Reflection/Self-Assessment

Over the course of my time here at Arcadia, I have gone through a lot. Changing my degree program several times, it wasn’t until I found Instructional Technology that I really became excited about the opportunities ahead and in what I was learning. I really enjoyed all of the courses I took as I learned so much to incorporate into my classes, and to better prepare myself as a cyber education teacher. I feel as though I was able to uphold and even surpass the performance expectations as listed in our syllabus. The only area I think I could have been supported further in is engaging with others. Perhaps if there were a blackboard area where the many threads could be viewed, rather than a scrolling blog, I would better keep track of my peers work and be able to comment and reply more easily. I feel like at the start of this course, I was really unsure of what it was all about or how it would relate to myself and my teaching. I feel like now, after the many weeks of work, I have found an entirely new way to educate students, to connect them to their interests and with their communities, and to instill in them the desire to learn through exciting new opportunities I will make available thanks to this course. I think the success I had in this course, and the interest driven from this course, will allow me to take more risks in my own classroom in trying to incorporate connected learning, and further increase equity of technology and skills among students. My final make, or final creation for this course focuses on establishing new technology goals and baseline skills that will help to create techquity among our students’. I feel like this course, and this degree, has given me a renewed sense of passion for education, and has set me on an entirely new journey I would have never expected before. I look forward to progressing with the committee and hope to be able to create better technological environment and skill base for my students.

Reflection/Self-Assessment

Over the course of my time here at Arcadia, I have gone through a lot. Changing my degree program several times, it wasn’t until I found Instructional Technology that I really became excited about the opportunities ahead and in what I was learning. I really enjoyed all of the courses I took as I learned so much to incorporate into my classes, and to better prepare myself as a cyber education teacher. I feel as though I was able to uphold and even surpass the performance expectations as listed in our syllabus. The only area I think I could have been supported further in is engaging with others. Perhaps if there were a blackboard area where the many threads could be viewed, rather than a scrolling blog, I would better keep track of my peers work and be able to comment and reply more easily. I feel like at the start of this course, I was really unsure of what it was all about or how it would relate to myself and my teaching. I feel like now, after the many weeks of work, I have found an entirely new way to educate students, to connect them to their interests and with their communities, and to instill in them the desire to learn through exciting new opportunities I will make available thanks to this course. I think the success I had in this course, and the interest driven from this course, will allow me to take more risks in my own classroom in trying to incorporate connected learning, and further increase equity of technology and skills among students. My final make, or final creation for this course focuses on establishing new technology goals and baseline skills that will help to create techquity among our students’. I feel like this course, and this degree, has given me a renewed sense of passion for education, and has set me on an entirely new journey I would have never expected before. I look forward to progressing with the committee and hope to be able to create better technological environment and skill base for my students.

Reflection/Self-Assessment

Over the course of my time here at Arcadia, I have gone through a lot. Changing my degree program several times, it wasn’t until I found Instructional Technology that I really became excited about the opportunities ahead and in what I was learning. I really enjoyed all of the courses I took as I learned so much to incorporate into my classes, and to better prepare myself as a cyber education teacher. I feel as though I was able to uphold and even surpass the performance expectations as listed in our syllabus. The only area I think I could have been supported further in is engaging with others. Perhaps if there were a blackboard area where the many threads could be viewed, rather than a scrolling blog, I would better keep track of my peers work and be able to comment and reply more easily. I feel like at the start of this course, I was really unsure of what it was all about or how it would relate to myself and my teaching. I feel like now, after the many weeks of work, I have found an entirely new way to educate students, to connect them to their interests and with their communities, and to instill in them the desire to learn through exciting new opportunities I will make available thanks to this course. I think the success I had in this course, and the interest driven from this course, will allow me to take more risks in my own classroom in trying to incorporate connected learning, and further increase equity of technology and skills among students. My final make, or final creation for this course focuses on establishing new technology goals and baseline skills that will help to create techquity among our students’. I feel like this course, and this degree, has given me a renewed sense of passion for education, and has set me on an entirely new journey I would have never expected before. I look forward to progressing with the committee and hope to be able to create better technological environment and skill base for my students.

