Laura Harlow Reflections on EDLD. 5364

Reflection on EDLD 5364
“Technology permeates how students think, communicate and process information,
accommodating the positive attributes of their media-rich learning styles can help
educators update teaching, learning and the curriculum” (Williamson & Redish, 2009).
During the course EDLD 5364, Teaching with Technology, this philosophy was supported
by introducing many new ideas and as well as experiences to help support teachers. The
introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) lesson methods (TF-II.F.1) I did not
find this design method very impressive. It seems to me the UDL is a recurrence of Lesson
Cycle, Renzulli and many other programs used over the years. No new material, just a new
name. However, the UDL website included the book builder feature, which was something I
truly enjoyed. This feature could be helpful when easing applicable technology into a
reluctant teacher’s curriculum (TF-III.A.1 and TF-III.A.7). I am disappointed that the book
builder is not available for students’ use, which I think, is where its power lies (TF-III.B.1).
Students would learn the material deeply by the requirement to create a book, which
would also develop problem-solving and higher level thinking skills. I am puzzled that this
tool has not been developed in the Web 2.0 environment for a more public use.
Another aspect of the assignment, working with Google sites, included an
introduction to cloud computing and has changed the way I look at sharing technology with
my teachers. I had experience with Google Docs, using it for my classroom blog, but I was
unaware of the many other facets it offers. My team for the wiki-based study group (TFV.C.6) worked well together and the leader for this particular assignment did a very good
job. We used Google sites to create a wiki as well as a web page to publish our assignment.
The leader was able to delegate activities and keep everyone on schedule, which resulted in
an excellent project. The experience was a positive and one that I believe gave our leader
the encouragement she needed to become confident with her leadership skills.
The integration of technology and support of colleagues holds an important place in
this assignment. Without the encouragement, most teachers will not attempt the
integration of technology into their current curriculum. In order to ensure success, a school
needs “accountability mechanisms monitoring performance and providing useful, ongoing
feedback” (Williamson & Redish, 2009) to the participants. The standards are pointing
education into the authentic use of technology; campuses must have the support in place
for the change to happen (TF-V.B.1). The budgetary aspect of introducing a Integration
Specialist is great and it is a necessity in the current environment. I need to consult with my
campus supervisor to find if there is technology money to create such an opportunity. It has
to start somewhere.
Williamson, J., & Redish, T. (2009). ISTE’s technology facilitation and leadership standards:
What every K-12 leader should know and be able to do. Eugene, OR: International
Society for Technology in Education.