As an electives teacher, the technology needs of my classroom appears more as an after thought for my building. I have been blessed though with an amazing media specialist who has been able to advocate and procure a variety of technology tools that I can now utilize within my classroom. As an educator, I have always strived to incorporate various forms of technology within my classroom to enhance student engagement, increase rigor and create relevance for my students. Reflecting though upon my current practices, I have found that I have been neglecting virtual classrooms and web based tools.
In my district we have access to school fusion tools and moddle, both of which creates an ideal forum for developing an interactive learning community. At one point I was diligently uploading videos, and resources to my moddle and fusion pages, but somewhere along the way I just stopped. I am not sure if this was a result of my own complacency or the lack of student response to the resources. Regardless it is a practice I need to get back into the habit of doing. On the fusion and moddle sites I was able to differentiate activities based upon the learning needs of my numerous sections. On my sites I uploaded videos, quizzes, flashcards, lecture notes, PowerPoints, homework, due dates ect. I wanted it to be a resource for students to either receive support outside of school when completing homework and assignments or to accelerate learning for students.
In the future I want to add a forum for learning communities to complete group projects and assignments. In my class we engage in web quests and other project based activities, and one of the biggest issues I have iscreating opportunities for the groups to interact. Even though I provide class time, there needs to be platform that allows students to interact outside of school. What I like about the virtual learning community is I can monitor participation and the dialogs occurring between students.
Regardless of how I integrate technology into my plans, I need to have an accountability piece built in to my instruction. Accountability applies not only to the students but for myself. Technology application needs to be an expectation for my students and not just a supplemental resource. I need to ensure that it is as critical to student learning and engagement as textbooks, materials and discussions are in the brick and mortar setting. To do this, fusion and moodle must then become part of the assignment and I must monitor it on a more frequent basis.