This week, we're supposed to reflect upon the evaluation of educational technology as a current or future classroom teacher. Well this is an easy reflection. I have to honestly say, that I feel like after having taken several classes at UCF over the last three semesters, I feel like I have gone from being lost in the stone ages of "current" classroom technology, to ahead of the Learning Curve for once in my life in something that is becoming such an integral part of a classroom. What's amazing is that most of the technology and resources that I have been introduced to have made my life so much more productive, both in and out of the classroom.
I have learned is that by checking out technology/software, then using it and creating examples, truly does help you determine the worthiness of that technology and how or "if" it pertains directly to your teaching style and individual classroom needs. Since Web 2.0 tools have quickly become the trend that all classroom teachers should learn to incorporate, I have become a hot commodity at my school because of the resources that I ahve been introduced to from UCF and in this class, that I am able to quickly share with other teachers. I think the most important thing is that the learning curve is easy to pick up on even for the most staid teachers who are set in their ways. Just this week, I can honestly say that I was thrilled to be offered a position on a technology committee at my school. A year ago, I would have never been asked, so I think this is pretty neat! My knowledge is setting the stage for changes that are hopefully going to start occuring at Lake Asbury Junior High School. I didn't tell them that I am looking to go to the new high school opening up close by and teach some form of technology course. :)
Since we are supposed to be integrating technology into our classrooms, one of the most important aspects of that is making sure that we are not going "techy" crazy, but learning how best to make technology meet the goals and curriculum first and foremost, not the other way around as I had originally stated earlier this semester. One of the best evaluation words of wisdom that I have picked up this semester is try new things, if it doesn't work find something else. Not every new technology trend out there is going to meet every classroom's needs. It's up to the teacher to determine how best to implement that technology or not at all. No one else knows their students like that of a classroom teacher who works with students on a daily basis.
I do have to say that one of the best resources that I have discovered this semester thanks to this class is a social bookmarking site where you can store cool web 2.0 resources for a later viewing or for sharing with other teachers. Not only does this allow you time for more productivity, it also allows you to evaluate at a later time. I think this is a key tool for classroom teachers to make use of.