Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lessons Learned

As I reviewed my EDU 271 course as well as other courses that I have developed, I started writing down my reflections. I've posted some of the more cogent lessons below. I would welcome comments and other reflections.
  • I have learned that my students are not as technologically literate and savvy as we might think. One student commented that she had never thought to evaluate the information that she found on the Internet until she had an assignment to do so in my class.
  • We need to provide more technology "how-to" support (within the course) if we want to have students utilize Web 2.0 and other emerging technologies to demonstrate knowledge. Several students were still not even familiar with the basic Office Suite of programs--much less blogs and wikis. If we assign technology related projects, then we need to make sure that we provide handouts, videos, tutorials, etc. to help students learn the technology as well. We also need to consider that the students are also learning the technology as well as demonstrating their understanding of the concept/topic.
  • A single course is not enough time to not only expose students (and faculty) to new technologies but to also help them learn how to use the technology and then develop activities and assignments that utilize that technology. Breaking the course into several courses has been suggested; however, the technology component needs to be incorporated across the curriculum. Right now, the students seem to get a smattering of technology depending on who they have as instructors. Therefore, their exposure is uneven.
  • I have also learned that not only do we have to change our teaching paradigm, we need to get students to change their learning paradigm. All too often they expect to be spoon-fed the information (as in lectures) and then to simply regurgitate it on an exam. They have no expectations of ever using the information--even when they are studying to become teachers.
  • Finally, we need to evaluate how we are teaching our teachers to teach. If we expect them to integrate technology in their teaching practices, if we expect them to use collaborative learning in their classrooms, if we expect them to teach their students how to become digital citizens--then shouldn't we be modeling this type of teaching?

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