During EDLD 5366, our group developed a website that focused on providing teachers, parents and students with information regarding the inclusion of instructional technology into every classroom. While building this website, we learned to work together to create a visually appealing blueprint that included the key elements of design described by Robin Williams such as proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast. This multi-page website included topics such as an overview of the site, a page for parents, how-to demonstrations, special education information, and even a section on digital ethics and citizenship. Not only did I learn how to build the website itself, I also realized the importance of providing this information to teachers and parents. It is important to be an advocate of technology education and not only preach its effectiveness, but demonstrate ways to include it in everyday learning with free resources so that every student is able to take advantage of these 21st century skills.
To make sure that I was receiving the most benefit from this assignment, I exercised self-reflection strategies to review my own learning. I would often reflect on what my responsibilities were as a group member and also as a learner. Dr. Jackie Gerstein’s words resonated with me. She explained that “without reflection, learning becomes only an activity . . . which was never meant to have meaning, only occupy time” (Gerstein, 2011). This is especially important and exhibits the dedication I have to my own education and educating others through my position in my district. I often take the things I have learned in this program and share them with my colleagues. As a technology specialist, I am expected to train teachers on these new developments in instructional technology so that they may provide unique and beneficial learning opportunities to their own students. Part of my self-reflection practices includes planning for future trainings and deciding what teachers or students will benefit most from a particular assignment or program.
For this particular assignment, I plan to help the digital graphics teacher on our campus design a lesson plan to incorporate many of the activities that I completed. This is her first year to teach this course and just recently learned of its addition to her schedule. She was very overwhelmed to learn that she was teaching it and a high stress level quickly followed. After providing some insight from my experience in EDLD 5366, we came up with a great outline of activities for her syllabus. The final project will be designing a website that will include all of the students’ digital graphics projects as an e-portfolio to showcase all of their hard work throughout the year. I am looking forward to learning more about web design and sharing all of my experiences with my colleagues and their students.
To sum up this entire experience, I recently came across a blog post that explained that being a life-long learner “means accepting that what you don’t know far outweighs what you do know . . .” (Betcher, 2007). And my friends, do we ever have a lot to learn!
Betcher, C. (2007, May 28). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://betch.edublogs.org/2007/05/28/the-challenge-of-being-a-lifelong-learner/
Gerstein, J. (2011, August 16). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/where-is-reflection-in-the-learning-process/
Williams, R. (2008). The non-designer's design book. (3rd ed.). Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press.