1. What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Briefly describe a particular activity that you will plan for your students using at least one of these new tools.
I really like all the tools in Tool 5. I also like the resources in Atomic Learning. I want my students to use Google docs to access assignments in class and be able to discuss them outside of class with myself and their classmates. I also want to have my students use xtranormal to create videos, both fun and serious, covering math and social emotional learning topics.
2. How have you transformed your thinking about the learning that will take place in your classroom? How has your vision for your classroom changed? Are you going to need to make any changes to your classroom to accommodate the 21st Century learner?
I think that the main transformation in my thinking is in how I will foster student centered learning. Now I am going to use more technology to promote self paced student centered activities. I think that the 11 tools have given me a lot of new tools to work with. I think that my vision has changed only in that I see myself and our students accessing the classroom anywhere. I feel that the internet and the 11 tools will tear down the "walls" of our classrooms and prepare our students for the future. The only changes I'll make will have to do with set up and planing. I will set up the classroom to facilitate the use of all classroom based devices. And I will plan more extensive use of technology as a means for students to demonstrate mastery of learning objectives.
3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
Working on this training while traveling without a laptop was a real challenge. First of all the internet has been slow and in most cases hard to find in Peru and Brasil. It has been easier to find and slightly faster in Brasil. The biggest surprise is how "connected" we are in the United States. It's hard for people to understand just how much we use technology in a typical day. I try to explain it to people I meet and they just can't fathom how much we use computers. And not just in traditional ways but in the world of the internet, we can literally be anywhere and do anything as long as we can connect to the internet. We hear a lot about how poor our education system is in the U.S. However, I have to say that I am truly grateful for our education system and our educators. We are staying ahead of the world because our school districts provide us with classroom based devices, wireless internet, access to Google apps, and trainings to teach us how to utilize them in the classroom and beyond. By doing so we are able to keep our students competitive in the global economy. The learning curve for technology is exponential, at first it's steep and then it takes off to infinity, unbounded, without possibilities. For teachers and students this is wonderful and it provides us with unlimited access to content, growth, and learning.