Although the JumpStart class didn’t go quite as planned for me (I had some personal issues prevent me from finishing in July), I feel it was wildly successful for me. I was able to dive into technology I had never learned before and re-learn and re-use things I have already been exposed to. I loved that it was individual in nature, but we had the larger group to connect with when needed. Any problem or glitch I had that I couldn’t figure out, others helped me instantly – what a great experience!
My favorite module was probably the screencasting module (Module 7). I think I’d like to utilize this a lot, and it was so easy! At first it was intimidating which is probably why I got stuck on it for a few weeks, but when I set aside time to sit down and hammer it out, I was pleasantly surprised by how quick, easy, and painless it was! Even listening to my own voice wasn’t as bad as I thought!
Setting up the WordPress blog was the most challenging module because I’ve never done anything like it before. However, I’m very excited I learned and I think it went really well. I’ve been thinking about blogging and what kinds of blogs I’d like to have ever since! There were definitely glitches, but I think it’s a complex tool and that will always be the case.
Two tools I’m going to utilize in my teaching are screencasting and mindmapping. I’ve experimented ever so slightly with both in the past, but now that I have them down and know exactly how simple and useful they can be in my classes, I know I’m going to implement both this year. Especially in my American Lit and English Composition courses that I teach for dual credit.
Tools I’m most interested in learning about in the future include the Ted-Ed and Ted Talks in general – I’m fascinated by them and never have used them in my class yet – and photo editing. I run the yearbook, so tools that help with that will be incredibly useful in my journalism classes and in the yearbook. I’d love to have my students use TedTalks as resources for a paper they write in my Comp classes.
Three measurable goals for me:
- By the end of the school year, have screencasts of all my American Literature notes.
- By Christmas break have my Comp students complete 8 mindmaps using an online tool and share them with digitally.
- By Christmas break, create a final project for my Advanced English class having them show me what they learned this semester using a digital tool of some form – like Thinglink or a WordPress site.
Finally, the most important take-away from this class is that with just a little time to explore and a little inclination, I can do almost any tech-y thing! I knew I was pretty tech savvy, but only in areas I felt comfortable in. This course pushed me outside my comfort zone, and I honestly didn’t have to spend too much time on anything. It made me realize that I can learn new tools throughout the school year and implement them successfully because I’m a pretty quick study when it comes to tech. I feel more confident trying new tools this year because I can do it, and if something goes wrong, it’s easy to try again!