End of Semester Reflection

I would like to begin this post by saying that anyone considering a career in education needs to take this class or a class that will be multi-modal in regards to the way the digital tools used are taught as well as one that exposes the issues that face education reform today. Out of all the college level classes I have taken throughout my life, Literacy in the Digital Age has taught me the most.

The first learning outcome listed in the syllabus for this course is to “Analyze and interpret non-print texts…”.  In the first few weeks alone I had been exposed to more new types of non-print text than I ever had been and had written and published many blog posts regarding those different articles, TED talks, blogs and websites. By the end of the semester I had expanded that to podcasts and digital stories as well. While I still feel, I have a lot to learn about web 2.0 tools and how to use them I would never have gotten out of my comfort zone to begin the learning process in this area had it not been for this class. I feel I have advanced my skills in using digital tools and technology greatly. In the past I considered myself to be skilled at communicating with other people however I was able to improve in this area through learning how to write meaningful comments on other people’s blog posts that generate constructive thinking. I also learned how to use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with people within my personal learning network. Through examining several articles as well as actual social media sites I was able to understand how adolescents and teens use digital media to speak out and bring about change in the world and learned some very important lessons about online safety and etiquette. I also acquired quite a bit of knowledge about using social media for activism using my own Twitter account. Thankfully, we were instructed in how to properly cite digital media in our blog posts and hopefully that is something that will stick with me throughout the years.

Aside from all the learning objectives that I feel I have met, I feel I have gained a great deal of knowledge and skill through this class and the required blog posts. After reading, reviewing, and revising my blog posts I noticed that I tend to write about things in a literal sense whereas some of my classmates take more of a metaphorical approach to their writing. I honestly do wish I could become more creative in my writing as I think it can sometimes come across as very dry. However, I do feel that I am good at laying out the facts and covering the material that needs to be addressed. If you read through my posts you may notice that I sometimes use personal experiences to convey my thoughts. This seems to be one of my favorite tools in writing and I think it works well for me. I did seem to whine a bit about the level of difficulty when it came to the tech assignments which appears to be a recurring theme in my posts. I think it got worse as the semester wore on and I would have preferred not to take that kind of negative approach but at the same time, I think it helped readers to know that I struggled right along with them. It brought an element of relatability to my writing, if you will. Another theme I noticed in regards to my ILP posts was prayer. This is a good reflection of who I am in real life because I am constantly praying, whether it’s out loud when I am alone or in my head when I’m with others.

Some of the major changes I noticed had occurred in my posts over the past 15 weeks was that the feeling I got from my writing near the end of the semester was somewhat more relaxed. I didn’t accidentally overlook certain slang or incomplete sentences but wrote them in purposefully to show my real side. I wanted to come across to my readers as someone they could relate to as I said earlier. I was surprised to find that some of my writing was a little stiff. When I was younger my creative writing skills were much more advanced but over the years I believe, I have lost that magic touch due to being trained to think logically rather than creatively. If I could go back and do more blogging, (which I may do anyway) I would do more blogging about alternative schooling and the research that is available on those different types of education. I am very interested to know how well schools like the Sudbury Valley School may be received in more rural parts of the country. I feel like I could expand more on ideas like unschooling, hackschooling, and Waldorf schools in my posts. Similarly, I would like to do more research on project-based, problem-based, and passion-based learning in order to be able to provide more information in my blog posts regarding these methods. Ideally, I would like to visit a school that uses these methods regularly so that I could see first-hand the benefits of these as well as the components of them. Another topic that I would love to revisit is the post on podcasts and digital stories. I genuinely fell in love with podcasts and the idea of using these in my classroom someday and I would love to learn how to create my own podcasts and play around with the process enough to become somewhat of an expert on it. The same can be said about the other tech assignments. I think with time and lots of practice I can become much more comfortable creating with the other web tools we were required to use in the class. If I were to blog on these topics more, I could later revisit those posts and use them as a refresher throughout my teaching career.

I did find a few spelling errors and type-o’s in my writing and was glad that I was given a chance to go back and correct them since I take a lot of pride in writing a grammatically correct paper. I think if I had learned to focus a little more while writing my posts, I wouldn’t have had any errors. In all my posts, I strived to be honest. If I struggled with understanding something or even if I just disagreed, I made sure to put it out there for everyone to read. There will always be someone who is going to disagree or criticize others’ work so it is important to me to speak the truth despite the naysayers. I only had one comment this semester that gave me some criticism regarding the way I had written that particular post and I did go back and change the post in a very minimal way. I felt that although the criticism was given appropriately, I had written the post the way I wanted it to be written and did not see a need to make any drastic changes.

All in all, I feel I have gained a lot from the blog post assignments and I have a newfound interest in reading other blogs as well. I truly plan to use this as a tool in my own classroom someday because I feel that this was one of the most meaningful learning opportunities I have ever been afforded.

