Because Learning Never Ends, a Reflection

Eric Fitton

During March of 2011 I posted the following video to my homepage.

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The video was about my reasons why I was applying to MSU’s MAET program. To summarize this rather short video, my educational goals in attending MSU were:

  1. Use technology as effectively as possible (especially to help student understanding).
  2. Become a technology leader.
  3. Change the Bellevue computer curriculum.

It was interesting watching this video again. I still use my Interactive Whiteboard in a nearly identical way to the way I used it before my first Master’s class at MSU. However, I no longer worry if I am using it the “best” way. Just as our choices of pedagogy change depending on our students and the content, our use of technology is not static. In addition, instead of just finding “the best” technology used today I can reflect on how to modify technology to use it in my classroom and think about how effective the technology is for my content and how it ties in to my pedagogical practice.

My role as technology leader has also changed in the last two years. This year we suddenly went to iPads. Other teachers have stepped up as I never thought I would have a tablet. It has simply been out of my personal price range. On the other hand, I think I have influenced other peoples thinking about technology. We do not simply use technology to say we used it. We use it as a part of our pedagogy or part of our classroom management to make things better. That we adapt technology that was not intended for the classroom and use it that way. Wordle Generated Using the Text of Beowulf Similarly, I helped an English teacher combine different technologies. Wordle and Project Gutenberg are both wonderful learning websites. However, when we loaded Beowulf from Gutenberg into Wordle we ended up with a quick and effective study tool.

At MSU I have been thinking about TPaCK (Technology – Pedagogy – Content), my professional learning community, creating online content and reflecting on student understanding. My thoughts about the Bellevue computer curriculum have fallen to the side. That said, I have used my new knowledge to create a new course for students, Creativity and Computing. However, most of my effort has been spent thinking about how to improve mathematical understanding and all content areas using technology rather than focusing on the technology itself. It has been more rewarding to have students round robin write using google documents than worrying about what standard collaborative word processing falls under.

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