Here it goes, my first blog post! I am excited to embark on my first online course, EDCI 567, Interactive and Multimedia Learning Theories. However, I am also feeling a bit overwhelmed and intimidated by it all. As a learner, I have found that I learn best when working in person with peers and teachers. I am hoping with all the video chats that I can still feel engaged, motivated and develop new skills as a learner/educator.
I also have some questions about what this course is all about. Is it about how I can use technology as a teacher or is it also a combination of how my students will use technology in the classroom? As a kindergarten teacher, my students have limited access to technology. My school no longer has a computer lab and is currently deciding on how our primary students will access technology. There have been some discussions about possibly having 4 ipads in each classroom. With this proposal, we could use the ipads for literacy and/or numeracy stations, for example.
My classroom also has a projector, laptop and an elmo. I use this tech daily in my teaching practice to demonstrate things such as printing, art activities, movement breaks, short educational video clips on relevant topics and for class music. I also started using the FreshGrade app for the first time last year. I used it to share pictures and videos with families. It was a great way to give parents a sneak peak into the classroom. I did not use it for reporting. This is something I might want to explore more during the course. I have been a bit apprehensive to tackle FreshGrade as a reporting tool as I haven’t been sure if it will be worth all the effort. Or perhaps, it may change how I report learning outcomes all together and make my report card process easier? I am curious to explore current research and studies on different reporting apps such as FreshGrade.
Some of my personal learning goals for this course are to feel more confident (and open to) using new technology in a kindergarten setting, as well as, researching what current studies are being done in regards to 4 to 6 year olds using technology. In my teaching experience, I notice that a lot of children are exposed to technology at home and may be over using it, hence, the whole moment of children having to re-learn how to play outside. I believe that kindergarten is such a foundational year for developing socially and emotionally. With that, what role should technology play in the kindergarten classroom? I hope to be able to answer this question through my course work. I also believe it’s important for children to learn how to appropriately and safely use technology and as teachers we should be providing lessons on these topics. I look forward to my online learning journey!