February 28

A view from the couch

Last day of February. Where has the month gone? March starts tomorrow — the month of spring, green, and calves running in sunshine.¬† Let me count my many blessings every day as counting blessings is a blessing in itself. Today I am thankful for grandchildren, medicine and a back that is ok (lots of people live with herniated disks and it could be worse), the chance to learn (thinking of codehs.com), and a warm, comfortable house. I should start a page of blessings as too many to list here. ūüėÄ

January 2, 2015

Today is the second day of the new year. May this year bring happiness and prosperity to everyone I love and care about.

Good directions to follow come from Dear Abby in her New Year Resolutions article named Just for Today. I resolve to try to apply more of those to my life. Good luck to me and also you!

December 7

In this blog, my first blog, I am to reflect on and compare and contrast that image of myself to myself now regarding using technology in education. I have tried to keep up with technology and use it in the classroom as much as I knew how. ¬†Students watched educational videos, I subscribed to a site in which I made tests, quizzes and games online, I posted my lesson plans online, made a webpage on the district site (that the district doesn’t use anymore.) I have taken workshops on using moodle and I created moodle sites for all my classes. I have used surveymonkey.com, tagxedo, and¬†padlet¬†off and on to give students a different way to interact with the material other than pencil and paper.

As I write this, it suddenly occurs to me another way I have progressed personally, although I am not sure younger persons will understand. I am writing¬†this with my head down, looking at the desk, and my hands are moving on the keyboard typing out my thoughts. That is great progress for me, and I am proud of it. When I first started using the computer, I had to write out my lessons or whatever, and then type it into the computer. I couldn’t compose at the keyboard, and it took a long time to do work twice. Now I am able to think and type at the same time. Yea Me!

I see  progression in my using technology. I used technology when I could, but it always sort of puzzled me how having the students take a test on quia.com that I made was different from having them do it on a piece of paper. In a way paper was better because we would discuss the correct answers in class. An advantage was that the test was automatically graded.

I made tons of Powerpoint presentations of my lessons to change from lecturing from the podium, using an overhead or writing on the board.  I tried using mini whiteboards for the students to increase interaction.

Authentic Assessment

Well, I think I have always been pretty good about using authentic assessment. Ididn’t even know it had a name — it just seemed like common sense. It felt good to have my strategy validated when I read about it in this class and I got more ideas too .

Most surprising/biggest thing learned

The biggest thing that I got through this class was the lesson on self-directed learning. I still struggle with wanting to have all the information that students need and then dispensing it to them, but I am becoming a believer in letting students explore and learn as they go. I have become more aware also, that I want to learn what I think I should learn. I don’t really want someone else pouring information into my head.

My performance in this course.

I am satisfied with my performance in this course.  I have not taken a graduate course online before other than answering a few questions as part of a workshop, and I learned it takes a lot of time and energy.  A part of me says I could have done more, but realistically, I did pretty well with the time and other obligations  I had.

I struggled with learning new technology, which was no surprise to me; after all, I took the class to help me learn technology! The voice thread was easy and a good way to start. I liked using Camtasia and Screencastomatic. I made several videos to show students how to do some things on the computer, and I made some videos for teachers also when I was supposed to be doing work for this class, but, oh well! It was still a good use of time, I thought.

Grade for myself.

Well, of course I would say an A. I figure I got an “A” amount of new knowledge, but I always think I could have done better. In reality, I think I did what I could do, learned a lot, ¬†but I know some of my projects weren’t really great. I did what I thought would be useful to me as the grade essentially doesn’t matter as I am taking the class for my own benefit. I am too close to retirement to get a Master’s to pay off. Still, an A on my transcript would be good.

What I learned

I learned how to make videos using free software. This was very good and is something I will be using myself and teaching others.

I learned how to make an e portfolios.  I will use this skill and teach others also. I worked on my moodle during the online class part and got better an google classroom set up. I spent more time in this lesson working on my moodle and google classroom than I did on D2L because I wanted to work on something I would really use.

Google Hangouts was awesome! I have already used this with a small class and am working on a project now

I learned Prezi much better. I think Powerpoint is so much easier but I have wanted to learn Prezi. I made what I thought was a pretty good presentation with Prezi; I didn’t get the grade I thought I deserved because I thought it was pretty good, but ah well, I learned Prezi and to me that is what counts.

Next on the agenda is to make a Voki as I can see the Voki “Will” blinking at me from the class homepage. ūüôā