Thursday, October 27, 2011

EDLD 5306 Course Reflections

Initially, my visions for this course were unclear regarding the scope and sequence and what would be expected. As I worked my way through the readings, reflections and completed the projects, I started to formulate ideas of how I could use many of these tasks in my every day work setting. Several of the articles and discussions related directly with my job requirement s and could be incorporated into our school procedures. In prior trainings the terms like Texas Long Range Plan and STARR Chart are mentioned and somewhat explained, but this was the first time I actually analyzed the documents. These tasks helped me refine my vision regarding the Federal government rules and how to help implement procedures according to the law. The outcome of creating the internship plan and principal competencies chart reemphasized how much I know, but how much more I can do to grow personally and professionally.

Several of the outcomes and tasks in these past five weeks have correlated directly with my job on our campus. After reading several passages on student-lead learning and students powering down when they arrive at school for the day, I proposed to my principal a Technology Focus group to see how students perceive this problem and perhaps solutions that could be easily managed. So this month will be our first meeting of this group. I propose to discuss with the students ideas regarding empowering their own education technology tasks and take ownership of their learning. This group will consist of faculty, administrators and students to participate in the goal of empowering our students with technology. I am very excited to facilitate this meeting and see how the dynamics of this group intertwines. This course has provided me with many resources to help with this endeavor. Yes, I believe the outcomes of several of these projects aligned directly with the work I do.

A challenge I found at the beginning of the class was trying to locate all the necessary documents that explained what I needed to do next and then keeping track of all my necessary logins. My concern was missing part of an assignment or not having the most current information. I keep feeling, “Where do I need to login to find this?” Searching the wiki, I found course information and after logging into Epic there was more information in “Welcome, ““Getting started” and “Virtual Office Hours” . Of course, email and Announcement on Epic was a great source for new information. So I proceeded to drain an ink cartridge and printed everything! In retrospect, I could have prevented this if I would have asked more questions regarding which documents are needed for beginning assignments and procedures. I am using these events as a learning curve for my first online learning experience.

I was very successful carrying out all the course assignments. My philosophy has always been to complete the task at hand then enjoy your reward of time without having anything hanging over your head. Actually many of these tasks have related directly to my job so I can use them professionally. I won’t say reading all the laws and documents at the beginning of the course were “fun”, however I did find many things in these to use as a reference material. With my son’s wedding falling on the last week of this course required me to increase my intensity; I really wanted to complete all tasks early, so I can enjoy my family and not have worry about my “homework.” My husband has been very supportive with me working on completing this Master’s Program and my new position at the school requires a Master’s degree. So I have a lot of incentive to complete this course.

This course has given me some new insights into the government’s expanding role into public education and the use of technology in the classroom. It appears that teachers ‘roles will be collaborators and resources for students with limited direct instruction. The government emphasizes that a “village” of individuals will directly become the teachers of our students. I agree students need role models that they can immolate, but our teachers must make sure our students receive the problem-solving and critical thinking skills they need for the 21st century. Technology has opening doors that would never been possible even a few years ago; however the many schools are inadequately trained and equipped for this wave of technology. As I pursue this degree my hope is to become a better leader and perhaps secure a role in our district which will allow me to influence some of the decisions involving the education of our students and the integration of technology

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