Name three concepts skills or resources that you have gained in this course and let arrival relevant to your upcoming or current profession.
1. Classroom Design:
One of the biggest things that has stuck with me from this course is classroom design in creating the best environment for the students. I learned how important it is to have a well-designed classroom and children’s area. Getting kids to make something like a changing wall and participating in creating the classroom environment helps them to become motivated and invested in their learning. They can help make the changing wall which will change with the seasons, lessons, or even certain activities that the teacher wants to highlight on the wall. Children can help break it down and redecorate for the next lesson or activity. They can also include their projects, pictures, and other highlights in order to include the student’s work on the wall and create pride in the things they’re doing in school.
One of the biggest things that I will take with me is to make them feel like they are at home and to also incorporate technology in multiple different ways in my classroom design. I am thinking about doing a computer check-in area for the older students who can click the correct buttons and check themselves into school. This is inspired by Sugata Mitra from week one’s assignment where we watched his video about the student sin India and the computers he installed on a wall for them to manipulate on their own. (TED, 2010) I am also looking at incorporating workstations, interactive whiteboards, and even getting my family involved in the technology part and the design of the classroom.
One of my biggest goals is to start my own daycare center. I think this is what I’m going to want to do the most. At first I was content with taking on different contracts at different schools as I can in my spare time while working my full-time job as a police dispatcher in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, within the past few days I have actually found what I would like to really do with my three degrees. I would like to start my own independent daycare center with one of my friends and develop it into multiple sites around the Bay Area. In order to do this I would also have my family help me because everything I do I want my kids to be involved. My daughter is into fashion and design and she would love to help decorate and make the classroom environment exciting and comfortable for all students. My son loves technology and games and would help to set up the room with the electronic equipment in mind. He could help me to find the best places to put different monitors and workstations, as well as he has great ideas as far as what kind of programs and applications student should have access to. Being that he is eight years old he can still relate to a lot of the younger kids and their needs. My youngest daughter would also love to get involved by helping to design the classroom and create special projects for the students around her age group of six years old. She is so advanced and smart and she has great ideas that would work perfectly with my classroom environment.
2. Technology Exposure for Students & Teachers:
Another part of the curriculum that I take extremely seriously is incorporating technology into the classroom environment, not only for the students but also for the teacher. Technology can become a great tool for students to learn, but it’s also a great way for teachers to keep track of information and even come up with new ideas and information to share with their students. I need to do more and take classes to expose myself to more technology and more applications and programs. I need to know more and become more proficient so I can better help my students. I feel as though I need to push myself out of my comfort zone and start to manipulate, understand, and become proficient in more computer programs and applications that can truly help my students reach the next level. At this point I feel as though I know a lot of programs and I’m able to work on computers pretty effortlessly, but I definitely need more exposure and practice with the new programs and applications that students learning 21st century skills will be exposed to and learning as well.
3. Creating Equity in the Classroom:
Another one of the biggest things I’ve learned from this class and the previous classes during my master’s program, is that one of the most important things to create with in your classroom is equity for all students. Using UDL, BLD, SEL, CTE, 21st century skills, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Maria Montessori method, and other educational theories and methods; I intend to bring fun and equal learning to the entire class. I want to make sure that I’m not only fair to my students, but that they all have equal access to the learning information, equipment, materials, and support. I think that by using any of the methods that we have learned within our classes I can create the best environment for the students to have access to not only the information and materials, but also to be exposed to activities and practice that is geared towards their learning styles, intelligences, interest, and needs. (Edyburn, 2013) I will find as many ways as possible to break down any barriers in learning and provide the most appropriate modifications and accommodations for all students.
Describe how technology enhances instruction within the classroom and within your profession.
Technology enhances learning on an overall basis by supplementing the education that children are receiving, as well as preparing them for career readiness. I was talking to one of my coworkers and they were extremely surprised that my 6 year old was able to manipulate and use her tablet to search and find what she needed on YouTube and other web sites. She was looking for an instrumental song with no words to play as background music to the song that she wrote for me for Mother’s Day. The fact that I have been exposing her to computers and tablets and technology since she was a baby, I think is the main reason why she is so easily able to manipulate the technology at the young age of six years old. This has encouraged me to make sure that I always incorporate technology into my activities and into my classroom. Technology and computers will also be an important part of my profession as I need to be able to make presentations and activities based around certain technology, meaning that I have to know how to use this technology myself. I also have to keep track of information and statistics inside of computer programs that I will need to be able to master as well.
One tool I would love to use in my classroom are virtual reality masks. They can be very inexpensive and can link students to exciting learning from around the world. (Burns, 2017) I can only imagine how fun it would be for them to explore nature lessons while feeling like they are really standing on the edge of a waterfall or the tops of the highest trees without needing to even be there. Virtual reality masks are so much fun even for adults in regular gaming. I could see my students using these and learning and immense amount from this type of activity.
Discuss how technology supports differentiated learning experiences for a variety of learners with unique needs.
Technology supports differentiated learning for a variety of learners because you can create different programs and applications to support different needs. You can help students with visual impairments, hearing impairments, mobility issues, and even educational disabilities that stems from learning or developmental delays and disorders. Different technological devices can help students to go through their world with ease rather than struggling to keep up with their peers. For instance, just as the wheelchair helped paralyzed people to get around the world, a computer can help with a student who has reading disabilities to do better and to become more proficient. Students who may need to watch tutorials in order to become more proficient can also have access to this kind of learning on a computer. They can watch videos of someone going through each step or they can watch animated PowerPoint presentations to help them as well. There are endless possibilities for how technology can support differentiated learning and can help with different learner needs. As the teacher you can investigate the technology that is out there and incorporate it is needed into your classroom