Reflective practice is something that I have learned to enjoy in the EdTech program at BSU. I only have two more courses left in my Master’s Program and almost all of my courses have had reflective practice. Now that I am down to my last two courses, I have seen the benefits of practicing it. Reflective practice not only helps me reflect on what was learned and how I can move forward with what I have learned, but it also makes me proud of what I have accomplished in the semester. So much energy is spent making sure that assignments are completed on time, meeting requirements, that I don’t realize until the very end how much great work was created in 7, 10 or 12 weeks.
I think I said from the beginning of EdTech 543 that I was not too excited about having to take a course in Social Network Learning. Personally, I am not a fan. However, due to the changing of society and how common social networks are among students of all ages, it is understandable why this course is required for my degree.
Personally, I do not think I will change how I use Social Networks. I will still not use Facebook and Twitter, because call me old-fashioned, but I really want to embrace the human to human connection when it is possible. When I have kids, I will allow them to explore technology and its capabilities but I will also teach them the value of speaking face to face, writing a letter, sending a postcard, and giving someone a handshake or a hug.
Professionally, however, this course has opened my eyes to the power of social networks in my professional development. The number of resources out there kind of blew my mind. From twitter, to webinars, to twitter chats, and curations, there are so many resources out there that was not out there when I was in the classroom back in 2011. Or maybe there was, I just didn’t realize it. In addition to resources, the idea of communities is something all educators should consider making a part of their professional development. As a music teacher in an elementary school, middle school, or high school, you may be the only music teacher at your school. There are music teachers in the school district that you may be connected to, or in your city, but expanding that network and community online strengthens your teaching.
Currently I am not teaching in a classroom, or teaching private students in a music studio. That is what I spent many years doing, before I moved overseas. Because of this, I tried to apply what I learned in class and use it in my environment here in Africa. But due to the internet reliability and access to computers, I could not always use what I learned with my students. Most of what I used from EdTech 543 was the access to resources. However, when I do return to the classroom or to a country with the resources available to apply what I have learned, I plan to do so. The biggest thing for me is to figure out which resources work best for my goals and interests, and making an action plan so I can make things happen. This involves creating a website and buying a domain name, making all of my usernames consistent among all platforms, utilizing curation tools to organize resources, and finding the communities that best help me reach my goals.
It is not certain which social network platforms I will use in the future, that all depends on how much I am teaching, where and what resources I have available to use.
Self-assessment of blog performance:
I feel like I put a lot of effort into the reflection blogs for each assignment. It was not merely a check in the box. It was a true reflection of the process of learning. 75 out of 75 points.