Recently, I have been extremely lucky to participate in a program run by the Department of Education and Early Childhood entitled ‘Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century’
The following is a post that I wrote, taken from the collaborative group blog.
In less than a month, the ‘Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century’ program will come to a close. Of course, this doesn’t mean our learning will stop, nor that I will no longer communicate with my wonderful group.
I thought I’d take the time to reflect on where I’ve come from and what I’ve changed as a result of being a participant in this program.
I am a very impatient person, which can be a bad thing in terms of progress, but a good thing in terms of gaining knowledge. I have been teaching for 3 years now and I won’t ever be happy with my teaching skills. Which is also a good thing because it means that I am constantly striving to improve my skills and knowledge to benefit my students.
I began this program expecting to be taught some whiz-bang exciting ways to integrate technology and make learning better for my students. Was this naive of me? Probably. Lack of confidence in my own skills possibly lead me to that expectation.
In the beginning (or BTL21C – Before TL21C)
Here is a list of stuff I’d “done” or trialled – successfully or not – in my own classroom or for my own professional learning:
- 2011: Ultranet – mostly for activities found on FUSE. Couldn’t work out the calendars or anything the students were supposed to be doing.
Vokis, Wikis (not very successful – still learning)
- 2012: Introduction of 1:1 Netbook program at school. Introduced Edmodo, Studyladder, online interactive learning tasks. Still no way to share learning.
Microsoft Sharepoint – for shared planning documents (Syncs between computers – still only 1 person can have document open at a time)
- 2013: Global 2 Class Blog (http://froleisland.global2.vic.edu.au)
Personal Global 2 blog (http://hellokaddy.global2.vic.edu.au)
Joined Twitter – currently still building PLN and sharing
Class Twitter Account
Guest speakers via Skype (Teacher in Japan while we were studying Asia)
Monster Global Project – worked with a class in New Zealand on our descriptive writing
Sporadic use of Evernote for anecdotal evidence on students
Attending TeachMeets – which I wouldn’t know about if not for Twitter!
Just from looking at that list, I really like that it gets bigger each year. Not only with the activities listed but also my understanding and successful implementation.
As a result of joining TL21C, here is what I’ve learnt:
- Google+ Community
- Google Hangouts – within the classroom and for personal use (Education Book Club, Planning with TL21C Group)
- Importance of building PLN – continuing to do this every day
- Google Docs – encouraging collaboration with students
- Google Apps for Education – Have sought permission from leadership team and am in the process of setting up and organising for whole school implementation. I still can’t believe that they’re actually letting me be in charge of this!
I still have many goals for technology integration in the classroom (such as Minecraft) but I’m also the type of person who bites off more than they can chew so I think I’ll focus on GAfE implementation for now.