CEP 810, Teaching Understanding with Technology, has been a wonderful introduction to the Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology from Michigan State University. Coming into the course I had generous experience with various technology tools used in education – I would even call myself a technology geek! What I was lacking, were the theories and academic evidence to guide and support technology integration in the classroom.
What I Have Learned (A Few of My Favorites)
Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) is a theoretical framework that can be used to examine how knowledge, technology and instruction intersect within learning environments. We learned how technologies are often formed with an initial purpose, but as history progresses, the way they are used are transformed and manipulated to fit the needs to those who use it. For example: Photographs. Photos were initially meant to capture people, places and events for historical archive or art. Now, photos are used in a multiplicity of ways. I use photos as reminders, a communication device, for note taking, attendance, and more. We are innovating the ways that technologies are used to fit the needs present in our lives. As educators, we must do the same with technologies at our disposal. Though phones were created as communication tools, the smartphone provides limitless utilities and opportunities for our students. I highly recommend viewing Dr. Mishra’s introductory video to TPACK.
Common Creative License:
During my academic and teaching career, I have avoided adding photos, videos, and other media to my projects and powerpoints due to fear of violating copyright laws. This result were submissions that were not engaging audiences in the manner I desired. In Week 7, I finally gained insight into the world of Common Creative License, including the concept of “transformativeness”. With this tool in hand, I now feel more comfortable not only integrating media in my own work, but guiding students through creative projects that integrate the curriculum with media. The greatest discovery was this listing of sites to find creative commons media.
What I Will Change
To keep it simple: I will be more creative in how I have students utilize technology within the instrumental music classroom. Next year I have already committed to expanding my use of google voice playing tests to the high school level, allowing students to submit playing tests using their cellphone or landline. It is my desire to encourage students to utilize their phones as tuners and metronomes while practicing in individually and in small groups. The final integration I would like to try this year is having weekly music history lessons posted on my website in which students can access interactive content from their personal electronic device. In this project, I do not want it to simply be text on a page, but rich with photos, videos, and linked content.
What I Want To Learn
With the culmination of this course, I will continue with EAD 811 & 812. In the instructional environments I have found myself in previous years, I have lacked basic classroom technology such as media projectors and speakers. Though some of these needs are slowly being remedied using my school budget, I hope to learn grant writing strategies and sources of funding to enhance technology in the classroom.
Furthermore, I will be continuing my educational journey this summer by becoming Google Certified. The content area exams were re released a few days ago, so the end of EAD 810 signals a wonderful time to complete the certification program. Google Apps for Education has been a wonderful resource for me as a teacher, and I am looking forward to completing this process.
I entered EAD 810 knowing a lot about technology and strategies for integrating it into the instrumental music classroom. Throughout the course, however, I found myself humbled by the number of educators who are pushing the envelope of educational technology and seeing amazing results with their students. I am excited to continue growing my educational technology Personal Learning Network and to continually explore new technologies as they arise.