Reflection: Integrating Technology Across the Curriculum
Reflective behavior is critical to the learning process. I’m doing it right now. What has caused me to learn and how can I best apply that in my classroom to become better at what I do? These are important questions that an educator must ask themselves. Throughout this course we’ve set goals and put into place action steps to achieve those goals. My personal goal was to use technology to promote reflective behavior through online portfolios. Have I achieved that? Not quite yet, but I’m getting there. I’m not sure anyone can reach a goal that broad in a few short weeks. Have I made progress? Absolutely. I have students reflecting on pieces of work and progress made and loving the process. What is extremely rewarding for me as a teacher is watching students’ recognition that they not only achieved a particular level of performance, but that they have also made significant progress. When they recognize and are able to communicate as much it is rewarding to me as a teacher. Whether or not their reflections are coming in the form of a digital portfolio is really not important, as long as they understand they are learning.
In terms of my instructional approaches and the changes I would make regarding technology integration, I feel very comfortable with what I am doing integrating technology in my classroom. My fifth graders are using a multitude of collaborative tools to learn from each other, create content together and share their ideas. They have used social networking tools to come to a consensus on a question, used technology to solve a problem and engaged in many forms of digital storytelling. Blogging and discussion boards are a mainstay of our fifth grade curriculum and digital storytelling has actually been at the forefront of our technology use in the last few months. We’ve used it in many different contexts (see below and picture to left) and it is so engaging that students are motivated to create similar projects on their own time. Educreations, Explain Everything, Audioboo and other great apps available for iPad use have opened the door to a new world in digital storytelling. In addition to providing multiple pathways to learning creatively, these types of projects also offer excellent assessment alternatives.
Want to see a few examples? Click the links below for digital storytelling integrated across the curriculum. Thanks for reading.
Digital Storytelling in Science
Digital Storytelling in Social Studies – “Walking in the Footsteps of an Explorer”