Thursday, October 18, 2012

Final Reflection

      As an educator I feel that it is necessary to constantly evaluate my teaching practices and take steps to continue to evolve and change along with the changing technologies and techniques that are prevalent in the teaching world today.  This course gave me a great deal of insight and practice in using technology to increase student engagement as well as improving my own research and technology skills.
The main two goals of my GAME plan were to increase project-based projects that were supported by technology and to improve communication with students and parents through the use of online technologies.  I learned a great deal about project-based learning through this course and I now have a much larger toolbox and set of resources from which to draw examples on different project-based lessons and activities.  The GAME plan helped me stay motivated to include more projects and since beginning the GAME plan, I have already implemented and completed four project-based activities.  I have also learned a great deal about other technologies available for communication with students and parents, such as Class Parrot and Edmodo.  Although I have not used either of these much as of yet, I think they hold great potential.    A great deal of what I learned during this course will help improve my teaching practice and will give me a point in the right direction to create more relevant and authentic learning activities for students.  Overall, I do not think I would change much in my GAME plan because I think that it gave me something to strive toward concerning both my goals.  This GAME plan model could also be used for students in my classes, especially when it comes time for a major project.  For example, students in my Economics classes read a book this past quarter and had to present their book’s contents and connections to their world.  The GAME plan could have helped them set goals for pages read each week, make plans for how they would monitor their progress, and evaluate if they were meeting their goals or not.

     I think that I will have some immediate changes taking place in my classroom because of this course.  I have already begun planning more project-based lessons and plan to have students use technology a great deal more as a working tool and also a means for them to collaborate and present information to each other.   I am too late for this semester to plan a capstone project but I plan to include a capstone project that is problem-based that will ask students to find and research a major economic problem that has either recently occurred or is occurring now.  Students will then create a digital story to tell other students about what they found out about the problem and a proposed solution to the problem.  I have no doubt that this course has given me the kinds of tools I need to create more engaging, holistic, and authentic projects and lessons that will require students to use skills that they will need to master when they are in the workplace.  And for me, that is the whole point of education; preparing our students to meet the challenges they will face in whatever future they chose.

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