Final Portfolio

Throughout this class I learned many new techniques and skills in the area of technology. Prior to this class I had very little experience with the use of technology in class. I had a basic understanding of how technology is used in the classroom. However, it was limited to the areas of how to use a SmartBoard, and the use of computers and iPads in order to aid learning for students. I was aware of the growing market in technology, and it became extremely evident that I should learn more about the use of technology to aid learning when I started my job as an aide in a wealthy district. All throughout my undergraduate career I was placed in districts that were located in areas with residents who had low socio-economic statuses so I was generally unaware of how much the use of technology had grown in recent years. When I started my job this fall I had students in my Kindergarten class who were 4 and 5 years old that were asking me how to perform a specific task on a coding app that they had on their iPad, and I sat and watched my students as they learned how to program robots to move in a pattern. It amazed me that my students who were 4, 5, and 6 years old were aware of how to program, and coding and program robots, and I had no real experience with any of it. So when my advisor informed me that I could take an elective course this spring semester, and said that there was a computer science class for teachers that was being offered I became extremely interested.

When I first started the course, and I read all of my classmates posts on the discussion board I grew extremely nervous because I had no prior experience with the use of technology, and most of my classmates were either receiving their master’s in technology, or had prior experiences with the areas of coding, programming, and robotics. After the first assignment with the use of the software Etoys I became extremely frustrated and thought it was a huge mistake that I took this class. After all who was I to think I could handle a masters level class in technology when I never had any prior experiences. Over the course of the semester I learned more and more technology and the use of robotics, coding, and programming as an educator. Each week I became more and more excited to learn what would be this week’s assignment, and was excited to see what I would be able to do with my new acquired skills.

I truly feel that over the semester I have grown and became more adventurous and confident to try new skills. One of the first assignments that we were assigned was to create a code for the Hokey Pokey. When I first received this assignment I didn’t even know what a “code” was. So when I look back at my work, and what I decided to code as a program I am impressed with how I had the knowledge of the basics. One of my favorite assignments was the use of Turtle Blocks. I thought that Turtle Blocks was a really cool assignment, and I am actually proud that I came up with the idea to write my name. When I began the assignment I was just going to do the first letter in my name, but as I played around with the program I decided I wanted to do more with it. I had to look up and watch YouTube videos on how to add more turtle blocks, but once I figured it out I was proud of what I was able to create. I feel that this is something I would love to have my students in my class do as an assignment. At this point of the year many of my students are still working on writing and spelling their last name correctly, so I feel that this would be a fun way to incorporate spelling and technology to help my students grow academically in the areas of spelling, self-awareness, and technology use. Two other assignments that I think would be great to incorporate into my classroom would be the use of the robotics dance off assignment and the Code is Beautiful assignment. The dance off assignment I could have them program to songs that they are signing in music, and this would help intertwine the use of technology across different content areas. I also feel that the Coding assignment could greatly help students with the concept of sequencing, and the idea that every decision has consequences. I would obviously have to create a more age appropriate example for my students, and something that is more simplified version for them, with only a few steps.

Over the semester I have learned that technology can be such a tool that can be incorporated into all content areas. Students love to use new things, and technology can help differentiate instruction to students. You can have students create more complex assignments if they need to be challenged academically, and you can have students who need more assisted use technology as an aid for their learning. As an educator I hope to continue to learn more about technology over the years. I also hope to take more classes that are technology based over the next few years in order to stay up to date on new discoveries in the areas of technology. At the end of student teaching for my undergraduate work my advisor asked me if I could attend one conference completely paid for what would it be. I answered with something in the area of special education, and although now I would still love to attend conferences for special education I would also be interested in looking into technology conferences so that I can continue to grow in the areas of technology. I feel that it is incredibly important for all educators to be knowledgeable in the use of technology in order to aid student learning and to stay up with the ever-changing world of technology. Over all I thoroughly enjoyed this class and feel that I truly have grown over the course of the semester. I feel that I am now more marketable, and more educated and most importantly more comfortable in the use of technology as an educator. 

Hokey Pokey

Turtle Blocks 

Code Is Beautiful 

Dance Off

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Riley,

      Of course, I am gratified to hear that you had a good experience in this course and found it valuable. I was also very impressed by how you worked to meet the various challenges, especially those within yourself. I was really struck by this:

      After all who was I to think I could handle a masters level class in technology when I never had any prior experiences. Over the course of the semester I learned more and more technology and the use of robotics, coding, and programming as an educator. Each week I became more and more excited to learn what would be this week’s assignment, and was excited to see what I would be able to do with my new acquired skills.

      I hope we get the chance to work together again at some point.

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