Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Last Blog Post of the Semester

I always assign myself to be the last blogger for the semester as it is a good time to reflect on the course. Having taught this course three years in a row, I have come to realize that this course is very difficult to teach. I have to admit that because it is difficult, I get frustrated and don’t plan assignments as well as I should. For my end of the semester reflection, I have decided to make two lists—things that went well and things that need improvement. 

Things that went well: 
  • I enjoyed having and using a textbook for the reading assignments. Previously, I just had to find assignments online and the book was helpful for making this part of my job easier. I would recommend this textbook for any general technology course for teachers, Educational Technology for Teachers by Dr. Gregory Francom at Northern State University. 
  • Students did a great job improving the online iPad app rubric that was created by the Spring 2013 class. I was very impressed with the students with the first assignment. They were to use the online iPad app rubric to evaluate some iPad apps. They observed and shared that they thought the rubric didn’t work well for all apps. They offered suggestions and we worked together to create an improved online app rubric, 
  • I utilized an assignment from the textbook on Project-Based Learning and modified it to create a Project-Based Learning Assignment. I think it was a good assignment and will likely make improvements to it before using it again next year. 
Things that need improvement: 
  • I often assign students a technology tool (TI-Nspire, Excel, Geogebra, etc.) and ask them to teach us how to use that tool to teach mathematics content. I really need to create a rubric for these assignments and make it more clear what I expect them to do. I think this would improve the class a lot. 
  • This course is always a small group of students so I generally have a laid-back attitude in the course. I feel that this semester that caused some of the students to not take things as seriously as I would have liked. I need to be more firm at the beginning of the semester and set clear expectations.