Final Reflection

Where did time the time go?  It’s hard to believe that the semester has come to an end. When first entering the Educational Technology Program, my goal was simply to obtain a master's degree.  Prior to my coursework, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect and did not imagine that my experiences would actually confirm my goal of pursuing a career in education.  I can confidently say that my last two semesters in this program exposed me to a disposition that I didn’t know I could love - technology.  The content we engaged in throughout this course allowed us to learn by actually tinkering and experimenting with materials we could potentially use in the classroom.

 

Papert and Kay’s notion of “powerful ideas” is something that resonated with me in my own experiences as a teacher. Their theory pushed me to question what enduring understandings I wish for my students to develop.  I questioned if the environment of my classroom encouraged students to derive meaningful conclusions. As I reflect on this, I realize that what I wish for my students to gain from my class is confidence in their own ability to create and innovate.  If there is a need, develop a solution and work towards it.

 

When considering what unit I enjoyed the most in this course, I had to think about what would be most applicable in my own classroom   Hence, the unit I enjoyed the most in this course is Turtle Blocks.  The features of this program are very easy to use, even if it is a new language.  You can see immediate effects of the code you write and can even run the program in segments displaying the results of the code you create block-by block.  While I also enjoyed learning Python, gaining fluency in Turtle Blocks had the greatest value to me because I implemented it in my own classroom.   I used Turtle Blocks as an introductory unit to teaching SCRATCH because it helps students gain fluency in creating programs with block-based code. I have found that students who’ve been reluctant to use SCRATCH previously were more willing to write code with Turtle Blocks.  When first presenting it to students, we started with basic geometric shapes.  Just building that foundation, students were able to define actions and create fascinating graphics that integrated functions, randomized colors, and used multiple turtles.    When students are excited about what they are learning, they are likely to engage in the material on their own.  Even after completing the assignments for our Turtle Block Unit, I found myself experimenting and creating designs in my own time.  Attached to this post is a screencast that I created in the beginning of this semester.


What comes next? The possibilities are endless. I’m happy to have taken this course and anticipate what comes next in all of our professional journeys.  Good luck everyone!

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Kimberly,

      I really enjoyed reading your reflection. Needless to say, I am thrilled that you had this experience and left the course (and the last two semesters) with a new approach and disposition.

      This really resonated with me:

      As I reflect on this, I realize that what I wish for my students to gain from my class is confidence in their own ability to create and innovate.  If there is a need, develop a solution and work towards it.

    Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2017

    Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2017

    The online home for the Spring 2017 CS for Teachers course

    Latest comments