Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tool # 11 - Self Assessing and Reflecting

I don't feel that my thinking has really transformed about the uses of technology in my classroom. Technology can be a very valuable tool... especially since my classroom runs on differentiated learning. I have always believed the more tools in my toolbox, the more I can pass on to my students. There is a plethora of apps and other tools that can be utilized, and I am happy to have found some resources that help narrow some of that information into something a bit less overwhelming and more manageable. I love some of the sites that I have found through Diigo that help me stay abreast as a teacher, particularly The Book Whisperer and A Year of Reading. And I really like Thinkfinity...especially the Story Cube. I think I will use some of those activities toward the end of our novel unit that we are doing in English right now.

Will I need to make changes to my classroom to accommodate the 21st Century Learner? My room is about maxed on connections to power and ethernet, so I am really happy to have a charging station and wireless devices. :) I will need to do some different forms of grouping to make my room more effective... I have a structured format for my reading program that I will need to rework to make it more user-friendly with all of the new tools. A lot of that is affected by the number of students in the room at a time since the class is for special learners. The higher the number of kids in the room, the more difficult it is for some of them to focus and learn...no matter what tools they have.

I don't think there have been any unexpected outcomes from this program other than the horrendous amount of time required to get through it. I love to learn new things, and technology is a bit harder for me than for some of the younger teachers who have been playing with these tools longer. I felt pressured to get through the program along with all of the other things I do as a special ed teacher, so there is a lot that I will revisit through Atomic Learning this summer to help move my classroom in the direction I want it to go. This has been a good experience... one that I will continue to work with to adapt these tools for my struggling readers.

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