Final Makes

My inquiry questions for this semester focused on the issue of techquity, particulary for those students who have historically been academically, physically, and socially oppressed. The school that I currently work at is categorized as a Title I school, as the majority of our students’ come from minority backgrounds of low socio-economic status. Over the course of hte semester, I have researched and analyzed ways to increase not only academic acheivement in the courses I teach, but also to create connected learners that are equitable to their non-minority, high SES in terms of computer education and tech skills. For my final make, I am going to focus on outlining both a student and pedagogical course that will help to level the playing field for our specific students when it comes to computer education and 21st century technology skills. By doing this, we can not only infuse our current educational methods with more opportunities for connected learning, but we can close the digital divide that has occurred for those students who have been marginalized and oppressed simply due to their circumstance, race/ethnicity, or socio-economic status. Moving forward, this school would have ways to make students’ experiences more connected and more equitable.

Final Makes Reflection

My inquiry questions for this semester focused on the issue of techquity, particulary for those students who have historically been academically, physically, and socially oppressed. The school that I currently work at is categorized as a Title I school, as the majority of our students’ come from minority backgrounds of low socio-economic status. Over the course of hte semester, I have researched and analyzed ways to increase not only academic acheivement in the courses I teach, but also to create connected learners that are equitable to their non-minority, high SES in terms of computer education and tech skills. For my final make, I am going to focus on outlining goals and skills for a student course focusing on 21st century skills and establishing a initial start of connected learning. I will also seek out potential pedagogical courses or professional development opportunities that will help to level the playing field for our specific students when it comes to computer education and 21st century technology skills. The course will be academically oriented, and focus on openly networked connections among students and the knowledge available for them. By doing this, we can not only infuse our current educational methods with more opportunities for connected learning, but we can close the digital divide that has occurred for those students who have been marginalized and oppressed simply due to their circumstance, race/ethnicity, or socio-economic status. Once we are able to bridge this divide, we can move towards more interest driven learning as students’ will have the tools they need to identify their true interests, and run with them in a way they’ve never had the opportunity to do before. Moving forward, this school would have ways to make students’ experiences more connected and more equitable.

Interviews

Below you will find the responses for the interviews on creating applications for interest driven learning and academic oriented learning. Since this is being posted on a public website, they asked to remain anonymous and will be referred to as Interviewee 1 (I1), Interviewee 2 (I2), and Interviewee 3 (I3).

What do you notice about the interests students bring to their classrooms?

I1: Being that we have students from all across PA, I often find that the interests students bring into my classroom vary quite much! I have a number of students who are all about hunting and outdoorsy type activities, another group that is all about gaming, and a third that is more introspective with art and writing.

I2: I feel like some of the students I work with haven’t really had enough experiences outside of their own communities to understand what their interests are. For many, its school, work, home without much in between. They are not working in a place of interest, and are only attending school so they don’t end up in court. We need better ways of connecting students to interests.

I3: I notice students often bring interests from their own communities, that don’t neccesarily relate to other students across the state. While this is great for creating a diverse classroom, it is difficult to keep up with the many interests of one class (with over 300 students) and still be able to apply the state mandated curriculum, and interweave interest-driven assignments.

In what ways do you (or can you imagine) connecting these interests to academics pursuits and curricular goals?

I1: I think its a great idea, or goal to have, but I am not sure how feasible it would be for our population of students. Because there are such diverse differences, I think it might be easiest to create an open format of assignments or activities that allows some student choice.

I2: I think it’d be a lot easier to do in a traditional brick and mortar setting. It’s so difficult just to get these kids online to figure out what needs to be done, and then if we give them too many options it will be difficult for them to move forward. I think this type of pursuit would work well with advanced students, but our struggling students would need more structure.

