Over the last 10 weeks, I’ve been exposed to various new forms of technology through the college course titled Learning Technology for Educators. Now, we’re at the end of the semester, and it is time to start visualizing how I can use all the technological tools I’ve learned in my own classroom. Looking back, we really did accomplish a lot: from blogging, to social media, screencasting, Flipboard, animated movies, and the big one, a Webquest.
It probably comes as no surprise, since I’m a part-time radio DJ, that my favorite tool and one I’ll be using a lot in the future is screencasting. This semester I became very familiar with Snagit. I really enjoy being able to easily show someone how to do something right on my computer screen. I can see how valuable this tool will be as a teacher. I’ll be able to create lessons with a screencast or answer a student question about how to navigate a website or issue.
I enjoyed learning how to use the tool PowToon to create my copyright commercial. I’m sure there are many animators who don’t like how simple PowToon makes it for the average person to create a movie, but that seems to be the trend of everything in technology: make it simpler and easier for everyone. Speaking of simple, who knew creating your own website was so easy? Not me! But, Google Sites has created an easy layout so that anyone can create their own website. You can choose a template or go the hard road and create your own layout like I did. I used Google Sites for my Webquest From the Ground Up. After spending countless hours on the site, I think I’ve finally got it down after a lot of trial and error. But, isn’t that what all technology boils down to? You keep trying different things until you find something that works.
Screencast of the Webquest “From the Ground Up”
After the last 10 weeks, I have a new appreciation for the art of blogging. I never wanted a blog before, but now that I have one, I keep having ideas for future blog posts. “Can you fall in love over text message?”, “Life without a uterus”, and “Parents, please stop wiping your child’s bottom” are a few that keep running through my head. I like how much critical thought is put into blogging, and I can see that it’s an extremely valuable tool for students to cultivate. Another valuable tool someone learns when he or she becomes a blogger is how to use Creative Commons images and media. I became very familiar with Flickr and the proper way to site an image. This is vital in today’s society where students sometimes think that anything on the internet is free. Images on the internet are not free, and you should always give credit for the material you use.