I am planning on submitting a blog-style article to Edutopia because I like the informal blogging style, but more importantly, I have used many of their articles to gather ideas for my classroom. I do think I have been a major consumer for the last year and would like to communicate and share what I have learned from this Master’s program. Here are a few articles that I found applicable to my classroom and helpful in shaping my blog.
Putting Learning First with New Tech Tools: https://www.edutopia.org/article/putting-learning-first-new-tech-tools
3 Ways Tech Integration can be Detrimental: https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/3-ways-tech-integration-can-be-detrimental
Blended Learning: Combining Face to Face with Online Learning: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/blended-online-learning-heather-wolpert-gawron
One of the ways to share resources or collaborate with others is through Web 2.0 tools (Charles & Dickens, 2012).These tools can include social media, blogs, and other collaboration tools. I had not used many of the resources that the article suggested such as anymeeting or soho because our district transitioned from using our websites to purchasing an LMS. Any type of training for the district (campus or district-wide) is shared through our LMS, Canvas. This is an excellent way for all the teachers to have easy access to the information shared. We can collaborate through discussions or complete assignments to further our training. This has added many benefits allowing teachers to share within their shell not only within the campus but district-wide. This has been an easy way to store projects and ideas. One of the biggest negatives is not all teachers are using this resource at all. The district has invested time, training, and a tremendous amount of money to provide these resources for students, and it disappointed when teachers are not taking advantage of this. This LMS is robust and not exactly user-friendly, so to make the transition from websites to the LMS has been time-consuming with training.
Another way for teachers and students to collaborate and share resources is through cloud computing. Cloud computing is a web-based service that allows the user to pay per consumption to store and share information (Liao, Wang, Ran, & Yang, 2014). Our district has something similar to cloud computing, allowing users to save assignments to a specific home drive. This allows teachers and students to have access to their projects online anywhere through mydrives, Citrix, or downloading their assignment to their google drive.
I found https://edshelf.com/ to be a great way to quickly have access to several different websites or applicable apps that I have used in the last two years. I have linked many of the resources I organized in the edshelf.com into my blog. In addition, creating a professional website, or using an LMS to give access for students to apps. Our district has compiled a list of the most commonly used district apps for students and teachers to have quick access to these resources. (This requires a district sign-in or I would have copied the link)
Saugus Union School District’s initiative to increase writing discovered many benefits of blended learning including the opportunity for students to collaborate and communicate through technology (Demski, 2012). As this district in California discovered, incorporating writing for all subjects increases the rigor of the curriculum and giving teachers access to give guidance through faster feedback using technology. Teachers are able to provide feedback real-time to students, which is helpful in the learning process, while still working side-by-side teaching students.
Similar to this school district in California I have experienced the benefits of blended learning. I am passionate about writing and sharing about the topic of my classroom experience with blended learning. Through this program, I have transitioned my research-based learning from earlier courses to experience and implementation of this model into the classroom. I have had a year of trial and error and would love to pass on the knowledge to others, the knowledge gained and beneficial programs throughout this journey. These successes have led me to show other teachers on campus and district-wide how to include blended learning into their classroom, and the advantages of using this type of classroom model.
Demski, J. (2012, March). Building 21st Century Writers. T.H.E Journal. Retrieved from thejournal.com
Jian, L., Wang, M., Ran, W., & Yang, S. (2014). Collaborative cloud: a new model for e-learning. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 338-351.
Charles, J., Dickens, V., (2012). Closing the communication gap: Web 2.0 tools for enhanced planning and collaboration. Teaching Exceptional Children. Retrieved from Closing the communication gap: Web 2.0 tools for enhanced planning and collaboration.