How did using technology change my learning and me as learner?
Technology gave me and gives me the chance …
… to be an independed learner. I have ownership about what I want to learn, how and when I want to learn and who I want to follow and listen to as well as my improvement and development.
… to learn with my own pace and depending on what kind of learner I am.
… to view beyond my local learning environment – colleagues and also in Germany – by using Twitter to follow people who I’m interested in, by using a RSS Reader to channel all the interesting and inspiring thoughts which are out there, etc.
But since I’m with Coetail there is even more. I have the possibility …
… to learn through the exchange (connect, collaborations) with like-minded people.
… go a step further and do action (following the Inquiry Cycle by Kathy Murdoch) by writing a blog, commenting on blog entries of others to reflect and asking questions as well as by sharing experiences face to face to encourage others. Once I created a cycle as a reflection for the job application (Reflection – PYP Verena Zimmer). It’s time for a new one …
In future I vision myself as a learner who …
… creates and contributes to the network in a confident way – even though this is still a little bit undefined for me how this will look like in my case. I’m getting there. Just explored a little bit code.org – there will never be boredom.
By the way I hope to improve my writing skills in general, my English as a second language, my deeper thinking skills as well as how to demonstrate my thinking.
How did using technology change my teaching?
Since 6 month Evernote is helping me immensely to organize my planning, my observations, my assessments, organizing my different areas of professional development, etc. I don’t use it to it’s fully extend yet, f.e. sharing notebooks, web clipper, sending an email to a notebook – is there a possibility to integrate an RSS Reader? I’ll google it later.
Using new tools gives the students the possibility to show their understanding and learning by CREATING. Here are some examples:
- iMovie / Garageband (Grade 5 – Students create a advertisement jingle for their products during the “Shop until drop” unit)
- Apps for StoryTelling (Grade 1 – Students show their imagination by telling a story on StoryWheel focussing on details.)
- iStopMotion (Grade 5 – Students show their understanding of “Der Zauberlehrling” of Goethe)
- App Book Creator (Grade 3 – Students create a simple Picture Dictionary.)
- Storybird / ComicLife for creating stories
- Filming with the iPad for Reflection purpose
- Producing an instructional video (Grade 4 – Producing a video which explains how to insert a picture)
PARTICIPATING / CONNECTING to others allows them to experience learning as meaningful and authentic. Again few examples:
- Students publish their PSA (public service announcement) on Voicethread to the Humankind about inventions, students reflect on each other
- Wikipedia (Students write for a wikipedia about “Our brain”.)
- Writing blog entries together with the students.
- Skype Interview with an expert (Thanks mum!)
Okay, above I just listed few examples of using technology during my last 1 1/2 years. I realized I still do a lot of new things in an old way but my focus was always that the students create something. Just consuming has never felt right. Searching skills have to get way more attention. As a language teacher I got only once the chance on how to find good search words. The internet provides endless resources and allows me to tailor them depending on student questions / each student, there is no need for following a book anymore. Regarding resources and apps for the iPad the German market seems to be not so developed yet. Hopefully the learning gets more meaningful for the students. Often through using technology I realized that there is an audience for student’s learning and it becomes more authentic. I really want to avoid creating a gap between time in school and time outside of school. There is a huge difference regarding documentation of formative and summative assessments compared to few years ago. Documented assessments and observations allow me to tailer the instructions and the learning even more. It also gives students a better way to reflect on their own learning. Students can overtake ownership for their own learning.
If I want the students to be independent and self organized life-long learner I still have to figure out and be a risk-taker what using new things in new ways in teaching exactly means and how it looks like. That’s why I’m here. I’m getting there sooner or later.