Tech Class- Post #1
With only two weeks into second semester, I am constantly being exposed to many teaching tools and resources to use in future classrooms. First overwhelmed with the start of technology class and the several assignments, tools, resources, and accounts to create, I am now feeling more on track as I build my TPACK (technological pedagogical and content knowledge). Candice Figg and Jenny Burson comment on ‘preparing to teach 21st century learners’ in their book. I found this section in the textbook particularly useful as it references what WE need to do as teachers. We need to take ownership, we need to be open to it, we need to create time, and we need to always continue our learning. By putting the ownership and autonomy on us (the teacher), it allows us to self reflect on what we want our students to know, do and be. I am a firm believer that I do need to ‘teach what I preach’. Therefore, if I want to begin promoting the use of wikis, websites, blogs (and so on) to my students, then it is important that I take advantage of the opportunities I now have in Tech class to learn all that I can so that I can continue my learning to stay up to date and relevant with technology. Additionally, I feel confident in my TK (technological knowledge) as I know how to use many resources and computer tools. My TCK (technological content knowledge) is slowly improving as I am becoming more aware of not only what to teach but also why it is beneficial to enhance learning. My TPK (technological pedagogical knowledge) needs the most improvement as I am not proficient yet at designing and implementing full tech-enhanced lessons. I am confident that this will come with time, experience, and practice. Moreover, I was first exposed to teaching and technology in a third year Child and Youth studies class at Brock University. In this course we learned about WebQuests, tools for students with exceptionalities, cool tools, netiquette, Inspiration and so on. I think that it is important for teachers to include relevant and insightful (and perhaps authentic) experiences for students through technology. For example, after a quick search for a WebQuest for my Intermediate placement, I came across one that was entitled “Budget and Economics” ( http://questgarden.com/112/78/7/101101141549/) . Students are given a job with a salary and must budget what they are capable of buying. Using the links attached they need to buy a car, a house, and anything else they would desire. The big catch is that they must be able to afford it! Therefore, this WebQuest teaches practical and relevant skills needed in the 21st century. Although students at the Intermediate level will not be buying a house or car in the near future, it allows students to appreciate what their family goes through and how important it is to budget. It also stresses the point about saving before you buy- this can be related on a smaller scale to their allowance if they have one. As a result, it is evident that there are many tools and resources to use with students to make learning authentic, relevant and insightful. Why re-invent the wheel if we have ideas and support to help us? I feel it is important to remember that there are many opportunities to teach students but it is what we as teachers make of it that will enhance their learning. Does anyone agree with this? Feel free to suggest other useful resources that we could use in our second block!