Throughout my career, I have always participated in professional development each year.  My degree is in Business Education which I obtained in 1986.  The digital age has tremendously affected my job security.  In order to keep up with the curriculum changes in many districts, I’ve had to take many courses to keep my certification up-to-date.  I started out teaching typing, computer programming, and shorthand.  Since then, I’ve moved up in the digital world teaching animation, graphic design, web design, and basic technology skills.  Most of my years of experience have been at the high school level.

My Lamar University courses have helped pave the way in the future of education and I feel will benefit me both personally and professionally.  I believe in life-long learning.  My learners need to be taught that basic fundamental skill first then their education will be more meaningful and engaging.  I feel that I teach a combination of constructivism and connectivism.  Again, with constructivism, my learners need to understand why they are creating projects and why they will be meaningful in their lives and in their future learning.  Since I do teach in a computer lab, it is completely hands-on which is definitely a foundation that I truly believe in.  I’m that kind of learner.  I have to physically do and touch to learn.  I also have to see the importance of how my work relates to future learning and employability.  I want my learners to know that it is ok to fail.  Failing forward is a talent that I hope my students will embrace and continue to put effort into turning their talents into passions.

Combining previous knowledge with new knowledge will allow my learners to connect this new information.  I will provide positive feedback, we will collaborate with other learners, share great ideas, and have an atmosphere of we will all get to the finish line together.  We will always strive to remember the importance of we’re not there, YET.  I truly believe that my learners learn best from each other.  I adopt a policy with the students each year that they MUST teach me something new.  Several great tools that I use in my classroom are kahoot.it, quizziz.com, YouTube videos, and Khan Academy.  I’m extremely motivated to begin a new school year with a brand new curriculum, brand new book, and access to the electronic textbook.  After creating my own curriculum for the past three years, I’m finally able to provide up-to-date information with step-by-step instructions and resources to provide assistance for struggling students.

I found a great resource for my class that provides webinars, links, videos, blogs, podcasts, etc. for my learners.  The resource is provided by Pearson which is the new textbook that my district adopted for my graphic design course.  I’m gathering other resources from CAST, TEA Online Professional Development Modules for CTE TEKS Implementation, and EduHero.  It is our duty to teach our learners how to survive and thrive in the digital age.  I feel that the Lamar University online course is a great example of how to deliver information online.  Since I teach in a low socio-economic district, I feel it is extremely important for our learners to be offered the opportunity to take online courses to further their education.  My new superintendent is a huge proponent of providing FREE online education to all of our high school students.  I know this is a huge advancement for our district and I’m proud to be a part of the planning process.  If my learners feel comfortable learning with a Learning Management System, they are more likely to continue their education after high school.

My cohorts in this online course have been such an inspiration to me since the very first course.  The resources that the professors have provided have given me the necessary skills to develop an online course for my learners.  I still plan to have face-to-face instruction with my learners daily, but I’m going to incorporate a blended learning method to provide the strategies that my learners need to succeed.  I want them to be able to find the information that they are looking for without being spoon fed.  Although my learners were raised in the digital age, it doesn’t mean that they have the necessary skills to use the technology to find information and produce a final product.  Not only have my cohorts inspired me, but they’ve given feedback that has my brain on fire again.  My goal is to pass on my blended learning online course implementation to others in my department and in our core subjects.  Collaboration is the key to success for our learners and coworkers.

The step-by-step process is required to truly apply reflection in the development and implementation of our online courses.  It is a cyclical process that allows for enhancements and changes to be made to our courses.  Through student feedback, we can make adjustments to our courses to meet the needs of all learners.  Since technology is rapidly changing, we need to make the changes necessary to keep up in the digital age.  By looking at our course with the end in mind, our learners will see the big picture and hopefully be more encouraged to gain new knowledge while apply skills previously learned.  My goal is for all of my students to experience some sort of life-long learning.

LMS link

References

McTighe, J. & Wiggins, G. (2005). Understanding by design (2nd ed.). Alexandria, Virginia:  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).