Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Although not directly related to this course, one of the biggest areas of growth for me while taking these online courses this summer, was motivation and dedication. I have taken online courses in the past, and really struggled to stay motivated and engaged. I was originally supposed to take these courses on campus, but they were canceled due to low enrollment. I was extremely nervous to take the online versions of these courses, but it ended up working out great. I was so passionate about the material we were covering, it was easy to stay engaged and focused on my work. I looked forward to each session and really enjoyed the assignments. These courses really helped me to better my time management skills and kept me from procrastinating as much as I have in the past.

Overall, I have really taken a lot away from these courses. I LOVED the StAIR and WebQuest project. These are definitely two new things I will introduce to my classroom this upcoming school year. I cannot wait to show my colleagues and my students. I also feel as though this program has done an outstanding job of not only discussing different technologies you can use in the classroom, but also different teaching strategies you can use in the classroom. This was one aspect of the course I was really impressed with.

I feel as though I have really grown as an educator through these courses, and look forward to the next phase of this program!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Since learning about them in this course, I have really grown fond of WebQuests. I think there are a lot of high quality WebQuests out there that could really be beneficial for students. Furthermore, I really enjoyed making a WebQuest to use in my classroom this upcoming year. My plan is to make several throughout the year, to match the curriculum across all subject matter, so I can use them throughout the years.

One of the great things about WebQuests is how they can be used across all subject matter. Although the one I made for this course was for first grade science (particularly weather), I intend on making them for math units, language arts curriculum, other science topics, social studies curriculum, etc. The other great thing about making your own WebQuests is that you can tailor them to fit the specific needs of your students and your curriculum. Likewise, you can use all sorts of pedagogical strategies with your students. The possibilities are really endless with Webquests; they are as creative as you make them to be. You could do a wide variety of activities with them as well, whole group, small group, partner, independent, etc.

Some of the technologies I feel would be more difficult to use with my students (mainly because of their young ages) are Wikis, RSS Feeds, and blogs. Some of the technologies I plan on using with my first graders include online gaming, podcasting, online research, virtual field trips, and interactive discussions between students.