 

 

I would like to begin this post by saying that anyone considering a career in education needs to take this class or a class that will be multi-modal in regards to the way the digital tools used are taught as well as one that exposes the issues that face education reform today. Out of all the college level classes I have taken throughout my life, Literacy in the Digital Age has taught me the most.

The first learning outcome listed in the syllabus for this course is to “Analyze and interpret non-print texts…”.  In the first few weeks alone I had been exposed to more new types of non-print text than I ever had been and had written and published many blog posts regarding those different articles, TED talks, blogs and websites. By the end of the semester I had expanded that to podcasts and digital stories as well. While I still feel, I have a lot to learn about web 2.0 tools and how to use them I would never have gotten out of my comfort zone to begin the learning process in this area had it not been for this class. I feel I have advanced my skills in using digital tools and technology greatly. In the past I considered myself to be skilled at communicating with other people however I was able to improve in this area through learning how to write meaningful comments on other people’s blog posts that generate constructive thinking. I also learned how to use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with people within my personal learning network. Through examining several articles as well as actual social media sites I was able to understand how adolescents and teens use digital media to speak out and bring about change in the world and learned some very important lessons about online safety and etiquette. I also acquired quite a bit of knowledge about using social media for activism using my own Twitter account. Thankfully, we were instructed in how to properly cite digital media in our blog posts and hopefully that is something that will stick with me throughout the years.

Aside from all the learning objectives that I feel I have met, I feel I have gained a great deal of knowledge and skill through this class and the required blog posts. After reading, reviewing, and revising my blog posts I noticed that I tend to write about things in a literal sense whereas some of my classmates take more of a metaphorical approach to their writing. I honestly do wish I could become more creative in my writing as I think it can sometimes come across as very dry. However, I do feel that I am good at laying out the facts and covering the material that needs to be addressed. If you read through my posts you may notice that I sometimes use personal experiences to convey my thoughts. This seems to be one of my favorite tools in writing and I think it works well for me. I did seem to whine a bit about the level of difficulty when it came to the tech assignments which appears to be a recurring theme in my posts. I think it got worse as the semester wore on and I would have preferred not to take that kind of negative approach but at the same time, I think it helped readers to know that I struggled right along with them. It brought an element of relatability to my writing, if you will. Another theme I noticed in regards to my ILP posts was prayer. This is a good reflection of who I am in real life because I am constantly praying, whether it’s out loud when I am alone or in my head when I’m with others.

Some of the major changes I noticed had occurred in my posts over the past 15 weeks was that the feeling I got from my writing near the end of the semester was somewhat more relaxed. I didn’t accidentally overlook certain slang or incomplete sentences but wrote them in purposefully to show my real side. I wanted to come across to my readers as someone they could relate to as I said earlier. I was surprised to find that some of my writing was a little stiff. When I was younger my creative writing skills were much more advanced but over the years I believe, I have lost that magic touch due to being trained to think logically rather than creatively. If I could go back and do more blogging, (which I may do anyway) I would do more blogging about alternative schooling and the research that is available on those different types of education. I am very interested to know how well schools like the Sudbury Valley School may be received in more rural parts of the country. I feel like I could expand more on ideas like unschooling, hackschooling, and Waldorf schools in my posts. Similarly, I would like to do more research on project-based, problem-based, and passion-based learning in order to be able to provide more information in my blog posts regarding these methods. Ideally, I would like to visit a school that uses these methods regularly so that I could see first-hand the benefits of these as well as the components of them. Another topic that I would love to revisit is the post on podcasts and digital stories. I genuinely fell in love with podcasts and the idea of using these in my classroom someday and I would love to learn how to create my own podcasts and play around with the process enough to become somewhat of an expert on it. The same can be said about the other tech assignments. I think with time and lots of practice I can become much more comfortable creating with the other web tools we were required to use in the class. If I were to blog on these topics more, I could later revisit those posts and use them as a refresher throughout my teaching career.

I did find a few spelling errors and type-o’s in my writing and was glad that I was given a chance to go back and correct them since I take a lot of pride in writing a grammatically correct paper. I think if I had learned to focus a little more while writing my posts, I wouldn’t have had any errors. In all my posts, I strived to be honest. If I struggled with understanding something or even if I just disagreed, I made sure to put it out there for everyone to read. There will always be someone who is going to disagree or criticize others’ work so it is important to me to speak the truth despite the naysayers. I only had one comment this semester that gave me some criticism regarding the way I had written that particular post and I did go back and change the post in a very minimal way. I felt that although the criticism was given appropriately, I had written the post the way I wanted it to be written and did not see a need to make any drastic changes.

All in all, I feel I have gained a lot from the blog post assignments and I have a newfound interest in reading other blogs as well. I truly plan to use this as a tool in my own classroom someday because I feel that this was one of the most meaningful learning opportunities I have ever been afforded.

 

 

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