Final Reflection …

It’s done. I have been feeling really behind for the last couple of weeks, but I dug in and caught up.

The course has been an excellent experience for me, and I would first of all like to thank Kim and Jeff for all of their time, effort and energy. Working with a group this size, and a handful of them aren’t even there in Bangkok, is pretty admirable. The tracking and assessment of all these blogs … well, let’s just say that I don’t read probably 10 % of my RSS stuff coming in every day. I don’t know how they do it.

This experience has challenged me in many ways. Being one of the distance students (from Tokyo) has been exciting, but tough. The f2f sessions just aren’t the same when you are staring at your monitor and can hear every second question or so. The screen goes blank or freezes every once in a while, and you get up to go get another cup of coffee. The sessions are pretty disjointed actually, but I sincerely appreciate both of you for your efforts at broadcasting the live f2f sessions. Just being able to listen in made me want to be there even more.

New ideas & old ideas. The last couple of readings especially (the Horizon Report 2009 + Adopt and Adapt: Shaping Tech for the Classroom) made me take a look at my use of technology, as did the final project we just completed. I like some of the old ways of doing things though. I still email all the time, and will admit to messing around with new technology, but hanging on to the old.

Some new skills/ideas I am thinking of adopting:

– RSS readers (set up now, but need to continue using to see how committed I am to it)

glogster (new to me, and something that I am very interested in learning more about)

– You Tube

Voice Thread

– Skype (for connecting with other classrooms around the world – Around The World With 80 Schools)

The final project was very interesting for me. First, it introduced me to Understanding by Design, an instructional design model I have been dancing with for the past year or so. Well, the book has been on my shelf anyways … It is a model which is very similar to the IBO PYP Unit of Inquiry model, which I have been working with for the last 6 years. So, this project was a nice change for me, but somewhat familiar. I tore apart a Unit of Inquiry we covered earlier in the year, and tweaked it to make it (hopefully) better, with technology embedded not just in the product (as a presentation tool), but throughout the process as well. I am actually pretty excited with this unit now, and think it would engage my current group of students much more than the way we did it earlier this year.

But for me, it is all about balance. I need to balance my life with the requirements technology places on us. It is pressure, no matter which way you look at it. Luckily, I love to learn and picking up a new gadget is exciting for me, just like experimenting with a new OS is. Plus, I will always be committed to helping my students succeed, with whatever they are doing, so whatever preparation and planning that takes, I am game.

Thanks again, and I look forward to the second course.


~ by yamaguru on March 1, 2009.

One Response to “Final Reflection …”

  1. Thank you for being so engaged throughout the entire course. I know it’s been difficult to participate virtually, but you have made the effort from day one!

    You are very fortunate to have worked in a PYP school for so long (that was also my previous experience). I think those UoI will prepare you well for a UbD curriculum design process and you’ll be bringing excellent inquiry-based learning experiences to ISB!

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