Just as with my first Ed Tech class with Dr. Toledo, this class has been a whirlwind thus far. I feel with my first class it was such a dive into a realm I really didn’t understand, so I tried my best to just soak up all the knowledge that I could. Now, in this class I feel MUCH more confident! Granted, I know I am still learning a lot and in no way am trying to act like I understand all of this—it is just not as overwhelming as before! I feel that I have learned a lot through our Eluminate class sessions—I have found that not only is it an incredibly convenient way to hold class, but a very worthwhile experience. It is very unique that we can listen to Dr. Toledo, another classmate, or a guest speaker from around the world as we all type in our own thoughts, opinions, & drop in links to related topics. I’ve felt like I’ve grown up in such a educational world of “raise your hand & wait your turn”, that it is really freeing to put my opinion right out there and have someone respond, while still being respectful to the speaker. I have gained just as much, while still feeling very much so that my opinion has been heard. We talked about back channels in my first ed tech class, but now I really see the usefulness of it in this class. I’m still working on the next step of incorporating it via my own classroom—but I think it would be very useful to use if I skype in a guest speaker.
Thusfar, one of the lessons that has stuck out to me the most has been on Personal Learning Networks. I always felt like the term “PLN” has been tossed around in so many of my grad courses, but I never really grasped the usefulness of it. I was truly in awe when Dr. Toledo jumped onto Twitter and brought in members of her own PLN to discuss with us the importance of PLNs. As I mentioned below in a past blog post, I had my own personal “PLN” success story when the weekend after the Egypt protests I decided it was vital to teach my students on the situation in Egypt. I hopped on Twitter and was very successful! With various world events, we can’t always be prepared to have a lesson ready to help answer our student’s questions—this is where I have found the use of a PLN so successful & important!
Finally, I hope to continue to use my PLN as a source to better my student’s learning. I will sometimes get so boxed in to my lessons that have worked in the past; I must continue to revamp my lessons! Not only to incorporate different avenues of technology, but for the simple reason of bettering my students and myself as a teacher.