Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Chapter Ends and Another One Begins…

Now that I have concluded my experience with EDU776 I feel that I am better prepared to use technology in my classroom. At the start of this course I felt that I had a solid foundation in the technology world. Although that foundation was fantastic I feel that I have truly made some huge leaps and bounds! I find that I look at technology in a new light, almost more attainable than before. I find that I do my normal planning but am not thinking of ways that I can use a technology tool. I do and probably will always have a bit of reservation around technology mainly due to the fact that I still find great importance in human interaction and problem solving experiences. Nonetheless, technology is an important tool that students in the twenty first century must feel comfortable with and be able to problem solve with. My school is one-to-one so I have been easily able to try the tools I was interested in easily. The cool tools were eye opening and the Tech Tac Toe assignment was truly life changing! QR have been such an exciting and interactive way for my students and other classes to see what we are doing. The tool that I has become part of my weekly planning is Seesaw. I absolutely love using Seesaw in my classroom! I never thought that my first grade students would be blogging weekly about their learning. Together we have been practicing and figuring out the best way we can use this application on our iPads. I have found that the prep is easy and it is allowing me to have the students be accountable while still allowing me to check for understanding. It doesn’t get any better than that for me! After winter break, I will be inviting the parents to be part of our audience which will add another dimension to our blogging. EDU776 has given me the practice and exposure I needed to feel comfortable integrating different technological experience in my classroom. This class has also brought my technology specialist and I closer and she is such an amazing resource that I am so glad I am not missing out on.  I would recommend it to any educator that is ready to involve technology into their classrooms in an easy and fun way! I look forward to learning more cool technology tools and incorporating new interactive ways for my students to learn this year and into the future. Hooray for EDU776!

Trends in Education

 I had heard of Universal Design for Learning briefly during my undergraduate education, however, it was not a focus so the concept faded. However, in the last few years my administration has been creating a great deal of buzz around Universal Design for Learning. Many of them went to a Harvard to do the training, so I thought this was a great opportunity to learn what all the buzz is about! The most fascinating thing I learned was that the idea of UDL seeded from CAST around special education needs. What is wonderful is that what started out as such a focused idea spun into an idea that is meant to encompass every learner. I think that the idea that an environment should be able to support every learners potential. The research that has been done in support of the best way to achieve students’ learning potential is pretty amazing. CAST is a phenomenal organization that is continually working on creating solutions to make the educational experience as effective and inclusive as possible. Below are some great visuals to refresh your mind around UDL along with Prezi!  Check it out!