I felt lost when I started this program. I wasn't sure if this project was for me. I had signed up to innovate my learning to become a better teacher, but I wasn't willing to go through the change this was going to require. It wasn't until I gave in to change and realized that change is hard, but inevitable that I started to see the purpose of each assignment.
Thanks to the support from professors and peers, I was able to make it through. Each course is designed with the final goal in mind. This was hard to understand at first, but each class and each assignment got me closer to understand that I was putting my capstone together.
I learned new technologies that I would have never been able to learn on my own.
I am grateful for the support I received throughout the program and recommend it to other professionals to do it. I think this program should not be an option for teachers in our district. It should be a must. We all need to have a basic understanding on how to teach children during the 21st century and be willing to let go of old strategies and methods in order to meet our student's needs.
I am far from being fully prepared, but I can proudly say that I am an innovative teacher and that I am no longer intimidated by new technologies. I am willing to risk some of my comfort in order to explore new technologies to meet the needs of my students.
My capstone project is a work in progress. There is so much I still need to learn and implement. This program got me started on learning more and exploring new technologies to help build a better future for my students.
Building a website has been painful yet it's been the most rewarding experience throughout the program. I have spent hours deleting and adding information like no other, but it's been great to know that all of my projects were kept in one place and that the time spent on exploring new technology and digital tools was time well spent.
I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. To be honest, I resisted any type of change that this program was asking me to make. I resisted technology until I could no longer do so. I finally gave in and it was an amazing experience. I am no longer afraid of technology! I still get lost and find myself spending hours on solving just one little glitch, but it is that time that takes me to the next level and it helps me discover new digital tools. It is through those frustrations that I have seen a breakthrough on my fear of technology.
The website has been hard, painful yet it's been the best experience because the product of my efforts is all right there. I wouldn't necessarily say I built it, but it was a collaborative effort. The support I received from peers and from Touro University staff was amazing. The scaffolding provided by our professor to build the site was very helpful. I would have never been able to do it without their guidance. My capstone project is being completed thanks to collaboration and differentiation provided by everyone. I received differentiated instruction during this course. Every assignment was well described and scaffolding was provided by the guidelines and templates on each page of the website. Collaboration happened through my peers, professor and tech support. Overall, building a website experience was painful but fantastic.
What does being a good critical friend mean to you? What do you expect or would you like from others? Assuming you’ve had meetings with at least two critical friends, comment on how the process went and the benefits you received.
A critical friend is someone from your team who will politely give you feedback on your work. First of all, he/she should be polite and professional about it. Just as my cohort peers gave me on the previous group assignment we had in class. I enjoyed how every person in my group read my paper and helped me edit all of my typos, second language expression, and grammatical errors. My peers were polite and professional about the process, and I appreciated that my website will be cleaner thanks to their feedback. In fact, the critical friend activity is very much what my capstone is about. It is about collaboration. Students need to be taught how to collaborate politely and professionally. I am thankful for this process because it will help me finish my capstone project as well as it gives me experience on how to train my students in the classroom about becoming critical friends.
I appreciate that my critical friend will take the time to read my capstone project and will give me an honest opinion and feedback so that my project becomes something worth reading. I expect my critical friend to:
Website Critique: Who was their audience? Was the presentation effective? why or why not? Dearborn, Gottfried, Vale
Her audience was other educators. Her goal was clear and well explained. Of the three sites I related to this one more because her project was similar to mine. She wanted to promote collaboration and communication through technology. Dearborn explained how educators need to innovate and move beyond paper and pencil homework, but to dive into technology and allow students to give feedback on their reading logs to promote collaboration and communication.
Her audience: other educators. Her goal was very clear, informative and even challenging other professionals to think and reflect on blogging. She related material learned in this program throughout her project. She used Instructional Design to create a new a modern portfolio: blogging. She talks about the interest it sparks in students and how much more helpful it is to blog than to create a portfolio that will probably be used only once. Her tool page is easy to access since she used a user friendly platform. Overall, Gottfried's project is very informative, and a great resource for educators who want to learn about blogging in classrooms or to implement blogging in their classrooms with their students.
Vale: Although her audience wasn't clear, it was obvious that her project was geared towards educators. Her project provides information about how to engage students in learning through creating a safe environment. She targeted the less noticed students and made an attempt to answer her question on how to engage these students. There aren't too many current studies on this topic so I imagine it was hard to gather all of her information, but it is an important topic because we all have a few of these students in our classrooms every year, and there aren't too many studies on it. I wouldn't call her project a portfolio of resources for teachers, but rather a way for teachers to reflect on those students who for some reason hide in the shadows of the classroom.
My primary audience will be other teachers especially in primary grades. My research was based on inquiry based learning vs. collaboration and using the 4C's in a dual immersion classroom. Although I still need to refine my research question, my first intent at this project has been to inspire teachers to look for answers on how to close the achievement gap. As an educator, it's frustrating to spend endless hours in the classroom trying to create lessons and units that are going to teach, train and inspire students to learn and achieve, but the results are not relevant of the work put in such lessons. I ambition a website where teachers can come and look for differentiation tools and lessons, collaboration tools and lessons, and since collaboration cannot happen without communication or critical thinking, then all 4C's are going to be embedded. Teachers need to know that there are technology tools available to help us in this common goal. There are tools for teachers and students where they can collaborate, differentiate, and inspire students to be creative and innovative. I think part of the problem in students is lack of interest. Students no longer engage in lessons as students in the past because we're teaching a new generation. These students were born with different commodities as opposed to older generations. They are visually stimulated since birth. Having a teacher lecture in front of them doesn't seem appealing. That is why teachers need all the technological tools available to teach their students and to facilitate their learning. As an old fashion teacher, it's hard to admit and accept that we are facilitators and no longer carry all the knowledge once teachers had. Now students have knowledge at their fingertips through technological devices. We're are to be equipped and updated so we can provide these tools for our students. It's my goal to provide some of these tools to other eductors.
At the beginning of this program I had no clue what I wanted to do. I knew I was here because I wanted change in my teaching practice. I needed to innovate myself, but I didn't know what it meant. I had no clue where to begin. Other than checking my e-mails at work, google searches, and basic google docs skills, I had no technological background. The process of exploring new sites and tools was very painful for me because I would end up lost in cyber space. Unfortunately, I didn't take advantage of reaching out to my cohort peers in cohort 10 as some of you in cohort 11 have. I was embarrassed to ask basic questions, so I fought and pushed alone. As time went by, I loved the how this program values students from all technological backgrounds, and how the professors have been so patient with me. At times I felt alone, but I always felt valued. I am glad to see that this cohort is very strong in providing feedback and helping each other. I hope I can collaborate more with cohort members this summer. I know that I am not as advanced in my technological venture as some of my new cohort peers, but I've come a long way.
My goal is to understand each generation of students and help them learn foundational skills needed for 21st century skills. My Research project is based on collaboration and differentiation. Teaching children to collaborate and communicate is key. I learned a lot from watching videos on Edutopia. The communication and collaboration strategies shared on those teacher videos are priceless.
I am passionate about teaching especially teaching a second language. I want to share with my students the richness that being bilingual has brought to my life. It's my goal to continue to explore and use new tools, available to students and educators. Ultimately, I want own and make the T-Pack model part of my life. With this model I found the missing piece to my puzzle. I know that I will never be the same teacher. I can see more clearly now. I am no longer afraid of teaching the Common Core Standards and don't feel awkward about teaching 21st century skills because I have been equipped. Since innovation is ever changing, I will continue to change my practice as an educator as I learn new tools and ways to reach my students.