues around the world.” ISTE.org, 2013. I learned within this course to become comfortable with my reflections and ideas being disseminated to a wider audience. I am proud to say that this was evident with my first national blog post about teacher leadership being published by National Board & the US Department of Ed.

Check it out!

2. Networking & Twitter!

Both of these were goals of mine this year as I was awarded a Michigan Educator Voices fellowship, but having this course gave me the time and space to see why these two tools are so important for teachers. The access to PLNs using Twitter cannot be understated. Each week I set a goal for myself of participating in Twitter chats and I have seen my professional networks and learning expand dramatically each week. Everyone I have “met” have shown me incredible opportunities and learning to take back to my students that I might not have been aware of if it wasn’t for these digital tools. One of the essays we read from Will Richardson (2012) concurred with this idea saying, “educators have to reexamine their own learning practice and move toward becoming more networked and connected themselves.” Thanks to CEP 810, I have had the time and space to do exactly that.

What lies next?

In my role as curriculum coordinator and instructional advisor at my school program I definitely have ideas, due in part to this course.

Goal 0 is for my student learning with technologies to look something like the woman with the sledgehammer in the clip below:

This is Apple’s 1984 commercial – I tend to think of my philosophy as such – pushing on the systems limitations particularly with how students should learn with technologies.

But also….

1. My staff and I were rather clueless about how to concisely explain Creative Commons and Fair Use . Although we have had professional development and most of my staff felt fairly comfortable with what NOT to use, they have shied away from some really great resources simply because they were afraid. This last week of CEP gave me quick excellent ideas to give to staff to help them conquer their fears and have materials prepared for staff new to curriculum design to better familiarize themselves with the process.

2. I LOVED the ideas of Dr. Mishra and the framework of TPACK. I plan on using this framework within our school’s mission and vision regarding blended learning. I had a hard time explaining conceptually about using technology in education and his viewpoint crystallized my thoughts and feelings. I also liked his ideas about pushing on the system to integrate content, pedagoy, and technology with instruction at the center point. This week I am appealing to Michigan State to allow me to continue to take CEP 811 & 812 as my other two electives for my Master’s in Education Administration. I plan on using the TPACK framework in my argument because I don’t believe that teaching and learning with technology should be separated from the role of an administrator. I will share on my blog the results of my appeal.

Thank you for listening to my thoughts & feelings regarding CEP 810. Thank you to my instructors for giving me a platform in which to think about technologies and learning and finally thank you to my PLN. I plan on sticking with this blog this time and I look forward to sharing my journey with you!

~Sarah

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