EDT 400: Technology in Education is a class at the University of Maine taken by students in the college of education and human development. This is a reflection on the course to date.
I came into the class thinking that technology in classrooms is too often used just because it was a novelty or it was mandated by the administration. What stood out was an experience in my eighth grade history class; we used an encyclopedia program on our laptops to research a given topic in class. The teacher was running around trying to solve everyone’s technical problems, and the students who figured it out found that there was little to be learned on the program. I thought it was a waste of time. Four weeks ago, I thought that I’d be fine with a piece of chalk and a chalkboard.
I still agree. I cannot speak for everyone, but teachers can do a lot better. And yes, I will do alright with just a chalkboard and some chalk. However, I know strongly believe that in order to be an exceptional teacher, I need to integrate technology into my classroom.
A major component of physics is solving word problems, but there is also the research side. Scientific research is done in a community. Professors are always skipping out of class to go to some conference on the other side of the country. Technology can not only help stimulate people of all ages to learn physics, but it can integrate people into the scientific community.
My greatest strength is my unique perspective. I love physics but I know what it is like to be the stupidest person in the classroom, demoralized, totally overwhelmed or that there is something wrong with me. I also know what it is like to be the smartest person in the classroom and bored. I have a very competitive and I have a dominant personality when I am passionate about something. My personality and skill of solving problems has led me to success in business. I completed $150,000 of volume in painting work as a branch manager for Collegiate Entrepreneurs Inc. in two years and am currently teaching, mentoring and managing new branch managers to do the same. I have used my unique perspective in my blog posts. I recently commented on how technology is not a cure all for all the problems in education and related it to problem solving in physics. Before that I described the technology that I use to develop my community for my business and my first post was about entrepreneurship in education.
My perspective is unique, I feel that I am a great writer, and I back up my claims with facts. I am proud of those things but I can improve on everything else. My blog is not attractive, I do not incorporate other media such as pictures, videos and links well, and I do not use many other tools. I have been told that there is no reason not to use Twitter, but I just don’t see what I can do with it. I thought about using it to link people to other interesting blogs, articles or videos that I don’t have time to write about, but I don’t think that would be useful to anyone. I plan on looking over different blogs to find out how I can incorporate more tools into my virtual environment.
I have enjoyed writing on my blog. It is difficult for me to organize my thoughts into quality, academic statements in conversation. Writing gives me the time to do so and allows me to edit what I say so that I can illustrate exactly what I am thinking. I have also enjoyed talking to my professors about technology in education. I have asked a couple of them what research they do and I have had a couple quality discussions about technology in education. My mechanics professor gave me two of his published research papers which I am in the middle of looking through.
I am sporadic with my involvement in this class because I follow my passions. I am always working on something, whether it is my business, math, physics or EDT 400. Sometimes weeks I am in a math or physics mood and I only make one comment on someones blog or read half of the required text. Other weeks I am spending all my time reading classmates blogs or others that I have found and working on various posts. So, readers, classmates and instructors: do not lose hope in my off weeks! I will be back soon with more of my perspective and pot-stirring.