Tk34’s Weblog
The Trials of a ‘Rookie’ Blogger

The Journey Ends . . . Continues

This is my last ‘official’ blog for my EC&I 831 course. I am not sure I have ever said this (when it came to any Undergraduate or Graduate Course) but I am disappointed it is over. Of course I am happy that I am one class closer to my Masters degree (I guess I am making an assumption that I will pass) but this course has been amazing. Here’s why.

(1) My Instructor. Dr Alec Couros provided me with the opportunity (through this class) to professionally develop like no professional development I have ever received as an educator. To me this was not a class! When I took my Education degree, I can truly say I did not learn a lot of real practical stuff from my classes. I learned more in my Internship than I did in the years of classes I took. Why? I had to ‘live it’! I was a teacher. I had to plan, deliver lessons, deal with classroom management issues, talk to parents, deal with extra-curricular responsibilities, create report card marks, explain to parents and justify why their child received a 56% in math, and sometimes, fly by the seat of my pants . . . this was real. The classes I took did not truly prepare me for the complexity of the education profession I was about to enter . . . my Internship did! I was ‘thrown to the wolves’ and had to find a way to survive. To some degree, EC&I 831 reminded me of my Internship experience. Dr. Couros threw me to the wolf that was technology. I had to live it. For this, I thank him. What do I mean . . . consider my past week. . .

I spent time with three of my colleagues teaching them the basics of Moodle. They came to me when they saw how I was implementing it with my classes. Another colleague came to me and I helped her set up a VoiceThread for her English 8 class. I helped my secretary create a Jing screencast for her ‘temp’ that is coming in for her next week explaining how to update our announcement page. Tomorrow we are doing a couple more Jing screencasts to help assist her replacement. I created videos for my math class on Angle Geometry to help them review. I had 6 parents thank me for doing this because they were able to watch the videos and assist their child in studying. I just got home from school where I created a screencast for my Math class reviewing Polygons and Perimeter . . . they will watch this tomorrow to start off class while I attend a parent meeting and can’t be there. These are just some of the skills that I never would be able to do without this class. I ‘had to’ learn them . . . (the whole ‘wolf thing’) but my experience is benefiting so many people. Thanks to Dr. Couros, I am well on my way to ‘Dancing with the Wolves’.

(2) My classmates. As a tech rookie, they were very supportive. I learned so much from their expertise and knowledge. They were very giving of their time and whenever I had a problem, I knew that I would receive support (technological or moral) from them. Although I never personally met any of them, I feel like I know them. I know that if I ever need anything, I can call on them . . . for this I thank them.

(3) The guest presenters. These individuals (too many of them to list) provided me the motivation to ‘do it’ . . . to embrace technology and its potential. To change my thinking of education and the teaching of students. Following every Tuesday night presentation, I wanted to learn and do a bit more. Thanks to them for getting me headed in the right direction.

Although this is my last ‘official blog’, I will continue to blog and I will continue on my technological journey. For those of you out there, reluctant to ‘give technology a try’, I encourage you to do so. Jump in with both feet. You will encounter some pitfalls along the way, but there are so many supports out there, you just need to find them. I encourage you to visit our EC&I 831 Wiki for a starting spot. You will find, under the Participant Directory, a group of people who are tremendous. You will also find links to some of the fantastic things they are doing with technology. I also encourage you to look at the collaborative Wiki that our class created (I say this with a ‘grain of salt’ . . . my classmates made great contributions, I did what I could!!). There is so much information there about the technologies at your disposal. This resource has been much of my inspiration, hopefully it will inspire you. I also encourage you to subcribe to the blogs of my classmates, the ones found in my blog. Their postings are inspirational and educational. Their postings continued to ‘drive my journey’ during this course.

To Dr. Couros, I look forward to any classes you might be instructing in the future. You can be sure that my name will be on your class list. To my classmates, the best of luck to you. Thanks for all you support. I greatly appreciate it. To my classmates that are wrapping up their Masters with the conclusion of 831, congratulations. You couldn’t have ended with a better class. Keep in touch, you can be sure I will be continually keeping up with what you guys are doing and learning from your expertise and passion.


2 Responses to “The Journey Ends . . . Continues”

  1. What a wonderful tribute to your instructor and a wonderful reflection on all you learned from this course. You applied what you learned and your students benefit.
    For the past three years, I asked my own two high school age childrens’ math teachers to create videos that could be shared online as they were struggling with understanding the math concepts once they got home. My daughter would tell me that she understand pre-cal in class but couldn’t when she got home. All the math teachers had interactive WBs at the time but they refused to use the record feature to help support their students learning. (Is this educational malpractice?)
    Anyway, go forth and spread the knowledge – to other educators and especially to the students with whom you will work! Yes, there will be pitfalls (guaranteed) but the risks are worth the rewards.
    Thank you for this post.

  2. Beautiful reflection! I am so glad to see you recognize the depth of this experience. I appreciate you, the other students and the instructors inviting the world to witness and participate in a course truly driven by the learning. I hope to model some of our new program after this course. You’ve obviously gotten the most important message of the course; sharing! Keep up the great work you are doing!

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