I have to say I was definitely apprehensive before entering this class. I have never been very tech-forward or on the cutting edge of technology or very savvy when it comes to intricate programs and software. The first week where we fully experienced Smart Notebook, I was chugging along pretty well, that is until I came to the grouping section. When you click on a picture and that dotted line surrounds the photo, well I thought that that line was the one you needed to stretch over the other pieces you wanted to group with it. Obviously it didn’t work but I kept trying, and was continuously puzzled as to why it didn’t work. It sounds pretty stupid now since it is such a common and easy skill but I was googling how to group things but continued to be stumped because I interpreted the line in all the sample pictures as the one that surrounds each image.. Finally when someone showed me that you click in an empty space and drag THAT box that appears over all the items you want grouped, I felt so dense.
I had also feared that topics (programs, software, websites etc.) that we covered, would be explained and/or explored but not individually experienced by each member of the class. I was not always happy about the amount of work in the class, especially since we created material just for the sake of creating, but I feel like I have a full grasp on the topics we covered in class. I feel confident in my ability to successfully implement the programs etc. that I was introduced to and explored. For that, I understand that the sometimes large amounts of material in assignments were necessary.
As a future educator who wants to “specialise” in a specific realm of subjects, it would have been great to have a week where we were tasked with the duty of finding a program, website, system etc. that’s specific to our subject. To find something specific to our area of interest and implement it into the lesson we created in the beginning weeks would have been beneficial (maybe an app in the iPad unit, or an interactive system that caters specifically to our subject and then we could carry that piece of technology with us into our future classrooms).
My experience with educational technology was that it is often used unnecessarily and just for the sake of integrating technology to meet certain obligations. However, I knew that education was progressively moving towards more technology-based instruction and that I needed to jump on the band wagon. This class has taught me how to avoid being a teacher who ineffectively implements technology. I feel like I gained a real appreciation for the benefits of technology and online/software programs in the increasingly online world.