Edtech 501: Looking Back and Moving Forward

I wish I had done more. I have this sentiment for both 501 and 502. But don’t we always say that.

What do I wish I had done more of? Participated more in group discussions and reviewed everyone’s artifacts. I reviewed some but not all. I was too focused on my own projects and didn’t realize how much you can learn for looking at other peoples’ work. Especially if you critique it and get their thoughts on why they did things the way they did.

I also feel like something is missing from my learning this semester but I can’t put my finger on it. In 502 I felt I didn’t learn enough of the theory behind things but I gained skills. I am not sure that is it in this course. I tried to learn at least an overview of the theory behind RSS, the digital divide, etc. Maybe its that things don’t build on each other in this course like they did in 502. In 501 each component was its own concept and then we moved to something unrelated. Maybe that’s it….the lack of the sense of cohesion. I hope others can help me determine what I feel is missing.

lookingbackThe main challenges I faced were time management and using tools I never had before. When the fall semester started I planned to treat these courses like college course from a timing standpoint: devote M,W,F to one course and T/Th to the other. Well that fell through. I found I had to devote a lot more time to 502 that I planned. Ultimately I usually did 501 work on Monday or Tuesday and then devoted the rest of the week to 502. I don’t think this worked as well as I would have liked because I focused too much on 502 and not enough on 501. I still haven’t developed my plan for next semester.

Using Google+ and Google docs were challenging. I had never used them before. I still don’t use them to their maximal potential. I plan to incorporate them into future classes that I teach. I also found APA formatting difficult mainly because the medical field doesn’t use it. So all the publishing I have done has been in a different format. I bought the APA manual to guide my writing. I also purchased What the Plus Google+ for the rest of us. This book was OK but not worth the money.

I enjoyed most of the projects we did. The Tech Trend assignment was great. I developed a TouchCast. What I liked about that assignment the most was reading the Horizon Report. Since we have to select one artifact I choose the school evaluation. Doing that made me feel like an educational technologist. I assessed the school and analyzed what I found. The analysis should be useful to the school. I am still waiting for them to ask for it. I know they won’t so I will send it to them in the new year. I also liked the digital divide assignment for similar reasons.

How do I plan to use what I learned in this course?

  1. The findings of the digital divide assignment was presented at my divisional faculty meeting in October. They are interested in learning new skills. I plan to develop tech workshops for faculty.
  2. The TouchCast I developed for the tech trends assignment is getting utilized this week as an alternative to this month’s face-to-face journal club.
  3. I plan to use Google+ in an elective course I will teach in the spring.
  4. As part of the RSS assignment I developed a lesson plan that I will also use in the elective course this spring.

Moving forward I need to figure out 2 things: what do I want to get out of this degree and how can I best balance skill development with knowledge development. It seems silly to ask the first question this far into the degree but I don’t really know yet. I began this degree because I got excited using tech for teaching and wanted to learn more. I need to figure out what I am going to do with my knowledge and skills. This will then guide further course selection and planning. I also need to figure out how to strike a balance between my need to know theory and also have enough time to complete the projects required for the course. I think there needs to be more focus on theoretical underpinnings of things. Maybe that comes in later courses.

Thanks to everyone for their great coursework and their feedback. Thanks to Anthony for guiding us on the first steps of our edtech journey.