Takeaways from Blended and Online Learning
I can honestly say that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. When we first had access to the syllabus, I immediately questioned if I would be able to effectively complete the course. I had no prior experiences at all with blended learning nor did I have any technology in my classroom. But putting that aside, I stayed focused, and took many notes. Oddly, I hand wrote my notes; guess that's the digital immigrant in me?
I am truly excited about next school year. We are currently rewriting the curriculum for biology right now and I am looking for anyway and every way possible to incorporate technology and many of the digital tools we learned about during this course. Unfortunately, the ultimate goal at the end of the course is a test, which may become a graduation requirement in Indiana before long. So, with that in mind, not only do I need to find ways to teach my students the four units of biology that are on the test but I need to do it in a way that challenges my students to a higher level of thinking. Creating multiple ways of authentic assessment, allowing my students to demonstrate their mastery of skills, may very well allow my students to see how what we are learning relates to their every day world. If my students can take a topic, apply it to the real world or be able to completely discuss it in their own terms, then I know that they have truly mastered the content and will be able to pass any test, especially the ECA.
In ICP, I reinvented my simple machines project which allows my students to use multiple digital tools for the organization and developing of their project. Students will also be able to express their themselves through blogging, not only during this project but throughout the entire school year. My hope is that students will learn how to effectively communicate online and become effective digital citizens.
Technology isn't going away. How am I going to embrace it in my classroom? How am I going to prepare my students for their futures, for the jobs they will have that probably aren't even in existence right now? I stumbled upon this YouTube video today and thought it was a fantastic way to sum up the 21st century classroom. I am honored to have been able to participate in this course and I can't wait to start "Technology Integration 101" this summer!