A Time of Reflection

As the semester (and this class) comes to a close, I thought I’d reflect on the goals I set forth for myself (in this earlier post) and how I think I’ve done so far with them.

  1. Use technology to empower students and encourage creativity –  My Goal: Give students a choice and provide opportunities for creativity by allowing and encouraging the use of technology to demonstrate learning.
  2. Use technology to connect students to new conceptsMy Goal: Use digital resources to help students make connections to new concepts and to engage students in their learning.

While I have not given my students a choice just yet, mainly because I am still learning what kinds of choices I can offer them, I feel that I am on the verge of allowing students to use creativity and use technology to help them connect to the concepts they’ve learned.  And, I have this class to thank for that.  The culminating project, which was a digital storytelling project created for my Algebra 1 Honors class, will allow my students to write, model, and solve real-world problems and then tell the story of how they accomplished that.  In doing so, they will use the Internet, online graphing calculators, and Prezi.  Additionally, they will use creativity in writing their own real-world problems and in creating their digital presentations.   I am really excited about working to meet this goal in the near future.  This project (its “wiki” page and web resource and Prezi for telling their story) serves as way to help me meet my second goal of having students use digital resources to help students to connect to the learning.

This class and this project “forced” me to use the tools I was learning and, as a result, allowed me to start meeting the goals I set for myself.  Additionally, I feel much more knowledgeable about the tools that are available to me and my students.  Never in my life did I think I’d be blogging and tweeting, creating a wiki page, creating a curriculum/resource page, creating a digit project for my students, creating rubrics online, learning to embed videos and presentations, learning to create Prezi’s, learning that attribution must be given for images and learning to do that correctly, reading weekly news articles on e-learning and educational technology to stay knowledgeable on the topic, reading and writing about research, writing reflections of my learning activities, and so much more. Whew!

It’s been a great class.  I’ve learned a lot.  And, I look forward to learning more and to slowing but surely integrate more and more technology and tools into my classroom.  I know that in doing so, I will be enhancing the learning experiences of my students and even helping myself to be a more efficient and effective teacher.

Thanks, K. Thompson and  EME5050!

Culminating Project Complete!

Several weeks ago, I wrote my first blog on what I planned to do for my digital storytelling, culminating project for my educational technology class.  Here’s is the original post.  Then, a few weeks ago, I posted a sample student project and asked for your feedback.  After many hours of work and fine-tuning the project, I am happy to say that it is FINISHED!

I know I sound pretty excited about this.  That’s because I am, but not just for the obvious reason that I it’s nice to have the hard work behind me.  I am also excited about this, because I believe that I will actually use this project in my Algebra 1 Honors class.  Not only that, I believe I have learned some very important skills or, at least if I haven’t quite “learned” them, I am much more aware of the technologies available for use in my classroom to both enhance student learning and help me to be more productive.  I’d say that is a “win-win” situation!

Okay, so that’s a lot of enthusiasm for one post.  To give you an idea of just what I’m so excited about, please take a look at my completed project and feel free to comment (good or bad; I promise it won’t hurt my feelings. It could actually help me to improve the project before I turn it in or at least before I use it with my class in a few weeks).  Thanks!

Quadratics in the Real-World: A Sample Digital Storytelling Project

As I wrote about a few weeks ago, I am creating a digital storytelling project for Algebra students in grades 7 and 8 for a graduate-level educational technology course I am currently taking. This week, we were asked to create a sample student project to which students can refer in developing their own digital story. As I created this student sample, I considered what it is I would expect students to be able to do and what it is they should include in their own projects. This the resulting student sample project (click here).

I would absolutely appreciate any and all comments and feedback regarding the sample. Specifically, I would like to know if the information, as it is presented, is clear. Does it make sense to a general audience? Will students be able to utilize this sample to adequately guide them in developing and creating their own mathematical digital story? Please, don’t limit your comments to these questions, but provide constructive advice to make this sample project better for student use.

Thank you in advance!