I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. As a matter of fact I will miss checking in every day on what people are saying and doing. However, I have become more accustom to checking my google reader and paper.li to glean information and ideas from my PLN, so in that way the course goes on. I am excited to start using edmodo this year with my students, and although I know there will most likely be some glitches, I have the attitude “ you do what you can”- keeping in mind the end goal- does it help the students?
By taking the time to explore during this course, I really feel I am ready, to adapt my teaching style to the 21st C learner- I want the students to be more responsible for their learning. I have learned about whiteboarding. I have learned about value of inquiry learning, and flipping a classroom, and having students develop questions. I have learned the value of discussions and processing the information to which the students have been exposed. All these things engage the students; forces the responsibility of learning on the students.
I also wanted to bring the world into the classroom- and I really hope to do this by using edmodo. I can also do this by bringing in databases from all sorts of world-wide organizations into my classroom. Wetoku is another tool which easily allows students to interview scientists, via the web. I have already sent out an invite for other physics teachers to connect via edmodo, and hope to make some connections with scientists soon.
I wanted to continue to monitor student progress, and presently use clickers to do this. I can now also add edmodo, whiteboarding, and blogs to add to my list of tools. Edmodo, I see as helping me redirect when students are having trouble understanding concepts. I anticipate asking them for feedback through this tool. In addition through my PLN I have read found some great ideas getting feedback from students.
Another of my goals was to provide ways for students to get help on homework when they need it- and again edmodo can help here. I will also continue to have a wiki where I will post class information, notes, instructional videos etc. I am also going to force students to discuss topics via blogs/edmodo (most likely), and the wiki. I will work on encouraging students to help each by using these tools.
All good workshops and courses should re-energize teachers, and I can confidently say this one has done so. I have a better understanding of what I always felt was the power of the web. It can enhance student learning- there are tools which can further the students understanding and intellectual development. These tools are not just gimmicky- they have real value and purpose in our system if used appropriately. Many of the tools do have a “wow” factor to them, but the bottom line is they can very effectively add to a students learning.
I was impressed with this course also because the style of instruction was well modeled- the burden of learning was placed on us-we were given guidelines, but the development and extent to which we developed our learning was put on us; furthermore we applied what we learned to our particular circumstances. The instructor set up the playing field- and then the students took over. I would like to take this same approach in my teaching- although I suspect I will still need to be a little more directive and hands on than our teacher was- simply because I will be dealing with high school students and parents who do expect regular grades, tests etc. However, there are many applications that were modeled and can be transferred. Teaching is fun because it is interactive. It is fun because it is challenging. It is also creative, and this class has added to my bag of tricks to engage students in the learning process. It has also given me a new goal- I would like to become paperless in the classroom!