Course Reflection

Throughout the course of integrating technology in the classroom, I have obtained a variety of technology resources that will help me make my teaching more creative and student learning more interactive, intriguing and fun. I loved how our professor introduced alternatives for expensive software with already existing programs that can be found online that are not only free but also user friendly and are just as good.

After this course, I will be determined to change the learning environment in my classroom. Every unique learner will be accommodated by giving them the choice of producing their learning outcome by the means that allow them to express it better. For example, verbal students can create podcasts, while visual students can create digital stories or PowerPoint presentations. Students should be given the opportunity to be creative with their assignment as it is one of the skills needed to be addressed in the 21st century learner.

Also, I will think twice before creating a PowerPoint presentation after this course. In fact, I’ve become a critic among the audience instead of a listener after learning that including so much text in slides will make the presenter lose his/her audience very quick. I actually wrote about that when a presenter asked us to write her an evaluation of her presentation, hoping she would take including more visual and less text into consideration.

Overall, this course made a deep impact on me as an educator than any other course. It taught me to think of how 21st century learners have skills that are needed to be addressed in the classroom, and that there’s definitely a need for change and adjustment in my classroom to address these skills.

Thanks for the eye opener, professor Knight!

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The Use of Cell Phones in classrooms

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This article really changed my views on using cell phones in class! I agree with all 5 points the author mentions about the benefits of students using cell  phones in class, especially the one about preparing students for their future careers. Many employees and managers nowadays use their cell phones to check emails or refer to information, which helps them navigate their work and meetings better and faster. So having students use their cell phones in class can and will prepare them for that. However, allowing students to use cell phones in class must be accompanied by rules. Teachers should not expect their students to use them for educational purposes and creativity without proper guidance of why and what to use them for. Many classrooms can have a large number of students in them, and that could prevent the teacher from monitoring each and every student’s use of their cell phone. So I think explaining why and what to use them for is necessary for both the teacher and the student to control their devices’ use for educational purposes and creativity.

Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education Reaction

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I viewed Sal Khan’s talk on how and why he created Khan Academy which started with a very few viewers to becoming a window of learning to learners from all over the world. It’s remarkable how video based learning can result in creating an individualized and personalized instruction for each student, and shifting away from the “one size fits all” type of instruction. The students can watch videos of their subject content on their own pace, on their own time, and in “the intimacy of their own room” Khan says.

 Khan mentions that one of the least appreciated benefits of watching lectures online instead of hearing them in class, is that students are spared of the inevitable question “do you understand?” teachers ask after instruction that could actually make students lose concentration when trying to grasp the concept. By simply watching the concept being taught through a video, students can watch the content over and over, pausing occasionally to reflect upon an idea and fitting it in in other ideas, which is exactly what students should be encouraged to do; to think and generate ideas rather than receiving and memorizing them.

Podcast on tips for an Effective Explanation

When I’m in a building, and someone asks me where a certain place is located in that building, I feel that it’s best that I guide them to it instead of giving them directions that may not be clear or even too complicated to grasp. And that’s one example of when I know something but for some reason cannot explain it. That’s why I was immediately hooked to the The EdAdmin Minute 231: 7 Tips For Effective Explanations podcast I found on EdReach. The podcast may be short in duration but it includes Lee Lefever’s monumental tips on giving effective explanations to an audience. One tip that I found extremely helpful as well as important is to include visuals and less text in your presentation slides. I think that explanations are not only to inform but also make audience engage, and one of the best attention grabbers are visual aids. They help the speaker demonstrate information rather than telling it, which will surely help the audience to speed their comprehension and retain information for a long time.

I think I would consider podcasts as a means for professional learning. What I liked about the podcast I listened to was the fact that included resources for the listener to refer to regarding effective explanations, such as Lefever’s blog, among the speaker’s share on the topic. Even though the podcast did not include any type of visual aid, and I am a visual learner, I actually enjoyed it, and felt the urge to share it through this post as I know many educators would like to know more on how to give effective explanations. But I would lean towards podcasts that are enhanced with any type of visual aid in the future.