July 15, 2013
It is the end of short fast based 1st semester of my Specialist degree, three classes in 6 weeks. Even though the courses have been rigorous in workload, I have gained a new way of viewing instructional design. One of the courses, ITEC 7400 21st Century Teaching & Learning, has really opened my eyes into the integration of technology and a collaborative learning environment. This course I believe has developed me further into the teacher I want to be. I am a strong believer in social learning and students being prepared to be future leaders and caretakers of the world. Using the knowledge I gained in this class, I will take a deeper look at my instructional planning and ensure it is meeting the needs of 21st century learners.
This course introduced me to Indicators of Engaged Learning and LoTi levels for planning. I will find myself measuring my lessons as create my plans. The Indicators of Engaged Learning is reflective of what roles students should do as part of the learning experience. These indicators such as standards based, facilitators, guide and collaborative rise student engagement in the learning experience. Along with these indicators, LoTi levels determine what role technology plays in student engagement. We were given something called the LoTi “Sniff” test. Using the test, teachers ensure proper integration of technology into the lesson while developing higher critical thinking skills. The use of LoTi in analysis in their lessons planning, teachers will evaluate if the use of technology is beneficial or required. I found myself being critical in the use of this test. Many times teacher believe just having students use any kind of technology further develops their lessons. I will work as the Instructional Technology Specialist as part of my work load this year. These two items will be part of what I implement at my school. We have received IPad and IPad carts this summer. As part of coaching my peers in this integration, I hope to ensure we are developing engaging learning environments with the use of technology.
In the course, we developed an engaged learning project which we had to use the Indicators and LoTi. The use of these brings higher levels of Blooms taxonomy and a deeper integration of technology. These types of projects are examples of what we should be implementing in the 21st century classroom. Being part of my school district Technology Leadership Forum this year, I was introduced to NETS standards from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). NETS have two different standards one for student, NETS-S. NETS--C are the standards for instructional technology coaches. As I work through my course work and my role at school, I will continually review these standards as I work with my peers. As a coach I will work to create, support and manage effective digital enhanced learning environments including assessments. I will coach and support my peers and students in digital citizenship.
The next year will bring a lot of work and challenges. However at the same time, I will develop as a technology coach and develop 21st century inspired classroom learning environments. I look forward to the knowledge and expertise I will gain through this program.
Christa Evans Heath