Saturday, June 9, 2012

EMDT Reflection ~ an intense 12 months!

When I decided to attend Full Sail, I had a teaching job in a building I loved with dear friends teaching junior high with me.  I wanted to push myself to learn more about technology since my teaching pedagogy itself was strong.  Once I started at Full Sail in July, the name of the game was “CHANGE”.  My district went through major changes that included getting rid of my junior high, and I would up getting a second grade (wow, me teaching the babies?) but at least it was still in my school. 

Dr. Wyly in MLR introduced us to the Lit Review.  I chose to research parental involvement and learned quite a bit.  We first entered Second Life.  The absolute best part of Month One was the creation of TeacherTechies ~ now friends for life!  Tessa and Justin are no longer with us, but will no doubt complete the program at their own pace.  David, Amanda, and Dara have carried me throughout the program and I thank them for it!  Second Life gave me fits, but we created a great video about Veterans Day.

Beth Strudgeon was so positive and upbeat in MLT, it made learning theories fun. I already knew a lot about Gardner, but little about brain-based learning.  It gave me something else to think about when planning lessons.  Especially preparing for a new grade level with my second grade babies.  August came and went and we were back in school.  I fell in love with my students right away.  All 12 of them ~ uh-oh.

Michelle Haynes’s TMD course got me thinking about presenters and different styles.  Getting in front of the camera myself was unnerving, but in the end I felt I learned a lot about how to do an interview and film myself.  Teachers have so much to share with each other, and being able to present will be a valuable skill to have that I take from this class.  This course came at a very stressful time for me professionally.  I learned that I would be displaced from my school.  With only 12 students, my classroom was dissolved.  I would have to leave my beloved DeVeaux.  Where would I end up?  So much was up in the air.  My stress level was on red alert.

ETC and Rena Hathaway could not have come at a better time.  I had never blogged before and I found out that I absolutely LOVE it.  I plan to continue blogging when I have graduated from EMDT.  It is so calming to get my words across, even if no one else but me reads it.  I would like to audit ETC in the future; there are always emerging Web 2.0 tools, it would be interesting to get updates through this course on what resources teachers are discovering and using.  This is the month I was invited to interview to teach at Robinson 8th grade.  It seemed like a challenge, but an opportunity.  I knew I would have my work cut out for me.  Looking back now, I didn’t have a clue just how much.  Working with Amanda in the RILS project was a blessing, and I learned so much from her.

Months 5-8 went by in a blur.  I was dealing with a very stressful classroom full of 8th graders.  They were so challenging to work with; words just don’t describe what I went through.  Sometimes I felt that Full Sail kept me moving forward when all I wanted to do was sit and cry.  EDE had me create my first Google site and work with ADDIE and R2D2.  It was then that I realized my AR project needed to be scrapped and started over.  What I had planned for my second graders was no longer relevant for 8th grade.  I was devastated; I loved the idea of edublogging for developing literacy.  But, keep moving forward…  Roxanne was a lifesaver and helped me work through how to change my AR.  Lisa Smith introduced me to Flash.  This was challenging, but the tutorials were very helpful and I was able to create a good project.  MTE with Dr. Repp made my Cycle 1 come to life.  It was also during this month that my students started to turn a corner.  I think my Cycle 1 helped in that.  The Similar Figures rap also made a difference.  OK, maybe I can reach these challenging students after all.  I learned to view film differently in FPE with Kathy Craven.  I loved the assigned movies, and actually watching for the elements we learned about. 

My hectic teaching life was starting to calm down just a bit by month 9 ~ just in time for gaming with Dr. Dan!  This class was FUN!  I enjoyed immersing myself in new games, trying them all out for the first time.  Game Star Mechanic was interesting, I enjoyed creating my own game.  I now see the huge value gaming has in education.  Is this something I could do in the future rather than being a classroom teacher?  Maybe J

Dr. Reo made Month 10 very engaging.  Our wimba sessions were outstanding, and I do plan to use Edmodo as an LMS next school year.  We moved right into Month 11 with Joe Bustillos, and everyone in my cohort seemed to panic at all of the work for the month!  But we all plugged away at it and made it through.  It was exciting for everything to start to wrap up.  I really enjoyed blogging again, it made me remember and appreciate Rena.  I came to discover my love for blogging, and I know that I want to continue with it.

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