FDN-5220-101 April 13, 2006
Reflection Iris Hilton, Jennifer Coffey, Chris Coffey
The Computers in Educational Settings class is a specific core requirement for several different Masters of Education programs within the Reich College of Education at Appalachian State University. Although our team members are pursuing different Masters of Education degrees, we have open minds to learn and grow with the current and emerging educational computer concepts for the classroom. Our team focused on teamwork and identifying and accomplishing the course tasks. Our team is fresh into the education landscape, therefore keen to grasp and use the technology guidelines and instruction.
The Active World, which our class explored, is an organized, interactive, online technique to collaborate with classmates and professors. The Active World is particularly appealing due to its convenience for long-distance, employed students. We all enjoyed using the Active World.
We began to explore the role of computers in educational settings through class introductions, instructions, the Active World, discussion boards, researching, and contributing and reading the responses in the class discussion board. We believe like many of our classmates that technology in the classroom is now an everyday occurrence and we must prepare our lessons with software and critical thinking objectives to motivate students.
Sharing both positive and negative education-related experiences and opinions is another way this class stayed connected to the ever changing role of computers in the classroom. Through our course experiences, we realized that it is important for educators to remain informed and to critically think through media articles that shed a negative light
on educational practices or indicate a shift in education reality, for example: “Online Tutors From India” and “Why schools Don’t Educate.”
Once our team got through the technical learning curve and the discussion requirements of the Active World and got down to the project, we went to work learning about technology tools and actually creating a meaningful website for Jennifer’s Infant Class at Sugar Grove Developmental Day School. We shared the duties of designing the website, and other identified tasks to make the website complete, such as: researching links to include for parents, learning about specific FrontPage functions, and searching for a usable discussion board and loading it onto our web page. We used Microsoft FrontPage to create the site, which was a new experience for all of us. We were able to become familiar with the software and now look forward to creating more educational websites.
As we read the Dynamic Modeling tools and created our own, it became apparent that future student learning will be project and team based. The tools model this concept. As teachers we must prepare and adapt our lessons to use the interactive tools. It is likely that most students will benefit more from the project based learning than the old-style of lecture learning. Even as adults, we find lecture learning boring and unappealing. The Dynamic Modeling tools are popping up everywhere and it is our job as educators to understand, select, and instruct with the most beneficial tools for our education disciplines.