I3: The big thing I see connecting these students interests to academic pursuits is the use of such sponsorships like Schoolyard Ventures. In Schoolyard Ventures, students are able to bridge academics and interests by learning to create their own business, with all associated skills included. As for our classes, I think we would need to break our groups down to be more manageable so our students could have a better experience with mentors and that connection to their interests.


How do you mostly use your phone? To connect with people? To create something new? To play?

I1: Personally, I use my phone to connect with people, to post things I create, and to play on things like facebook and instagram. I guess its mostly to connect to others and share my own interests, or things I find interesting.

I2: Everything! What don’t I use my phone for? I am probably worse than my students’ as I always have it attached to me, and use it more than a traditional desktop computer. I use it to complete school and work, to do banking, to connect and communicate, and to entertain!

I3: I only use my phone when I am out and about to communicate and stay in touch with others. I don’t use it muxch for entertainment, but rather for practical use like checking the weather.

It is evident from these interviews that the interests of our students vary greatly, and cannot be confined to a singular area of interest. I think for cyber school, especially with the population of students we have, first and foremore we need to help them identify their interests. Often we are met with apathy and disinterest in everything, simply because students have had negative schooling experiences in the past. I think that this type of learning is a possibility, but there is a lot that needs to be done before we can jump right in.

Interviews

Below you will find the responses for the interviews on creating applications for interest driven learning and academic oriented learning. Since this is being posted on a public website, they asked to remain anonymous and will be referred to as Interviewee 1 (I1), Interviewee 2 (I2), and Interviewee 3 (I3).

What do you notice about the interests students bring to their classrooms?

I1: Being that we have students from all across PA, I often find that the interests students bring into my classroom vary quite much! I have a number of students who are all about hunting and outdoorsy type activities, another group that is all about gaming, and a third that is more introspective with art and writing.

I2: I feel like some of the students I work with haven’t really had enough experiences outside of their own communities to understand what their interests are. For many, its school, work, home without much in between. They are not working in a place of interest, and are only attending school so they don’t end up in court. We need better ways of connecting students to interests.

I3: I notice students often bring interests from their own communities, that don’t neccesarily relate to other students across the state. While this is great for creating a diverse classroom, it is difficult to keep up with the many interests of one class (with over 300 students) and still be able to apply the state mandated curriculum, and interweave interest-driven assignments.

In what ways do you (or can you imagine) connecting these interests to academics pursuits and curricular goals?

I1: I think its a great idea, or goal to have, but I am not sure how feasible it would be for our population of students. Because there are such diverse differences, I think it might be easiest to create an open format of assignments or activities that allows some student choice.

I2: I think it’d be a lot easier to do in a traditional brick and mortar setting. It’s so difficult just to get these kids online to figure out what needs to be done, and then if we give them too many options it will be difficult for them to move forward. I think this type of pursuit would work well with advanced students, but our struggling students would need more structure.

I3: The big thing I see connecting these students interests to academic pursuits is the use of such sponsorships like Schoolyard Ventures. In Schoolyard Ventures, students are able to bridge academics and interests by learning to create their own business, with all associated skills included. As for our classes, I think we would need to break our groups down to be more manageable so our students could have a better experience with mentors and that connection to their interests.


How do you mostly use your phone? To connect with people? To create something new? To play?

I1: Personally, I use my phone to connect with people, to post things I create, and to play on things like facebook and instagram. I guess its mostly to connect to others and share my own interests, or things I find interesting.

I2: Everything! What don’t I use my phone for? I am probably worse than my students’ as I always have it attached to me, and use it more than a traditional desktop computer. I use it to complete school and work, to do banking, to connect and communicate, and to entertain!

I3: I only use my phone when I am out and about to communicate and stay in touch with others. I don’t use it muxch for entertainment, but rather for practical use like checking the weather.

It is evident from these interviews that the interests of our students vary greatly, and cannot be confined to a singular area of interest. I think for cyber school, especially with the population of students we have, first and foremore we need to help them identify their interests. Often we are met with apathy and disinterest in everything, simply because students have had negative schooling experiences in the past. I think that this type of learning is a possibility, but there is a lot that needs to be done before we can jump right in.