Nearly a year ago, I attended my first Google Apps for Educators workshop. I will never forget the words spoken by the closing keynote speaker. He left us with one powerful question to ponder. Now that you have all of this new knowledge, what are you going to do with it? Perhaps it was his captivating delivery or the fact that I felt an overwhelming responsibility to actually do something with what I had learned, but for some reason, this question has danced in my mind in the most profound way. This same question has resonated with me as I have completed the assigned readings and explored new technology tools in this course. And now more than ever, I cannot get the question out out my mind: Now that I have all of this knowledge, what am I going to do with it?
First, I think it is important to consider what I have learned, and how I have applied that learning to my classroom instruction. I think that by viewing the lessons throughout my project, it should be apparent that I have learned how to use a variety of tools in ways that can benefit student learning. The lessons I’ve developed throughout this course required me to develop a wide variety of instructional materials using “print, audiovisual, computer-based, and integrated technologies” (AECT Standard 2). I’ve learned that technology can be applied in ways to meet students’ diverse needs without an extraordinary amount of time and effort (AECT Standard 1.4). And I have learned that my interest and passion for educational technology is stronger than ever.
Throughout the entire course, the Constructivist learning theory was put into action. Learning has occurred as a direct result of using the tools and resources that we were exposed to. As result of these experiences (which included huge successes and some very serious struggles), I was able to make each learning experience personally meaningful and applicable to my classroom instruction. In several instances, I was stretched beyond my comfort zone (Vgotsky would be pleased, I am sure!), but those are the areas in which my learning was the greatest. Additionally, I have learned to appreciate the power and influence of social learning. The exchange of information with classmates and peers has been a greater influence on my learning than I expected.
So, how does all of this apply to my classroom and my own professional development? And, just as importantly, how does all of this help me answer the lingering question: Now that I have all of this knowledge, what am I going to do with it? Believe it or not, I think I can sum up the answer with one simple hashtag. #noinfohogs I realize how simple this may seem, but when I think about how much I have grown as a direct result of the sharing of information, I know that it is important to encourage my students to share with one another. I now know that I, too, have knowledge and skills that can benefit those that I work with. I have never felt confident enough to put myself in a position of feeling as though I have something to offer, but I have reached a point that not sharing would be intentionally selfish. I haven’t figured out how I will make this happen just yet, but watch out. I am ready to learn, try, apply, and share.
Association for Educational Communications and Technology. (n.d.). Retrieved December 07, 2014, from http://www.aect.org/standards/initstand.html