With the last days of the class upon me and a few tasks left to wrap up, now is the time to look back and reflect. This course has given me a fantastic look at the integration of technology outside of my particular discipline. As a “techie” and a Science teacher, I have always enjoyed adding tech to my classes when I can. Most of the time, I would do it as a way to keep the students interested and focused, but I have also come upon technologies that have changed my teaching altogether. The one thing that has always been consistent, however, is that it has been technology for me. The thing I have learned most in this class has been technology for others. As my role at school changes over the next couple of years, teachers from all disciplines will turn to me to help them integrate technology in meaningful ways into their subjects. That, more than anything else, has been the main area of my professional growth in this class. I now feel much more comfortable working outside of the science classroom in terms of integrating technology.
As i worked through the projects in this class, I worked hard to keep i mind formal procedures and theory. I have always been something of an “apply the technology now, ask why and how later” kind of guy. I know that technology can greatly enhance educational experiences, but didn’t always keep in mind theory and design as I integrated it. That has changed and continues to change as I move through this program. I can say that even if I never adopted another piece of technology, I am becoming a better teacher be cause of the attention I give to the theories related to technology integration. I think about the learners and the desired outcomes more and work to integrate the proper lesson, tech-based or not, needed to bring about those outcomes. I still feel like I will be at the front edge of technology integration in my school, but I also feel that more teachers will see that the integration is bringing about better outcomes for the students because the lessons are constructed using better forethought.
In many ways, the changes that I have been making to my teaching are reflective of the three AECT standards addressed in this class: Design, Development and Utilization. The assignments in this class typically began from a formal design perspective. This involved selecting and applying appropriate learning theories, keeping the learners in mind and designing lessons accordingly. I was able to create a fair number of quality science lessons utilizing this approach. In the development phase, the lessons were all tech-based and showed innovative ways to engage students through the integration of this technology. The application of these first two standards seemed to, in my opinion, lead directly to the third. With proper theories and learner characteristics in mind, media and other forms of technology ended up woven into lessons that students could work through and learn from. This clearly showed use of media and diffusion of innovations.
It has been a challenging and interesting experience this summer. I look forward to reaping the rewards of this as I start up a new school year in the fall.